You’re already a proud fur parent.
Soon, you’ll be the parent of a human baby too. Or maybe you’ve just brought your new baby home.
Much like how you inform your family and friends of the upcoming arrival of the latest addition to your family, your pets also need to be “informed”.
Yes, you also need to introduce your baby to your pets, so that they get used to the new addition to the house.
This is especially even more so if the baby is your first child, and your pets have not been around children for a long length of time.
Here’s when you should introduce your baby to your pets, and how:
1. During Your Pregnancy
Of course, you can’t actually inform your pets that you have a baby on the way. Your pets however, can probably tell that you are expecting.
Their refined sense of smell can immediately detect the changing body chemicals of a pregnant female human. Your pets know that something is changing, and the human change will also trigger changes in your pet’s behavior.
This is a good time to “introduce” your baby to your pets by training them to get ready for the new arrival.
Invite your family and friends’ kids to your home, and slowly but surely introduce your pets to them. Do keenly observe how your pets react to them.
The goal is to train pets to become gentle and not jump on or attack small humans. You can also consider getting professional help in terms of helping your pets get ready for the new arrival.
2. With Obvious Changes Throughout Your Home
When a baby is about to arrive in the household, there will be obvious house-related changes.
For example: You’ll buy more baby stuff like cribs and baby clothes, and you may even change one of your rooms to become a nursery.
Whether you allow your pets into the baby’s room or not, do make sure that the furniture within is sturdy – whether it’s the crib or the couch. You don’t want them to spoil anything! If you have pet cats, here’s how to stop your cats from destroying your furniture.
It’s time to start training your pets as to where they can or cannot go i.e. the crib, and to do it soon so that they don’t associate these changes with the arrival of your baby.
3. Before Baby Comes Home From The Hospital
Before you go home from the hospital, get your partner or a family member to go home first with some items that have your baby’s smell.
It could be a swaddle, a plush toy, or the pillow your baby slept on. Introduce your baby’s smell to your pets.
When your baby returns home, your pets will find your baby’s smell to already be a part of their home.
Your baby will not be a new “thing” to be suspicious of.
4. Do A Short Introduction
The key here is to do an appropriately-timed introduction.
Keep your baby in a portable bassinet and allow your pets to come nearer as they investigate this new addition to the home.
Watch your pets’ reactions closely. If your pets are of the physically aggressive sort, keep them at a safe distance to prevent harm to your baby.
A baby’s immune system is much weaker than that of adults, so don’t allow your pets to lick your baby – sniffing is as far as they should get!
5. Do A Longer Re-Introduction After 3 Months
The first meeting between your baby and your pets should be short and sweet.
Over time, keep “re-introducing” your baby to your pets both from afar and upfront in longer time lengths. As your baby goes through rapid changes and start being able to crawl, they will also get physically curious about the pets in your house.
Make sure that when your baby reaches out for the dog or cat, the baby’s arm is not seen as an “attack”.
Hopefully, your pets will soon grow to love the new addition to the household as much as you do, and be your baby’s best friend and protector.
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