Welcoming a new baby into your family is a significant milestone that brings about major changes and a new way of life. However, the arrival of a new baby is not always a happy occasion for your pets, as the new smell, different sounds, and uncontrolled movements may make them nervous. As a result, parents may forget about their pets during this busy time and cause unintended consequences.
Fortunately, with early planning and preparation, you can help your pets adjust to your new baby in a peaceful environment. Here are some tips that can make introducing your cat and dog to your newborn easier:
1. Establish a new routine before your baby is born
It may take some time for your pets to adjust to changes in their routine, so teach them the new rules and limits in your home before your baby is born. For instance, if you have a dog, you may need to adjust the time that you go out. Consider the amount of attention and care your pets require and plan accordingly.
2. Train your pets
Dogs can get excited and jump on you when you are holding your baby. Therefore, you may need to train them with commands like “stop” and “sit” to control their behavior. Start reinforcing these commands before your baby arrives to make the transition smoother.
3. Set boundaries in your home
Allow your pets to explore the nursery or your baby’s belongings before the baby is born, so that the space becomes familiar. Then, set specific boundaries in your home, such as not entering certain areas or not going near your baby’s bed. Consider having a fence-like door to keep your pets out of your baby’s room if necessary.
4. Create a baby-like environment before the baby is born
Give your pets some time to adjust to having a baby around by teaching them new habits like walking with a stroller. You can also listen to recordings of baby cries to familiarize your pets with the new sounds.
5. Create a positive environment
It’s crucial that the first meeting between your pets and your baby is positive. Make sure you show love to both your pets and your baby, look for moments when your pets are calm, let them explore your baby under your supervision, and reward positive behavior. Gradually help your pets understand that your new baby is not a threat, but a new member of the family. If your pets get overwhelmed, give them some space and time to adjust.
6. Spend time with your pets
While taking care of your baby, don’t forget to give attention and love to your pets too. Spend time with them to show that you haven’t forgotten about them.
7. Keep your house clean
Regularly cleaning your house is essential, especially from pet hair, which can be harmful to your baby’s health. A clean and dust-free house is essential for the health and well-being of your baby.
8. Talk to your veterinarian
If your pets show persistent aggressive behavior towards your baby, consult with your veterinarian immediately. You can also seek help from an animal behaviorist who can give you professional advice on how to help your pets adjust to the new family dynamic.
9. Observe your baby and pets
Always keep a watchful eye on your baby and pets, even if your baby is older. Make sure to pay attention to both your baby’s and your pets’ needs.
10. Teach your child how to treat your pets
Babies and young children may not understand how to respect pets, which can cause discomfort and aggression towards pets. Teach your child that your pets are living creatures deserving of respect and love and to always be gentle with them.
Read More: Simple Ways to Get Your Cat and Dog to Love Each Other