A new baby takes a lot of preparing for. Knowing you’ll have an addition to the family in a short while is at once exciting and also daunting but be assured there is plenty of help for expectant mothers and families. You may have considered the obvious aspects and decorated and equipped the nursery, plus you’ve probably bought clothes, toys, and furnishings for the baby. Have you considered your pets?
Your dog or cat – you may have more than one – are not to be ignored at this exciting time of great change, and they will soon know something is amiss when you start your preparations. They notice a change in routine just as people do.
If you read this informative article it confirms among other things that new parents, as is to be expected, spend far less time with their pets once the baby comes along – especially if it is the first one. What can you do to prepare, to make sure your pet doesn’t feel left out?
Consider Your Options
First, you need to think carefully about what access the pet will have to the baby when it comes home. Your dog will be a friendly animal and will likely appreciate having a baby around, but it’s important to remember that even the friendliest and most loving dog can be a danger to small children and babies. The same applies to cats, which have very sharp claws that can accidentally cause damage.
It is perhaps advisable not to let a cat get in a crib that is awaiting the arrival of a baby. You may also find that it will ‘mark’ new and strange furniture in the nursery, so it’s also sensible to consider keeping it out.
As for dogs, the advice is for supervised meetings only, but even before you get to that you have to think about preparing dogs and cats for you having less time to give to them, which will leave them feeling let down.
One thing you can do is equip the nursery with a baby alarm. The best are movement monitors and there are several examples on this list at a useful site we recommend you check out.
This will help you especially if a cat or dog finds its way into the nursery and, thanks to its curiosity, disturbs the child. They are also useful for general monitoring of new babies and bring extra peace of mind to parents.
How to Prepare Pets for Baby’s Arrival
The best thing to do in advance of your baby’s arrival is to start spending less time with the pet. Trim your usual dog or cat time down so they start to get used to it, and alter your routine as best you can too how you expect it to be once the newborn is with you.
There will be new smells to contend with for your pets – the sense of smell of a dog or cat is far more powerful than in humans – so introduce those into the daily environment. The likes of baby wipes and oil, and other substances that you will be using regularly, will be new and confusing to the animal.
The overall idea is to lessen the impact for the pet when the baby becomes your center of attention. Dogs and cats can become jealous so you will need to give them some attention to offset the feeling they are being neglected.
Rest assured that your pets will become attuned to having a new baby around the house, but as with all things to do with children safety comes first, so take care when introducing the new member of the family to the animals.