Infants and Their Four Legged Siblings
Just like parents and siblings need to be prepared for their new addition, so do the four-legged kids in your house. Pets are very aware when something different is going on with their owners. Here are a few tips to help prepare your furry friends for your new baby:
Make sure your pet is healthy
Before your due date rolls around, take your pet for a routine trip to the vet to make sure everything is up to date. This might also be a great time to get their nails/claws trimmed.
Address any behavioral problems
Talk to your vet or local trainer about the potential for anxiety or behavioral issues, and ask for training tips or classes that might help. Now is the time to address those concerns before you bring your baby home.
Give them a scent
After your baby’s born, bring home a small item from the hospital, like a burp cloth or blanket. Let your pet sniff the item so they can recognize the scent when the baby comes home.
Take a special time, after your initial greeting with your pet, to introduce them to your baby. Use treats and reward appropriate behavior, but don’t force any interaction.
Maintain regular routines
Life will be chaotic caring for a newborn, but do the best you can to maintain a regular routine with your pet. This will help your pet adjust and keep them calm and happy.
Always supervise and be observant
Make sure you’re always in the same room as your pet and baby. While any initial anxiety your pet may have had could fade away, it might return once the child becomes mobile.