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Introducing Your Pet to Your New Baby: A Parent's Guide

In this article, I will be sharing steps to introduce your pet to your newborn.

Image Credits: Unsplash

How to let your pet and your newborn get along?

You need to plan ahead!

Your spouse and you might have a pet as the ‘first baby’.

Your newborn not only changes your spouse and your life, your pet as well. Your pet will have to share your attention with your newborn.

When you find out you are expecting the first child, start preparing your pet.

Bring your pet to the park to see how he reacts to babies from a distance and follow by alongside if things go well. This lets your pet be exposed to the sight and sound of babies.

Three months before your due date

Schedule a check-up

A visit to the vet will ensure that your pet is in good health and on all vaccinations.

This helps to protect your newborn’s health.

Pretend Play

Actively prepare your pet for your newborn.

Hold a baby doll and treat it as your newborn. Carry it around at home, coo to it, and tote it in the baby carrier.

Set up the bassinet, crib, and swing, and then have the baby doll "use" them.

Introduce your pet to new items, sounds and smells like baby lotion and powder.

Practice walking your pet while you are pushing the baby doll in the stroller.

One month before your due date

When you head to the hospital to deliver, your spouse and you might be gone for a couple of days. Do you know who will be taking care of your pet?

Get helps from close friends your pet knows and likes. Pass spare keys to your friend who taking care of your pet.

Two weeks before your due date

If you are not giving birth with a cesarean section and have to head to the hospital suddenly, divide your pet’s food into individual servings and leave the vet number where your pet’s caregiver can take care of your pet.

Try to cuddle with your pet on the couch.

While your spouse and you are in the hospital

Get someone to bring your newborn’s first bodysuits or blanket home so your pet can get used to your newborn's smell.

When your newborn comes home, your pet will recognize and accept your newborn’s smell.

When you come home

Let your husband hold your newborn when you walk into your house.

Carry your pet and it is going to be overjoyed to reunite with you.

After your pet is chilled out, sit down with your newborn and let your pet get acquainted.

The first few times you nurse or give your newborn a milk bottle, ask your husband to feed your pet.

In the midst of all your newborn's demands, don't forget to get your husband to take care of your pet each day.

How to let your pet and your newborn get along?

Let your pet sit nearby when you are changing a diaper and talk to both of your "babies" while you are at it.

You will give your pet attention and build your newborn's language skills too.

Eventually, your newborn will go from being the stranger your pet is uncertain about to a lifelong playmate and live happily ever after.

Zone Out

Install safety gates to designate some places off-limits to your pet. Your newborn can roll and crawl safely.

Find a space for your pet.

Fill the space with favourite toys, a water bowl, some treats, and a place to rest. Your pet is less likely to chew on any cute baby toys you received as gifts.

Do not let your pet sleep in your bed or jump on the furniture anymore.

Avoid Food Fights.

Once your newborn is mobile, he might drink or eat your pet’s food.

Teach your newborn to be gentle.

As your newborn begins exploring with his hands, he might grab the pet’s fur.

Show your newborn how to treat your pet nicely, he will mimic you.

Do not leave your newborn alone with your pet.

Your newborn might irritate your pet.

Watch for pacing or unusual eye contact, which could indicate your pet isn't comfortable with your newborn.

I hope all these steps will help your pet and your newborn to get along.

What matters most to parents? Our most-read articles:

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Genesis Childcare 1989 (Playgroup to Kindergarten 2)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 S(520433)

Nurture Infant House (2 to 18 months Infants)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 S(520433)

Opening hours: Monday to Friday (7am to 7pm) & Saturday (7am to 2pm)

Public Bus services: 8 / 21 / 28 / 29 / 293


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