From that moment you opened up your home and life to your pet, they have and forever will continue to shower you with unconditional love and loyalty. That reason alone is why they are truly cherished members of our families. And just like any other member of the family, you will naturally seek to best prepare your pet to a new addition in your family – a newborn baby.
A newborn baby brings along a whirlwind of eternal love and temporary chaos into your household, and so the human members of your family will spend the next 9 months preparing for this major change. For your pet, this change in the household can seem daunting and confusing. It is therefore imperative that you include your pet in the process, for your whole family to transition smoothly into this new phase of your lives.
Below are 4 tips that will aid in this process –
1. Timing is key.
Fight the urge of procrastination! The sooner you start to prepare your pet for your new arrival, the more comfortable the whole household will feel. Start at least four months before the baby’s due date. By starting early your pet will not associate these changes with your baby.
2. Place of rest.
By using baby gates and some of your pets favourite toys, you can create a safe haven for your pet to play in. With the arrival of a new baby, you will often find your house full of guests. This can make some pets anxious, whilst others may become over-excited. By encouraging your pet on a day to day basis to spend time in the quiet zone, you can ensure that when an influx of guests does happen, your pet has their own sanctuary to retreat to.
3. Night-time routine.
Establish a regular pattern at night. Say goodnight to your pet every night at the same time and ensure that you restrict access to the nursery. This will help you to be able to rest sufficiently and concrete solely on your baby when it’s most needed.
4. All things baby.
Help your pet to become used to the sight of a baby by setting-up high-chairs and play-pens etc as early as possible. This will allow you time to set boundaries over the use of these items with your pet.
Your pet may become startled by the sounds your baby will make. To help with this, try to play different baby sounds at a low volume several times throughout the day as your pet goes about their normal routine. Over time gradually increase the volume so that your pet can become accustomed to the sounds.
As pets also have a heightened sense of smell, it can be useful to normalise the smell of any new baby products with your pet. Try using any baby washes and lotion on your own skin to help achieve this.
Good Luck and don’t forget to never leave your baby and pet unsupervised.