Bringing your newborn home is one of the most joyful and exciting times for new parents. For pet-owners however, it can involve a lot more stress. Not knowing what to expect from your dog or cat with a newborn in the house can be a scary thought. While some pets adjust easily, others become very anxious when their usual environment suddenly involves new smells, sounds and a new, tiny stranger. Thankfully, there are steps and precautions you can take to make this transition smoother. It is essential that you prepare in advance to keep everyone safe and happy.
Is It Safe to Have Pets Around Babies?
Although every pet is different, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, they are still an animal. Animals are unpredictable and can become hostile when they feel threatened or unsafe for any reason. For this reason, it is imperative that you never leave your pet alone with your baby – at least for the first few years of life.
Introducing Your Dog or Cat to Baby
Start Preparing Before Baby Arrives
The first and most important thing you should do as a pet-owner once you find out you’re pregnant is run medical tests on your cat or dog. Certain parasites can be harmful to humans and even cause birth abnormalities. Once your pet has been tested, it is also important that they have all of their vaccinations, and their nails are properly trimmed.
Proper obedience training will also be a big help once your baby comes home. Training them for simple commands or teaching them not to jump on others, for example, will protect your baby (and yourself) while you’re pregnant.
Let Your Pet Adjust to The New Environment
Before you even bring your baby home, you should give your pet plenty of time to adjust to their new environment. Whether you are adding new baby furniture, or creating a nursery in your home, do it as early as possible and in small stages to avoid any stress from your pet.
This is also a great time to teach your pet which areas will be off limits to them once the baby comes home. You can do this by using barriers for dogs and spray deterrents for cats. Moreover, if your pet is used to following you around everywhere, gradually practice keeping them separated.
Create Bonding Experiences
One way to help foster a loving relationship between your baby and your pet is by creating positive bonding experiences. One easy way you can do this is by making mealtime bonding time by having your baby and pet eat at the same time. Whether you’re feeding your baby a bottle made with the Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced or feeding them solid food made with our One Step Baby Food Maker for the first time, these memories are sure to have a lasting impact.
Another great opportunity for bonding is naptime! Both babies and pets love to take long naps during the day, and they can do this together as long as they are being supervised at all times. Elevate your baby's naptime with the Baby Brezza Smart Soothing Mat that soothes your baby through rumbly sounds and gentle motions for better and safer sleep.
Teach Baby to Be Gentle With Pets
Safety goes both ways when it comes to babies and pets. The best way to teach your baby how to interact with pets is through modeling, encouraging, and reinforcing positive behaviors. Always teach your young one to respect every animal. Teach them not to chase and not touch pets when they are eating or when they simply do not want to be touched. If your pet does enjoy the occasional belly rub, it is also important to teach gentleness.
Introducing a new baby to your pet can be daunting. And while those videos on social media of babies cuddling with their pets are adorable – they are not always realistic. However, if you follow these recommendations, the transition from strangers to best friends will be a lot smoother for both your pet and your baby.