Before Baby Comes
Your pet may realize that something is brewing when you start accumulating baby paraphernalia and rearranging rooms in your home during your pregnancy, so be sensitive to your pet's needs.
Gradually help your pet get used to the idea that a baby is on the way. Let your pet get familiar with the baby's room while you're still pregnant, if you plan to allow it in your child's bedroom. Cat owners who don't want their pets jumping into baby's crib can train them with an adhesive deterrent product like Sticky Paws. Netting that covers a crib may also be effective.
When a pet won't be allowed in the baby's room, safety gates or screen doors can allow an animal to see and hear what's going on, which makes it feel less isolated.
Create a New Normal
You know that you'll have less time to play with your pet after the baby arrives, so it may be beneficial to get your four legged friend used to the idea early. While you're pregnant, bring your new baby stroller on outings when you walk the dog. It may even be helpful to place a baby doll in the seat.
Doggie Day Care
Who will care for your pet when you 're in the hospital delivering your baby and during the first few days when you return home? Line up someone reliable ahead of time.
Before bringing your baby into your home for the first time, introduce her scent to your pet. This can be done by sending home a blanket or article of clothing worn by the child. Experts say that your attitude around your pet is most important during the early transition stages.
When it comes time for the introduction, experts recommend that you let someone else carry the baby initially. Greet your pet in a calm manner and lead your pet to the baby. If things get to excited, help your pet calm down by removing the baby instead of pushing the pet.
“Make every attempt to resume normal life for the pet,” says Alanna Levine, MD, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics and pediatrician in private practice in Tappan, N.Y. “If he was allowed on the couch before, continue to allow him up there. And be careful not to discipline your pet every time he comes near the new baby.”
Some dogs find it comforting to spend time in a crate, but this must be an established preference before the baby arrives. Putting the dog in a crate whenever the baby is around can be traumatic and should be avoided, Peterson says.
Supervising Your Pet and Baby's Relationship
Animals are unpredictable, and babies make erratic movements, which may frighten pets. This is why you should always be present when your baby and pet are in the same room.
When your baby is old enough to crawl or walk, teach her to stay away from your pet's toys, food bowls, and litter boxes. Child safety gates can keep babies away from litter boxes while still offering cats access to the facilities.
Having Another Baby
Even if your pet adjusted well after the birth of your first child, it's helpful to take the same steps every time you're expecting an addition to the family.
Ultimately, you know your pet than anybody else. Use precaution and common sense. Your heart is expanding with this new addition, and there is more than enough love to go around.
Bringing a new baby into a home with a dog can be stressful, but Mikkel Becker has some great tips and and training measures that can help your dog can safely and happily cohabitate with a newborn. Watch to view her best advice on teaching proper manners and purchasing safety items.