8 Tips for pet owners with newborn babies.
Having a newborn is naturally exciting for many parents.
As a pet owner, this can come with confusion as you wonder how your pet will get along with your newborn. However, you can make prior arrangements to ensure everyone including your pets are comfortable and safe.
Planning also ensures a smooth transition to a household that is filled with excitement and not a home that is focused on calming a barking dog or a crying baby.
There is no doubt that having a newborn is a challenging and life-changing process. Here at pupped you will find vital tips to enhance healthy relationships between all family members.
8 Tips for pet owners with new born babies
Have Safety Barriers
With a newborn, you need to have safety barriers. This should be a priority. While pets can be loving and caring, you can never take safety for granted. To ensure amazing relationships are built between your baby and animals, you must never leave a cat, dog or any other pet with the baby alone. Create a level of separation so that the pets can get accustomed to your new rules.
If possible, before the baby is born, train your pet that the newborn room or bed is out of bounce. Alternatively, have a physical barrier.
Train on Walks
Leash training is vital when you are expecting a new-born or when the baby has already arrived. Let your pet understand and master the art of walking on your side and not pulling or running all over during your walks. Getting your pet to walk safely as you carry a baby or push a buggy is vital. You can use a small bundle of clothes to create a ‘baby’ for training. It allows your pet to understand that there is someone precious in your arms and there is no room for accidents.
Encourage the pets to walk well without jumping and running around. Use treats when your pet behaves well.
Privacy is good for the new-born and your pets as well. Create a space where the pets can have a perfect retreat in a peaceful and quiet room. Since cats love to relax up high, why not create shelves that help them to enjoy a restful sleep. Provide comfortable beddings where pets can relax or take an afternoon nap away from the newborn.
Newborns can cry uncontrollably at times. This can be stressful for your pets. In this case, you need to teach them that baby noise or baby cries are something normal and they can ignore it. During a lazy afternoon, let your pets watch clips with real babies crying. Play the clip with moderate volume and increase it when you have the attention of your pets. Ideally, your pet will get to understand that babies cry.
If the pets get agitated with the noise, calm them down as you play the clip. It helps them to maintain good behaviour when a newborn cries.
Keep a Predictable Pet Routine
You need to keep a predictable pet routine if you have a newborn. It helps to reduce anxiety and stress levels to your pets, especially during the first days of bringing a newborn home. Remember, this is a period that needs a lot of patience, a few adjustments here and there and understanding. Do not punish your pets whenever they come close to the baby. Instead, encourage pets to walk away or take a few steps back.
You can also encourage the pets to sit or to relax in their rest area when they come near the baby. If it becomes hard to train the pets to be careful or adjusting to having a new family member around, you can always seek professional help. A professional animal behaviourist can guide on the best way to create a perfect home for you, your newborn and your pets.
8 Tips for pet owners with new born babies (cont.)
Teach Pets on Baby Smells
Before your pets can come into contact with the baby, introduce baby smells and baby items around your house.This includes hats, booties, beeps and onesies among other items. When you remove these items from the baby, let the pets capture the smell and let them understand it is for an important person. By associating the smell with a happy emotion, when the time comes for the pets to get close to the baby, they will not harm it.
Feed Pets and Treat Pets as Usual
Pets can get jealous. Therefore, feed them, play with them and cuddle with them as usual even with your newest member of the family around. The pets will not feel neglected or threatened by the presence of the baby.
Training the Baby
At four months, your newborn can interact with pets under your supervision. You can sit your baby in the playroom or on your laps. Call your cat or dog for gentle strokes. The pets and your baby will start connecting for long healthy friendships.
If you don’t get have a pet yet, but are consider one, here is another great read: 9 Low maintenance pets for your kids to love.