Prepping pet for new baby
When I got to know about my news of pregnancy, I felt nervous and excited too. Being a pet owner, I was feeling more anxious than other expectant parents and was worried about how my pet will get along with my baby.
Luckily with a bit of planning, I taught my most pampered dog make a smooth transition from living in a baby free environment to live in a home that is focused on crying and a demanding baby. I have often observed that many pet owners say that, “this is my first baby” and pregnancy is the best time to teach your first babies that life is going to change. I started reflecting my changing behavior to muffin (my dog) in the initial days of my pregnancy. I was more focused on my changing body, my yoga classes and my healthy lifestyle. He was not allowed to sleep in my lap anymore. I think many of the pet owners can’t focus the same amount of time on a pet when they have to take care of a child. But we can still manage to have a healthy relationship with our pets. Here is what I did to let my puppy know that it still has a special place in my family.
Before the baby arrives
Pets are super smart. They realize that something is brewing when you begin accumulating baby corner and rearrange rooms in your home during pregnancy. I still remember when I started making a cozy corner for my baby, Sam used to get irritated. One must be sensitive to the pet’s needs. Pregnancy brings a lot of changes. We prepare the nursery, we bring lots of new furniture and baby stuff and this makes them uncomfortable. The bond between you and your pet is special. Try not to break it. Be gentle and polite to them as you were before the pregnancy news. This will help them feel comfortable and they are going to welcome the new kid with utmost love and care.
Tips to get them along
1. Introduce them slowly: Your home is turf for your pet, so don’t expect them to accept the little one immediately. It took 2 months for my puppy to accept my baby. And the same goes for the infant. Introduce them slowly. Take both of them for a walk in the park and let them enjoy each other’s company. I introduced my baby to my dog by letting him sniff his blanket. Once your dog seems comfortable, you can move a step further.
2. Baby-free zone: Give your pets a baby-free zone as stressed pets may act out. Having a baby-free zone will make them feel relax and they will reach out to their cozy space once they have played enough and need a break.
3. Leaving them alone together is not a good idea: Never ever leave your pet and your baby alone together. It doesn’t matter how sweet your dog is with your toddler, but try to be with them when they are playing. It’s hard but it’s important. A child will take years to handle pets on his own and a pet may act adversely at times.