Before becoming parents to a human baby, many couples are mom and dad to a fur baby. Typically, this furry, four-legged animal has been placed on quite the pedestal over some long period of time. Bringing home a newborn can present a lot of worry for the expecting family.
Here at My Baby's Heartbeat Bear, we love babies -- both human and furry! We are thankful to our fans for sending us the most adorable pictures of their babies together. Along with the photos, we requested for tidbits of advice when it comes to introducing your new human to your pet for the first time. As always, our fans did not disappoint!
It must be hard for a furry loved one to go from being the center of your world to second fiddle. It is not intentional, but it will happen. There are several ways to help your pet prepare for the new addition and encourage a strong relationship. Many times, animals become protective of their owners or jealous of their new sibling. It's important to not push them aside and try to help them transition into this new role smoothly.
Before Baby Arrives
Implement Changes Gradually: If your animal sleeps in bed with you, is used to being walked every few hours, or traditionally runs a few miles every morning with you, take the time to start slowly changing things. If you will want your dog to be let out into the backyard instead of being walked each time, introduce the concept, especially if an electric fence is in the plan. Any changes you may consider are worth transitioning into instead of happening all at once.
Set Up Baby Gear: Crib, swing, bouncer chair, and playmat should all be out for a while before baby is born. This allows you to set up boundaries and expectations and truly work with your furry love on understanding what life will be like. (Do not allow a cat to climb into the crib. etc)
Bring in a Baby Doll: By carrying around a doll, your pet may start to understand that you will be a bit less attentive.
Bring in the Noise: For cats especially, noise can cause stress. Play videos of baby cries, turn a sound machine on, and play lullaby music.
Set Up a Special Area: Give your pet a safe place where there will be nothing but space for him. Set up toys, and soft place to lay, and introduce the area well before baby arrives.
Greet Your Pet: Before bringing anything else into the house, spend a minute or two greeting and loving on your furry baby.
Bring Home a Blanket: After greeting your animal, carry in a blanket that has been used to wrap your baby in. Let your pet smell the blanket while you talk calmly about the baby.
Control the Setting: Use a leash or position yourself in a place to step in if needed. Let Mom hold the baby while the introduction takes place.
Let Your Animal Come to Baby: Do not force your animal to meet the baby. Let his curiosity bring him near. Some pets will withdrawal from the situation and find somewhere to observe what is happening before deciding to meet the new baby.
Don't Forget Your Pet: Animals tend to act out when they are craving attention, especially attention they were used to receiving.
Continue Boundaries: Remember that animals are animals, and while they feel like your children, there is always a chance that something could happen. Your pet would not intentionally harm your baby, but it can happen. Stay consistent with your boundaries and always be aware of situations as they are playing out.
There will be an adjustment period for your animal; however, chances are that your human and animal will become best friends!