So you have a little one on the way and you already have a couple of furbabies at home. There are a few things that you can do to help prepare them for the arrival of your baby.
– Start with noises babies make. Youtube is great for this. Look up babies crying, screaming, laughing…. Play the video so that your furbabies can hear. Start with only a minute or so and gradually increase the time.
– Set up the nursery early. The sooner you set up the nursery the less new stuff the pets need to adapt to. Personally, we allow our dogs in the nursery (not in the crib).
– Play “doll”. Pick up a baby like doll and play with them. Hold them, rock them, even change the diaper. This helps the pets to be able to understand that something is changing. You can even have the video of a baby crying, then pick up the doll and stop the video. This lets the pets know that you will take care of the baby.
– After the baby is born, but still in the hospital, take a blanket or outfit that they have been wearing and bring it home. Let the pets smell the new scent.
– Once you are home, pay attention to your pets first. It has been days since they have seen you and they need some love. Once you have shown them attention, introduce the baby to the pets. Personally, we kept our son in the car seat, with our hand on it to pull it up if anything were to go wrong.
– Remember that your pets need love too. Make sure to take a few minutes out of your day to pet or pay attention to them.
We have 2 dogs at home that were the center of our attention for several years before our first was born. We really made sure to pay attention to them when our son went down for a nap. Our older dog, didn’t really care and our younger dog has a special bond with our son. They love to play together and curl up next to each other.
Always remember – NEVER leave the baby alone with your pets. Even if you think they are gentle, they are still animals and can be unpredictable.\