You’ve been a pet parent for a while, but now you’re going to be a parent to a human as well. You might be worried about how your fur baby will react when you bring your bundle of joy home and no longer being the center of attention. Hopefully, by following these steps, your pet will be prepared to welcome the newest family member with open paws.
Schedule A Vet Checkup
You’re going to be busy once that baby arrives. Make sure that your pet is up-to-date on all vaccinations and is healthy so that it will be one less thing to worry. Consider spaying or neutering your pet if they aren’t already. You won’t have to worry about puppies or kittens showing up unexpectedly and it can make your pet calmer.
Get A Baby Doll
Pretend like the baby is already here by carrying around a baby doll. This will allow your pet to get accustomed to you carrying around a baby. You can also play audio of babies crying so that it isn’t a shock to your pet when the real baby shows up.
Set Up Baby’s Gear
Baby gear is usually brightly colored, moves, and makes noises. These can all make a pet wary especially if they show up when the baby shows up. Put all of baby’s swings, play mats, and other gear together a few weeks before the due date so your pet can grow accustomed.
Teach New Tricks
There will be times when you will want your pet to get off the couch or out of the room when taking care of your baby. Teach these tricks now to your pet so that they can follow a command instead of running away from being yelled at. You can also let your pet know that there are rooms they are no longer welcome in. Setting these boundaries now will help in the long run.
Don’t Give Extra Attention Now
You might want to give your pet all of the extra cuddles now before the baby comes and they feel ignored, but don’t. This will make it that much harder for your pet when the baby comes. Instead, practice giving them the same amount of attention that you’ll be able to give once the baby arrives. If you will only be able to take 30 minute walks when the baby arrives, only go on 30 minute walks now. That way the pet won’t feel abandoned just because the baby showed up.
Bringing Baby Home
When you first come home from the hospital, have one parent greet the pets at the door without the baby. They will probably be excited to see you after your hospital stay and will be energetic. Once they calm down, have the other parent come inside with the baby. Keep dogs on a leash when first meeting the baby just in case you need to pull the dog away quickly. Let your pet slowly come towards the baby and sniff. Let them take as much time as they need to feel comfortable around the baby.
Hopefully, with enough preparation, your pets will welcome baby home as part of the family. Remember that this is a big transition for your pet too, so give them whatever time and space they need to make the adjustment. Congratulations on your growing family.