Prepare Your Pet For Your BabyAuthor: Maria Cummings
A baby is going to cause changes in the household routine and lifestyle. Your pet will get used to the changes much easier if a lot of them happen before the new baby arrives home. Cats, dogs, and babies are beings of routine. They are all sensitive to routine and change tends to upset them. If the changes gradually happen before baby comes home then your pet probably will not resent the baby since baby will not be associated with the change in your pet's view of the world.
During the weeks before you are due to have your baby, gradually lessen the amount of time that you spend with your pet. If you think the time of day that you walk, feed, and play with or exercise your animal will change, modify those routines now giving your pet time to adjust. Have you trained your dog to commands like sit, stay, no, and heel? Does he obey you? Does he have any aggressive tendencies? You may need a dog trainer's help before baby arrives to help make sure your dog knows you are in charge.
If you have a cat, make sure the claws are routinely trimmed. Trim your dog's claws too. Get another family member used to cleaning the cat box. Have whoever changes it wear rubber gloves and wash their hands thoroughly afterward. Follow these precautions if you end up cleaning the litter box. Animals are easily startled by the spontaneous actions and noises of children. If your pets haven't been around children much, have your nieces and nephews over a few times or invite your friends kids over to play some games and have lunch. Don't let them mistreat your pet, but let them be in the house so your pet gets used to the noise of children.
You'll be preparing for the new baby by buying various baby items and setting up the baby bed. Let your pet smell these items. This can help your animal get used to these items being around. Never allow your pets to lie on your baby's belongings or get into the baby bed. If necessary keep the door closed to the baby's room.
Buy a container that seals to put the dirty diapers in so your animals won't get into the container. Unfortunately, they will be attracted to the odor. Your cat or dog needs a place of his or her own also. If you haven't made that space in your house yet, do it now before baby gets home. Teach your pet this is his special spot by putting one of his toys there and giving him bedding. He may need to get away from the baby and other children sometimes and this should be off limits to children.
To get your pet familiar with baby noises you can play a CD of a baby crying starting a few months before you have your baby. You can rock in the rocking chair and turn on the mechanical swing routinely ahead of time too. These small preparations can make the changes positive and less stressful for your pet. And you can also give him a treat or play with him as a reward for his ability to adapt to his new family member.
Maria Cummings is a devoted parent, wife and expert author on family matters and parenting. She is devoted to helping children's organizations and activities. Maria is the Sales Manager for BustlingBaby.com which offers a variety of baby products to help make parenting easier, from Baby Sherpa Backpacks to Snug As a Bug slings