Preparing Your Pet For The Arrival Of A New Human Sibling
Until now, your furry friend has been your only baby – but now you are preparing to welcome a human baby into your family. If you are considering expanding your family or are already expecting the arrival of a little one soon, it’s natural to feel concerned about how your pet is going to react. After all, it’s a big change for everybody when a new baby is born. It’s important to make sure that your pet is well-prepared for the arrival of their new human sibling so that you can all make the transition as smooth as possible as your family grows. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Invest in Training:
Now is a good time to invest in some extra training for your pet. You can never be too sure of how your dog or cat is going to act around a new baby, no matter how well-trained and well-behaved they are right now. Many pet owners find that introducing a new human member of the family to their pet can bring on behavioural changes that were not there before and are sometimes unexpected. Speak with a professional trainer about any behavioural issues that you might be concerned about, or any changes that are worrying you, and put together a plan to make the transition as positive as possible.
Make sure your vet visits are up to date, and everything is sorted before the baby comes. It can also be a good idea to think about pet insurance to ensure that your pet is protected; the last thing you want to worry about when you have a new baby to care for are vet bills if your pet gets sick or has an accident. Check out Everypaw and explore your pet insurance options. They offer a range of policies, including Lifetime Cover, Maximum Benefit and Time Limited, so you can find cover to suit your pet’s needs.
Get Your Pet Used to Babies and Children:
If you’ve never spent much time around babies and children, your pet might be completely shocked when you suddenly bring a newborn into your family. Now is the time to get your pet used to babies and small children by safely exposing them to as many as possible. If you have friends or family members who have a baby or kids, now is a good time to invite them to come over and spend some time interacting with your pet. Safety first – even if the kids and your pet seem to be getting on well, never leave them unattended.
Make Routine Changes Gradually:
The arrival of a new baby is very likely to bring about some routine changes for the whole family. You can make this easier on your pet by gradually making these changes to your routine as early on as possible, so that once the new baby arrives, there is less of a transition for them to make. Once your baby is born, it will be natural for you to have less time during the day to spend with your pet, so you might want to slowly start introducing less attention or shorter walks, for example, so that they are used to this once the baby arrives.
Establish Firm Boundaries:
Before your baby is born, you will want to establish some new, firm boundaries around the house to show your pet what they can and cannot do. Getting your pet used to these new rules before the baby arrives is key, since once you have a newborn, you may not have the free time necessary to train your pet and things can start to get frustrating for everybody. For example, you can start early on by showing your pet that they are not allowed to go in the baby’s nursery or lie in the cot.
Rearrange Sleeping Arrangements:
If your pet sleeps in your bedroom right now, it’s a good idea to start encouraging them to sleep elsewhere in the house as early on as possible so that they are used to these new sleeping arrangements once the baby arrives. Otherwise, you might find that your pet and your baby end up disturbing each other – and you – in the middle of the night. Set your pet up with a comfortable bed elsewhere in the house and encourage them to sleep there in good time, so that they are already in a new sleeping routine and habits when the baby is born.
The First Introduction:
Once your baby is born, you will want to take the introduction to your pet slowly and patiently. It’s a good idea to first get your pet used to their scent before meeting them in person. Before your little one leaves the hospital, have your partner, a relative or trusted friend take a blanket or unwashed baby outfit home for your pet to sniff, so that they can get used to your baby’s scent before they finally come home. After careful introductions, try to spend as much time as you can with your pet and baby together.
It’s natural for new parents to be a little worried about the prospects of introducing their fur baby to a new human baby. By starting early and going slow, you can prepare your pet for their new human sibling and lay the foundations of a loving relationship between the two of them.