What to Do with a Pet when a Baby Arrives?

If you have a pet at home, you should know that the arrival of a baby will involve some changes that everyone will have to get used to. In the following article, we'll give you some tips to prepare.
What to Do with a Pet when a Baby Arrives?

Last update: 21 July, 2019

The arrival of a baby is exciting, but it involves many changes at home. This implies a new routine that will affect all members of the family, including pets. In fact, we’re aware that many future moms have doubts about what to do with a pet when a baby arrives.

First of all, you should know that some pets are susceptible to changes, so we recommend making adjustments during the months of pregnancy.

The objective is to minimize the chances of the pet resenting the arrival of the new member of the family. Implementing the changes well in advance will allow you to impose the general rules of the house that you would like to have.

Tips to prepare your pet when a baby arrives

Up next, we’ll present some suggestions that you should keep in mind when preparing your pet for the arrival of a baby. Take note!

1. Create a positive environment

Many pets learn to relate the presence of a new baby to lack of attention, confinement, or even punishment. The goal is to teach them that good things happen in the presence of the baby.

Additionally, you can reward your pet for obedient and calm behavior in the presence of the child; this will develop a positive association.

2. Prepare the animal for the baby’s cries

A crying baby can scare even the most peaceful pet. To prepare your pet for these moments, start playing a sound recording of a baby crying and, at the same time, offer your pet a reward. It’s also a good idea to expose your pet to small children before the baby arrives.

What to Do with a Pet when a Baby Arrives?

3. Show them the areas they should avoid

Thirdly, remember that before the baby arrives, you must allow the pet to explore the areas where the baby sleeps and then change location. This means that you must teach the animals that these areas are outside of their limits.

4. Gradually reduce the attention you give them

To get used to the consequences that the arrival of a baby will bring, we suggest that you give your pets less attention and spend less time with them. 

This will minimize the impact once the baby joins the family. You’ll have to prepare your pets, who are accustomed to being pampered and receiving attention, to get used to not being the priority from now on.

5. Never leave the pet and the baby alone

Most problems with pets occur when babies begin to crawl and walk. Their movements can be unpredictable and this can excite or threaten the pets.

Sometimes, clumsy actions can cause pain to a pet, which provokes an adverse response. Therefore, you should never leave your pet and baby alone, no matter how much you trust them.

Some pets are susceptible to changes, so we recommend making adjustments during the months of pregnancy.

6. Change the schedules

As for the schedules, that is something that will also change. Before the baby arrives, try to gradually alter your pet’s feeding, exercise, and playing times, especially if it’s a dog.

7. Supervise the relationship

There’s a different dynamic with babies, compared to having young children at home. For example, babies have strange and abrupt movements that pets can’t see, not to mention the sounds they make.

In light of this, you should always stay close while introducing your new baby to your pet. Likewise, you have to continue to supervise them in the weeks and months that follow, until they become accustomed – no matter how safe and friendly they are!

What to Do with a Pet when a Baby Arrives?

8. Pretend you have a baby in your arms

Finally, although it may seem absurd, it’s good for you to get a big doll and pretend that you have a baby in your arms. Take into consideration that it’s important that your pets feel a positive association with the baby, so try to reward them for positive behavior when they’re in the presence of the doll.

In conclusion, remember that changes in the life of an animal should begin months before the arrival of the baby; it’s even better if they start during the first months of pregnancy.

We’re sure you’ll enjoy this beautiful experience and the benefits of having a pet at home!

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.