How To Prepare Your Pets For a Newborn
When it comes to bringing a newborn home everyone is overjoyed! Sometimes so excited that we may actually forget to prepare our first babies aka our fur babies for the new family member. Not preparing our pets before bringing a newborn home can lead to some serious problems. So I'm going to share how I prepared my pitbull for Adora's arrival months before bringing her home.
1. Train Your Pets
This is pretty obvious, you should always train your pet before you bring a newborn home. It is easy to teach your pet basic commands like sit, lie down, stay, and no. To train your pet, first, say the command and show them how to do it then award them with a treat. Repeat the process daily for short periods of time until they have the hang of it. Make sure the commands are very simple and that you use the same ones each time so that your pet doesn't get confused.
2. Keep Animals Off Furniture
Months before I had Adora, my pitbull would lay with me on the bed and the couch. If your pet is used to jumping on the bed or couch without permission it can easily jump on top of your baby and hurt your child if you're not paying attention. I once read a news article about a couple losing their child because the mom coughed while they were all laying on the bed and the cough startled the dog. The dog attacked their newborn. By having their dog on their bed with the newborn they put their child in danger.
3. Play Videos of Babies Crying/Screaming
This is a must! Dogs, in general, do not like high pitched noises. So if they're not used to the noise a baby makes, they might get startled and attack the child. So months before bringing a newborn home, constantly play videos of babies crying or buy a baby doll that cries. This will help the dog get used to the sounds.
4. Do Daily Activities With a Baby Doll
The daily activities you do with your dog, add in a baby doll. What I mean by this is, if you go on walks with your pets, start going on walks with the stroller so your pets can get used to walking beside the stroller. This is something I actually did not do before Adora was born and wish I did because Duke cannot walk with me while I have the stroller. Another example is if you go on car rides with your dog, practice car rides with the car seat and baby doll to see if the dog stays on one side of the car.
5. Make It Known What Is Off Limits
Usually, we tend to let our dogs go into rooms freely. After having a baby a lot of couples do not want their pets going into the baby's nursery. So if you have a separate room for the child, start training your dog to not go into that room months before hand. Take this time to teach them what is theirs and what is the baby's as far as toys and blankets(this can go along with training your pet). Surprisingly Duke does a great job with not messing with Adora's belongings, the only time he plays with her toys is when she gives him the toys. Which gives him the okay to play with them.
6. Stop Playing Roughly With Pet
Playing roughly with your pet can make them more aggressive without you even knowing it. You might think you're just playing a friendly game with them however some games do make pets unfriendly. Examples of this are playing tug-a-war or putting your hand in their face and making them get mad. This makes sure in the future when your baby is mobile and wants to play with the dog, whenever they put their hand in the pet's face it doesn't immediately get destructive.
7. Let the Pets Sniff the Baby
Before bringing the newborn home let the spouse or other family member bring home an article of clothing with the baby's scent on it and let them sniff it. This is how dogs get to know people. Then when you bring the baby home, actually let the pets sniff the baby so they can understand who that scent belongs to.
These are the things I did to prepare my dog for my child's arrival. We have never had problems with Duke around Adora. If you plan on getting a pet after giving birth, I would wait a couple of months to bring home a new pet. It's better to get a puppy or kitten, that way the baby and new pet can grow together and the animal will have a better relationship with the baby.
That's what we did, we got a kitty months after Adora was born, you can read all about their relationship here. If you adopt a pet make sure the pet is great with kids, that way you won't be putting your child in danger. Both of my pets are great around Adora, she has never been bitten and she plays with them all the time.
Always remember to never leave your child unattended with a pet. A lot of dogs don't like it when people stare at them, which children do often. Make sure your child doesn't put their hands on your pet's face or constantly climb on them. Pets can be wonderful around children but just like parents, they do get annoyed as well. So please be aware of those things and teach your children how to play with your pets. Thanks for reading and ta-ta for now!
*Did you prepare your pets for a newborn, if so, how? Or Did you wait until your kids were older to get pets?
Adore Your Beauty, Embrace Yourself, Confidence is Key!
XoXo Adore Donnie