Everything seems like an opportunity to stress when you're bringing home a new baby - where will they sleep, what will they wear, will they get along with siblings, will I ever sleep again? Especially if it's your first baby and you already have a fur baby or two, you wonder how you can make sure they get along and your fur baby doesn't get forgotten.
Introducing Your Pets To A New Baby
I was in this situation myself with both of my kids. Before my husband and I had kids, we had two fur babies. The dog I brought into the relationship was very needy and we were very close. He had some aggression issues and I was extremely worried about bringing home baby.
One of the very first things we did was to have my in-laws bring the baby hat home so that the dogs could get used to her scent. When we brought her home, we held her close to the dogs and let them smell her. Over the next few weeks, we would have them in the same room, but always crated in our bedroom at night.
One of the most important things is that we never left them completely alone together in the same room. Even without aggression issues - they are still animals and you should always err on the side of safety. Now, three years later, we are one big happy family. I love that my girls get to grow up with family dogs and learn what it means to take care of and love animals.
Here is what other moms have to say about introducing pets to new babies.
Advice and Stories from Real Moms
Let the animals sniff the baby gear
Bringing home baby can be tricky and you can't forget about your fur babies already at home! It is just as important to prepare your pets as it is your other children. In our house we try to get all the baby gear out a few weeks ahead of time and let our dog check them out. Once the baby is here we will gradually let our pup sniff things like the babies blankets before a baby to pup intro. - Brittany from Pennies Into Pearls
The power of smell
We have a cat. He is crazy. He is spoiled. Oh yes, he was our baby before we got our real baby. We were little bit afraid of how he would react to a new member of our family, so we were really careful when we brought Nela home from hospital. We put her on the sofa and called our cat to come. We let him to sniff her for some while and that was it! They are not really best friends, but at least they don't hate each other. - Marina from Parental Journey
Make sure the animals are calm and submissive for the first greeting
With my oldest, my mom brought her hat home from the hospital for her dogs to smell first. When I came in holding her, they made sure the dogs were calm and submissive to the baby. It sounded odd to me but it worked! - Tiffany from The Crunchy Mom Next Door
Try face to face contact
Face to face contact! Dogs are such sweethearts when it comes to babies. They'll think they gave birth to this laughing, pooping, crying bit of beautiful! - Chloe from Reviews by Clo
New babies and pets are basically the same thing. They eat, sleep, and poop and love to be held. Just treat them the same! In reality though, just be patient, let the pet smell some of the babies clothes or toys, and protect your baby until you know how your pet will react. And always stay vigilant - just when you think you've got it down, something changes on you! - Valerie from Occasionally Crafty
The real work begins when they start to crawl
Introducing our pets (a dog and 3 cats) to our son after he was born went surprisingly well. Our dog stayed near him from his first day home. The real challenge came when our son started to crawl and walk. We had to teach him boundaries with the pets. He learned to be quieter when near them, and learned to pat them instead of pulling on their fur. - Donella from Wife.Mom.Geek
It might be different with baby #2
When we brought our daughter home, we were so careful to let our lab sniff her, keep the cats out of her room, baby gates blocking one half of the house that the animals weren't allowed to go in. Baby number 2 will be here in less than 2 months and I imagine it will be more like, "Dog, baby - Baby, dog." - Stephanie from And Don't Your Forget It
Thank you Moms!
This is just another example of choosing what is best for you and your family. Money can be a very touchy subject for people, but I think it's important to start teaching our kids about it at a young age.
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