We know that growing a family can bring lots of joy along with some nervous moments. One of those moments may be when or how to introduce your newborn to your fur baby.
Most likely, your fur babies were part of your lives before you planned on having kids. They have weathered life’s ups and downs with you and you’ve probably had many adventures with them. They are an important part of your family. So making this introduction go smoothly is super important for everyone.
You may have noticed that your fur baby changed it’s behavior when you got pregnant. Did it start watching you more? Craving more snuggles? Or become more distant? Those are all normal reactions to the pregnancy hormones and the changes it can sense in your body and behavior. And your growing belly may have become it’s favorite place to rest as your fur baby senses it’s new playmate.
Bringing baby home and introducing your loves is an important step in integrating as a family. Here are some tips to help ease the process.
1.When setting up the nursery or bringing new items into your home, it is important to decide if and what is off limits to your pets. Cats can often be found mattress testing the crib or lounging in the bassinet. They are claiming the space as “theirs” and may not want the new arrival sharing that space. So establishing those boundaries early can be important.
2. How does your fur baby respond to other human babies? If your pet has never been around little humans, it may be a good idea to test the waters before you bring your newest home. Doing this when pets and kids are in a good mood and in a safe place can help make the introduction easier.
3. When you have your baby, the hospital will have blankets and caps for baby to use. It is a great idea to bring home one of those sibling scented pieces to let your fur baby sniff and get accustomed to the new smells. Then when you bring your newest home from the hospital, your fur baby will recognize the scent and be more comfortable with it’s new sibling.
4. The day you come home from the hospital is a big day! An extra set of hands can help make settling in easier. Once you’ve gotten all the bags in from the car, and things have settled down a little, a slow introduction between the siblings can happen in a few ways.
- If you’ve been gone a few days, your fur baby will be super excited to see you! Taking some time to reconnect before introducing baby will mean a calmer pet.
- Once inside, you could sit beside your baby still in the car seat and let your fur baby sniff around to get accustomed to the scents and noises. Once your pet seems calm or disinterested, take baby out of the car seat for the next stage of introductions.
- Sit and hold baby on the couch while someone else brings your pet to you for a “nose-to-feet” introduction. Let your pet sniff baby’s feet to gauge their reaction, and then proceed to your comfort level. Sometimes the noises or movements of baby can surprise your pet, so if your fur baby gets too excited, the person handling the pet can calm them or remove them from the room.
It can take some pets a little time to get used to having a baby in the house. Spending time with your pet or keeping as much of their same routine can help ease the transition. Hopefully, with time (and maybe some extra treats) your new baby and your fur baby will be best friends!
By: Lois Perks
Photo Credit: @thedigigirls