Congratulations! Soon there will be a new addition to your family. But if your family already has a pet, then you have to make your ‘first baby’ adjust to the new member in the family. One of the most important concerns for you will be to cope with this new situation. You need to make your pet understand in the same manner as you would have done if you had a first child.
How will your pet react?
You may have planned for that special day much ahead and yet when a new family member arrives in the form of your new baby, your pet may go through difficult times. Do remember that till now your ‘cat’ or ‘dog' was the first ‘baby’ in the family and was the center of attention in your family. So it is not something unnatural that your pet may feel left out and go through emotions something similar to sibling rivalry when a new baby arrives in your household.
You can start working on minimizing this feeling before you bring your new baby into the house. This is imperative as your little baby will need a lot of your energy, time, and attention. So slowly get your pet accustomed to spending lesser time with you.
On the other hand, if you frequently isolate, ignore, and keep scolding your pet after your baby arrives home, your pet may feel stressed and neglected. This happens more when your pet is more attached to the would-be mother. During such times, someone else in the family should start getting close to your pet. This way, your pet will not feel neglected and still feel loved while the new mother is busy with her baby.
Some tips for preparing your pet
Discourage your cat/dog from frequent jumping: Don’t encourage your cat/dog to jump on your new baby’s changing table and crib. Make sure that you have applied double stick tape to your furniture and baby-proof your house.
Get your pet accustomed to baby’s noises: Make sure that your pet is used to baby-related noises before your baby is expected. You can play some recordings of a crying baby, switch on a mechanical infant swing or use a rocking chair.
Invite your friends with their babies to your home: This will ensure that your pet starts getting used to little babies. Make sure that there is proper supervision when your pet interacts with the infants in your house.
Prepare your pet to remain calm: Give proper training to your pet so that it learns how to sit quietly beside you on the floor till you invite it to sit on your lap. This is because your newborn will soon occupy that space.