Rather than being a danger, pets often turn out to be lifelong best friends and protectors of children. However, before you get to that point, there’s one tricky stage you need to navigate first — introducing your fur baby to your real baby.
A great first meeting essentially lays out the solid foundation for many wonderful years together. So today, we’re covering the best tips to help introduce your pet to your newborn!
Get an Early Start
Just because their first meeting isn’t for months to come doesn’t mean you can’t start prepping your pets early.
First, sign up your pet for basic obedience class, if they haven’t had it yet. This is especially important if you’ve got a hyperactive puppy or a temperamental cat.
Next, visit your vet and get your pet up-to-date on all their shots. That way, you wouldn’t have to worry about them potentially carrying any diseases and passing them to your newborn.
Let Them Explore New Surroundings
Once you’ve got the nursery set up and the house baby-proofed, let your pet explore! Let them sniff things out from a safe distance. You can also introduce any baby products you plan to use for your baby to your pet. This will help them get used to new sights and smells. The better acquainted they are with the strange, new baby items, the less anxious your pet will be around your baby.
Let Them Get Used to Your Baby’s Scent
When your baby is born, and you’re still in the hospital, let your partner bring home a blanket or onesie that your newborn wore. Let your pet have a sniff and get used to the smell before the big first meeting. The more familiar they are with your baby’s scent, the more likely their meeting will go smoothly.
Keep Calm and Supervise
Even the most well-behaved pets still need supervision. It’s simply a matter of safety and reassurance. When you supervise pet-and-baby time, make sure you stay calm. Remember, pets can understand body language, so if you’re feeling anxious (especially for their first meeting with your baby), they’re more likely to respond accordingly.
Remember to keep calm, trust your pets, and trust all the preparation you did to ensure a smooth first interaction.