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Preparing your fur-baby for your newborn baby

The Baby Crying

A crying baby can affect even the most placid pet in different ways.  To prepare your pet for the upcoming arrival of your newborn, play sounds of a baby crying while doing so, reassure your fur-baby with treats or praise.

Young Babies and Children

It is a good idea to expose your fur-baby to as many babies and children as possible prior to the arrival of your newborn.  This will help to prepare your fur-baby.

Introducing the Scent

Once your newborn has been born, have someone bring the babies worn clothes home and while you pet is calm, introduce them to the new smells on the babies clothing while giving lots of praise and rewards.  

Introducing your Newborn

It's important to ensure that your fur-babies first introduction to your newborn is a positive one.  Ensure your dog is on a leash and that you have at least 2 adults present.  One holding the newborn and one holding the dog. Be sure your dog is in a calm and relaxed state when the introduction happens. The aim is to teach your fur-baby to have a positive association with your newborn so they don't feel threatened.

Getting Prepared

Before your baby is born, you need to prepare your fur-baby.  You should set any new rules that your pet is and isn't going to be allowed to do.   Such as what your pet is allowed to sit on or do once your baby arrives.  This might be ensuring they can't get into the cot, sit on the rocking chair, play with the newborns toys, go into a particular room you may want to be pet free, etc.  If your pet can do these things prior and then you discipline them after the baby arrives, it will create a negative association between your pet and your newborn baby.  

Handy tip: When deciding where and what your fur-baby can or can not do once your newborn arrives, keep in mind that your newborn will be far more sensitive to its surrounds than you are, such as your pets fur on their skin - this is likely to cause a rash in newborns and babies.  

Spend Time with your Pet

It is hard when you have a newborn but try and make a conscious effort to spend as much time with your newborn as you can to ensure they still feel as important and as loved as they were before.  Bringing a newborn home is a big change for everyone in the home, including your fur-babies.