So you either are about to have a baby or are about to come home with your new precious bundle, but you are worried about how your favorite pet will act around your newborn. The Baby Center writes that is is safe to allow your pet near your new baby if you are there to supervise and keep them from licking their face, as this could transmit infectious material into your infants mouth or eyes. However, if you are afraid that you pet might have a difficult time adjusting to this major life change, here are a few suggestions about how to make the transition go smoothly.
- When you first come home: When you first come in the door with your new baby, try to be relaxed and not jumpy. If you are acting nervous about the meeting, your pet may think the new bundle you are holding is something to be concerned about. Speak in a soft, calm voice and praise your pet if they are interacting well. This will reinforce the idea that the new baby is good for them, not bad.
- Daily interactions: Though you may think it is a good idea to show affection to your pet while your baby is asleep and then attempt to calm them and shoo away when you are caring for your child, this is not the wisest idea. Try doing the opposite instead. If you feed your baby, you can feed your pet then too. If you are playing with your baby, show your pet attention then as well to reinforce the idea that this baby something to be cared for and protected. Sooner or later the pet will be excited when the baby is awake, because that means it can have fun too.
- Keep the jealousy at bay: While your pet may be used to being your center of attention, they now have to share the spotlight, which may be confusing for them at first. This may lead to jealous behavior. If this behavior ever becomes even slightly aggressive, you must immediately reprimand your pet. They should learn fast, but if not you may need to seek help from a pet-training expert.