Your Newborn and Your Pet – Preparing for the Meeting

By: Linda Albert tigggggerrrrrr 250

If you have a pet, it’s likely you think of him (or her) as your baby and now that a newborn is either here or on the way you’re wondering how things will work out with that first ‘baby’ who has got used to thinking of himself as such. Here’s what to keep in mind about pets and newborn babies.

Before the birth:

  • Pregnant women have to guard against toxoplasmosis, which is a very serious infection if contracted in pregnancy. Cat litter is a notorious carrier of this infection so if you have a cat, be very careful about handling cat litter or hand over this to someone else if possible.
  • Make sure that the pet is up to date with all requisite vaccinations and if it is feasible, get them spayed or neutered.
  • Also before the birth, it is wise not to spend as much time as you used to with the pet to let them get used to the idea. Remember after the little baby arrives there will be much less time able to be devoted to the pet. This will also prevent, to an extent, contact with pet saliva and pet fur.
  • Make sure that the pet is well trained enough to obey simple commands; this will come in very handy once the baby arrives. If you don’t have the time or inclination for this, consider a training class for a dog and so on.
  • Decide beforehand, whether the baby’s room is to be off-limits for the pet, and if so make sure that there is a barrier of some sort in place.
  • Let the pet get used to sights, sounds and smells related to the baby who will be arriving soon. Use some of the baby powder on yourself; let the pet see you holding a doll or similar object, so that the baby doesn’t come as a complete surprise package for the pet. If you have decided on the baby’s name use it often in conversation with the pet or refer to the baby frequently.
  • Also have in place a plan for where the pet will stay when you are at the hospital or birthing center. Can a friend take care of your pet, or do you need to speak to a pet care facility?
  • When you come home for the first time, greet the pet without the baby in your arms, and then make the introduction a little while later while being very careful about the sort of reaction that the pet has to the newborn.
  • Remember, regardless of how gentle your pet is, you are not sure how he or she will react to a new baby and the two should never be left alone together without supervision at least to begin with. Cat lovers will know that cats in particular can be even more unpredictable.
  • Look out for any allergies that the baby may have to the pet (dander and so on) so that appropriate action can be taken.
  • Maintain good hygiene for the pet at all times to avoid any infection or similar passing to the baby.
  • Try to see that as far as possible the same routine is maintained for the pet after as it was before the arrival of the baby.

After the birth of your newborn:

  • When you come home for the first time, greet the pet without the baby in your arms, and then make the introduction a little while later while being very careful about the sort of reaction that the pet has to the newborn.
  • Remember, regardless of how gentle your pet is, you are not sure how he or she will react to a new baby and the two should never be left alone together without supervision at least to begin with. Cat lovers will know that cats in particular can be even more unpredictable.
  • Look out for any allergies that the baby may have to the pet (dander and so on) so that appropriate action can be taken.
  • Maintain good hygiene for the pet at all times to avoid any infection or similar passing to the baby.
  • Try to see that as far as possible the same routine is maintained for the pet after as it was before the arrival of the baby.

Linda Albert is the editor of NewbornBabyZone.com. She offers complete information on topics like baby development, baby shower ideas, baby products, feeding and nutrition.

 

 

 






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