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How to get pets ready for baby

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

We will be welcoming our first child into the world in September and I want to get our pets ready for this big change. We have two dogs who are very attached to us and not used to children and a cat who is half feral and really doesn't care that much about any of us, but has been known to hiss and even swipe when she is in a "mood". 

 

Does anyone have some good training tools or ideas to share that can help ease this transition?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 10
I have two dogs that are very attached to my husband and I and had never been around babies before, so we were worried as well. We played clips of babies crying and let them smell everything we had for our daughter (clothes, diapers, diaper cream, bath wash etc). My in-laws also brought clothing home from the hospital for them to smell. I'm not sure if it made that big of a difference but they've always been great with her.
post #3 of 10
We also did the give the kitties stuff with baby's scent: receiving blankets. We were in the hospital for three days because baby had a lot of mucus to clear out (two bouts of turning blue and going limp) so they had extra time to absorb the smell and get used to it. DH discovered the more social one curled up on said blanket, sleeping. Once we came home, they smelled her toes and that was it. They have always been curious about her but never aggressive. We just made sure to keep them out of baby's room during the night. Now that she's 2, even the skittish one will tolerate her petting him if she's calm and quiet and I'm there. The social kitty and the toddler are best buds.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, those are great suggestions. My only issue is that I am going for a home birth, so we will all be home together, so there won't be that chance to bring something home from the hospital (hopefully!) for the pets to smell. 

 

Wedemire - Did you give those items to smell before the baby came into contact with the items? (so without the baby smell?)

post #5 of 10

My dog has been present at my home births.  We have these two pictures, where she and I were in the exact same position.  I didn't even know she was in the room.  She's an older lab who is sweet and calm and non-intrusive so I don't really have much advice but I know we did transition her out of our bed months before the baby was born so she wouldn't associate her banishment with the baby.

post #6 of 10
Yes, I let them smell everything before baby was born - they were so interested in everything I was putting away and preparing. We planned a home birth also (ended up transferring to hospital) so I didn't think I'd have a chance to let them smell items that she'd already worn so in my mind that was the next best thing. The dogs stayed with the in-laws during my labour but the plan was to bring them home as soon as our daughter was born. We also bought a few new toys and treats for them that they got in those first few days that we were all together.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I will try letting them smell whatever baby stuff we start accumulating. That is a great idea. At least it is something, right? I am less worried about the dogs and more worried about the cat. Wondering if we should keep her in the sunroom in the beginning or if that will just make her more upset and more likely to act out?

post #8 of 10
I wouldn't keep the cat away, just closely supervise baby. I would however make the room where baby sleeps cat free - it's what we still do at 2 years not for safety anymore but to ensure kitties don't wake her up
post #9 of 10
I have read to play a baby crying periodcly to prepare. I have been very nervous with my two older very spoiled dogs so i started playing a baby cry and they are so concerned it surprised how calm and well they were takung it. It has definatly esed my anxiety. Hope that helps someone
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yes thankfully our bedroom is cat-free and so is the room that will eventually become the nursery. So that is already taken care of! :)

 

I will try to play recordings of babies crying! That is a great idea, too!

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