If a new pet is joining your family soon, you especially need to prepare for the transition. Babies and pets can be a tricky combination and you need to take a proactive approach before you bring a pet home.
Remember that when a baby meets the pet, it might not be love at first sight.
Introduce Them with Care
The first encounter between your pet and baby can set the tone for the relationship. When introducing the baby to the pet, it is advisable to get down on their level and let them sniff. Pets sniff to recognize new smells. Don’t pull your baby away unless the pet is exhibiting aggressive behavior.
Desensitize the Pet to New Sound, Smell and Sight
Babies sound and smell differently from adults. Pets are usually used to adult smells and sounds. It is advisable to desensitize the pet to the sound and smell of the baby, so that they are not stressed when you introduce the pet to the baby.
Learn Safety Basics
Before you introduce the baby to the new pet, it is important that you learn safety basics. Never leave the baby alone with a pet, as even the gentlest of animals can react in an unpredictable manner. Set limits to how much the pet can access your baby. Keep the toys separate.
Take Your Pet to a Vet
Schedule a visit to the vet for a full examination to ensure that the pet is not experiencing any undiagnosed health problems.
Babies are sensitive and if you have a pet with a health issue, it can be challenging and stressful. Get the pet treated if it has any kind of health issues before introducing it to the baby. It is advisable to allow only healthy pets to play with your baby.
Help Baby and Pet Bond and Settle Down
Let them play together. Give your pet equal attention when playing. When they feel that they are included, they are less likely to act up. The baby will initially be oblivious to the presence of the pet but with time, he or she will start discovering a friendly and loving creature. A pet can provide new sensations, and this can help in the development of the baby.
When the baby starts crawling and walking, you need to be extra careful. Pets are often playful and when they see the baby crawling or walking for the first time they might get excited and jump on them. Keep a close watch so that you can safeguard both from danger.
A pet or new baby brings many changes to the household and it is best if you are prepared. Never rush things, as it will take time for the baby and pet to establish a bond. Be patient and take one step at a time. Ensure that they interact on a regular basis and are comfortable with each other’s presence. With time, the baby and pet will develop a bond and friendship that will last a lifetime.
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