There seems to be a bit of a baby boom happening at work at the moment. It certainly is an exciting time. It’s almost enough to make me clucky, I say almost because three children are more than enough for me.
What I am being asked more and more though is how my colleagues can prepare their pets for the arrival of the baby.
Pregnancy is an exciting and somewhat scary time, there are many different emotions that parents to be are feeling and experiencing, your pets will undoubtedly pick up on these feelings and nervous energy. You might notice that they may become a bit more subdued or clingy, following you around more so than normal. They may want to snuggle up with you more. They may even begin marking their territory by piddling inside the house.
It is important that in all the excitement your pets are not overlooked. There are lots of things you can do to get your fur kids ready for the arrival of your baby. You should begin desensitising your pet as early as possible. There are many CD’s on the market with baby sounds like crying, cooing, screaming , try playing the CD at different times throughout the day to get your pet especially your dog, familiar to baby sounds this will save you a lot of grief later on when you are trying to get baby to settle, the last thing you want is your dog barking every time the baby cries.
Babies need a lot of stuff they need their own furniture, clothes, nappies, shampoo, wipes, toys well you get the picture. As you acquire things your baby will need make sure you let your pet see and smell these things. But this is also the time to establish your boundaries. If you do not want your cat to sleep in the baby’s cot when your baby arrives, do not let the cat sleep in it or even jump into the cot before the baby arrives. Close the door of the nursery, put netting over the cot or bassinet, make a loud noise to startle the cat If they look like they’re about to jump into the cot, I have even heard of pieces of sticky tape laid inside the cot as being used as a deterrent.
Life with a new baby can be very unpredictable, it will help if you gradually prepare your pet for a less consistent schedule, try varying meal times or walk times .
Afternoon naps are a great way of recharging your battery, start taking occasional afternoon naps this will go a long way in preparing your pet for the change of lifestyle that is coming.
Now is also a good time to think about enlisting the help of a professional dog walker. You may not have the time or the energy in the first few months for walking your dog. A dog walker could be a big help, not only will your dog be happier if it has had a good walk but you too will feel less guilty.
There are kits you can buy to help you with preparing your pet for the arrival of your baby, the most popular kit at the moment is ‘Pregnant paws preparation kit’ which you can buy over the Internet for about $40. The kit includes such things a CD, Bunny Rug, Baby products, and Information /tip sheet.
Every child should grow up with a pet! A bit of planning now will go a long way to ensuring that babies arrival will be a happy time for not just you but your fur kids as well.