Family Training: Preparing Pets for the New Arrival

Bringing home a brand new baby is one of the most beautiful experiences you will ever have in your entire life. However, you may not be the only person who gets to experience this life-defining moment. If you have loving, faithful pets, you may want to get them prepared for this day – and this new change – in advance.

Pre-Preparation Assessment

Bringing home a new baby is a life changing experience. Along with the introduction of the new bundle of joy comes the changes. A newborn needs constant attention. This is why sometimes young children can sometimes feel as though they are being left out. This is especially true for children that are used to receiving all the attention. However, this can also be an issue for your pets.

Pets, especially lapdogs, also will not understand why their place on mommy’s lap is now unavailable. They may not understand why they are being shooed away, and they may also feel fear toward the new scent of the baby. Another issue may be if the dog or cat is used to leaping up onto furniture unimpeded.

In preparation of the big day, and every day moving forward, you will first want to assess the current state of your household. If you would describe your household as a sometimes chaotic environment (like mine can be from time to time), routines should be in place for the best results. Creating new routines should be fun, and the routines themselves should be simple and easy to follow.

Beginning Routines

In the beginning, it is good to start teaching pets well in advance to cease jumping on furniture. Well, at least furniture that will be used for the baby. Changing tables, cribs, bassinets, baby swings or seats – any furniture that you will use for the baby should be off limits to pets. Setting up the baby’s room is a good place to begin these practices. Letting the pets know right off the bat that this area, and these items, are off limits entirely – without exception – is a great place to start. This will also help by lessening the exposure to pet hair, and avoiding any allergies that may be present.

Training pets to avoid your lap in certain situations is also ideal. The last thing you would ever want is your pug to jump on your lap when you are breastfeeding baby. You can help prep for this by buying a doll, or even taking a baby sized item, and bundling it up the way you will your baby. When you have this “bundle” in your arms or on your lap, you should begin training your pet to avoid you. This does not mean to make your dog fearful of the bundle, just help your pet to understand that your lap is not to be shared.

If you begin these routines sooner rather than later, your pet will be much more adjusted to the presence of the baby. Your pet will already understand that the baby’s room is off limits. Your pet will also know not to jump up on your lap without checking whether the “bundle” is present. Remember, try not to get aggravated with your loving pet. Their unconditional love for you is the reason for them wanting to be by you. You only need to teach them to keep their distance when the bundle is present. Your first priority is of course, to keep baby safe from any unwanted accidents.

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