Introducing Your Pet. Having a baby can be a joyous occasion, but many new parents worry how their four legged pets will adjust to having a new member of the family. Introducing your new baby to your pet doesn’t have to be stressful, but it will require a bit of advanced planning. It is important to begin helping your pet transition into his new role in the family early on to ensure that he doesn’t resent the new baby. As soon as you begin planning for your new baby, start enforcing rules that you expect followed once baby arrives. For example, if the nursery will be off-limits to your pets after the baby’s arrival, the nursery should be off-limits before the baby is born, too.
Make sure that your pets understand that the baby’s toys are not for their enjoyment, also. If your pet has trouble understanding the difference between his toys and those belonging to the baby, try dabbing a bit of Listerine mouth wash on the baby’s toys. Teach the pets that toys with this scent are off-limits.
The sound of a crying child is often stressful for a pet. Many expectant parents have found that getting a recording of a crying baby can be useful in helping their pets to adjust to the new sounds that will soon be routine. When the pets act indifferent to the recorded sound of a baby’s cry, you can safely assume they have been desensitized.
Once the big day arrives and mom and baby are ready to return home, it’s important that your pets are allowed to greet you without the baby present so they can express their excitement without fear. One possible scenario would be for dad to wait in the car with the baby while mom greets the pets and shows them affection, and then places the pets on a leash before dad brings the new baby inside. If the pets remain calm, allow them to see and sniff the new baby; otherwise, wait to allow this initial meeting between the dog and the new baby for later.