Preparing for a new baby.
Adding a new addition to the family- a new, small person? These are exciting times, full of changes- and not just diapers! If you are having your first baby, the changes will impact your pets, as well. Your focus will change, you will likely be sleep deprived. There will be new noises and smells and changes in schedules. But don’t worry too much- you will get through the changes, and will reap the many benefits of being a parent. And your pets will adjust and benefit, as well.
So, what can be done to ease the transition? There are quite a few things.
- Consider a check up at the vet. Making sure that all vaccines and other preventive care items are up to date is a great idea- that way you don’t have to worry about these things closer to the due date. Keeping all pets on good flea prevention means you don’t have to worry about exposing the baby to these nasty little parasites.
- Have a fecal checked- there are several intestinal parasites that can be transmitted to people. Be sure that everyone is protected. This becomes even more important as your baby grows, and may be exposed to pet fecal material, either directly (exploring the litterbox) or less directly (walking in the yard in bare feet).
- If you can anticipate some schedule changes, try to institute them early.
- Training. A dog that will sit, stay, leave it, and go away on command will make life a bit easier for everyone.
- Consider baby gates and screen doors inside. Baby gates are great for keeping the dog from the baby, and later the toddler from the dog. Consider replacing your regular door to the baby’s room with a screen door. You can hear and see what is going on in there, while restricting cats’ and dogs’ access to the room.
- Play You Tube videos of baby noises- crying, laughing. Getting pets used to the new noises may help. Plus, some of them are good for a laugh!
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