August is the busiest birth month of the year and if you are one of the expecting parents if you have pets at home, here are the things you need to do prior to the babies birth. Feeling anxious about integrating your fur babies with your new baby is natural. With a little bit of planning, you can ensure that your dog or cat make a smooth transition which will ultimately keep everyone safer.
Before The Baby Arrives
The changes in your home will start before the baby arrives. From preparing nurseries, bringing new items into the home, moving furniture around, and more – pets can sense this and could act out. Nervous cats can react by spraying urine and hiding. Be sure that during all of the preparations you are keeping all of their favorite resting places accessible, as well as, their food, water, and litter boxes.
You can help dogs prior to the new baby by introducing them to some of the new things that will happen once the baby comes home. Expose them to smells like baby lotion and play sounds of baby noises and crying. Treat the babies new room as you will when the baby comes home. If you plan to let the dog or cat in the room, teach them the things they can and cannot do.
If they will not be allowed in the room, install a baby gate or screen door. This will make your pet feel less-isolated which will make for a more stress-free environment. Go ahead and put up gates anywhere else in the home they will end up being as well such as the staircase, or other places you plan to add them for the babies safety.
Start the New Normal Now
You’ll also want to start creating a new ‘normal’ for your home. For example, if you take your dog on walks, start walking them while pushing the stroller you’ll need to take with you later. It can also be helpful for dogs if you put a surrogate baby doll in the stroller. This will allow you time to teach them they cannot go up and lick the baby doll, jump on the stroller, and more.
If you plan to enlist extra help for the pets while you are away giving birth and when you come home, bring the help in a little early so they get used to the new ‘normal’. The same applies if you plan to board them or utilize doggy care during that time, take them prior to giving birth for some overnight visits or doggy playtime.
If you need to move their feeding areas or the cat’s litter box – do that well before the baby comes home. Even if you may not need to move it immediately until the baby starts crawling, go ahead and move it. The more expected changes you can happen prior to the babies arrival – the better.
Also, be sure to make any schedule changes you expect prior to giving birth. This will help your pets adjust better upon the babies arrival and create a more stress-free environment for you and your pets.