A Pet Is Man’s Best Friend, Here’s How It Can Be Your Baby’s Too

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Illustration by Zhen Liu

A new addition to the family is a big adjustment for everyone—including your pet. With preplanning, you can smooth your pet’s transition and minimize the stress on the whole family.

To start, your pet should respond to basic commands and be trained not to jump up on people. If your pet jumps, you should consider enrolling in training courses before your baby’s arrival.

Next, here are some tips to help your pet adjust to the new sights, sounds, and smells:

  • Invite friends with infants into your home.
  • Play a recording of baby sounds.
  • Let your pet smell a clean diaper and a burp cloth rubbed with baby products.
  • Turn on motorized equipment and play with noisemakers.
  • Discourage a cat from climbing onto baby furniture and a dog from mouthing baby toys.

After the baby is born, bring home baby’s swaddling blanket for your pet to smell. When baby comes home:

  • Take their introduction slowly, giving both time to adjust.
  • Set aside one-on-one time with your pet.
  • Never leave your baby unsupervised with your pet.
  • As baby grows, teach the proper way to interact with your pet, and discourage the pulling of limbs, ears, or fur.

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