|Photo Courtesy of smoorenburg|
1. Allow your dog to investigate the nursery once it is all set up. Make it clear that this is not your pet’s room and it is off limits unless he or she is invited. Spend some time in the nursery alone to let your pet know that you will be spending time in the room without them.
|Photo Courtesy of Lunchbox|
2. Begin playing a recording of baby noises around the house (particularly in the nursery), and reassure your pet that these sounds are safe and normal. When the sound of a baby crying happens in the recording, spend some time in the nursery. After a little while, turn down the volume so your pet understands the crying will eventually stop.
3. Bring home the baby’s cap or blanket from the hospital before the baby arrives. These items have both the baby’s scent as well as yours and are best preserved if kept in a sealed bag. Have your dog sit and smell the item and give your dog a treat every time your dog sits and sniffs the baby’s scent. Your dog will recognize the scent as something positive.
4. When mother and baby return home from the hospital, put the dog outside or in another room. Since your pet has not seen Mom in a few days, he or she could be very excitable. Once the baby is safely in the nursery, mom should spend some time with the pet so they can reacquaint themselves.
|Photo Courtesy of nateone|
Obviously, the most important thing to remember about introducing a pet to a newborn is to always be aware of the pet’s body language and behavior. An adult must be present at all times, as a baby has no defense mechanisms or ways of communicating with your pet. With some patience and careful guidance, your new baby and your pet will become lifelong pals.