As a first time parent with a spoiled pet, the idea of bringing a new fragile infant home can be downright terrifying. We have a spoiled rotten dog that was about 4 years old when we brought our daughter home. He is very possessive of us and we were worried how he was going to handle sharing us with her, and having his house taken over by baby products. We had a few tips given to us from friends and family members that made introducing baby to pets easier for s that I want to share with you.

Introducing Baby To Pets

1. Get your pet used to the smells

Start this off early by letting your pet smell baby items. Diapers, clothing, crib sheets, blankets, and toys all are items that baby is going to be interacting with. So give your pet some time to get used to the items by sniffing them. You can even leave the blankets out to let them get used to it. Just be sure to wash them before baby uses them to get any hair off.

2. Start cutting down on attentive time

This may seem harsh, but if you reduce the time you’re specifically giving your pet attention it can help them be used to it when baby comes home. This was a HARD one for us because our dog literally went everywhere with us. He got walks everyday after work, even went to daycare. But we did do some and I think that it helped us.

baby and puppy
3. When baby is born, bring a blanket home early

Before you bring your baby home or in the house, give your pet a blanket or clothes that baby has been in so they can smell it. My husband brought a blanket home the night before we brought her home so he had some time to sit with it prior to our daughter coming home. He was wild when we got back, but I think part of that was I was also gone for two days. 

Shortly after we got home, he calmed down and was just laying at our feet. He was interested in her, but wasn’t jumping all over, just trying to sniff at her head and feet.

4. Slowly introduce them to each other

This one is really going to rely on your best discretion as you know your pet. Slowly let your pet spend time close to baby, sniffing them, maybe a lick on the foot. We knew our dog had a great temperament so we let him sniff at her right away. She was obviously too young to really know what was going on, but we let them interact supervised from day one. The more time they get to spend together, the better it’ll be. Just take care to watch that baby doesn’t pull hair, ears, tail, or whiskers. Our pediatrician said it’s more common than you’d think to see young children in with bites on their face or shoulders and chest from a dog.

dog and baby
5. Optional doggy daycare/play dates

This one was something we did for awhile. Doggy daycare was a great way to exercise our dog without having to take time out of the day to walk him or take him to the park. We bought punch cards so we could just drop him off and pick him up without a hassle. Another option is if you have a friend with a dog, set up playdates. My sister’s dog and our dog played quite a bit. This also helped keep him exercised. 

6. Go for family walks or park visits

This is going to be tough early on, but we started going for short family walks about a week after we brought our daughter home. Of course be cautious and follow your recovery instructions from the doctor. But spending time outdoors does good for everyone, and the exercise will do both you and the dog wonders. 

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I hope this list of ways to help introducing baby to pets has brought you some reassurance. 🙂 Let me know what you thought in the comments below.

-Cassie

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