Bringing Home a Baby to Your Pets

April 13, 2011

(Photo Credit: Emily Rumsey Photography) We love our pets. Raising children with domesticated animals is a fabulous gift to the children. We have two dogs and two cats. They were our babies until J arrived. The transition was easier than I thought it would be for the pets. A few things helped ease the transition: 1) Introduce the baby through scent. We brought a hospital receiving blanket home specifically for the dogs to smell. Not that they didn’t smell all over J’s carseat, face, legs, and any part of him that they could reach, but it was handy to have something that could easily be covered in saliva and hair sans problem. The cats could smell him a mile away–and liked to keep their distance initially so there was no cause for concern on their account. 2) Allow the animals to approach (or hide). Our dogs sniff J continuously. Every single part of him or his clothing (especially diapers) that they can get at. Sometimes our Great Dane licks his scalp. We discourage licking of the hands or face, but don’t shoo them away if they want to come and say hi. J takes a stab at petting the dogs and cats, which amounts to pressing his hand against their fur and trying to pull it towards his mouth. I encourage him to be “gentle” and demonstrate often how to pat, not grab. To constantly shout “No!” or “Go Lie Down!” whenever an animal approaches instills fear or apprehension in your…

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