Whether you have cats or dogs, preparing pets for a newborn takes some time. Lucky for you I have broken the prepping process down into a few simple tasks. This will keep your pets from stressing over the situation and keep you calm as well as you’re growing a baby.
I worried about our cats. They’ve been the only ones inside and haven’t had to compete for attention until now.
I didn’t want the change to be negative and abrupt so I prepared them for our new bundle of joy ahead of time.
The dogs were simple.
I let them sniff the car seat and the newborn’s clothes after I pre-washed them for his arrival. Allowing them to get his scent was enough for them.
Once we brought our son home, they were familiar with the newborn scent and didn’t have a lot of interest.
The cats were a different story. I’d say with an indoor pet it’s more complicated because they’re usually with us wherever we’re at.
Our cats have very different personalities, one is laid back and only cares about being snuggled and the other bounces off the walls.
They’re both very nosy and I didn’t want them bothering the baby until he was ready. So my nesting was preparing my household in a different way.
Set up everything to prepare pets for a baby
After my shower I put everything together and placed it where I thought it would most likely be used.
From the Pack-n-Play to the swing and bouncer. I set it up and would give a firm “No” to let the cats know I didn’t want them on it or in it.
I didn’t know if my new baby would be allergic to cats, so I didn’t want to have to wash everything that they had been laying on while trying to care for a newborn
Create Pet areas and Baby areas
Upon preparing the pets for a newborn, I decided there were places I didn’t want the cats going. So I gave them certain places that were okay to lay since I was taking away some of the places they were used to going for the baby.
Prepare them in advance with the Dreft laundry detergent smell.
Most of the baby’s items will be washed in it anyway, so the cats will learn that if an item has that smell they shouldn’t be on it.
Make it clear you don’t want them to lay on it by giving a stern NO when they show interest.
Prepping the Nursery
I decided early on I didn’t want my cats in the nursery at night.
However I knew it was going to be inevitable and would have to do something different because I couldn’t always leave the door closed.
One of the best things I came across was the Baby Crib Pop-Up Tent: Infant Bed Safety Canopy.
I don’t have to worry about my cats cuddling with the new baby or getting hair in the crib, which means better sleep for Mom.
Transition litter boxes
If you’re going to have to move litter boxes it’s best to do it slowly.
Cats don’t like change so if you move them quickly it’s probably not going to go well.
We only had one extra room in our house at the time so it had to change from the cat’s room to the Baby room. The litter boxes had to go to the other end of the house, so we moved them about five foot every couple of days until we got them where we wanted them.
The slower the better the transition will go.
5. Prep the Pets Nails
If things took a wrong turn I didn’t want my newborn to get scratched. Not that the cats were purposefully going to scratch my baby, but if they were running around and weren’t paying attention or if curiosity got the best of them.
I didn’t want to take a chance.
As an insurance policy I thought it was best to cap their nails. It also saved my furniture.
You can get nail caps for dogs and cats, ask your groomer if they provide this service or have a friend help you and order them off Amazon HERE.
Preparing pets for a baby doesn’t have to happen, but it makes the transition of life with a newborn so much easier. Life gets flipped upside-down as soon as the baby gets home, but if you prepare the pets early it’s one less thing you have to worry about. Be sure to check out What To Do If The Dog Growls At The Baby so you’re prepared, you can also find it at the bottom of this post.
Our transition with a newborn went well and the cats didn’t mind adding another human to our family. Did you have to prep your fur babies for a newborn?
What did you have to do to prepare your pets? Leave your experience in the comments.
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