Desensitize Your Pet
With the arrival of your baby comes a host of new sights, sounds, and smells that may unsettle your pet. Help prepare your dog or cat get used to some of these new sensory experiences as early as you can, suggests Stewart. Let your pet sniff around the car seat, crib, or bouncy seat before the baby is born, he says. Turn toys and gadgets on, so your gets used to their flashing lights and obnoxious sounds. Invite your pet to become familiar with the products you plan to use on your baby as well, like diapers, diaper creams, and lotions. Stewart also suggests playing a CD of baby sounds to help accustom your pet to the new noises that will soon fill your home. Click here (link TK – final page of ss) for CD suggestions.
Beyond getting your pet used to a baby’s accoutrements, it’s a good idea to get him used to actual babies, too, says Dr. Stephanie LaFarge, an ASPCA psychologist. Arrange a couple of visits at your home with a willing friend who has a baby, recommends LaFarge. “Some animals are just gaga over babies, some are curious but guarded and watchful, and some are absolutely terrified,” she says. “You should know that [about your pet] before the baby is born.”