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Introducing new baby

March 23rd, 2005, 11:40 AM
I have a 2 year old cocker spaniel mix and a 3 year old calico that for the past years have been my babies!! Now my husband and I have decided to have a baby baby. I am worried about how my pets will react to a new baby.

My mother-in-law is always saying things like 'Well, when you have a baby you can find a new home for the cat' or things like that (which really irritates me!!) I don't want to get rid of my pets - I love them.

Does anyone have any advice on what I can do now to better prepare the animals for when we do have a baby? I try to socialize my dog with kids as much as possible but it's harder with the cat because when kids are at our house she just stays away!

I appreciate any advice anyone can give me. I really want to make this transition as smoothly as possible for them (and me!)

March 23rd, 2005, 11:51 AM
I was fostering a dog and cats, as well as having 6 of my own cats when my son was born, The cats were afraid at first and would run away when my son cried, but they eventually came around, and I have never had aproblem with them hurting my son in any way (they all have their claws and my son is now 4 years old) I have also spent a great deal of time teaching my son to respect animals, and stress to him that they have feelings to and are "not" toys!
Also I always kept my sons bedroom door closed(when he was an infant), It was off limits to all pets.
I was worried about the dog becoming jealous, so I made sure to tell everyone who came over that they had to pet and talk to the dog "first" before coming to see the baby, and that seemed to work out well.

It's amazing how many people asked "when are you getting rid of your cats" when I was pregnant!!!

Hope this helps :)

March 23rd, 2005, 11:58 AM
The other thing I used to always hear was, "oh, poor Bear's not going to get ANY attention once the baby comes home". My reply was always, "when you have another child, do you just ignore the first one? Well, that won't happen here". sheesh, people, it's not like we're going to lock the dogs and cat in the basement.....

We've always made sure Bear (and now Kaos) were allowed near the baby (who, by the way, is almost two) supervised. Everyone gets attention, there's LOTS of love to go around.

March 23rd, 2005, 12:18 PM
You have to be really understanding after the birth too. There is a lady at our park whose dog acted out after the birth and he was just asking for more time. I think it's easy with all the fatigue of having a baby to get frustrated and not see it from the doggy's point of view.

March 23rd, 2005, 01:58 PM
Thanks that really helps. It's true that a lot of people assume that you are going to just get rid of or ignore your pets once you have a baby! It was starting to make me nervous.

I definitely agree on teaching kids how to play and interact with animals properly - I think a lot of the time that is the problem, the kids think it's a toy.

I also heard once to carry around a stuffed animal or doll as though it was a baby and show the dog & cat how to be gentle with the doll and talk to the 'baby' and the pets together so they get used to us paying attention to something other than them. I've done this and of course our cat couldn't care less who I am talking to but the dog gets very interested and pushes the doll with his nose. At first I thought this was ok because he wasn't biting the doll but someone told me that was a dominance thing.

I guess the most important thing is just to supervise the pets and the baby when they are together.

heeler's rock!
March 23rd, 2005, 05:20 PM
This is a really good thread! I am expecting a baby in October, and hubby and I have 3 dogs, and 3 cats and 1 foster cat. We get "So, when are you getting rid of your cats?" all the time!! People are more affraid of the cats jumping into the crib and smothering the baby to death. :rolleyes: Yeah, as if I would EVER let that happen!

We've planned to keep the babies door shut at all times, and when the baby is out, we are going to introduce the dogs and cats slowly to her. We're working on gentle commands so that they know to be careful around her. The thing with my dogs is whenever I have something in my hands, they want to know what it is so they try to jump up or get right in there to see and sniff. We're almost at the point where they don't jump anymore though, so that should be okay. I really want things to go smoothly when the baby comes so there are no problems.

A lady here at work put down both of her 10 year old siamese cats the day she found out she was pregnant because she heard they can smell the milk on the baby's mouth, and they'll climb into the crib and smother the baby to death. It's called being dilegent and not letting that happen. :rolleyes: Some people just don't care I guess.....

March 23rd, 2005, 07:42 PM
they can smell the milk on the baby's mouth, and they'll climb into the crib and smother the baby to death. It's called being dilegent and not letting that happen.

I'm pretty sure that this is a myth. I don't think there is one documented case of this ever happening, but if you are worried and want the option of leaving the door open just put up a screen door on baby's room.

Lucky Rescue
March 23rd, 2005, 07:48 PM
I hate it when people have substitute babies in the form of pets, then heartlessly dump or kill the pet once a "real" kid comes along. Ugh!

A screen door installed on the baby's room will keep all pets out, while still allowing you to monitor the baby closely.

Here are a bunch of really great links on introducing dogs and babies, and also articles on dog and kid safety.:)

Dog's 'n babies 'n kids (

March 24th, 2005, 12:33 PM
I guess the most important thing is just to supervise the pets and the baby when they are together.

Absolutely! I always kept in the back of my mind that they are still animals! A certain pitch to the baby's cry may be painful to an animal, and they react as, well, animals.

When Robbie was born we brought home one of his swaddling blankets and his cap, let Bear sniff it, all the while giving the "gentle' command, and when Robbie finally came home, Bear sniffed him, and fell asleep by his crib. Bear would also whack my hand with his paw when the baby would waken at night. When my parents first came to see Robbie, my mom was holding him while sitting on the couch. Bear planted himself at her feet, and stared at her the entire time. It was like he was saying, "hey, be gentle with him".

Now Robbie flops all over Bear and Bear just loves it.

March 24th, 2005, 01:12 PM
That is so cute, I really hope my future kids have that kind of relationship with our pets - I will definitely work hard at it - it's so important to me.

I like the idea of the blanket thing. That's what we did with our cat when we brought Max home as a puppy. We put the blanket that Max slept on near the cat so she could get used to his smell. And that seemed to work, they love each other now!