Thursday, August 11, 2005
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Monday, August 08, 2005
Kitty and Rover, Meet Our New Baby!
Congratulations, you are going to have a baby! You have told all of your family and friends, even going so far as to tell the joyful news to your "furry, four-legged kids," Kitty and Rover. The months progress, when you notice Kitty, who is perched on your lap, is now closely guarding her position, as Rover, appearing needy, moves in to be close to you. You may find yourself wondering if your pets understand what is happening and if they will accept the new baby as a member of the family. Although there is no one thing that you can do to guarantee that the transition will be easy for your pets, there are a few things you can do to make the change a little easier on all concerned.
The first thing you may want to do is make an appointment with your veterinarian to make sure that Kitty and Rover are in tip-top health and all their vaccinations are up-to-date. While visiting your veterinarian, be sure to mention that you're expecting, and ask for advice on preparing the pets for a new baby. Most veterinarians will be happy to offer tips that will help both Kitty and Rover adjust to the new arrival.
One of the easiest but often forgotten facts is that Rover and Kitty are members of your family. They have become accustomed to your attention and their lifestyle. The closer you can maintain the same routines for them after the baby is born, the easier the transition will be. This means that whenever possible, keep up the daily walks, petting rituals, and evening snuggles. If you know that your routine is going to change after your baby is born, it's best to adjust it now with your pets, before your baby enters the scene.
You will need to establish some boundaries for Kitty, who may be used to going where she pleases in the house. Blowing up some balloons and placing them in areas where you want to discourage her from going can help. The squeaking and loud popping sounds the balloons make, as well as the occasional balloon sticking to her static fur should be enough to convince her to avoid these areas at all costs. Filling the bassinet or crib with balloons and allowing Kitty to jump in will quickly teach her that she does not want to be there.
Washing Rover's blanket in the same laundry soap you plan to wash the babies bedding and clothing with will help the adjustment before hand. The most helpful thing for Rover would be to have dad bring home a receiving blanket from the hospital that was used by the baby. This will help Rover adjust to the new scent of your baby far more quickly. Also, taking the time to pat Rover and play in his food dish while he eats, though it may annoy him, will in time help him get over his protective instinct about his food dish. Crawling babies are naturally attracted to pets, food dishes, and water bowls that are all at their level. Working on this before your baby reaches the crawling stage will help head off territorial problems in the future.
Once baby is born, it's important to pay special attention to both Kitty and Rover, especially in those first few days when your baby comes home. If possible, have Dad pay attention to them while you feed the baby. Then have Dad burp the baby while you take your turn paying attention to Kitty and Rover.
Don't be afraid to allow Kitty and Rover to come over and give baby a "hello sniff," while you have the baby safely cuddled in your arms. It helps them get adjusted to the source of this new scent and become more familiar with the baby's movements. Remember, even the most faithful family pet can be startled by a baby's sudden actions or cries, so it will be important for you to take the time to assure Kitty and Rover that these movements and noises are okay. By the time your baby is on the move, both Kitty and Rover should be well accustomed to having a new member of the family. It will be important for you to establish boundaries by letting your baby know not to play with Rover's dinner, nor pull Kitty's tail.
The bonds that will be established between Kitty, Rover, and your baby will be strong, and you'll be able to sit back and watch proudly as your entire family plays together.