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Newborn sleeping on blue blanket.

When you are expecting it is normal to be anxious and excited.  If you own a pet then you will have concerns as how your pet will get along with the new addition to the family.  There are some steps you can take to prepare ahead of time before the baby’s arrival.

Here are some guidelines from Pets and the New Baby: What’s Safe, How to Prepare to help you with this transition in your life.

When you begin to bring in baby items  and furniture to set up your nursery the pet may realize that something is changing and you need to be aware of your pet’s needs.  For dogs it might be wise to have a CD of baby noises to expose them to the sounds and also to new scents like baby lotions etc.  It is best to have your pet gradually become use to the idea that a new baby is coming.

Decisions regarding whether the pet will be allowed in the baby’s room should be made ahead of time.  If you are not going to allow the pet in the nursery then use safety gates or screen doors so the pet you can see and hear the activity and not be left out.  Pets do need time to adjust to the baby gates.

A new routine will need to be created as you will not have as much time to spend with your pet once the newborn is here.   When you go on walks with your dog while you are pregnant, take along your new baby stroller and place a doll in it. This will teach the dog that there will be a new person going along  as part of the process.

Make a plan on who will care for your pet when you are in the hospital when you have the baby and after you come for the first few days.  Ask a friend or relative who is reliable to help you out with this so the pet’s routine is not too disrupted.   When coming home from the hospital after the birth, it is a good idea to let someone else carry the baby inside.  That way you can greet your pet to help keep a calm environment.  After the baby is at home, spend a few moments with your pet letting them know you care.

When your baby and pet are in the same room you need to be present to supervise the situation as babies make sudden movements which might frighten your pet.

Ever After Baby Portraits is comprised of Mindy and Joriana Belcher, a mother-daughter photography team located in Northern Virginia. They specialize in candid, emotional and artistic images.

Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.


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