You don't want your pets to associate the baby with negative things such as diminished play time, being kicked out of the bedroom, and the relocation of his food dish.
When the baby arrives
- Don't let the dog lick your baby's face for the first few months. The baby's immune system is still immature, and your dog's tongue has been to places you'd rather not think about.
- Even the most gentle dogs shouldn't be left alone with the baby.
- Cats tend to curl up against warm bodies and may try to get in the cot with your sleeping baby. This is a bad idea, as the cat could inadvertently scratch, bite, or possibly smother the baby.
- Let your pet smell your baby and your baby's belongings. Brushing away the dog or cat every time your pet comes near your new baby can make the pet resentful. Your pet may resort to bad habits as a result of feeling unwanted and jealous.
- Keep soiled nappies in a "pet-proof" bucket. Dogs may be tempted to investigate and even eat soiled nappies. This normal parental behavior in adult dogs is directed toward keeping their den area clean. Their purpose is to keep their offspring (your newborn) healthy and safe from predators that might otherwise detect their smells.
- Dogs and cats may urinate or defecate on baby blankets or baby clothes, or on your bed. Some cats may urinate or defecate in a newborn's cot. Territorial marking relieves a pet's anxiety, covering the baby's scent with its own. Prevent access to its targets and spend more time with the pet.