How to Help a Pet Get Used to a New Baby

When a newborn comes home, it may be a little difficult to adjust having them under the roof. The two major steps about this are to get other people that are living in the house adjusted to it and any pets that you have.


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    Avoid any force. This may scare away the pet if they're not used to new things or people or may have a negative reaction. If the pet is territorial about the baby being brought into the family, the bonding between the pet and baby will be more difficult and longer to attempt.
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    Let the pet sniff or be around the baby's belongings. If there's a blanket or toy around, don't shoo the pet away. The sniffing lets the pet adapt to the scent of the child and gives them their own opportunity to learn more about the baby in their own way.
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    Walk around the pet with the baby in your arms or keep a distance from the pet during play time, but don't engage in any direct contact yet. If the pet is still intimidated, stay away at a safe distance. Use a baby-soothing voice around the both of them. Ask the baby, "Whose that?" and "Is that the ______ ?" (depending what pet it is. Use "child" words, for example "doggy" or "kitty" instead of dog or cat. If you use a calm voice with the baby, he/she will develop a calm sense around the pet instead of being hyper.
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    Use common sense and know when it's a right time to approach the pet while it's sleeping. Don't let the baby touch the pet at this time, but let them observe with their eyes. This method will make the baby feel comfortable around the pet in a non-interaction way.
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    Let time pass and keep observing the behavior of both the pet and baby when they're around each other. Patience is the key:
    • If there is no difference, keep trying to introduce the two of them.
    • If there seems to be a negative reaction, it's best to keep the pet away from the child until the pet is confident and ready to be around babies and kids.
    • If there is a calm and positive environment between the two, encourage more interaction and playtime.
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    Sit down with the baby in your lap somewhere that the pet usually goes around or hangs out. Get the pet to interact with the baby by letting the animal sniff them and the baby to touch the pet's fur. Watch the baby's reactions and facial expressions to see if they enjoy it, especially if the pet starts to lick the baby's feet out of nowhere.


  • Try to get your baby to slowly pet your cat, but make sure it does not grab its ears or tail!
  • Always use a calm voice. A soothing tone will make everyone comfortable in this situation. The very last thing you want is to freak either of the two out.
  • Encouragement and patience are key factors in introducing a stranger to a pet. Things may not go your way or how you would like things to go, so prepare for the complete opposite of what you wish.
  • Before bringing baby home from the hospital, it is a good idea to send something like a swaddle blanket (with hospitals permission) home with your partner. This can be left on the floor in an area your pets frequent and will allow them to get the smell of your baby before you bring him/her home, making the initial meeting between baby and pets easier.


  • If the pet seems vicious or territorial around the baby, avoid interaction until they are ready for it. A negative reaction, such as barking, especially snapping towards the baby may give the baby a bad feeling about the pet. This feeling may continue on for some time.

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Categories: Newborns | Pets and Animals