One of my big concerns with bringing home the baby was how our dog and cat would react. I was pretty sure the cat knew I was pregnant (he loved to sleep next to my belly) and pretty sure the dog did not (she stepped on my belly with impunity). Whether either of them would be happy to have an actual baby in the house was a big question mark.
Following the advice I found in baby books and online, my plan for introducing the baby to the dog and cat was as follows:
- Buy treats and new toys for the pets to be given out when the baby came home.
- Bring pet blanket to the hospital. Get baby’s scent on it. Bring blanket home to the pets one day in advance of baby.
- Have the dog on leash for the first meeting to prevent jumping.
I’m happy to report that having the baby meet his siblings turned out to be completely painless. I may be imagining it, but I’m pretty sure that both pets were expecting the baby (maybe due to the scent on the blanket). With our supervision, both pets were allowed to sniff the baby. The cat seemed indifferent to the baby, but fairly pleased with his new toys. The dog was thrilled to meet the baby. She ignored the toys and treats we bought her and instead stuck to the baby like glue for the first few days he was home.