26 answers

Info on Animals and Child

i have 2 dogs and a cat everyone keeps saying im going to have to watch my animals when the baby is born both of my dogs are really good with kids and anyone at that matter but also my cat i dont know to much about them and children he is my first cat do i need to watch out with him at all? or my dogs?

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I had 3 cats when my son was born, and I didn't have any trouble. My concern was that cats sleeping in the crib. I knew they wouldn't deliberately smother him, but one of my cats is fat and clumsy (sad, but true). I could see her jumping in the crib and accidentally hitting my Alex. So, I bought a cat cover for the crib. It worked great! It's just a domed netting over the crib. The cats stayed out of the crib, and I could keep the doors open in case Alex cried at night. (Besides, it kept him in the crib as he got older. I never had to worry about him climbing out of the crib!) Something to think about.

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We have 2 cats and our daughter is now 7 1/2 months old and we have not had any problem with them at all. The only thing is the younger cat used to jump in her crib without the baby in it or in the pack n play. Now that she is used to those items, the cats don't care. When the baby fusses or cries the older cat actually comes to get me and the younger one will sit next to the monitor. I really wouldn't worry about it, just keep an eye out, make sure you pay attention to the animals as well, so the jealously factor doesn't happen and it should be okay.

you always need to watch any animal with a baby, regardless of how well behaved your animals are. we have a dog and a cat. to prepare them, we did the baby's room very early and made all physical changes we needed to make as early as we could. we made a CD of babies crying and played that occasionally.

personally, we had no problems with our animals. we kept our daughters door shut when she was sleeping so we had no problems with the cat trying to get into the bed. we have a big lab, and that was our large concern that he might step on her or something. research the breeds you have and talk to your vet. they will give you lots of good ideas as well.

you do need to watch the animals around the baby, but not in a crazy way like some people think. just like you will have to watch the baby with anything they do, especially when they start moving, its the same thing.

good luck!

You never know how pets are going to react when the baby comes home to Their house. Be on the safe side and just keep your eyes open. Watch for changes in behavior, but don't stress yourself out about it.

When my baby was born, my dog and 2 cats were nosey at first, the cats we would find laying in the crib at times. We would throw them out of the crib and tell them no. Finally about a month ago we started leaving our bedroom door open and neither of the cats get in his crib or bother him anymore. he is 6 months old. they will be real curious at first, just keep an eye on them. they will get used to him and wont bother him. Now my dog comes up and sniffs him and he just squeals at her and tries to reach for her. Its just all new to them..

J.,

Don't let anyone tell you that you have to get rid of your first family to have a baby. We have 3 dogs, 6 cats, 2 little boys. The animals just loved the wee ones. People used to say, "OH, you will HAVE to at least get the cats declawed or they will hurt the baby." We always said, "NO, the baby will have to learn to be gentle." Not to worry, the cats are fine and so are the kids.

I honestly think your attitudes and behaviors are reflected in your animals and later in your kids. If you are kind and gentle with the dogs and cats, they will be gentle with your babies.

And always remember Nana, the St. Bernard babysitter in Peter Pan, right?

All will be well, and I wish you all the best,
K.

I have 2 dogs and 2 cats. At first they all basically ignored her existence but there are still a few things I would recommend. Always keep a pack n play or bassinet around so you never have to put her on the floor...even if you are nearby your baby, mine still got scratched accidentally as a little baby by affection pawing. And as far as the cat is concerned, the only issue we had to deal with was marking the baby's car seat and pack n play, etc with his urine! He is neutered and declawed, but still has his territory issues. If your cat is relatively new I would guess that wouldn't be much of a problem. And if you want to keep the cat out of the crib and other baby items, tin foil scares the bejesus out of em. Just lay it over the entire surface you want them to stay away from.
I am so glad to be raising my daughter around animals though. She is so much more aware (ALREADY, at 10 months) how to behave around pets then most of her little playmates. Though I felt like strangling my dogs a few times (you know, barking during nap time and such) I wouldn't change a thing! Don't stress out about it, but don't pretend animals deserve an unwarranted human trust.

i had to get rid of my 3 cats because they would not leave my daughter alone i also have a 110 lbs dog who is aggressive towards strangers and other dogs but when zara my daughter was born he took to her very qickly but of corse you can never leave you child or your pets alone together because you never know what might happen.. well good luck i hope everything goes well

J.,
I have 2 dogs a cat and 2 birds. All animals were fine w/my kids when they were babies and now. My husband always does say to have your spouse bring home a baby blanket the baby was wrapped in and let the dogs smell it, but don't let them play w/it. This way they get use to what toys and such are the babies and what are theirs. My cat never even bothers w/the baby. She actually runs away when she sees her. Unless you have dogs that aren't naturally good w/children, I don't think you have anything to worry about!

S.

I had 3 cats when my son was born, and I didn't have any trouble. My concern was that cats sleeping in the crib. I knew they wouldn't deliberately smother him, but one of my cats is fat and clumsy (sad, but true). I could see her jumping in the crib and accidentally hitting my Alex. So, I bought a cat cover for the crib. It worked great! It's just a domed netting over the crib. The cats stayed out of the crib, and I could keep the doors open in case Alex cried at night. (Besides, it kept him in the crib as he got older. I never had to worry about him climbing out of the crib!) Something to think about.

I have two cats, and when my son was born, one of them was very jealous. She started scratching the furniture and peed under my son's bassinet and the rocking chair I rocked him in. The other cat didn't seem to mind him at all, though. We don't have any dogs, but I'd assume that they could be jealous too. My advice would be to just give your pets as much attention as you used to (if at all possible with a new baby), and show them that the baby doesn't change the fact that they are still important to you. As for my jealous cat, we gave her some extra attention and played with her more and she stopped the bad behavior.

They will be fine. I have 4 cats and 2 dogs and I didn't have any problems at all. The only thing I had to watch was my baby near the cats, and that was due to my cats being curious. Cats, being jumpers, climbers, etc., always wanted to either snuggle up near my daughter, or jump over her if she was with my on the couch. My daughter is now 14 months old, and now that she is walking, the cats scatter...want no parts of her lol. I am still working on the gentle petting aspect because my daughter wants to grab and bang on their heads lol. The dogs have always ignored her and still pretty much do. My mom has 3 dogs and they all do the same. Especially if your dogs like kids, you won't have any problems. I wasn't sure about mine because they had never been around babies, but they adjusted beautifully. Even now, though, I keep her room shut at all times to prevent a cat from wanting to go in there and sleep in her crib. I also grew up with animals and was fine, so there is no need to worry about it.

You'll have to watch all 3 of the animals a bit when the baby is first home. The old wives tale about cats stealing a childs breath originates from that they like heat and want to sleep right on the baby, which can smother the baby. I asked my Dr. about it and was told to let the cat see the baby and to make sure the cat knows not to go into the baby's room. With the dogs just make sure they're not licking the baby's face too much, and that they don't get jealous of the new baby. If you have more questions many vets will talk to you over the phone about things and activities you can do with them, cats and dogs, to get them ready for the baby. Make sure they're used to being pawed at and pulled on for when the baby starts crawling and grasping.
Good luck, I know it seems scary, but most animals do fine with a new baby.

The best advice that I ever received was to take one of the blankets that the baby had been swaddled in and give it to your animals so that they can get used to the smell of the newborn. Make sure to do this immediately, when you aer still inthe hospital. You shouldn't have any problems. Of course, your animals may get jealous because you are giving all of your attention to your newborn, but just as if you had another child, you have to make sure not to ignore your other animals. As for the cats suffocating your newborn. That is an old wives tale. I had two cats and they were perfect with my daughter. Good luck with your newborn!

Just use your common sence and things should be fine, while any animal can possilby hurt a newborn it isn't likely in a friendly family pet that they will jsut attack a baby. keep the animals out of the nursery and out of baby's bed, remeber puppies chew and might just find babies toes a fun toy, but really it isn't something to lose sleep over i have had animals in teh hosue with all 3 of my kids and ntohing ever happened and my cat loved to sleep in the crib when baby wasn't in it. watch leaving bottle sitting where animals can get them as well i sat one down onthe floor and went to grab something and my cat ate teh nipple off to get to teh milk, my other cat could care less, good luck.

Hi J.,
Your dogs should be fine with the baby just make sure you take the time to introduce them and a little trick I did was I walked in by myself while my husband waiting out side for a moment with the baby so my dog could see me (since he missed me) with out the new addition with me. Then we left our son in the carseat on the couch and let our dog sniff him. Cats on the other I have heard you have to be careful with them, they smell the milk on the baby and around there mouth and will try to get it and literally could end up suffocating the baby. So just make sure they cat deos not have access to the baby while he/she sleeps and never leave your animals alone with your child for the first few months.

J.
With both animals it is important to share with them the joys of a new baby. With all three of our children I had my husband bring home a piece of clothing the baby wore (a hat) and let the animals sniff it,this lets them get use to the scent of the baby. When you bring the baby home try to not punish the animals if they want to sniff the baby. As with all animals and kids, don't leave them alone together, wait it out. Cats tend to avoid the baby, and eventually the dogs tend to become very protective of the little one. The key is not to punish the animals and let them be part of your growing family.
My cats love all three of our kids. It was very calm for me to pet them when I was in labor. Regarding the smothering of the baby by a cat, that is an old wives tale. As with all animals don't let the cat in the crib, but most times, cats avoid the baby because of crying and such.

It's hard to tell how a pet will react to a new baby. Some do really well, others do not. In any case, it's a good idea to keep on eye on all animals around your child. Animals are territorial and can feel threatened. I've always felt that they should be treated the same as an older child who might need some adjustment time to a new sibling. Well, maybe not to the same extent, but to some degree.

I have two cats and one that is very possesive. He has bitten my husband before so I was very worried when I was pregnant. There is a CD out there called Preparing Fido. It is filled with tracks of baby sounds and things that baby's do.

I played it for about two weeks prior to having the baby. Both cats were very interested in the noises and investigated. Once she arrived they were very used to the noises she made and is still making. Neither one of them has tried to be aggressive towards her, although the male cat did pee in her crib. We have since shut the baby's door and no cats are allowed in her room. This has solved our pee problem.

I do not think you need to be worried at all about your pets if they are well behaved. You just need to prepare them ahead of time for a change.

Good luck.

K.

i have 3 dogs. all of them love my 13mo son and 21mo nephew. one of the dogs is really little (chiwawa mix) and she is scared of both boys. she will run and hide if they come near. she has never hurt either of them, she will just lay down in their arms if they catch her and lick their faces.
one of the dogs is a bit older. he has been ok so far with the boys but now that they are getting to where they want to try to catch him, he growls at them so we try to keep him away. i dont think he would ever harm them though.

so..
my little question to you is ..
are any of the animals elderly ? if so, they may not take as well to the baby as the others. usually pets wont mind unless they are very very attached to you and then will get jealous but will get over it with a little help.

good luck!

with dogs nomatter how good they are i wouldnt leave them alone in the room with the baby to it gets a little older maybe keep baby gates up to keep them out of the room if you wont be in it with them with cats depends on how old it is when i had my first child my cat was 17 years old my cat would try to lick the baby bottle if i left it lay out but she never tried to hurt her she would jump in the crib on ocassion and curl up but never bother my child

I would make the babies room off limits to the animals, but other than that I think you will be ok. Animals can tell your expecting. They say dogs can even smell the baby in the womb. When we had each of our kids my husband brought home a blanket we had wrapped the baby in and left it in our living room for the animals to smell and get use to. With babies its pretty easy to deal with baby and animals. If your animals play with toys you may have trouble with them taking your babies toys or even bottles and for some reason dogs love binks. It is when they get older that the kids need to be taught how to handle the animals. And often times it is when a child makes an animal feel at risk that a family pet who has always been god might react. We have had our cat scratch my 3 yr old son in attempts to escape his grasp. Our weiner dog has snapped at our daughter in attempts to get her to leave him alone. It is teaching the kids the balance later. now a days we only hear things from the kids when a dog either ours or our paretns is panting from running around and the kids get to close in the wrong way trying to pet them and they get brushed by a tooth or liked good by my parent golden doodle. In that case its just teaching them the nature of dogs and the dog wasn't trying to bit them but that the dog had its mouth open because it was trying to cool off and they just got close to their mouth.In the same way though you have to teach your pets boundaries too. Kepp them out of the childs face, let them and the child know its not ok for an animal to get in their face even if they are just licking to say hello. Those are my thoughts/experiences. A good vet will have some good ideas for you too. My cousin has a pointer and she use to let it snuggle with her on the floor at night so he was closer to her belly to smell the baby.

hi J.. i know every one has their own opinions, and this is mine..lol. i have had 5 kids of my own, 3 grandkids, babysat all ages for 27 years, and have ALWAYS had cats and dogs around ALL of them!!

i am sure you might have heard the old wives tale of the cat will smother the baby because they smell milk on the baby's breath. i never ever had any problems with safety issues with baby's/kids, and pets. i even had one cat watch over the baby(my #3) like a dog. he would go into the crib, stand up on his hind legs, peek in at the baby, then lay down on the floor beside the crib just as a dog would do. it was so cute!!

i will say the ONLY prob i did have was the cats (did have a dog once, too, i think) if they get ahold of a bottle nipple, or pacifiers, they will very possibly chew it to pieces!! because of the milk smell. that is honestly the only prob i ever had, which was a pain in the butt, i might add! LOL

but best of luck. and take care. you should always watch things for awhile to just be on the safe side, obviously, but i foresee NO probs!!

C.

J.,
On the upper hand, be careful not to leave them alone togather. Once baby starts crawling keep dog toys and food bowls up away from baby. I have 2 dogs and 3 cats, my son was born into an animal resuce family. So he has grown up with them, he is now 5. The only kinks we had between him and the pets where grumpy dogs when food and toys were concerned. THe cats (pypre in paticular) like to climb in his bed. But to stop this I put a piece of foil (rol into a ball and then pull back out and flatten a bit) in his crib when he wasn't of course - the point texture was rough on her feet and she soon learned to stay out. Oh - and Myah like to take off with bottle nipples that were drying on the counter, so watch that. Once baby is born - send home some wash rag (from home) with babys smell on them. Have hubby put one in each place the baby will be when he/she get home. The animals will recognize this as baby's area. Good luck! Just remember, you know your pets better than anyone, keep them happy and your will be fine.

J.,

I had 3 cats when my daughter was born and while I was still in the hospital, my husband brought home a blanket that my daughter had been wrapped in and left it on the floor for the cats to smell. They didn't have any problems when we came home. I just made sure that all cats were out of my baby's room and her door was shut during the night so I didn't have to worry about the cats jumping into her crib. One cat loves my daughter and lets her crawl over her and the other cat is scared and runs away but I have never had any issues with the cats bothering my daughter.

We have 4 dogs who were always our babies. One just passed away, so we actually had five when I brought my daughter home last year. We also heard the same, but they were always wonderful with my friends' kids. Here's what I did.

While we were still at the hospital, I had my husband bring home a blanket that my daughter used (or something the baby wore will work, too). He let all of the dogs smell it and lay with it to get used to her scent. When I got home, I let my husband carry in the baby so that I could greet each of them because they hadn't seen me for a couple of days. Then, one by one we introduced them to the baby. They were very gentle and very excited to meet her. She now has four best friends who love her and protect her. Of course, we never leave them alone with her, becauase they might hurt her by accident, but they have been very good and tolerant. Even now as she is becoming mobile and climbing all over them, I'm surprised at how they are gentle with her. If they get tired of it, they get up and walk away.

Hope this helps you. Good luck with your new addition!

The animals may be a little jealous of the new baby. They will get over it. Never leave the pets alone with your baby. I have 2 dogs and 2 cats. They all love my 17 month old. It was an adjustment to them though. Eventually they will all be fine and grow up being best friends!

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