Bringing your baby home is super exciting! It’s great to see them interact with others around them, including their parents, siblings, and of course the pets!
If you’ve had a fur baby at home for a while, you’re probably a little anxious about how your baby and pet will get along. This is a normal feeling, but one that can be managed! Building the bond between the baby and pet is easy, it just needs a little work.
Why Is It Important For Your Baby To Build A Bond With Your Pet?
Getting both parties to familiarize themselves with each other from the beginning helps keep both of them safe and gives them a chance to nurture a loving bond. Some ways your baby can benefit from befriending a pet as they grow up are:
- Builds a strong immune system to common allergens and prevents the development of allergies
- Increases their chances of going outdoors since they can play with the pet or take them for a walk
- Helps develop a sense of responsibility by “parent playing” since they feel responsible for feeding them, bathing them, etc
- Prevents the feelings of loneliness and anxiety in a child by giving them some company
Most of all, giving your children animal exposure early on helps them feel more comfortable and empathetic around animals. It prevents the instillation of fear of animals in them as adults.
Some Ways You Can Help Build The Bond
Here is what you can do to nurture the bond:
Supervise Little Interactions
Both the baby and the pet are new to being around each other. They don’t know what can upset the other. So make sure to supervise the initial few interactions. Guide your baby to gently pet the fur and not pull or grab at anything.
You can also train your pet to not do anything that might harm the baby. This way you can ensure the safety of both parties going forward.
Encourage your baby to share toys and little snacks with the pet. A little sharing here and there not only helps your baby learn good habits early on, but it also helps your pet trust your baby and see them as a friend.
Do Things Together
Your baby will want to hang out with the pet if you make them accustomed to it from the beginning.
You can do this by supervising playtime together, maybe by setting up a ball game where both of them get to play. Or you can get in a baby pool where your pet can also play. Another great way to do this is by reading to both of them together.
It can take time for your furbaby and your new baby to connect, like this sweet video of a family introducing a baby to their dog, but once they do, it is a special bond that can last a lifetime!