View Full Version : Pets?!
10-18-2006, 06:52 PM
I am due in January '07, and have one cat (7 years old) and a dog (almost 2 years old). The cat is VERY snuggly - loves to crawl into bed with me and DH. I am starting to get worried that a baby in a pnp travel, which we plan to keep in the bedroom in the beginning, will be a huge temptation for the snugglebunny cat - warm baby + kitty = bad!
Has anyone had this issue, and how did you deal with it?
Also, the puppy has been around a couple of babies (7mos and 12 mos) for a small amount of time in each instance and seems to do fine. But she has gotten much more aggressive towards adult men she doesn't know since I've been pregnant (ie. goes NUTS if I'm walking her and a man is walking towards us). So now I'm getting worried that she is going to act aggressivly towards the baby when it arrives.
Has anyone had to deal with this?
Any help/advice is greatly appreciated!
10-18-2006, 07:32 PM
We have two cats who snuggle in bed with us. And they did not want to have ANYTHING to do with the loud, weird-smelling thing that we brought home. They checked him out when he first came home, and then they pretty much kept their distance for a while. When DS was a little bigger, one of the cats snuggled up to his feet when DS was hanging out on the floor. If one of the cats jumped up onto something and saw DS, they would get back down.
There might be some kind of netting you could put over the pnp, but I would wait to see what kitty's reaction will be.
10-18-2006, 07:54 PM
I agree with the PP to wait to see how your cat reacts to the new baby. One of mine nearly did a backflip when he attepted to jump into the portacrib and found it already occupied. And for future reference - http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/catsuck.htm
Your dog is exhibiting normal pack behavior by being aggressive to males while you are pregnant. Female wolves fiercely protect any pregnant females in their family unit as this ensures that the pack will continue to be strong. They will often "adopt" other females pups as their own. I would expect your dog to be very protective of both you and your new baby immediately upon entering the house. Mine was. :-)
I have had three cats around three babies. Only one would sometimes get into the baby's crib. It didn't bother me. He only jumped lightly into the crib at the end I didn't put the baby (this was a newborn who didn't move around). They looked very cute at opposite ends of the crib. Once the baby started moving around more, he never went in the crib again. My other two cats had no interest in sleeping in the baby's crib or bassinet although the younger cat would only sometimes jump in, look around, and jump out. In general, cats are skittish about babies and just keep a distance, but nothing any cat ever did worried in any way....and check for a post in this board - use the search feature - with some great cat + kid pics! - it was a month or so ago --
10-19-2006, 02:16 PM
Our cat didn't want anything to do with DD when she was a LOUD newborn. Our cat had slept with us nearly every night up till DD came home. Once DD arrived, she banished herself from the bedroom for several months. She had explored DD's bassinet prior to her arrival and we shooed her away a few times so she wouldn't get too comfortable. In the end, neither cat nor child ever slept in the bassinet. We coslept a bit, and when our cat got adjusted and came back to the bedroom, she still made sure to stay at the farthest end of the bed from DD.
To this day, the cat is curious but still very cautious around running, jumping, yelling DD.
10-19-2006, 03:06 PM
our beagle was very protectiveof me pregnant and is protective of us now. Especially if DS and I are home alone. DS and DD(Dear Dog) are great buddies and life is great. We did get the dog used to some rough treatment before hand for whatever good that did. Oh and I can't immagine having a baby and not having a dog to clean up under the highchair!
10-19-2006, 03:18 PM
BRU actually sells a netting cover for the PNP to keep out mosquitoes, but I think it will keep a cat out as well :)
You are smart to be cautious about the pets around your baby. Please stay diligent and remeber that they are animals and don't understand they can hurt a child. While the "cat sucking a baby's breath" is pretty far fetched, in my line of work I have witnessed many kids injured and even killed by family pets.
I'm not trying to scare you but just a reminder. Pets can be wonderful, but they are still animals and it's our job to monitor the child/pet interaction. I'm sure everything will be fine, but I applaud your foresight in planning ahead.
10-19-2006, 11:24 PM
Our experience was like most pps. Our cats (2) like to snuggle up on our laps, but weren't too keen on the smelly, wriggly new pink thing we were carrying around all the time. The dogs (2) were very interested. The older dog (11) doesn't really give a hoopty doop about Bright, but the younger dog (4) loves him to pieces. We have to make her stop licking his legs, feet, hands, etc etc. And I agree also about the highchair. I would be mopping and sweeping constantly if it weren't for the three scavengers under his highchair.
Keep in mind too, though, that I work with dogs and cats and have for a long time so I've established the alpha mentality in my household where the animals know that the two leggers are boss ALWAYS NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS ABOUT IT. And if they get a bit cocky, they are reminded. Not by any inhumane way, usually a look does it. Sometimes we have to go through the alpha/omega exercises.
Depending on what kind of dog you have, I'm sure your pet will be fine. Cat bites and scratches are especially prone to infection - and quickly.
10-19-2006, 11:57 PM
I have a cat who was around prior to DD - the cat is snuggly/friendly with me but literally no one else. She does not tolerate strangers at all. To be fair, she likes to *see* them - just not be touched by them. Her response is usually to twirl around your feet but then bite or scratch when you give her attention! Tricky situation. Luckily, when I brought DD home, the cat came around to check her out but then kept a wide berth for a long while. The cat did eventually mellow out and now is quite good with DD - in fact the cat will even jump up on my lap while I am nursing DD and lick her head. DD enjoys this immensely. :) The cat has taken the odd swipe at DD - usually when DD approaches her a little too quickly or grabs her suddenly. This has happened maybe 3 times since DD has been mobile. All things considered, the cat puts up with WAY more from DD than anyone else, myself included. I swear that cats do understand (even with their pea-sized brains!) that babies are to be protected, and the occasional swipe is usually a self-defense mechanism. If you make sure your animals are used to your child, and vice versa, you should have few problems.
10-20-2006, 06:27 PM
Thanks for all the info/words of wisdom/support!
I think I just shouldn't stress myself out about this until the baby comes home and I see how the animals react. I have a feeling the cat will be less of a problem than I initially thought, based on your feedback. She is, after all, a great big smushy fraidy-cat!
And as for the dog - I have a feeling that with a little extra training and work with down/stay in the next few weeks, we won't have too much of a problem.
So thanks again!
10-20-2006, 07:36 PM
I have 4 cats and they were all wonderful with the babies. With DC#1 they had no idea who he was so they kept their distance. With DC#2 they weren't as bothered by her.
I also make sure to keep the baby's bedroom door closed at all times.
10-20-2006, 10:02 PM
I took a class called Barks & Babies before I had Ds. It's been a while so I can't remember it all but here are some tips I remember:
*set up some of the baby's things in advance so the dog gets used to the noise and size of the gear. I got our stroller since our dog was a bit afraid of strollers (now she dutifully walks right next to the stroller). I'd also set up a swing if you plan on using one.
*start spending quality time vs quantity time with your dog. I had heard the ignore the dog before the baby comes advice and knew it wouldn't work in our home but the idea of spending some small amt of quality time that you can maintain after the baby comes made sense.
*have someone bring home a receiving blanket that the baby's scent is on while you are still in the hospital so when the baby comes home the dog knows he/she is part of the family.
*greet the dog first when returning from the hospital then have your significant other bring in the baby.
Wow my memory is pretty bad right now. If I think of more I'll post again.
My dog was more protective before ds arrived. I didn't see as much of that when pregnant with dd but with ds we lived in a condo and walked a lot more on city sidewalks. Now we have a yard and our neighborhood is less city like. Always watch the dog with the child. As the child ages teach them how to properly treat the dog. Find a way to give the dog a place to get away from the child if they need to. It's a two way street both dog & and child need to learn how to behave properly.
I will say that our dog did better than I ever expected her to. She was always a Mama's girl. She's a great dog but she was used to doing so much with me I wondered if she would get jealous but she never was. His arrival altered her life dramatically since dh wasn't into hanging out at the park with her as much as I had been. She never missed a beat. I would consider your dogs temperment in preparing for the baby. Our dog has always been great with ds. When asked who his best friend is he always says Hailey (our dog). He truly loves her and she loves him. She tolerates anything. She's a lab so she really started enjoying my son once he was eating food. We were pretty rigid about not feeding her table food before ds arrived but who wants to clean up the mess. She's the perfect vacccum cleaner! :) Oh one tip I remember now regarding this is to train your dog not to go for the dropped food until you ok it. This is to avoid having the dog knock over the high chair. Hailey gained 15 lbs which on her frame (she was an all muscle 65lb lab) is a lot so now ds has been told not to feed her which he's been good about though she still cleans up the crumbs. As some previous posters mentioned I also can't imagine having a child without having a dog to clean up the mess. Honestly I think most of the time ds has replaced me as Hailey's favorite person. :( I try to include her as much as possible on walks etc. Whenever I got the chance before dd arrived I would take her with me for some one on one time. She's still a member of the family but is a bit lower in the pecking order I (though she's still above dh lol)
10-20-2006, 10:32 PM
>I took a class called Barks & Babies before I had Ds. It's
>been a while so I can't remember it all but here are some tips
>*set up some of the baby's things in advance so the dog gets
>used to the noise and size of the gear. I got our stroller
>since our dog was a bit afraid of strollers (now she dutifully
>walks right next to the stroller). I'd also set up a swing if
>you plan on using one.
>*start spending quality time vs quantity time with your dog. I
>had heard the ignore the dog before the baby comes advice and
>knew it wouldn't work in our home but the idea of spending
>some small amt of quality time that you can maintain after the
>baby comes made sense.
>*have someone bring home a receiving blanket that the baby's
>scent is on while you are still in the hospital so when the
>baby comes home the dog knows he/she is part of the family.
>*greet the dog first when returning from the hospital then
>have your significant other bring in the baby.
This is great advice, with the exception of the last one (and the ignorning thing..not sure what that's about). This is a signal to your dog that your dog is alpha and the most important individual in the home therefore should be greeted first. I probably sound like a drill seargent but so many people give dogs mixed signals then wonder why they have problems.
In my business, when I meet a dog and their person for the first time, I don't even acknowledge the dog until after I've talked with the person and established that the person is the most important part of the equation. It may sound mean, but it makes for a MUCH better 1. transition and 2. experience for the dog and the owner because the dog doesn't really care where he is at in the heierarchy, he just wants to know who is in charge and what his role is so he can go on with the fun and the licking and the peeing on things.
I'm off my soapbox now. I'm sure you'll have no problem with your pets!! Good luck.
10-21-2006, 08:22 AM
Thanks for the advice - especially about the baby gear. I've noticed that Maggie (dp - dear puppy) is TERRIFIED of strollers when we're out walking. DH and I have joked that we're going to be the crazy pregnant couple on the block walking up and down the street in the middle of November with a dog and an empty stroller! LOL.
I've also heard advice on getting a doll and treating the doll like a baby so the dog gets used to it...
Anyone tried this with any degree of success?
10-24-2006, 01:26 PM
Just to let you know, there is a very good book available to help get your dog ready for the new baby. It is called "Childproofing Your Dog" by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson. You should be able to get it at Borders, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. It helps you see how things will effect your puppy, and will point out things that you wouldn't realize.
More often than not, the cat will be nervous in the beginning, and most cats will do well with a baby. Usually more problems occur when the child becomes mobile as now the baby actually interacts with the pet, but you have time to get ready for that.
Best of luck and enjoy the extended family.
10-24-2006, 05:37 PM
no advice on your pup, but when pg with ds2 my 1.5 yr old kitty used to sleep curled on my pillow around my head, before that he slept in the curve of my belly when lying on my side, or right beside me...where the bassinet would butt up against! i started getting really nervous, especially when we set up the basinette beside the bed 2-3 weeks before and he would jump in.
then max came and while he did step a paw in there to sniff, he wasn't really too interested in the noisy, stinkin' thing that interupted all his nighttime peace :)
he automatically moved down to my feet where he slept since.
i've always kept the boys rooms closed when they are in cribs since i was always scared of the cat jumping in and smothering in the middle of the night, but the cats been locked in with max a few nap times and not once has he even ventured into that crib...but then again max is already over 1, so i'm not scared of smothering.
i wouldn't worry, just set up the pnp before babe comes and say "no" whenver the cat tries to go near it.
they also make a pnp tent canopy thing just in case though :)
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