When you have babies and pets living in the same home, you will want to make sure to create a safe space for them to live. Pets need their personal space just as much as babies need their space.
Ever since Ailey first noticed our cat, Mcmuffin, she’s found him fascinating. We all laugh at the noise she makes when she sees him, or any other cat, and the way she reaches her tiny fingers out to call him over. From my parents’ old beagle to our humorous tabby cat, to my brother’s fat kitty and hyper puppy, she chases after animals with wonder and giggles daily. Thankfully, the family pets are so sweet to her, even when she finds it hilarious to pull their tails and poke them in the eye.
How to Create a Safe Space for Your Baby and Pet
Pets and babies can be a dangerous duo if the proper precautions aren’t taken. I don’t mean that they’re going to get into trouble together, because that’s inevitable. Sometimes animals and babies aren’t going to get along, so it’s important that each has his/her own safe space to avoid any conflicts or problems (i.e. baby thinks kitty’s toys belong to her).
Step 1 – Keep your pets food out of your child’s reach.
Some animals become territorial of their eats (rightly so), and may accidentally scratch or bite a sneaky hand. For dry food, we’ve been giving Muffin his food out of baby’s reach.
Step 2 – Make sure your pet has a safe place to relax.
We keep Muffin’s bed and toys as far away from Ailey as possible. She likes to put his little mice in her mouth (gross) and he’s been known to give her a swat if she runs off with his feather birds.
Step 3 – Give your baby her own place to play and snack.
Some people have playrooms, some people prefer to go outside. Where ever you are going to place your little one to play, give her a basket of toys, a cozy place to sit, and keep the animals afar. We keep Ailey’s toys separate from the dog and cat toys because of germs and also any confusion between baby/animal.
Step 4 – Keep pets away while your little one is snacking.
Babies should be able to focus on their food without worrying it will be taken out of their hands. As far as our cat and people food go, he isn’t really interested. However, my parents dog is always looking for a handout and will snatch a cookie right out of Ailey’s hand any chance she gets.
Step 5 – Encourage a positive relationship between baby and pet.
Don’t be afraid to let your baby and pet hang out together. We let Ailey give Muffin a little piece of cat food so he knows she isn’t always out to harass him. We’ve seen this small act build trust between both of our girls and the cat.