We have a cat who hates everyone on earth… except my two kids, thank goodness. I had read about this phenomenon before my eldest was born, that cats will guard a home against “outsiders”, but will immediately protect those who live within the home, so I never worried about introducing the cat to the babies. From the moment they came back from the hospital, he was their protector and nursemaid. He parked himself by the bassinet at nap time, sat by their feet during tummy time, and curled up by their side whenever they nursed.
The affection between family pets and babies runs both ways. It turns out babies love watching cats almost as much as cats love watching baby. Pets can fill kids with wonder, and are often their first exposure to the animal world. Today, Veronika and I took some time to truly appreciate and marvel at the cat.
As you can see, he loves to join playtime.
At six months old, Veronika is truly aware of him now, and loves petting his fur (this is a great time to introduce words like “gentle” to your little one).
If you’re worried that your baby will grab on to the fur too tightly, try rubbing feet into the fur instead.
As she sat on my lap, I let Veronika stroke the cat, and we also listened for his noises, his meows and his purrs.
Because we don’t have a dog, I also sought out a few chances for her to see canines in action. We headed to the local dog park and heard barks and yips.
We also saw some dogs getting groomed while at the pet store!
If you don’t have a pet at home, consider a similar outing, or go to a friend’s house for some animal magic. Here Veronika got to check out some birds!
I recommend sitting your baby on your lap if you’re unfamiliar with the animal. Needless to say, you should always supervise animals and babies closely, even at home.