Bringing a new baby home can be difficult for your first “baby”—that is, a cat or dog who has reigned as the most beloved one in your household until that day.

To keep your infant safe and help your pet adjust, heed these tips from the Humane Society of the United States:

Before the baby is born

> Take your pet to the vet for an exam and vaccinations.

> Spay/neuter your pet (to make it calmer, less likely to bite).

> Address pet behavior problems with training.

> Accustom your pet to baby-related noises months beforehand. Use the rocking chair, turn on the infant swing, play sounds of a baby gurgling or crying.

After the baby is born

> Before bringing baby home, ask your partner to take home clothing with the baby’s scent on it for your pet to smell.

> Have someone else hold the baby when you step into the house so you can greet your pet warmly.

> Maintain regular pet routines like feedings and walks.

> Never force interaction between your pet and the baby.

> Never leave the baby unattended with your pet.

Your pet used to be your “baby.” But now you’ve got a new addition!

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