Pregnancy Week by Week

Get a window on what’s happening in your pregnancy, week by week. From week four to week 42, your baby is experiencing a miraculous transformation from a clump of cells to a fully formed (and totally cute) newborn. Just imagine, as early as five weeks, your baby is already starting to form major organs (heart, stomach, liver, and kidneys) and systems (digestive, circulatory, nervous). By eight weeks, your raspberry-sized womb-mate is moving her arms and legs. At the beginning of your second trimester (week 14), your wee one is sucking his thumb. By week 28, the first week of the third trimester, baby (now as big as an eggplant) is prepping for breathing, developing his eyesight and packing on pounds in anticipation of life outside the womb. Each week is a new miracle. Less miraculous is how a mom-to-be may feel. Pregnancy Week-by-Week charts your baby’s development but also lets mom know what she might be feeling during each week of her pregnancy. Pregnancy week by Week includes everything mom needs to know to feel a sense of control over her pregnancy. Each week offers a complete guide to what you might feel, your must-do’s, your nice-to do’s, and answers and advice on everything pregnancy-related. Plus each week’s guide offers tips on maintaining a healthy and comfortable pregnancy from strategies on coping with pregnancy symptoms (morning sickness anyone?) to ideas for healthy eating, and pointers on talking to your OB. Let us guide you along your pregnancy, week by week.

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Q&A: How can I prepare my pets for when baby comes home?

How can I prepare my pets for when baby comes home?

Re: How can I prepare my pets for when baby comes home?

The Bump Expert

Chances are, your pets are already onto you. As your bump grows, your animals will probably get a sense of what's going on. They're baby-makers too, after all. That’s not to say they won’t be jealous, though, especially if they’ve been the “babies” in your life up until now. To keep your dogs, cats, or other critters from getting too stressed when baby comes home, try these tips:

Make some racket
Babies come with all sorts of new sounds. Turning on your infant swing or toys that make noises (or even playing recordings of babies crying) can help your furbabies prepare for your home’s new soundtrack.

Introduce smells
Try letting them sniff the new stuff you’re buying for baby (diapers, lotions, powders) to get accustomed to the new aromas.

Start new rules
Start prepping them for any new rules, like changes to when and where they're allowed in the house.

Ignore them sometimes
Since you’ll probably be spending much less time doting on your pets once baby's around, you can help them adjust by slowly spending less time with them now. It might be tempting to get in as much cuddle time as possible before baby changes the scenery (we know it’s tough!), but gradual change is much easier on an animal than just cutting them off when you bring home your new bundle. Your partner can also help out by forming a stronger relationship with the pets, redistributing a bit of the attention rather than cutting it out.

Bring in the babies
Inviting friends to bring over their new children may help your pets get used to having an infant around, and will give you an opportunity to see how your pets react to babies. Be sure to monitor them closely!

Stop bad habits now
Train your pets not to jump on the crib, jump in your lap without permission (that’s where baby will be!), or engage in potential harmful behaviors like jumping, swatting, or nibbling. Some moms use aluminum foil or double-sided tape on the crib and changing table to train cats not to jump up (both materials tend to freak felines out).

Visit the vet
Don’t forget to have your animals checked out by the vet before baby comes along to make sure they're healthy and up to date on vaccinations. And remember to make arrangements for your pets’ care while you’re off delivering that baby!

Finally, just relax and trust that everything will be fine. It might take some getting used to, but everyone will adjust to the new addition to the family soon enough.

Erin Walters

Q&A: How can I prepare my pets for when baby comes home?

My cat has been my only baby up until now, and she is not very friendly to strangers so i can imagine this is going to be a huge adjustment fr her. Two things I plan on doing: getting a "feliway" room plug-in (it contains the pheromones that keep cats calm and it plugs into an outlet like a glade plug-in) because she has had some success with it before; and two, as soon as the baby changes clothes or a blanket at the hospital, DH has to find someone to drop said article off at home to introduce the furbaby to the human baby's smell. The cat will also not be allowed in the nursery, so that is a hge step right there. Her cat tree lives in a corner of the room so she will be able to get the "bird's eye view" of the room that she likes, and hopefully all will be well!

lexib6224 |

Q&A: How can I prepare my pets for when baby comes home?

my dog trainer told us to bring our dog the babys blanket or hat (something with the babys sent) prior to bringing home the baby. also hand the baby to someone when mom walks through the door, so mom can greet the dog. this way he doesnt connect mom being gone with the baby coming home. my family members have tried it with their dogs and said it works. i will be trying it out soon so i'll keep you posted.

bluehorizonz |

Q&A: How can I prepare my pets for when baby comes home?

I also recommend putting things like the activity mat and toys that are going to be on the floor down so you can teach your dog that it is not a new dog bed or to chew the toys. We taught our dog the commands nose off, away, drop it, and leave it from the time he was a puppy. These commands were perfect when the baby came. We also used the word gentle with our infant son and demonstrated the proper ways to interact with puppy. As he is now a toddler, he can sometimes start to get rough, but if we say the word gentle he immediately responds with respectful behavior. Our little one puts out his hand when he wants kisses, which I think is adorable!

jdklein |

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