Preparing pets for your newborn


November 16, 2022

Welcoming a new baby to the family is a big adjustment for everyone, including the family pet. If you’re getting ready to welcome a little one into your home, you’ll want to take steps to help your pet prepare for the newest human pack member. Keep on reading if you are eager to learn how to prepare pets for your newborn and the importance of including them in your newborn photo shoot with me as your  Northern Virginia newborn photographer.

Including pets in a newborn photo shoot in Northern Virginia.

A dog joining the family photo session in Northern Virginia.

Talk To Your Veterinarian about preparing pets for your newborn

You should make sure that your pet is up-to-date on all of their vaccinations and checkups. This is especially important if you have a new baby coming home from the hospital, as they will be more susceptible to illness. You should also ask your vet about any behavior modification that may be necessary. For example, if your dog is prone to jumping on people, start to work on reducing this behavior. They may accidentally knock over the baby carrier when you bring the baby home.

Prepare Your Home For Success

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to start puppy-proofing or kitten-proofing your home. First, dispose of anything that could be harmful to your pet, such as chemicals, medications, or small objects that could be swallowed. You should also create “safe spaces” for your pet—places where they can go to escape the commotion of a crying baby or toddler learning to walk. A crate or exercise pen can work well for this purpose.

A dog sniffing a newborn baby during an in-home newborn session in Northern Virginia.

Start Introducing Your Pet To New Sounds And Smells

If possible, try to do this before the baby arrives. It’s not such a shock when there’s a real live infant in the house. For example, you can play recordings of babies crying or cooing and get them used to the sound of diapers rustling and clothes being pulled on and off. You can also put baby lotion or powder on yourself so your pet gets used to the new smell before the baby arrives.

Include Your Pet In A Newborn Session

Have you considered a newborn photoshoot with pets? It’s a great way to commemorate the new addition to your family and create some beautiful photos of your entire tribe. As a Northern Virginia newborn photographer, I love when clients include their pets in their newborn sessions! Not only does it make for some adorable photos, but it also helps the pets become used to the baby in a controlled setting. Some fun shots to consider are:

  • The baby being held by mom or dad with the pet in the foreground
  • The baby laying on his/her back with the pet curled up next to them
  • The family all snuggled together on the bed or couch with the pet

A dog licking the face of a newborn baby during a family photo session in Northern Virginia.

New parents with their newborn baby and their family dog in the nursery.


Having a baby is a life-changing event for you and your pet! By following these tips, you can help ease the transition and ensure everyone adjusts smoothly. If you want to book your own newborn session that includes your pet please contact me today! I would be happy to chat about what to expect and how to make sure your pet is comfortable.


  1. Stacey says:

    Aww such a beautiful post and love that you can include your whole family including your fur pets into the session! Well done!

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