90% of mums think that the risk is too great to allow your cat companion into the bedroom at night if you have a newborn child in a Moses basket next to your bed. The information comes from feedback to a question by a member of the mumsnet.com community who asked “Are we taking a risk with cat and newborn?” I guess you can see what they mean. There is a risk of the family cat harming the newborn child. Is there a genuine risk?
It would seem that the perceived risk is that a domestic cat might jump into the Moses basket to investigate the infant inside. Or they might push over the Moses basket which I think is extremely unlikely. Jumping into a Moses basket with a newborn child inside is clearly a worry to around 90% of parents on my informal survey.
Although the verdict is pretty much an outright no on mumsnet.com, one member of this community suggested using a cat net. You can buy nets specifically designed to prevent cats getting into cots and Moses baskets. That, to me, would seem to be a perfectly acceptable solution against a rare potential risk. And cots are more stable than Moses baskets I’d argue which would completely scotch the idea of the child’s bed might be knocked over by the cat.
The consensus from experts is that domestic cats are beneficial to newborn children and toddlers because in interacting with young children and even sleeping next to them, which is not uncommon, they make the child more robust in their defence of allergens.
I think that what is happening is that the cat allergen (Fel D1) which affects about 10% of the human population causing runny eyes, helps to prime a child’s immune system so that it does not overreact to allergens when they grow up. This makes them more “robust” to allergens of all kinds. This is my understanding.
To prevent a cat companion from coming into the bedroom would undermine this beneficial process. A lot of cat owners disallow their cats coming to the bedroom at night in any case because they can interfere with sleep. It would be tricky to suddenly stop a cat coming into the bedroom if they habitually do it.
From a cat’s perspective the problem is that the bedroom is full of delicious smells, warm bodies, smelly bed clothes and all kinds of comforting objects. To keep them out is to deny them the pleasures of a very important place within the family household.
A compromise might be the best solution by ensuring that the cat has their own area and bedclothes where they can snuggle down. Of course, this would not be a guarantee that they won’t join their human caregiver is on the bed!
As a very rough guess, it is probable that about 50% of cat caregivers stop their cats coming into the bedroom at night. Jackson Galaxy would disagree with this! He suggests the compromise that I have mentioned above.
Comments from moms are welcome. I need some first-hand reports, please 😊.
Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.