I have a friend who is expecting a newborn this year.
After meeting with him a few days ago, he wasn’t sure if his newborn baby would be safe around his treasured parrot.
I can understand his reasoning behind this question as sometimes his parrot can have tantrums or almost become uncontrollable in some cases.
He’s worried that if he doesn’t introduce his newborn baby correctly the parrot may freak out and bite them.
But this wasn’t his only worry, he also worries about any diseases the baby could possibly catch through its growing stages.
That’s when I decided to help him with some research and started doing my homework.
To answer this question, parrots can be safe around babies if you take the appropriate actions. For a parrot to be considered safe for your baby, you need to take into consideration the cleanliness of the bird and the physical and vocal actions of your baby.
Throughout this article, we will be discussing various safety tips on having your parrot around your newborn and how to introduce them to each other.
Cleanliness plays a vital role in keeping your baby safe around your parrot.
A parrot can spread many infective diseases, including, psittacosis, allergic alveolitis, and salmonella.
Each of these can be considered critical if your baby was to become infected by one of them.
Introducing your baby is just as important as the cleanliness of your bird.
Parrots can react harshly if not stroked, spoken to, or hear certain noises they don’t appreciate.
All size parrots have a large and hard enough beak to cause severe damage to a child’s body.
Taking all precautions necessary to prevent this is extremely important.
Remember, it may be difficult for your bird to consider a new “outsider” as a companion or a friend.
It isn’t impossible but may require some effort and time.
Is it Bad to Have Birds in the House?
Before going into introducing your parrot to your newborn, I thought I would go over the negatives of having a parrot in your house.
These negatives include diseases that can cause Illnesses to humans.
A baby’s immune system will be building through its infant stages and won’t be fully developed until their 3-4 months old and still, it won’t be as strong as an adult’s immune system.
Although they are deemed rare, you should take into consideration that your feathered little friends do carry some possible diseases that can be harmful to babies.
These diseases which can be harmful are psittacosis, extrinsic alveolitis, and salmonella.
Simple techniques of hygiene can dramatically reduce the chances of you or your newborn catching these, such as washing your hands with hot water and soap.
If your child has touched the bird or anything the bird might have been on, it’s recommended that you overlook them washing their hands to make sure they do it thoroughly.
Let’s break down these diseases so you can have a full understanding of their severity.
First, let’s talk about psittacosis.
Psittacosis is commonly found in birds, but the transmission between birds and humans is very low.
It’s been said some parrots transmit this disease more than others.
This disease can attack the respiratory system and can cause inflammation in the lungs that can also be similar to pneumonia.
This disease can also cause common flu-like issues including fever, coughing, and headaches.
The most common reason for this disease to infect you is through inhaling dust from a bird’s dried droppings.
In this dust, there is a bacterium called chlamydia psittaci.
Some people can also get infected by this if they have work in handling birds, such as a veterinarian or butcher.
Next is extrinsic allergic alveolitis, this is a lung disorder that shares similar effects to psittacosis.
The only difference is that this generally generates symptoms a lot faster and if exposed to bird-droppings dust.
It could also have long-lasting issues that can accumulate over the years of being exposed (at a younger age this can develop quicker).
You can be exposed to gradual changes in your lung tissue, which can lead to long-term problems.
Last is salmonella infection or also commonly known as salmonellosis.
Unlike the other two mentioned above, this infection attacks your intestines leading you to have an upset stomach, severe diarrhea, cramping, and in some cases fever.
This is the most unlikely disease your baby can catch, due to its main source of transmission is through contaminated water and food.
It gets contaminated through its bird droppings.
How to Introduce Your Parrots to Your New Baby
Introducing your parrot to your baby is just as important as introducing your newborn to them.
As you are aware, sometimes babies can be rough and won’t understand some consequences if they don’t treat the bird correctly.
For instance, a baby may stroke a dog quite vigorously without knowing it.
If they were to do the same to a parrot, the parrot may react by biting or screaming.
But how can you prepare for this?
First, you need to prepare your parrot for your newborn baby.
It’s been said that the best way to do this is to mimic baby noises, toy interactions and set up their room.
This will be the first step of preparation and the most vital.
For your parrot to understand certain noises coming from the baby, the toys they play with and the different environment will ensure that the parrot isn’t spooked by this when they finally arrive.
The next introduction step I recommend you take is to start to introduce your baby to your parrot.
Make this a daily thing and schedule it around the same time each day so it builds into a routine.
Making it a routine for the parrot will slowly help with the understanding that this “meeting” is a daily occurrence and therefore should trigger the parrot to think “I should get used to this extra person”.
It may be a rocky start or great sailing from the get-go.
But it’ll certainly help with the parrot’s understanding of how important this new member is to you.
Another important tip is keeping a positive mind towards the bonding and throughout it.
Parrots can read body and vocal language very well.
Going in with a negative mind will also transfer over to the parrot making the bonding a lot harder.
If the bonding is taking a long time, don’t worry. It’ll eventually happen, sometimes it takes a while for a parrot to build a relationship.
How to Introduce Your Baby to a Parrot
We’ve discussed how to act and introduce your parrot to your baby, but what about switching the shoes?
How should you get your baby to act, when introducing them to your parrot?
Two “people” or things meeting each other, must act accordingly to build a friendship.
First, is to only introduce a baby when they start to understand certain rules and behaviors.
You’ll need to make sure that they don’t make any sudden movements or loud noises that may spook the bird.
Make sure your child has a soft and peaceful voice around the bird. Any loud noises will make the bird worried about the interaction.
Next is physical behavior.
Make sure your baby understands that it must be gentle with the parrot and not touch certain body parts.
Such as their eyes, as this will be very painful for them.
As you’re trying to build trust, realize that to do this the bird needs to be comfortable with vocal and physical activity given by somebody.
Safety Tips to Having a Parrots Around a Baby
Remember, a parrot can be fairly dangerous when it comes to babies and children.
Knowing how to protect your little ones from illnesses and how to act if a baby is bitten is particularly crucial.
Preventing your child from potential bird-flu sicknesses is very important as their immune system won’t be fully developed.
The first step in reducing the chances of illnesses is washing your child’s hands after touching either the bird or bird supplies, make sure you accompany them when they’re doing so to make sure they do it correctly.
If your bird is sick, keep them well away from each other.
Even if it disrupting the bonding process, this is when your bird is more likely to spread an unwanted illness to your child.
Take them to the vet and start the process when the parrot is showing signs of recovery.
Keep following your hygiene program when it comes to cleaning your bird’s cage and the environment it’s in.
If your bird has bitten your child, the first thing you need to do is evaluate the wound.
If you need to take them to see medical attention, do so right away.
If not, cleanse the wound thoroughly with a disinfectant.
You should also add antibiotic ointment, this will reduce the chances of infection.
Lastly, cover the wound and monitor the healing process.
Clean a few times a day until healed.