I live in a small one-bedroom apartment with my fiance, 8-month-old daughter, and Solomon Island eclectus parrot. You can call me crazy, that’s okay but I am making this work the best I can. While I was pregnant, I researched and researched to see if I could find any tips on how to handle a baby and a parrot in the same household but came across very little so I will write my own!
The noise was my biggest concern while pregnant and I remember crying thinking I was going to have to get rid of my parrot Lucy because she would make nap-time a nightmare. Lucy squawks very loudly, probably at a louder decibel level than a jack hammer. She, like many other birds I have met, screams whenever I am around the corner or out of her sight (hey, just like my baby!). What was going to happen when I was in the room a few feet away trying to put my baby down? I asked my doctor what her thoughts were. She laughed and assured me as long as my baby was exposed to my parrot’s screams while still in the womb then I shouldn’t have a problem with it after she was born. My doctor was right! My baby, even a few days old, would not flinch at the sound of Lucy’s shrills. My daughter has never woken up from a nap because of the noise and tolerates it better than I do! So, the more you are around your screaming parrot in pregnancy, the better off your baby around the noise after birth. This same principle can be applied to barking dogs.
Introduce your baby to your parrot very slowly. Let your parrot check out this new little critter you brought home, but please do so behind bars! Never let your parrot out of the cage near your baby no matter how trusting you think he or she is. Animals can unpredictable and babies can be, too. Parrots bite when they feel threatened or scared and if your parrot is anything like mine, it could snap a baby’s finger in half. You, as an owner, should know your bird’s signs and body language. Don’t try and force anything if your parrot appears nervous or irritable.
My baby is not at the age where she has started poking her finger in the cage to pester my parrot, but she’s getting there. I purchased this play yard and plan on wrapping it around my Lucy’s cage if I ever feel my daughter is at that point. I will also be very adamant about using a firm voice and telling my daughter no when she does reach for the the cage.
While most parrot owners keep their bird in the main living area, you may need to consider moving the bird to another room as a second option if your baby is extra curious and perhaps you’ve got your hands tied up chasing a toddler around to boot. Your baby’s safety could be at risk and remember your baby becomes before your bird!
I’m not certain on how to handle a toddler and a parrot quite yet, but I’m sure it will be a learning process for all three of us.
Babies and parrots can work well together, but if you’re in my situation and have a crotchety old bird like Lucy, these are my tips on how to make it manageable.