The Problem with Baby Pets
Caring for baby pets can be a problem. It is still very much worthwhile -- just look at their widdle faces, aaaawwww -- but it isn't all sunshine and rainbows, I can tell you. I know some among you will laugh derisively at this statement, especially those of you in possession of a magma pet that sets fire to your Neohome just by walking in the door. But baby pets can be a handful -- and not just literally. Having doted on my very own baby pet for a couple of months now, I figured I'd pass on my hard-earned expertise.
When was the last time your pet got ill? I'm not including failed attempts at Qasalan Expellibox, nor am I including times you accidentally fed your pet Poison Jelly or Rotten Omelette. When was the last time your pet suddenly, randomly pulled a face and announced it was sick? You can't remember? I thought not. Other types of pets are far hardier than babies, having built up a strong immune system or knowing not to roll around in dung or... something.
(Okay, so I can't remember the last time my baby got sick, actually, but I know it's happened at least twice recently!)
This isn't so bad if your pet comes down with a cheap, easy-to-cure disease like Neggitus. Well, I say easy to cure, though I couldn't personally inject my poor pet... stupid icky injections. But anyhoo. The point is, Neggitus cures go for as little as 30 NP. A Neck Brace to cure Cricky Neck can go for 80,000 NP. And yes, while it is possible to get a nice faerie to fix it for you, that can take a while, and who can stand their poor darling pet looking sad for days? Especially if that pet is a teeny-weeny baby?
Ahem. To summarise: baby pets get ill easily and often. Be warned... or maybe I just have bad luck.
Secondly, what should you feed your new bundle of joy? Naturally, baby pets will have radically different nutritional needs in comparison to adult pets. Plus, there are practical concerns to take into account. Can soft baby teeth handle crunchy foods like Left-Over Turkey Drumstick Sandwiches? My guess is "no." However, I'm not an expert on the matter. I took the question to someone who is: Laireen, my pet.
Me: Laireen, what should baby pets like yourself eat?
Laireen: Chocolate. Pizza. Chocolate pizza. Topped with Hot Dog Sundaes and served with lashings of Neocola.
Me: Uh. What about your soft, sensitive baby teeth?
Laireen: By being assaulted with the worst foods imaginable, my teeth will have to become strong to survive. Or they'll fall out and get replaced. Let's go to Hubert's Hot Dogs now.
Me: ...of the baby foods on the market, which is your favourite? Pea and Ham, Beef and Veg, Baby Shoyru Baby Bottle...?
Laireen: Lemon meringue pie.
Me: There actually is a Lemon Meringue Baby Food.
Laireen: With no actual meringue! I want real meringue! Now, now, NOW!
Me: Would you agree that vegetables are important for baby pets?
Laireen: No. No, I would not.
Since we weren't getting anywhere with that, I gave her a food catalogue and told her to circle which foods she thought best filled her nutritional needs. She picked out Bacon Belly Buster, Ultra Nova Drop, Faerie Sparklecake, and Faerie Chocodrop. This tells us two things:
Baby pets like faerie foods.
Baby pets exclusively like rarity 99 foods.
Or it tells us that baby pets can be demanding and high maintenance.
A few hours after that, Laireen came over and demanded her Bacon Belly Buster. I informed her I did not have three million Neopoints to spend on a sandwich. She was not happy. She was really not happy. Which brings us to...
Baby pets are small, but they can yell really, really loudly -- at really, really high pitches. Fail to respond appropriately to one of their many insane demands (see above), and they will treat you to this noise. For hours. Oh, my head.
Fun fact: there are no ear plugs in Neopia.
Another tactic is the throw. After having had Red Bouncy Balls and Chia Plushies thrown at me, I have vowed never again to buy any toy with points -- be warned, those of you who bought cute Baby Bruce Blocks for your pets. I assume you're supposed to train these bad habits out of them, but... it's haaard.
What toys do I recommend for your baby pets? Well, as above, nothing pointy, and try to get something soft. The softer the toy is, the less likely you are to get a concussion when you foolishly deny your pet whatever shiny thing they have just seen. Visit Plushie Palace; avoid the Toy Shop and the Neopian Garden Centre.
However, do not, I repeat, do not take the baby pet shopping. Never, ever. I learned this the hard way.
See, baby pets are super-cute. Everyone wants stuff with them on. Additionally, baby pet-related stuff is often rare. This creates high demand but rather restricted supply. You do not want to tell your baby Aisha that she cannot have Baby Aisha Hair Ties. Trying to reason with her that they are several thousand of Neopoints will not work. Trust me. Or say you take your baby Bruce shopping. He spots a Baby Bruce Plushie! It's like a cuddly version of him! It's also eight million Neopoints. Do you get the point?
So what do you do?
Um. Uh. Neomail me if you know?
I jest, I jest (kind of). Firstly, make sure you are well stocked up on soft toys to distract the baby with. Gold ones work best, as they are shiny and glittery, and catch the baby's attention well. Babies have short attention spans -- use that to your advantage!
Secondly: milk. Milk soothes babies. I don't know why, but it does. Anything with milk works, but I'd avoid the sugary stuff if possible.
Thirdly: you can say no. Even though they're super-cute, you need to avoid spoiling them -- after all, you probably have other pets to look after, too.