11 Tips To Get Your Fur Baby Ready For Your New Baby
You already have your fur baby, but if you are adding a human baby to your pack, we have a few helpful tips to help make that transition a bit easier.
Before Baby Arrives
1. Play Baby Sounds
Playing sounds of babies crying can be helpful so that your dog begins to learn that crying isn’t something they should be worried about. It will also allow them to not become stressed when they hear the sounds first hand as they have already been introduced to the various sounds of a newborn.
2. Leave Baby Gear Out
As you starting accumulating strollers, toys, and carseats, leave them out for your dog to sniff. Some dogs can become scared when new, larger objects are added to their house, so allowing them to get use to the change before baby arrives can be beneficial. Don’t scold your dog when they go sniff the stroller, they are just learning about these strange objects.
3. Begin To Teach Your Dog What Toys Are His and What Toys Are The Baby’s
Encourage your dog to only play with her own toys, and to leave baby’s toys alone. This can be challenging, but again rewarding good behavior is key here. When your dog is playing with her own toys, give her treats! When she grabs a baby toy, simply take it out of sight and say no, then replace it with a dog toy. Maybe even surprise your pup with a few new toys of her own!
4. Walk Dog Near Playgrounds
One of the main reasons some dogs can be nervous around kids is because they are unpredictable. It is not too often an adult will randomly start spinning or running in all directions like a toddler might. Let your dog get use to the crazy movements of kids, so when they see a newborn that doesn’t have the best control over his or her arms, your dog will be less surprised.
5. Give Your Dog Their Own Place
Begin teaching your dog that their bed (or another dog-only area) is their safe spot. When they are tired or not interested in they baby, they can go there and relax. Reinforce good behavior when they are calming laying down.
Once Baby Arrives
6. Bring Home A Blanket That Smells Like The Baby For Your Dog
If you are birthing at a hospital, you will likely be there for a few days. Have your partner or another family member bring a blanket that smells like the baby so your dog can get use to the new smells. If you are birthing at one of the birth centers, this might not apply as you likely will be home within a few hours, but can be beneficially even if its just a few minutes.
7. Have Each Person Greet The Dog Before Bringing Baby Inside
This may be challenging as you can’t exactly leave a newborn in a hot car, but you have possibly been gone for a few days and your dog is excited to see you! Say hi to your fur baby for a minute while your new baby is out the room so the attention is all about the dog (for the last time).
8. Introduce Dog To Baby On A Lease
When you are ready for your two babies to meet, make sure your baby is fed and calm to not stress your dog out. Introducing the two while your dog is on a leash can allow for more control and hopefully a better first meeting.
9. As Cute As Baby And Dog Pictures Are, Don’t Force It
We have all seen the adorable Pinterest pictures where a newborn is laying on top of a dog, but there is no need to force that. Most dog trainers do not recommend a person, let alone a baby, laying on top of a dog. But don’t worry, there are many other adorable ways to incorporate your dog into your newborn photos without causing unnecessary stress for you or for the dog.
10. Follow Your Dogs Cues
You know your dog, and you know her cues. If she is a bad mood, don’t make her give the new baby a kiss. Make sure your dog is a good mood before making any major baby/dog interactions, because we all know how unpleasant a new experience can be if you are hangry.
11. Honor The Dogs Own Space
You worked hard while you were pregnant to train your dog about the importance of the dogs own space. Now, it is time to teach your baby to honor the dog’s personal space. Try to avoid putting your baby into the dogs bed, or letting toddlers climb into the bed. Keep that as a dog-only zone.