Did your first baby have four legs?
Many of us consider our dogs our children before we bring an infant home for the first time. Because they are so close and in tune with us, they usually know something is up even before the baby comes through the front door. Here are some tips to make the transition easier for everyone.
1. Prepare your pet months ahead of time. Life will be busy when baby arrives, and you will have less time for Fido. Start making a slow transition now to let him know you will have less attention to give. This may sound tough, but it will help him to make the transition slowly and be less likely to associate the change with your little one.
2. Start desensitizing your dog to baby smells, sounds and visual stimuli early on. Play recordings of a baby crying and use utilize dolls to allow your pet to get used to you carrying around something that size. Allow him to smell and touch the doll – use it to teach him how to be gentle.
3. Exercise and engagement is a priority. As your due date approaches, it’s likely you will get busier – therefore having less time for your pets. If you find you don’t have enough time for this, you may want to consider employing a Pet Sitter or Dog Walker in the short run. This will help to prevent any destructive behaviors that could arise.
4. Determine all sleeping arrangements. Make sure you’ve taken into consideration where your pet will be sleeping once the baby arrives. If there will be changes, make them months in advance.
5. Assess your dog’s current behavior around others. Is there reason for concern? If so, this is the time to get professional help – whether it be from books or a trainer.
6. Make an early introduction. Have someone bring home something with baby’s scent from the hospital. Make sure that your pet sniffs the item but is not allowed to play with it. You need to start setting boundaries now.
7. The big day is upon you! When you bring baby home, have mom come in first without baby to give her first love some attention. When it’s time to bring baby in, try to make it a slow, calm introduction. Let him sniff baby, but try not to make this a big deal and get excited. Keep the interaction limited to start.
8. NEVER leave ANY baby unattended with ANY pet! No matter what, your baby’s safety comes first.
Information for this Milk Nursingwear freshmilk blog was obtained from:Pet meets Baby by The American Humane Association
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