Preparing your pet for the arrival of your newborn baby – Part 2
So you prepared your pet for baby’s arrival with tips from part 1 of this series, tips on what to do while you are pregnant… , you have well behaved, baby ready pets, your home is baby proofed and you are off to the hospital for the arrival of your little bundle.
Because you have prepared really well thus far you should also want baby’s homecoming to be as smooth as possible.
Here are some tips to help you with this very special moment.
Before bringing baby home from the hospital, bring home a blanket or article of clothing the baby has been wrapped in. Dad, will have mum and baby’s scent on his clothing and hands too, he should allow doggy to sniff and familiarise himself with these new smells. Each time dad arrives home, gives doggy another opportunity to get used to baby’s home coming.
It is likely that doggy will be very excited to see you after being away for two or three days. It is therefore a good idea to have someone doggy is familiar with take him for a walk or a long play session to release some of his energy prior to your arrival.
Don’t walk in carrying baby when you first see your dog. This may encourage him to jump up which is behaviour that you don’t want to encourage.
When you arrive home greet doggy separately and calmly, spend some quality time with him. Don’t banish him outside, panic, or shout at doggy. You don’t want him to associate baby’s home coming with any negativity or stress. You need to concentrate on continuing with socialising doggy with baby.
Before you bring doggy in to meet you and baby make sure that you are settled and comfortable.
Allow doggy to be brought in on a leash to meet you and baby, as a safety precaution. Don’t force him to approach baby, but be sure to give him lots of praise and encouragement for approaching calmly. Getting him to sit when he is around both you and baby is a good idea, and rewarding him with treats for good behaviour would be beneficial too.
If you want to separate your dog from baby’s initial activities, leave him in a spot where he is comfortable. Isolating him outside will cause him to stress and result in undesirable behaviours. Isolation is one of the biggest mistakes many parents make. Dogs depend on their owners to teach them good behaviour and to socialise them to new things and new people, including children and babies. Remember the better your dog is socialised with your baby the easier the transition is going to be for you.
Don’t Punish or Scold
Instead of punishing bad behaviour rather distract him with positive reinforcement and allow him near baby when he is calm.
Reward Good Behaviour
You may want to keep some treat jars around the house, for the first few days or so after bringing baby home. Try to remember to give your dog some treats and praise any time he is remaining calm and well-behaved when you are changing nappies or feeding baby. This will teach your dog that having the baby around means good things happen for him.
You may want dad to give doggy attention while you are feeding baby, so he doesn’t feel isolated. Remember that as baby grows and you relax in your new role as parent, things do become easier. Your consistency will pay off.
Maintain Your Dog’s Schedule
One of the reasons many dogs behave badly when a new baby is brought home is because they get stressed at all the changes taking place in the house.
I my previous article I explained that working some training into your schedule would be beneficial. Continue with this as your day progresses. Sticking to your regular way of doing things, while incorporating baby and your pets’ activities will not only keep stress at bay it can even be stress relief!
Just as baby’s feeding is on a regular schedule, also keep doggy fed at his regular time. Take doggy out for walks when baby is fed and calm. Preparing well ensures good bonding experiences and creates many happy family memories.
Never Leave Dog and Baby Unsupervised
I can’t reiterate this point enough. Never put your baby and your dog in a bad position by leaving them alone together. Accidents can happen even with the most well-behaved dogs or children. Prevent mishaps by never leaving your baby unattended in a room with your dog.
Allow your dog to retreat to his bed when he needs to, you all need your own space and time for rest and sleep.
If you are planning to go back to work after maternity leave ensure that your baby sitter is aware of any rules you have set in place for the safety of baby and your dog.
Be patient in allowing your dog to get used to your baby. Speak to your behaviourist if you have any issues that need tackling.
Don’t neglect your dogs grooming
Keep your dogs nails trimmed. Like I said before accidents do happen so it is best to have smooth nails.
Grooming, just as it is with baby should be quality time with your dog. It’s a moment to be sure that doggy remembers that he is still a special part of your life. This is why we call our pets our kids 😉
House hold tips:
Keep dirty nappies in a place that your dog cannot access.
Rather put a hold on any further changes to your house until everyone is settled.
You can read more about this in my previous article.
Remember that the less stress that there is for you baby and doggy the happier your household should be.
And that should be that…
New bonds have been formed, and you have a new bigger happy family.
And most importantly… you will see that there is absolutely no reason to “get rid of” your dog or any pet for that matter when you fall pregnant…
Please do me a huge favour and comment on this post with your stories or tips you would like to add.
Please, be kind and DON’T COPY AND PASTE THIS ARTICLE. rather share this post from one of the links below, or simply give me a thumbs up and like this post or the Di Doodles Facebook Page or add your email address above and have up coming posts delivered to your email.
AND THANK YOU for stopping by!!