Bringing your baby home for the first time is one of the most exciting, yet stressful times… especially for new parents. From baby proofing your entire house to making sure you have extra diapers and supplies (because you will definitely need them), it’s important to keep your dog’s needs in mind too. Introducing dog and baby is not a hard task; however, it might take some time and patience for your pup to adjust to having a tiny human in the house.
Prepping for the Arrival
Most soon-to-be parents prep for their baby by buying clothing, toys, and supplies in advance, as well as taking baby classes to prepare them for what’s to come. You should start early with preparing your dog for the baby’s arrival as well. Have friends that already have a baby? Invite them over so that your dog can have some time to grow comfortable with having a baby in the house.
Another great option is to play baby noises for a short period of time each day, so that the first time your newborn has an epic meltdown (which will inevitably happen), your dog will not be surprised or frightened by the sudden, loud noises.
Socialization is key for any dog, so don’t be afraid to gradually introduce your pup to children of different ages so that he or she will know how to react when a little one is crawling or running around.
Back to the Basics
While your dog might already be well-trained and well-mannered, disrupting a dog’s everyday routine with a new baby might throw your pet off a bit. Refreshing your dog’s memory with basic commands like “sit”, “place”, and “down” is important so that when baby comes home you can easily give a command and your dog will follow.
Enrolling your dog in dog training ahead of your baby’s arrival is a great investment that will pay off for years to come. Our trainers have helped many families prepare their dogs, and they can provide you and your pup with some great tips and tricks for when the big day finally arrives.
Bringing Home Baby
When the day finally comes to bring your newborn home, try to take the introduction process as slowly as possible. Start with introducing your dog to your baby’s scent with an article of clothing or a blanket. Once your pup feels comfortable with the baby’s scent, bring the baby into the room and allow him or her to adjust to the presence of a new family member.
Try not to walk through the door and immediately show your dog his or her new sibling. For one, it will throw your pup off, or he or she might be overly excited and want to jump up and see what all the commotion is about. Taking baby steps is the key to a beautiful relationship between dog and baby. Once your pup feels comfortable, and you do as well, allow him or her to see the baby. Most dogs do very well around babies and children; however, it is important to ensure that you take the time to prepare your dog for all of the big changes so that he or she can be comfortable and excited for the new addition to the family too.