If you’re about to have your first baby, congratulations! It’s an exciting time.
Your furry friend has probably been your pride and joy up until now, but there’s no reason why you can’t have two bundles of joy. Here are our top tips for introducing your buddy to your new baby so that it’s a smooth transition for your growing family.
Tip 1: Start preparing before your baby arrives
You can start preparations as soon as you start setting up your nursery in anticipation of your baby’s arrival. Buy a baby gate so your pal gets used to keeping out of the nursery area even before you have your baby.
And if you have any routines with your dog that will need to be adjusted when your baby comes home, try and change them in advance. For example, if you always go for an early morning walk, change it to an afternoon one instead. Your baby will probably need you more in the early mornings once he or she is born!
You should also make sure that your dog’s flea and tick treatments are up to date prior to bringing your baby home.
Tip 2: While you’re in hospital
Take a blanket to the hospital to wrap up your baby as soon as possible after delivery. Then take the blanket home before you checkout of the hospital and leave it somewhere where your pooch will pick up your baby’s scent.
It’s also a good idea to buy some new toys to have on hand for your dog to use when your baby comes home.
Tip 3: Coming home
If you have been away for a few days in hospital, come into the house first without the new bub to greet your dog. Allow your buddy to get his welcoming excitement out of the way before bringing your new baby inside.
Once inside, introduce your baby and dog slowly. Hold your dog or use its leash as they observe each other from a safe distance and get used to each other. Don’t leave them alone together.
In the early days, it’s important that you don’t neglect your fur baby or your new bundle of joy. Ensure they both get regular quality time to avoid any canine jealousy. Your dog should see your baby as a fun new addition to your family. When it’s baby feeding time, why not give your dog a treat?
It’s also important to be mindful of the impact on your dog of an increased number of visitors to your home in the first few weeks after you bring your baby home. This can disrupt your pet’s routine. Ideally, create a space where your buddy can retreat if everything gets too much.
If you follow these simple tips, your family of four will be humming along before you know it!