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Bringing Home Baby... To Your Pets

Max, babysitting Henry so we can go to the movies.

Yesterday I wrote about whether or not your pet knows your pregnant. He may not understand the concept, but he definitely knows something is up. Today I wanted to share a couple tips and tricks for introducing your new baby to your pet.

We have two giant black Labrador Retrievers. Frisky as they come, these boys are. My oldest, Max, was around 6-years-old when we brought our daughter home. At ten months, Milo was still a puppy. Obviously, we were more concerned about Milo but we’ve never had a problem, with either dog. Max is definitely the smarter of the two and knows to step around toddlers and babies. I can tell he’s careful around the kids. Milo is kind of, um, how do I say… special? He isn’t too aware of how his massive body affects those around him so we have to keep a closer eye on him.

Here are my two top tricks for successfully introducing your newborn to dogs:

Leading up to the birth we often carried around a doll that we talked to as if it were the baby and played a baby crying noise from the internet. I swear, that’s what broke the dogs in. They became accustomed to seeing us pay attention to this little doll in our arms as well as the noise a crying baby makes which is by I don’t think they really cared when the actual baby finally arrived.

While we were still in the hospital after I had Violet I gave Serge two blankets I’d wrapped her in and told him to take them home to the dogs. He put them on the couch where the dogs do most of their lounging and for the three days I was in the hospital, we took new blankets – that smelled like Violet – home every day.

I’ve heard of people forced to give away pets once they begin having children and I just couldn’t do that. My dogs are my family, so it was worth all the time we spent getting them accustomed to a baby. And they’re good guys. They would never do anything on purpose although we have had a few unintentional accidents when they bump Violet over, but that’s it. In fact, Milo developed quite an affinity for Violet, as you can see here.

Do you have any tips or tricks that worked for you? Share them here!

Here’s the video of us introducing Max and Milo to Violet:

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