Dogs & a baby(12 Posts)
I have 2 dogs and am 35+5 with our first baby. Basically our dogs had pretty much run of the house, and could sleep wherever they wanted (our bed was a favourite), jump on the sofas etc. I have already had a dog trainer come to the house and together we worked out some new systems for the dogs to make sure all will be ok once baby arrives. New rules are now in place (for example certain areas they are no longer allowed in - i.e. babies room & our bed).
What I'd like to know is if anyone has any helpful suggestions on what worked for them when introducing a baby into a house that has been very much dogs-as-centre-of-attention for 7 years. I should mention they are cocker spaniels and one is 7, the other is almost 2.
I have already succesfully introduced a baby toy box which is different from the dog toy box and this week am about to start with a playmat and then next week our buggy arrives so will get them used to this.
One thing I have heard is getting OH to bring home a blanket from the hospital that baby has been wrapped in and letting them smell it before I come home with baby, and for me not to carry the baby into the house, but to make a fuss of the dogs when I return.
We had dogs with both my boys, but, the dogs didn't have full rain of the house, so we where able to introduce the dogs to the boys slowly, and it worked.
But, our dogs know do have free rain of the house, so i;m in the same position as you, so it will be nice to see what other members say. x
When DS3 was born last year our dog was just over a year old.
She has never been allowed upstairs (have got gates on stairs) and she is crate trained which is useful if I need to leave kids while I go upstairs to sort laundry etc.
I did send a vest that the baby had worn home with DH for her to have a smell of. I have to say that she didn't seem bothered by the new addition at all once we brought him home. Though if he cried she would go and lay next to his pram etc and wouldn't move until someone came to sort him out.
My cairn terrier pup is just turned one and my twins are 9 weeks old, dog is basically spoilt rotten, on the sofas, up on the bed etc etc. My mum thought I was mental getting him when I knew we wanted children and kept saying I'd never be able to cope and he'd have to be rehomed. I'm pleased to say he's been a delight with them - protective if anything, looks for them in the mornings, currently sleeping under their carrycots.
We left car seats, carry cots, bouncy chairs downstairs before they came home so he got used to all the stuff and as the girls were in SCBU for a while we used to let him have a good old sniff of the dirty washing when we took it home. I have also set up a playpen so that I can put them down if I need the loo or answer the door etc. I trust him but he is still a terrier and if anything will prob lick them which as they are still so small wouldn't be for the best! We also took him for a couple of walks with the buggy before they arrived to get him used to that. The other thing we have done is made sure people still make a fuss of him first, before they go to the babies just to try to prevent any jealousy.
Ive got a great dane and a whippet and Im getting a bit bored already of people asking when Im getting rid of them, I have decided to have two rooms that the dogs cant go in to and the rest Ill figure out as we go along I suppose - we grew up with dogs and my parents swear that their dogs were always just super protective of us as babies I just hope ours are the same because a jealous dane is not a pretty prospect
I just brought the baby home and got on with it, I let him have a sniff of her, she neither stroked him nor fed him and he wasn't that interested, lol.
The only time we ever had an issue was when DD started walking and went through a phase of trying to poke his eyes, but that was more a problem for the dog than with him, lol.
What Tabula said. I have two labradors, aged 4; DD1 is now 13 months. You are already much more prepared than I was! Mine were fine with DD straight away. Once stole a toy of DD's (found it outside in the snow!); once or twice growled at her when she got big enough to tug on a passing tail or ear, but generally they have been brilliant, gentle, spacially aware of her, not too grumpy about being less fussed over, quite accepting of their inevitably demoted status!!
For me the hardest thing is/ was walks as my DH is away mid-week so I had to cover all walks myself with DD whatever the weather -I used a variety of baby carriers & also found new places to wall where they were pram able paths but the dogs could run off lead.
Like you we phased the dogs out of out bedroom -first onto the landing at night, then downstairs, sectioned off by a baby gate- before DC arrived. Now they are not allowed upstairs at all & they are perfectly accepting of this (they don't come up even when the gate's open). You will probably want your DC in your room for the first fee months so probably want the dogs out of the bedroom not just the bed.
Thank you all for your replies. Very reassuring and that with a bit of common sense all should be ok.
Silverangel, I like the idea of a playpen - think I will get one. My OH hates babygates with a passion but I want them to be able to put dogs away without shutting lots of doors so I can go to the loo or answer the door knowing that baby and dogs are safely not in the same space. We have been arguing about this for a while so playpen may just be the answer.
Birdofthenorth, my aim is to phase them out of the bedroom entirely (they do sleep in the kitchen at night), its just during the day when we are around - my OH works from home and his office is upstairs and they like to curl up by his feet and will sneak into our room as the sun shines in there. Think this is more training the OH than the dogs tho I know what you mean about the walks, he often has to go away so I'm left with doing the walks whatever weather.
Themightyskim, good luck with your dogs & baby, I too am hoping for them to be protective rather than jealous.
Our dog is crate trained for bedtime only although I am a bit of a softie and would like to leave him on a nice blanket in front of the logburner, however now 12 weeks I am wondering if its best to keep him in the crate at bedtime or start training him now to sleep in front of the logburner...... brain is not working logically at the mo so any ideas ?
I really wouldn't make a fuss of the dogs when you get home. It places them in the position of pack leader, rather than you and your baby. Make a point of always greeting them last - worked for us with our two year old whippet (who was the princess of the household before DS came along). DH will now also kiss me and DS when he gets in from work. Dog will wait patiently to be called before trotting over for cuddles, as she knows she's bottom of the pecking order.
She's fine with DS by the way, loves to sniff him but always respectful. Can't wait until he's old enough to play with her! I found my Babasling invaluable on dog walks too.
I have four dogs and a 4 month old baby. My dogs are quite used to 'new additions' because we have a lot of animals so they have accepted the baby as a new puppy, as has the cat.
We do take precautions though. The baby is never left unsupervised with the dogs, we have a pen for the baby in the living room and a room divider in my office so the baby can (eventually) crawl around safely. Personally I don't believe in changing the dogs' routine and stopping them from doing things they used to do before as I think that leads to jealousy problems so we all still co-sleep. The baby has a 3-sided cot 'stuck' onto the bed, my body blocks the dogs should they decide to say hello to the baby (which they haven't yet) and the dogs sleep at my feet (well, not all 4! Just 2 of them!).
Our cocker was 5 when we had dd, and he was a grumpy one! Would take an irrational dislike to some men, and as my boys were 8 & 10 when we got him he wasn't used to being around small children plus had had two teenagers playing lots of rough and tumble.
He was just fine though. He would let dd do anything to him, and she loved him to bits.
We did use a gate so he had a safe, baby-free place to be. We felt this was important and dd crawled early and walked at 10mths.
You sound really sensible, it'll all be just fine.
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