You want to make sure your baby and fur-baby are friends, right? Learn how to introduce your baby to your dog!
Gromit was actually the first one to know I was pregnant. That includes me. See, Gromit is Blake’s dog. Blake is the light that shines in his life and I am the other person who lives here and gives him food. But all of a sudden, Gromit was glued to me. He slept beside my side of the bed – which never happens – and I just couldn’t shake him. Turns out – he knew what was up and being the cool dog that he is, he was giving me support and protection.
Fast forward – now I’m back to being Not-Blake (and want to take a pregnancy test every time the dog spends too much time with me) and Wolfie has taken over as “the other person who gives him food”.
Which makes them best friends. Okay that might be an exaggeration. The point is, though, that Gromit’s life has totally changed and he’s been pretty darn cool about it. I mean, he’s a pretty cool dog so there’s that. We haven’t had the horror stories we heard about though – acting out, jealous big brother syndrome, accidents in the house, etc. But we prepped him for this little man and it totally worked!
Disclaimer again: I am not Cesar Milan. I am not a vet. I am a lady with a baby and a dog and this worked for us but please do not consider me an expert. Use your own head and resources.
BEFORE THE BABY WAS BORN
We set the stage long before I was due. As you know, pregnancy is a never-ending process of bringing random baby stuff home. It actually started when I was about 4 months pregnant and we went to the baby show. Coming home with bags of samples (#swagbag), Gromit was obviously curious. So we took that opportunity to make baby stuff = good stuff. We praised him and treated him like he had just cured cancer because he was smelling diaper rash cream and bibs! It was so over the top and frankly it was annoying to say “Good boy, good boy, good boy” for months on end while holding out a package of diapers, but we drilled that association in for the rest of my pregnancy. Baby stuff = good. Baby = good.
AFTER THE BABY WAS BORN
First of all, we let Gromit stay with our friends for a couple extra days after Wolfie was born. Then when we returned home, we got settled in and THEN picked Gromit up and brought him home. This was recommended to us because of the territorial nature of dogs. Since the baby was there and then Gromit came in, the baby wasn’t encroaching on his territory. Gromit was the encroacher (for lack of a better word) and was therefore less likely to get aggressive.
Secondly, when we had Wolfie, they put him in that little beanie cap. Blake took that and put it in a sealed bag. Apparently, because that is something that the baby wears immediately after coming out, it has both his scent and the scent of the mother. So before we even let Gromit into the house, Blake let him smell that hat and again, praised him like he saved Timmy from the well. Apparently it links the baby to our family because of having both of our scents.
SINCE THE BABY HAS BEEN MOBILE
The first few months were easy for Gromit – there was just this blob that took up my time and attention but just stayed as a blob. Now that Wolfie is crawling and trying to climb, it’s a whole different story. This poor dog is crawled on, grabbed and used as a support for learning to stand.
So remember how I said that Gromit is the best dog ever? Does that mean I’m taking any chances? Heck no! Even the sweetest dog has a breaking point and my kid is pretty annoying. I’m constantly keeping an eye on them – which I must admit is irritating – but you can never be too careful.
So there you have it – how to make a dog and baby be the best of friends! How did you introduce your baby to your fur-baby?