(Closed) Mama bees: How did you prepare your pet for baby?

posted 7 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
2207 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

We have a large dog that we were really worried about. Here is what we did. 1-slowly start paying a little less attention to the dog soon so he doesn’t associate the lack of attention with the baby. If you need to start training him to stay off the furniture, do that now as well. 2-when we got our baby stuff, we set it up ASAP and let the dog near it. This included the swing, bouncy seat, and entire nursery. We let him sniff at her toys so we could tell him that no, those were not for him. And if anything makes noise or vibrates/bounces/plays music, make it do that before the baby comes so that isn’t a shock. He will get used to it. 3-we assembled the stroller and took the dog for walks with it (yes, empty. Sounds weird but people knew what we were doing lol) and are so glad we did. The first walk didn’t go so well and he actually tipped the stroller over. 4-when the baby was born and I was still in the hospital, I had my husband bring 2 blankets that the baby had been swaddled in and give them to the dog so he would get to know her smell. That way it wasnt a totally new sensation when she got home. After you are home, make sure that when visitors come over, they take time and greet the dog first. The dog still needs to know that he is loved and that this new thing isn’t stealing all of his attention. Have them spend a few minutes with him and maybe bring him a toy or treat. Speakingnof that, buy him some new toys to distract him when the baby comes home. It’s a transition, but it will be ok. Maybe try a recording of a baby crying for that fear? Our Brutus was very standoffish at first, but now he is very protective and loves his little sister :o)

Post # 5
618 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

@KellyV: This is great! Our dog is very spoiled and I am worried that whenever we have kids she will suffer.

Great question, trugem!

Post # 7
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

We did a lot of the same things as KellyV.  We set the nursery up early.  We went for walks with an empty stroller.  (At the end of my pregnancy we went for LOTS of walks trying to get the baby out, so he was very used to the stroller!).  We also made sure to wash all the soft baby toys in Dreft and leave them about the house.  The idea was to teach the dog that toys that smell like baby detergent are a no-no.  He NEVER touches the baby’s toys, and I think that may have helped.  I also watched a lot of birth shows and pregnancy shows, so he was hearing baby cries a lot before the baby was born.  We would cue him and say “Sissy?  Is that sissy?” when he heard it.  He’s now our best baby monitor, he always lets us know when the baby is crying and will run to her nursery with us to get her.  🙂

When the baby was born, Darling Husband came home with the cap they put on her head when she was born and a receiving blanket they wrapped her in.  He let the dog smell it and cued him again “Sissy?  Smell Sissy?”  Lots of wags!  When the baby came home for the first time, we let him smell her, but made sure he respected “the bubble.”  He wasn’t allowed to get inside the bubble.  We use a common word to correct our dog, so it was easy for him to get the concept.  (We say ah-ah for anything that’s a no-no.)  As the baby got older, he had to respect the bubble at all times as well.  He’s allowed to smell but not lick, and is never allowed near the baby when she’s eating.

One last thing: If your dog jumps up it’s VERY important to stop that behavior before the baby comes home.  Dog nails can scratch a baby or the dog may knock you over.  You’ll be in rough shape when you come home, so the dog needs to be gentle!

And basically I agree with everything KellyV said.

Post # 9
2142 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010


Those are some great tips! thank you! We have a 5 year old pup and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I want to make sure the pup knows that she is just as loved and will never be unloved because the baby is here.


Those are some great tips as well! I LOVE the idea of associating baby sounds and then her smell with a specific name for the baby and letting the pup get used to it.

We’ve already started talking to our pup about the baby and I always tell her every day we will love her just as much and she will always be my first baby! 🙂 My Mother-In-Law also suggested just buying baby powder, wipes, etc and putting them around the house now so that she gets used to all the baby products, etc.

Thanks Ladies! Those are some great tips. I especially love having your husband bring home a piece of clothing with her scent.

Post # 10
6572 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

We gave my in laws a blanket from the hospital that smelled like her to take to our pup b/c they were watching him, they said he sniffed it and didn’t really pay attention to it. We just try to give him lots of attention, my mom especially comes over all the time to walk him and take him to the dog park.

We had some major issues the first night home from the hospital, my milk wasn’t in so the baby wasn’t able to eat and was hungry and crying all night long. Our poor dog was so upset, not only was this new little person in our house, but she screamed constantly! Whenever we walked in the room he’d just go in the other room. It made me pretty worried, but now he seems to like her more. He always loves licking baby feet, and he gets plenty of licks in with her. She’s a pretty fussy baby so there’s still lots of crying which he doesn’t love, but there’s nothing we can do about it. I try to let him out back when she’s being really fussy so he can go run around and not listen to all the crying.

Post # 11
1486 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I haven’t started to prepare my animals yet, but a pamphlet I got from my doctor’s office said to fill the baby’s crib with balloons (obviously before you bring the baby home) so if you have a cat that jumps on furniture, the cat will only do it ONCE.  I don’t know if I would do that, my cat is like 15, and I’d worry I’d give her a heart attack, but Darling Husband thought the idea was hilarious.

Tough love, baby.


Post # 12
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

@Quietserenity: LMAO, balloons!

Our cats never jumped into the crib or playpen that I know of.  They pretty much stay away from all things baby except the glider rocker.

@regberadaisy: FYI, you may want to be careful about leaving baby products around the house.  Our puppy got ahold of a travel sized baby powder bottle and got it EVERYWHERE.  We don’t even use baby powder (never have), but it came in a gift package and I don’t know where we left it.  🙂  Maybe instead start using the baby products yourself to get the dog used to it.

We also used lots of positive reinforcement, so if we would say “Is that Sissy?” and the dog would wag his tail, we would give him a treat.  When the baby came home we reinforced the association, “Smell Sissy?” Treat. “Hear Sissy?” Treat. “Where’s Sissy?”  Look.  Treat.

Post # 13
3981 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

This is amazing! I need to save all this. Our puppy is only 4 moths but is spoiled rotten because, for now, she is our only baby! When Mr. Hedgie and I have our own little Hoglet we were worried about how she would react. I was bitten pretty bad by my parents dog when I was a baby out of jealousy and it not being used to having it’s hair tugged by baby hands. Honestly, I would start tugging at their fur. It sounds mean but when you think about it, what will babies do? Once their little fingers latch on, the don’t let go! My parents didn’t think to get the dog used to that (because, who would?) and he attacked. They said he was already jealous to begin with though… So, I would add that to the list of things to help prepare pets! We certainly plan on it and every now and then, we already do it so it isn’t suddenly something new.

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