pets and babies

@emma412 (1156)
United States
April 18, 2007 4:56pm CST
I'm curious to see how those of you introduce and cope with adding a baby to a household formerly controlled by an animal or animals. I have a 5 week old daughter and a 55 pound 2 year old dog. So far everything is going really well. I carried around a baby doll wrapped in a blanket for 3 months before my daughter was born. Whenever I had the doll our dog was not allowed in the bed, on the furniture, etc. When the baby was born we took that smae blanket and had her sleep in it one night then brought it home for our dog to smell with her smell on it. We then brought the baby home in that same blanket. It worked really well. Our dog was a little curious at first but now ignores her. I'm just curious to see what happens when she starts crawling around and interacting with the dog. Any advice? I'd like you to share your stories too!
3 people like this
9 responses
• United States
21 Apr 07
Wow! I wish I had the foresight you did! The 3 days I was in the hospital (C-section), our dog overturned our plants and chewed up one set of blinds; Since then, he has torn up 6 more sets, repeatedly barks in our daughter's room after she's gone to bed and for a very short-lived period of time would try to knock me over when I was carrying her. He has calmed down since then (I basically had to leave him outside for 2 days) but now our cat has taken up the slack. The cat is mainly underfoot and pulls out her own fur rather than tearing up the house. It's been a learning experience all around!
@emma412 (1156)
• United States
27 Apr 07
Oh wow. I couldn't imagine the work of a newborn mixed with the stress of your animals. Good luck getting it all under control.
@cjthedog64 (1553)
• United States
19 Apr 07
We have 2 large dogs and a 16 month old son. The dogs warmed up to him pretty quickly - just curious mostly. We have to keep an eye on them, but they've managed really well. I do use baby gates to block off his toys and for when he's snacking while playing, because of all the stuff that he drops. It's nice to let the dogs clean up though! LOL! The dogs seem to realize that he's just a little kid, and they let him play with them. We have always played "kid-like" with the dogs, lightly messing with their ears and tails. They'll yelp if he falls on them, but that's about it.
2 people like this
@Suze05 (480)
• United States
19 Apr 07
Sounds like you've done great in introducing the baby to the dog and getting him used to the new rules for after you brought the baby home. I don't know what my dogs would do if I tried to bring a baby home. LOL they would be good with him/her, never hurt it Im sure..they're very sweet and would just want to love it, but they are sooo used to just having run of the house and sleeping with me, and sitting on me...a baby would make them jealous. But growing up we always had dogs and cats and they always had the run of the house. My mom had 6 kids, and I don't recall her doing anything special to keep us from the animals..we played together and just were all one big happy family. She monitored them when we were young, of course..we just grew up with them.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Apr 07
When I had my last baby we owned a cat. I was worried about that so my husband installed a screen door on our bedroom door so that we could check on the baby and see him but the cat couldn't get in. I hated to leave the regular door shut all of the time because I wouldn't be able to hear him if he cried. We didn't have baby monitors back then.
• United States
19 Apr 07
We have a small rescue run from our home,and so my kids have spent most of their lives around animals. my youngest is 4 now,and while I was pregnant i got everything ready for him way ahead of time. I gto alot of donations of baby stuff,so alot of different smells were comming in. I never had any problems with any of our animals around him,though his older brothers had a much harder time!lol! I have always been the pack leader so the baby was just a part of me,then when he started walking the cats and dogs just stayed out of his reahc so as to avoid pulls to ears and tail! only our little goat woould get pushy,but of course she was outside. we never treated any of the pets different,never stopped them from haveing a sniff to check him out. we have a wide mix of dogs,and cats,from chihuahua,s to a big pitbull mix. the only annoyace they ever showed was when my son tried to ride them,but we quickly stopped that and set him on our little mare instead.. now none ,well ok, one of the dogs sleeps on the bed and that is our 2 pound chihuahua,who sleeps with my middle son. I never liked any of them to sleep with me,though two of the cats i,ve had have insisited on sleeping on my head. however, at least 3 dogs and a cat have the habit of sneaking into my youngest sons bed every night. i think if you use your better judgement it willall be ok. ours range form very young to the oldest is a 17 yr old kitty,and fro 2 pounds to 95 pounds. we did our best ot teach all three of our boys to respect all animals and what their behavior is telling them,and we,ve never had so much as a growl from any of them. the only bite came froma surprised hamster.
@sunup13 (420)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
I have four cats and one is extra clingy. So when I got pregnant I was worried about what would happen. A friend of mine has a two year old, so she took him over to visit a few times and loves cats. He chased them around, patted and pulled their tails and they were relatively good for the circumstances. When Brooklyn was born I introduced each one to her, letting them smell her hands or the top of her head. They were so curious about her! So far things have been great, the cats love my daughter (she is 5 months old now). Sienna, my "feline baby" is obcessed with her. She is always trying to cuddle with the baby and Brooklyn loves it. The cat still is a little dense about stepping on the baby but I watch very carefully. They all purr and let her pat them! Since they have already been around a walking baby they should be fine with her when she starts going mobile.
2 people like this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
18 Apr 07
Got to know your pet well . We let the dogs sniff the baby when she got home and they just sniffed and layed down but now she is up and walking we seaperate her from the Chows for they a real tempermental and never can tell wht they will do . Now the Spitz she chases him all around and he just trys to g et away . She is always trying to get him to kiss her he isnt a kissy dog so he moves his face . BUt she can do most anything witrh him she wants. We put a gate up between the kitchen and the rest of the house . Baby can roam where ever but she isnt by the Chows at all.
2 people like this
@KarenO52 (2951)
• United States
27 Apr 07
You've prepared well. Dogs can be unpredictable as to how they're going to react to a baby, so you'll have to be sure to keep an eye on them, and never let them alone together. A friend of mine had to get rid of her dog after it bit her son in the face after he tried to shake hands with it. It was a very friendly dog who played with the boy all the time, and was a total shock to her that the dog would do this. She only had her head turned for a minute. On the other hand, I grew up with German Shepherds who would not tolerate strangers, but would let toddlers pull their ears, and hang onto them while trying to walk. It used to be so funny to see these big dogs with the little kids, it looked like they were trying to teach the kids to walk.
1 person likes this
@lynne3 (66)
• United States
19 Apr 07
The time exposure will increase as the child grows. Be vigilant,Never leave a dog alone with a small child. And talk to your dog like you talk to your child. Be sure to show the dog affection with the child there and vice versa. Don't let the dog lick the childs face of food. Don't forget to let the dog have time away from the child, a nice walk or a nap in the bedroom,and close the door. Don't change the way you speak to or treat you dog. If you start from the beginning, the dog will learn just as the child will learn. Don't let the dog push the child down,stand over them,etc. that is dominence. Don't let the child do things to the dog like pull his tail. My grandson just turned four and our dog just turned three. It's hard to tell if it's a boy and his dog or a dog and his boy. An advantage is that they are both young and they will grow up together. They will learn how to treat each other and before you know it they are best friends. My dog is mastiff/fathead/rednosed pittbull,at about 130lbs. But we raise him just as we raise our children and he is a great guy. My grandson has the biggest watch dog on earth. They play like three and four year olds do together. When my grandson naps,the dog naps in my room. The dog gives him kisses and hugs when he goes to bed for a nap or at night. All that being said,we police them. I don't let the dog be at the child constantly or the other way around. I'll tell my grandson,that's enough now, the dog needs to rest. I tell the dog,that's enough,go lay down. This prevents the dog from getting too riled up. And NEVER leave them alone for more than a minute or two,even if and when you feel you can trust the dog. They are dogs not people after all. Even to this day and forever,when they are even out in the yard I am there. I know my dog would kill to protect my grandson,but he is a dog,period. One really funny thing is to see my tiny little grandson give commands to our dog like SIT and this giant does it.It's amazing. But we taught the child to do it and the dog to do it and it works. We started by giving the child a treat to give the dog. We stood there with him and told him to tell the dog to sit. It is a funny sight to see this dog with this boy. It's alot of teaching them both,every day. But it works. The dog needs to see the child is above him in the pack. And remember,lots of love for doggie,he's like a child who just got this new sibling. But always remember, it's a dog.