Bringing home a baby is tough enough on the new parents. Now throw in a couple animals that are used to being treated like babies. My yorkies Gizmo and Gadgette were the world to me until baby E was born. My delivery was a scheduled induction so we knew we could take the dogs to the kennel, not exactly their favorite place. 5 days later they come home to an exhausted momma and daddy and a new crying baby. Introducing the pups to a new baby was hard, one of my dogs Gadgette the lady love took to her immediately. Her older brother Gizmo however hated the sight/sound of her for the first month and has gradually warmed up to her, now he even lets me know when I am not responding to her cries quickly enough! This is a photo of my dogs LITERALLY the day I went to the hospital to have E. They didn’t want me to go and were super nervous because they felt something wasn’t right.
Try to bring items that smell like the baby home BEFORE you bring home the baby.
I couldn’t do this. I was in the hospital and my delivery was complicated so my husband could not leave my side and my dogs were in a kennel. This will help the animals become familiar with the new baby before she is present. We wrapped a baby doll up in a blanket that E had been using. This allowed the dogs to smell her scent and not be directly in contact with Emma.
Keep your pets in a different room or crated until you are ready for an introduction.
We crate our dogs at night and when we are away from home. So I applied the same principal for those first few days home with the new baby. When she was being nursed the pups were in their crates, they could see me and the baby which gave them some comfort. We gradually introduced baby to her puppies, we kept them in the same room but across the way from us. I sat on the couch nursing and they sat on a chair across the room. Over time invite them to sniff and sit near you while feeding baby. After a time they will be comfortable with baby allowing you to relax into your new role as parents.
Make sure you give your pets lots of love and attention when you are not holding baby.
When the baby was napping I let my dogs nap with me, like I had always done before. I made sure to offer extra rubs and pats and treats to them. I felt like this helped them accept her because if I was holding baby then they knew not to bother her, they needed to wait for me to put her down for my attention.
Do NOT yell at your pets for coming to near the baby.
We made this mistake at first we were terrified of the dogs jumping up on the baby while she was in my lap for a rub, not realizing she was there. It was easy to raise our voices and startle the dogs leading them to be more anxious thus more dangerous to themselves and the baby. I found that what worked best for us was to calmly tell the dogs to get down and away from the baby when their excitement got to be too much.