You know I haven’t said anything yet about preparing our beloved pups for the baby. Oops! Some of you have asked what we’ve done, so I thought I would share how we have tried to get our four-legged babies ready for Little Peep. Here are some of the things we've done so far with Tomlin and Rooney that seem to be working. The real test of course will be when we bring the bambino home!
- The first thing we implemented was no puppies allowed in the nursery. I just want it to stay clean and I don’t want them to be walking in and out of there potentially barking and waking up a baby that took 3 days to finally fall asleep. We have trained them that they can come in when they are sitting outside the door nicely and we invite them in.
- We have taken Tomlin and Rooney to our friends with children homes’ and invited children over just so they have exposure to what children are like. At first they were very frightened of children, but have since warmed up.
- We gently pull on their tails and ears while they're eating and other random times just to make sure they aren’t snapping and when they do rear their heads a little more assertively than we are comfortable with they are disciplined. We want them to know that overly assertive behavior is not acceptable.
- We make sure they know that mommy and daddy are the boss, not them (this was a tough one and something I’m sure we will be working on consistently).
- We make sure Tomlin and Roo aren't jumping on us when we walk in the house from being gone. I have a huge fear that we will walk in from the hospital and they will jump and make us drop the baby and then the baby will have a traumatic brain injury. This is probably a new freaking out neuroscientist mama nightmare but still it's a concern of mine. We also don’t want them jumping up on him as he is crawling or learning to walk so it’s good to get rid of that jumping habit now.
- While we don’t let the pups in the nursery, unless they are invited, we have allowed them to be around the baby gear so they get used to it and aren’t scared of the baby rocker, the music, or tunes. We don't want them to be scared nor do we want them to think it's a toy for them. So we play the music and have the toys laying around so they can be exposed to the baby gear sounds & motions. I've heard about playing baby noises (a CD you can purchase) but I haven’t done it. This is something you could try if you want though. I’d be interested to hear how your pups respond if you do this.
- We have implemented a lot of operant conditioning to make sure they are listening and being obedient with commands.
- Once the baby arrives, we have the pups favorite puppy sitter on call to come over and watch them while we are at the hospital. I will send a blanket home with the Mr. that Little Peep has been swaddled in so that the pups get used to his smell. When Little Peep and I come home we will slowly and carefully introduce the pups with A LOT of chaperoning.
- When Little Peep is home & sleeping we plan on giving the pups lots of special attention and special toys so that they still know we love them and jealousy doesn’t develop. I’m sure you’ve noticed with your pups, that they act out when they are jealous or bored, so those are the things we are going to be looking out for. During the post-Christmas sales I purchased a stash of special toys and treats to give to them randomly the first couple months that Little Peep is home just to help with the adjustment.
This is what we’ve done so far, but again, I don’t know how effective this will be. So I will let you know how it’s going once Little Peep arrives lol
Any other tips for me?