Friends please enjoy this helpful guest post about how to introduce your dog to your baby from children’s book author Wendy Dubrow. It’s full of great tips for moms and dads of fur babies who are expecting a not-so-furry baby!
Many pet parents expecting their first child have concerns surrounding how their first baby, their dog, will adjust to the new family member. We were those people. We read every book and talked to as many people as possible about their experiences welcoming baby. My husband and I each read Cesar Milan’s, A Member of the Family, to help us prepare. Aside from showing your dog as much love as possible, even after baby’s arrival, I highly recommend sending something home for your dog to smell with baby’s scent on it before introducing baby in the flesh. While still at the hospital we had friends bring home a baby hat with our newborn’s scent so our dog, Hudson, could smell it for his initial introduction.
Obviously, there could be a number of factors, but from our experience Hudson and our daughter Kaya had a seamless meeting. From the get go, we treated them both like our children, gave Hudson ample opportunity to smell and kiss Kaya, without smothering of course, and made sure Hudson still slept in our bed, just as he always had despite the new addition of Kaya in the mix. Of course there were nights filled with crying when Hudson opted to sleep elsewhere for peace and quiet. I didn’t blame him. I secretly wished I could sneak out too. Furthermore, Kaya was never off limits to Hudson and we made sure that the love for each of them never waned. In fact, our daughter, now 21 months, loves Hudson so much for two primary reasons. First, he has always showered her with love and second because she witnessed our love, or call it obsession, for him. In case it isn’t obvious I am a dog-loving mama who has made sure both my babies, our dog and our daughter, feel treasured.
I have so much energy swarming around these two that the arrival of our daughter actually led to the inception of my recently published children’s book: Hudson’s Tales, The Adventures of Puppy Brother, Meet Hudson! It is the story of an adored family dog (Hudson). Hudson leads a very charmed life and is the center of attention in his family. Like many families, they grow over time and everyone needs to adjust to new dynamics. This book shares the arrival of a baby, which brings Hudson to his new role in life…puppy brother! It is love at first sniff and Hudson fills with excitement at the thought of sharing future escapades with his new baby sister! This book is a must have for any expecting pet parents or dog lovers with young kids.
From my experience there are two camps of expecting pet parents; those who treat having a dog like a test run for parenting and those who treat having a dog like their first baby. The latter of the two perpetuates the cycle of dog lovers. Our children learn from the examples we set as we care for our dogs as appreciated members of the family. It is no coincidence that Kaya’s first and most frequent word is “Hudson”! In addition to being siblings, they truly are best friends. Of course every dog is different but I am a firm believer that parents set the tone for how pets fit into the family dynamic. Hudson has been the best puppy brother to Kaya. Kaya’s life and personality is all the richer for having him.
Wendy Dubrow has a Masters Degree in Childhood Education and Special Education from New York University. She currently teaches social skills for students on the spectrum part-time while enjoying her children and mamahood! Please visit hudsonstales.com to learn more about the book, Hudson and Wendy! Hudson’s Tales, The Adventures of Puppy Brother is available on Amazon.