My Newborn baby doll
Congratulations! You're going to be a parent! You've got the crib and the play mat and your mom agreed to come help out a few days a week. You've scoped daycares and downloaded three different "what to expect" books to your Nook. The shower was a success, your friends are eager and your family is supportive. There's only one member of the household unaware that life's about to turn upside down: your dog.
It is easy to overlook how this huge event will affect the animal who, up until now, was your little bundle of joy. Here are a few tips to help a ruff transition.
Adjusting to Change
What many expecting parents miss is preparing their dog for the changes that seem small to us but are huge to him. The fact that Mommy will not be walking him for a few weeks may be confusing, especially since Daddy only walks him around the block quickly (and skips the dog park).
Sudden new rules, like not being aloud up on the couch to snuggle when the baby is present, being scolded for coming to say hi while Mommy is feeding the baby and being chased out of the nursery (which used to be the office where he could hang out all day) can create a great deal of pet stress. Worse still, it may make a negative association with the baby. Many folks say "he is great with kids" but remember other kids don't live in your house, grab at his things and suck up all your time and attention.
So prepare for these life changes. If Mom currently has specific dog duties that she won't be doing when the baby comes, ease them to Dad early. It will be better for everyone if this is done before game time and everyone is sleep deprived. That may be walking, feeding or trips to the dog park. Don't just assume you will squeeze it in. Plan for it, put it on your calendar and be dedicated. Don't skimp out, this is really important to your dog's successful adjustment.
Start teaching your dog that she may not jump up on you when you (or anyone) comes in. Same goes for the couch or bed or chair without being invited. This may be mind-boggling to your dog and will take time. Better to start now than to start while caring for a newborn and worry about accidental scratches or other injuries.
Redirect your dog to sit, then praise him for this opposing behavior. This will teach your dog that your attention is gained not by jumping and insisting, but by sitting and patiently waiting for your acknowledgment. Then, if you want him to come up on the couch for a belly-rub at an appropriate time, you can invite him up. It's that waiting for an invite that's important. As he gets better at this, start holding a doll or pillow as though it was the most important thing in the world. Let him get use to this sight and the idea that something else has your full attention and that this is okay. Be sure to give attention to your dog here and there while he is being good.
Get a dog bed for the corner of the nursery and teach him to sit and wait at the nursery door until he is invited in. Once invited in, teach him that the bed is the place to go. This teaches him that he can still be part of the action but in a calm, controlled way that is more appropriate at this time.
Put some baby toys and objects out for him to investigate but discourage him from laying on them or chewing them. He needs to know that your home will be filled with plush objects that are not his. This is a huge challenge for many dogs. Basic obedience and strong leadership are paramount in this adjustment. If neither is well established, start establishing them now. I can't stress it enough.
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My child is getting a special doll, she has2011-03-04 20:34:15 by wanted-it-and-saved
The money to buy half of it.
It is a newborn doll and DD wants to have a shower for it. She is pretending to be pregnant while we wait for it to arrive in the mail.
Would you let her have a shower type party? If I do this, I plan to be the one to buy and wrap little presents so that the guests will have something to give the new "baby"
My concern is that doing a shower somehow approves of single mom pregnancies. DD is six.