Mommies to be with dogs I need help!

April - posted on 05/17/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )

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So now that we are on the 2nd half of our pregnancy, we have been doing some reading and researching on how to introduce our new baby boy to our dogs when we get home... Any ideas and suggestions? We have a 2 (3 in Septemeber) Yellow English Lab, and a 1 (just turned one in May) Yellow American lab pit mix. (more lab than pit in her)

We got a few ideas and suggestions, but would like other mommies who have been there and know what to expect?

We have already decided to get the easy opening and closing tall baby gates for our room and the nursery just to maintain a lil balance and seperation during the adjustment period. We don't want to send the girls into shock when we bring our lil man home, and vise versa. They know mommy is pregnanct and suspect something, but I'm not sure how much they understand that we just went from the four of us, to five... (them two, me, and daddy adding baby boy).

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Nikki - posted on 01/26/2011

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My pittys were the same way Andrea.

When we bought my daughter home we had a 3yo female pit-boxer mix and a 1yo male pitbull. What I did was go ahead and wash some baby clothes in Dreft and put a onesie on a doll about a month before my Due Date. To get them used to the smell. When we brought the baby home we sat the carseat in the middle of the floor and let them smell her. We watched them but didn't restrict them unless we thought they were too close. We didn't put up gates because they stay right with us and are like kids in their own right. My mae dog took to my daughter really well, the female was indifferent. My male would nap on the full sze bed in the nursery while she napped in the crib. When we brought my son home a year later, we did the same thing and this time the female took to him. Now that the kids are 2 and 1 they are just as close as could be to the dogs, they all play together and it is fine. I think you should do what you think is best, but my biggest piece of advice is try not to change the way you treat your pets if you can help it, if the baby seems more important than them they might become jealous. You have to think as you are bringing a third child into your home even though it is your first baby.

Fiona - posted on 01/21/2011

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I've not had chance to read the replies so if I am repeating please excuse me...

When I got my dog our 1st daughter was already established...When I had my 2nd daughter I put the dog into kennels for about 8 days ( I had had a section and was worried about the scar) but I also wanted my baby to establish scent on EVERYTHING, that way when the dog came back into the house her scent was on everything and the dog was joining her instead of the baby joining him - IYKWIM. The first time a met I let the dog sniff, by the second day - my daughter had her first doggy bath and I have videos of him licking her ears out and giving her a good clean. I have posted on other threads about their relationship and how close it is.

It was definitely the right decision for us

Sarh - posted on 05/22/2010

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You should have no worries!!! When I brought my daughter home I was staying w/my mom. She has a Rhodesian Ridge Back who was about 2 or 3 at the time (??) and a yellow lab and pitbull mix. He has the pit head and body, and my mother rescued both of the dogs. When we brought my daughter home I kept her in the car seat and let them sniff her out. lol. They will most likely nudge the baby with their nose (babies aren't as fragile as people think!!). Dog are usually VERY good and gentle w/babies. You can't shooo them away from the baby. They have to be shown that the baby is ok and wont hurt them, then they will feel better and safer. The Rhodesian Ridge back is a female and if my daughter would be in her crib and there was not someone in there with her Rouge (the dog) would look in the crib then come find me like hello go get the baby. What are thinking?! lol. We also had to remove the bumper pad so she could see the baby. She either slept right infront of the crib or in the door way. When you bring baby home the dogs will most likely want to sniff the baby everytime! I believe this to be the dogs making sure the baby is the same one and also to make sure the baby is still ok and safe. Dogs are usually very motherly. Sounds like your two dogs should be perfect. Labs are awesome and pit bulls are as well if they have been raised correctly! Good luck. And dont worry the dogs will not harm the baby by nudging him/her or sniffing even a little lick or "kiss" wont hurt them.

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Brianna - posted on 09/04/2011

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I had 2 dobermans when i brought my daughter home. the first week home my inlaws babysat the dogs for us just until we got settled but we would visit them and we would bring a baby blanket and let them smell it. i was really worried about the dogs exspecially the male be cause he was so hyper i was afraid he would accidently hurt the baby. we bought a playyard and we opened in up straight so it completely blocked of the living room and we decided this would be a dog free zone until baby was a lil bigger and i felt the dogs were used to her. (also it helped that my dogs are kennel trained so at night they were locked up so i never worried about them gettinginto trouble) when my daughter was just over a year we ended up finding my male a new home because he was just soo hyper we felt we couldnt give him the attention he needed and deserved anymore plus he wasnt gentle with our daughter and would often run her over. my daughter is now 22 months and my female doby is soo gentle with her they are best friends :) my daughter can ride her around, pull her ears, or even poke her in the eyes and we wouldnt say boo which is really nice. I think the most important thing is that for the 1st year of life to NEVER leave ur baby alone in a room with a dog even for a second because no matter how nice and awsome ur dog is at the end of the day its still a dog any they can be unpredictable.

(i read this before and did it to) a month before baby is due try to start paying ur dogs less attention this way when baby gets here and u cant give them the same amount of attention because ur busy so if u start paying less attention before baby comes they wont blame baby and it will help with jelousy issues

Lady Heather - posted on 08/28/2011

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I didn't really find it to be much of a problem. We had two dogs when we brought our first home. The old man dog didn't really care either way and our younger dog seemed happy to meet her. I just brought her in, introduced her, let them have a good sniff and that was that. They were a little pissy because we made them sleep in another room for the first couple of weeks, but my sister was visiting so at least they got to room with her. I think the biggest bonus as far as the dogs were concerned was that I was suddenly home all the time. They actually got more attention than when we were both working, so I don't think they were too sad about that.

I thought the cats would be more trouble but it turned out that they weren't super interested in her at all. They would get in the bassinet when she wasn't in it (they still love that thing), but other than that they mostly just hung out with us and didn't really bother with her.

We didn't have any gates or anything. For the first four months baby was with me at all times so there really wasn't any need. After we moved her to her room for night times we closed the door and used the monitor. She still usually napped with me until she was about 8 months old and then I just used the monitor for naps too.

I don't know. I was really worried about it too, but in the end it was pretty seamless and now my 2 year old daughter and 4 year old dog are best buddies.

Lindsey - posted on 08/26/2011

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I haven't read all of the responses, so I apologize if I repeat someone else's suggestions.

Our local humane society (Winnipeg) offers a seminar called "Dogs and Storks" which is specifically designed to help dog owners prepare their pets for the new arrival. Perhaps you can find a similar program in your area, either through your local humane society or a reputable dog trainer?

One thing that we did with our first was to have hubby bring home a blanket smelling of baby before baby and I arrived home. He allowed our dogs to smell it, but would not allow them to get too close... just to let them get used to the scent and let them know to keep their distance.

As well, we found that a scat mat was invaluable in teaching all of our pets to stay out of baby's room. A scat mat is just a mat that you plug into the wall that emits a very small shock when you come in contact with it. It isn't painful, it's more like getting a static electricity shock (believe me I accidentally stepped on it numerous times). You can buy them at your local pet store.

Hope this helps.

Chrissie - posted on 03/13/2011

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I have been told it is very important not to keep them from the baby though. They can become jealous and feel like you are neglecting them, they have to feel as though your relationship with them has not changed because of this new thing in the house..

Chrissie - posted on 03/13/2011

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I would recommend having your hubby go to the house a day before you and baby will arrive and place a blanket that the baby has been wrapped in near the dog's. Let them sniff it and become familiar with the scent, that way they connect the 2 right away. I have seen it done many times before and seems to be very effective. Planning to do this with #2 in October =]

Katherine - posted on 01/31/2011

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never had a problem with our past dog. We have 4 dogs now and they will be protective just like the last one was. My pit bull Sam is very calm around the baby i babysit and there other 3 kids. I do put the other 3 hyper dogs outside.

Melissa - posted on 01/28/2011

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Animals are smart, they understand that things are happening. I have a whole zoo at my house, animals and children have been added at various times and we have never had a problem. We introduced them to the baby just like any new person letting them smell and get used to the baby. I have 2 pits and two corgi's and while I would say you never fully trust an animal I don't worry about them either. My oldest dog is a pit and we have had her since my daughter was a baby. She still thinks of my daughter as a baby. She is 10 now but the dog will not play rough with her at all, not even tug-o-war. She won't play with the younger boy either but the older ones she will play with with no problem.

Caroline - posted on 01/28/2011

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when we had our son 2.5 years ago we had 2 dogs, a blue nosed pit and a rotty... During my pregnancy the dogs stood by my side the entire time. ALWAYS had to be by me, which before the pregnancy they were more my husband's dogs.
Anyways, before we brought our son home, the hospital sent home 2 baby hats that our son had worn and told us to give one each to the dogs before we came home (that way they could get used to baby's smell). My husband came back to the house to let them out/feed them and then gave them the hats. He said they both had the same reaction... sniffed them, ran around like maniacs and just wagged their tails and whined and cried. Like they were overly excited. After that they would just carry the hats around and cuddle with them.
When we brought our son home, they had the same reaction, but my husband said not nearly as crazy.. like they were already expecting him.
Now they are the best of friends (even though our son torments them by climbing on and chasing with his cars).. they protect him like crazy.
We are expecting baby number 2 within the next couple weeks and we plan on doing the same thing with the hats.

But like stated before by other posters: No matter how great your dog is, never underestimate their "powers" and leave your child alone with them. You never know what could possibly happen... and you just always have to be on your toes.

Danielle - posted on 01/25/2011

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The gates sound like a great idea! Something we did is that my husband and I put our son in a blanket for a few hours (about 12) so that his scent would get on the blanket. Then my husband took it home and let the dogs smell it so that they would know his scent. When we arrived home my husband held the dogs while I let them sniff the baby (and lick his hands/feet) one at a time (we have 2)...I also immediateley wiped his hands/feet lol. Then I held the dogs while my husband held the baby and let them sniff him again (then cleaned his hands/feet again). We kept an eye on them around him, and never put him on the ground (playmat) if they were inside (they never did anything, just wanted to be safe). They have never acted jealous at all or tried to get any of the milk/formula-although when he has hotdogs (he's 16m now) we have to watch them because he will give them pieces of his hotdog (it's cut of course). Also we have our dogs outside more often now so when our son goes outside to play with them it's a treat for all 3 of them. They have never hurt him and are always very gentle with him...and when he cries they try to help lol.
I would say just introduce them slow and try the blanket thing, Good luck!

Caroline - posted on 01/25/2011

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i also have 2 dogs, staffys, what i did is give my fiancee a babygrow that my baby wore in hospital that he could let the dogs sniff n get used to the baby smell, he also took one of my nighties home so they could smell that too, when i got home withbaby they were really really good with my baby, thery r very protective of her, they used 2 sit under her crib n gaurd her, so it helped that way now she is 7 yrs old n both my dogs love both my kids 2 bits. i am pregnany again n my older female staffy wont leave me alone, follows me everywhere guards me too and she sits on my lap cuddling into me bump, she looks at my bump when baby moves its wicked how she is with me again... hope this post has helped xx

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I have a 3 yr old male pitbull and when I was pregnant with my 1st child( now a yr old) my dog stayed my side and when he didn't like anybody or got a bad feeling from a person he put his whole body on me. When I came home with my son my dog took very well to my son. We included my dog in everything, always took him with us when we went out and my dog sat very close to the car seat. Now my son is a yr old and they are the bestest friends. They are constantly playing together and my dog is constantly giving my son "kisses", Now I am pregnant again and once again my dog doesn't leave my side.
All I can say for advice is don't leave your dogs out on activities, still give them attention so they know they are still part of the family and let them sniff all the babies stuff

Chelle - posted on 05/20/2010

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i still never leave them alone together though....because even if he is a great dog with her he is still an animal and could turn without any warning... i would mabey suggest getting a play pen to use for when you cant keep an eye on them both....the play pen came in handy for me when she was a bit smaller because i could get things like the washing and vaccuming done without worryin what her or the dog were up to

Chelle - posted on 05/20/2010

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we have a very lively jack russle who was only about 9 or so months when my daughter was born.....i got my partner to take a peice of clothing the baby had worn home with him.... he then let the dog smell it and get used to the smell of the baby before she came home. he also threw her clothing a bit and if the dog went for it or tried to chew it the dog would get told off.....

then when i brought her home from hospital the dog knew that the baby was off limits. shes 1 now and he just ignors her most of the time and if she picks up any of his toys he wont take them from her. im due my second in 8 days and i plan on doing the same again because the dog seemed to do really well with this

Kalee - posted on 05/19/2010

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I have a zoo at my house, I'm living at my mom's at the moment. She has 8 mini winnies and 2 cats, while I have 2 pitbulls (my male is outside and my female is inside) and 2 cats. My female bulldog has been introduced to all of my lil man's new things (crib, blankets, diapers) by us letting her sniff them. She seems to be taking to the idea really well. I know that she understands that I'm pregnant. She sleeps with her head on my growing belly and hasn't left my side since I've been pregnant. And she is very cautious about strangers coming near me.



I researched about getting the animals ready for baby and everything says to make sure that you let them be involved with the new items fillling the house. As well as continueing to show them love. It maybe a good idea for your husband to start showing them a little more attention and you slacking off some (since when the baby gets here your attention will be focused on him and not the dogs).



I can't do that personally since my dog won't let me out of her sight, but maybe it would work for you. As far as all the other animals that are around the house, our doxies have always taken to children/babies well, and they are accustom to baby gates. But it's the cats that I'm worried about. I can't seem to get them to understand that the baby bed and bassinet are not their personnal beds. We're just planning on keeping doors closed and watching the cats closely. I'm glad that you won't have that problem, but good luck with your dogs and growing family!

Cheryl - posted on 05/19/2010

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we have had a golden retriever since our son was 5 months. when we brought out daughter home, we let her sniff and get associated. I think the big thing is to let Daddy or someone else hold the baby and spend some time with them.

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My little girl is now two weeks old and I have 3 dogs, two italian bullmastifs and a rottie/shepard/collie mix. We got baby gates and closed off a section of the house for me and the baby. We brought a blanket home for them to smell then we took her carseat and put it behind the babygate (we got the see through kind) so they could see her. We also tried to get her to cry so they could hear her. All our dogs are female, so they had that mothering instinct. At first they were curious, I mean who wouldn't be? lol Once they realized that they couldn't play with her/she was a baby, they backed off. One of our dogs even gives her kisses!! At two weeks old! Just make sure your dogs know their place, and buy babygates (life savers!). Good luck :) !

Tracey - posted on 05/17/2010

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i would do it slowly also talk to a vet. that way you do this the right way. i have two cats and when my daughter was born 5 yrs ago they both were only a yr old. i told them it was a baby and had to tell them no a lot. i did after some time allowed them to check her out. my daughter slept in her bassinet for the longest time (she gains weight slowly, just like me) so my biggest problem was keeping my female cat out of the unused crib. but they all got along just fine. they never scratched her. my male cat was more afraid of her. i think because he did not want to scratch her and get into trouble (they got baths when they scratched anyone) but they both love her now. my favorite pic is when my daughter was 17months i put her down for a nap in her dalmatian costume and my female cat was asleep on her lower half it was almost like she was protecting her.

Delta - posted on 05/17/2010

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When my daughter was born 10 years ago I only had cats. My cat never wanted the milk/formula and was always really gentle with her. This time around I still have the same cat, but also have another cat that we rescued and have had for about 4 years now, and a 100 lb black lab. The only thing I am nervous about is that labs have tough tails that can clear a table off. The cats I am not worried about. My husbands says the dog will do fine, just have to watch her tail.

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Both of my girls have been around our dogs since day one. My mom has 2 and I have one. When we first brought the oldest home we let the dog smell us without holding the baby then we added the baby to our arms and let them smell again. It really isn't as hard as ppl make it. after you get home and show them the baby they will settle down just like they do when you come home on a daily bases. with both having lab you know how excited they can get so just watch them so they don't get over excited. Good luck it will work out just fine. It's easier to get it over with then to wait waiting just stress you out.

Amanda - posted on 05/17/2010

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My greatest advice is to watch your dogs like a hawk. I don't trust animals, and thus my beloved kitty is staying with my mother until my baby is older/not breast feeding or formula feeding anymore. Animals may go after the milk smell on baby's breath and accidentally suffocated them, or they may treat to cuddle while your infant is asleep. Also, if the animal thinks they are losing their owner's attention to the new baby, it may cause them to act aggressively towards the baby. Be sure to show your dogs attention, maybe even bring them a special new toy or treat when you bring baby home. And definitely baby gates and keep and eye on them.

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