As you probably know my husband and I are expecting our first (non fur) baby this Fall. When I first found out I was pregnant I was terrified how it would effect my relationship with Chuy, my Chihuahua. He has been the center of our universe from the day he came home with us. Chuy truly is our baby and I’m anxious about how Baby B will change that dynamic. It’s important to us that Chuy remains an important part of our family after the baby comes. It breaks my heart when I hear about parents pushing their pets off to the side because of a new baby.
I would be naive to think nothing will change but I want to make this new transition as easy as possible on all of us. As I just entered the third trimester of my pregnancy, I’ve kicked the nesting instinct into high gear. We’ve been putting all of our baby furniture together, ordering everything we need, and prepping the nursery for her arrival. If you have a dog, it’s important to include them in your baby preparations too. In this post I’ve put together my tips on how to prepare your Chihuahua (or small dog) for the arrival of a new baby while you’re still pregnant.
1. Read and Research
I guess it’s the instructional designer and blogger in me. I do a ton of reading and research no matter what I’m going through. Sometimes those 3am Google searches can be bad though! Early in my pregnancy I picked up a dog training book called Please Don’t Bite the Baby and Please Don’t Chase the Dogs by Lisa Edwards. It teaches you tips and tricks to get your dog prepared for a new family member and how to prep the baby or toddler too. I really liked that aspect because it’s important to teach our kids how to interact with pets. All too often pets are tossed to the side because parents don’t take the time to also train their kids!
Use this time while you’re pregnant to read and research while you’re resting.
2. Put The Baby Furniture Together Now!
There’s going to be swings that make noise, chairs with wheels, and all kinds of other new and scary things for your dog. The sooner you can get your dog accustomed to the new baby furniture and equipment the better. We recently put together our stroller, play yard, and swing. We left these things in the living room so that Chuy could get used to them. At first he was afraid of the stroller but just the other night he laid in front of it for hours.
3. Involve Your Dog
This is so important! Chuy is pretty much our shadow anyways so we are never in a room without him unless he’s locked inside his crate. Chuy sat right on the floor with us while putting the crib and other equipment together. This gets your dog involved and makes these new pieces of furniture seem less scary. He wasn’t phased by any of it. Thank goodness.
4. Let Your Dog Explore New Baby Items
Chuy is naturally
curious nosy. Every time I come home with any kind of shopping bag, he immediately has to inspect it. I make sure to let him do this with all of the baby clothes and items that I pick up. That way he is getting used to everything before the baby is actually here.
I had to lay out all the baby finds on my office couch (which is where I shoot most of Chuy’s photos). I don’t think he was too happy about this! It’s going to be hard getting Chuy to understand that the pacifiers and baby toys aren’t for him. He thinks every single toy is his! To be fair, they always have been up until now and let’s face it baby toys and dog toys look a lot alike!
5. Work on Basic Training Commands
We are really trying hard to go back to basics with Chuy’s basic training commands. It’s important to make sure their Sit, Stay, and Leave It are on point. These will definitely come in handy when there’s a screaming baby and a small dog trying to jump on the couch to eat my lunch.
6. Consider Your Sleeping Arrangements
Does your small dog sleep in the bed with you? Do you plan on continuing this after the baby is born? Chuy has slept with us since he was a puppy. I don’t plan on changing that. I’m a firm believer that a baby should NOT sleep in your bed. It’s just too dangerous. She has a crib in her nursery but will sleep in the bassinet for the first month or so next to our bed. If you’re sleeping arrangement will change, start working on training and preparing your dog now before the baby is born.
Join the Conversation!
I hope you found these tips helpful. For the veteran parents, what tips would you recommend for a first time mom like myself? Leave your tips and comments down below.
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