As you all know Susie is the queen of our household. She has been our “only child” for the last 6.5 years and I worry about her and how she will be once the new baby is here. I have heard from other dog owners how much your priorities change once your baby is here but I can’t see myself loving Susie any less once the baby is here. My heart is big and there is enough love to go around for everyone! Sure Susie has some tendencies that I worry about like being overly excited when people come over, barking at the mailman and always wanting food but she also is the most loving, kind, harmless and LAZIEST dog ever. I know she will love this baby just as much as we do and when she has had enough she will just go find a couch to sleep on.
Susie definitely knows something is about to change, and I just hope she adjusts well. People have asked me “How do you think Susie will be with the baby” and my response is “she will have to be fine”. She doesn’t really have a choice but to adjust. To prepare myself and Susie I have done (and will do) a few things to make the transition easier
- She has access to the nursery: We keep the nursery door open so Susie can go in, sniff and get used to the new furniture in that room. This is also so she can get used to us going in and out of that room since previously it was a guest room we barley went in. She doesn’t go in unless we are in there but at least she is familiar with the space. Another thing was having Susie around every time we worked on the babies room and put furniture together. I could be thinking too much into it but I wanted her to feel involved and not shut out.
- Setting up the baby equipment: We put together the pack and play, swings, bouncers, sleepers, and bassinet so she can also get used to these things being in the house. By having all the babies necessities out and about the hope is similar to the nursery that Susie is now used to these items being in the house.
- Let her sniff: Every time I brought something new home or did a load of the babies laundry I let Susie sniff it. She is a beagle so her noes is everything. She likes to sniff and know what is around so I hope that helps.
We also have a plan in place for when we are at the hospital and its time to bring baby home.
- Being somewhere comfortable: When we are in the hospital, Susie will stay at my parents house. Since she was a puppy she has always stayed at my parents house when we were away so she is very comfortable there. For her is will just be a normal sleepover with “memom and poppy”
- Bring something of the babies home for Susie to smell: Again Susie (like most dogs) is very driven by scent, once the baby is here we will have my parents bring a blanket, hat or something that has the babies scent on it for Susie to smell. The hope is that the first time Susie meets the baby it will not be a new scent for her.
- The BIG introduction: Now for what I think is the most important part and what I am most anxious for. The moment Susie meets Baby. At Susie’s last vet appointment I asked for advice and I really like what the Dr. suggested. We will be leaving Susie at my parents for the first night (or two) home with baby. We need to take this time to figure out our new life with baby without distractions. Then we will have my parents bring Susie home. The plan is for the first time Susie meets baby for her to be at home, in her comfort zone and not at my parents house or another location. What the Dr suggested is to greet Susie like we normally would, show her love and affection for a few minutes while the baby is in a separate room (supervised of course). Let her settle in and then bring the baby to her for an introduction. If I know my dog, what will happen is she will sniff, try to lick and then go lay down, that is just what she does.
For what comes next, I am not sure but we will figure it out 🙂 I will do an update post on life after baby and how Susie is doing. My hope is to help other dog owners who are planning on expanding their families and what to expect.