Before our son was born we only had one “baby”, our chocolate-lab and chow mix named Sadie.
Or Sadie Bear
Or Sadie Bear Jenkins
Or “The Jenkins”
The list goes on and on for the names of this dog. I won’t even begin to go into where we got “Jenkins” from, but we have my hubby to thank for that one.
Anyway, I was a little anxious about how she would react to the new baby when we brought him home. I did some reading online and read these horror stories about how the dog was so jealous of the baby that it attacked and I was just like…oh my god.
I didn’t let this phase me much because our dog is really just the sweetest ever. So, we did a lot of research on what the best way would be to properly introduce our pup to the new baby.
Give the Dog Something to Sniff
When Wyatt was born they put a little hat on him. Sadie was staying with my parents during this time so they brought the hat home with them for her to sniff and get familiar with. We figured this way Sadie would recognize that smell when we got home with him.
Don’t Act Different
Although it was inevitable that our home life was going to change we wanted to make sure Sadie didn’t notice anything majorly different happening. So when we got home, although we were carrying in a car seat, we acted exactly as we usually would. We had an excited tone in our voice, we called her by her name and said hello to her, we did everything just as she would expect when we walk in the door on any other day. Also, we tried not to act anxious or stressed – even though we were – especially later on in the evening when Wyatt started to cry and we realized, “Wow, his little cry sounds exactly like one of her squeak toys”. Sadie didn’t have the most ideal reaction to this, if I’m being honest it freaked me out a bit. However, Sadie quickly realized that he was not a toy, and started treating him more like a puppy. She was very gentle.
Swap Who Holds the Baby and Who Pets the Pooch
When we first got home I walked in first followed by Tyler who was holding the car seat carrier. I immediately bent down and started petting and giving her attention. Then, we switched. I took the baby from Tyler and he bent over and did the same thing so to Sadie, there was no lack of normalcy. Then…she smelled him and we knew it was time for them to meet. I lifted little Wyatt out of the carrier, walked over to the couch and sat down with him clutched tightly to my chest.
Let the Dog Sniff the Babys Back
My first priority was to protect Wyatt’s head. I kept him tight to my chest exposing only his back to Sadie while keeping my hand around his head. Sadie was very, very curious and vigorously sniffed up and down his back and neck. This was a great way for Sadie to “get to know him” while I also kept Wyatt protected because as much as I knew Sadie was as gentle as could be, I didn’t want to assume her behavior. Luckily, it went perfectly.
Buy a Toy to Give to the Pup When You Get Home
My mom, the saint that she is, bought Sadie a new toy that we could give to her when we got home. This way, if she even felt like a little something was off, we had a treat for her. I think it really helped kind of distract her from the baby after the initial curiosity went away, the toy distracted her enough that we could get settled in.
Continue Giving Her Stuff to Smell
Over the next few days any time we would change Wyatt’s clothes we brought them to Sadie to let her smell them before we put them in the wash. I think this really helped her get used to the smell of her new little brother.
Don’t Get Mad When the Dog Chews on Baby Stuff
Wyatt had tons of little toys up in his room specifically stuffed animals that we got from the baby shower. Most of these are for when he is older but they were in on the floor of his closet. I came into Wyatt’s room one day and she was on the floor completely destroying one of his toys. NOW! This was not Sadie’s fault, Wyatt’s toys look exactly like the toys we give Sadie and she has no way of differentiating the two. So Tyler and I agreed that if we caught Sadie with a toy that was not hers, it was no one’s fault but ours. We simply take it away from her.
So, that is what we did to help our fur baby adjust to her new life as a big sis! Did you do anything different that you want to add? Any tips are welcome!