Milestones in Getting the Dog Ready for Baby

Milestones in Getting the Dog Ready for Baby
Kafka's still figuring out how to walk next to the stroller... He'd rather run ahead.

We’ve been busy. But, no, baby girl has not yet arrived unfortunately. Rather, we’ve been busy getting ready for her, and in turn, we’ve been getting the dog ready for baby, a.k.a. a whole world of change. Well that, and Kafka the bulldog had a full week of being sick, which was absolutely no fun at all. But I’m not going to focus on that, because I know you’re not here to read about his puking and bowel movement habits.

Rather, I’ll focus on the good, like the progress Kafka has made on a number of fronts.

The dog and the stroller
Because, yeah, we were the crazy people walking around Lincoln Square with an empty stroller. Over the course of the snowy Chiberia winter, I rolled the stroller through the apartment a few times to get him used to it, but that meant nothing to Kafka. He needed a few outings with the stroller to realize that, no, it’s not some contraption to jump on. Nor, should he be pulling the blanket out of the stroller, particularly while we’re in the middle of crossing the street. That one definitely had me freaked out.

Fortunately, he seems to be getting used to this contraption on wheels. Even so, my hubby and I both agree: no walking the dog AND the stroller by ourselves. It’s a two-person job for the time being. After all, we did get a baby carrier for a reason.

Getting the dog out of bed

Kafka's discovered that the "new" couch is the perfect place to chill out.

Kafka's discovered that the "new" couch is the perfect place to chill out.

It feels like we’ve been working on this milestone for months now, and the other night we had the biggest progress yet. We’ve been giving him a choice: either stay out and about in the apartment, like he does when we’re at work, or sleeping in one of his kennels (either in the den or our bedroom). Despite all the blankets (which he loves) in his den kennel, he’s long preferred to stay in our room near us.

But not too long ago, he decided the couch was the place for him to sleep. I think this finally happened due to a variety of factors, but namely because my parents gave us their old couch to replace our extraordinarily old couch. As such, this “new” couch is so much more comfortable. It’s seriously his favorite place in the house so far, and I’m already predicting he’s going to be sleeping on it much more often, if only to escape any nighttime baby noises.

Mom’s new baby
So… my husband and I have been carrying a baby doll around the house with us on occasion. I know it’s weird, my family tells me it’s weird, but seriously, he needs to know both my hands aren’t going to always be free for me to pet him. This still seems to garner mixed results. He’s pretty good about not jumping up at the doll anymore, or trying to play with her toes. But he still sees her as a toy… one that, if he waits patiently enough by sitting at my feet, he will lick furiously.

Then again, it technically is a toy doll. The success of this one will just have to wait for her real arrival, I suppose.

Baby noises and more
On this front of getting the dog ready for baby, we haven’t done nearly as much as we should have, I think. Sure I’ve turned on the Momaroo a few times, and played some baby crying noises thanks to Youtube, but not nearly enough as I should have. Even so, with the sounds he’s heard, he’s been pretty good.

At the sound of a baby cry, he typically just cocks his head to the side , as if wondering, what the heck is making that noise?! Then again, he did discover a noisy toy by poking into a gift bag, and you should have seen the way he jumped back when it started talking back to him. Again? Mixed results.

So, overall, I’ve discovered in the months of “training” him and getting the dog ready for baby that really there’s only so much we can do. He’s never going to be fully “ready” for the amazing change that’s going to descend on our home. The only thing that’s going to prepare him? The actual arrival of baby, and then who knows how he’ll be. Here’s hoping he really will be a good big brother, and that they’ve already made friends. After all, he still does love snuggling with my belly.

How did you prepare your pooch for your new arrival? And, how did he react to the new family addition?

For more cute dog stories, pictures, and videos of Kafka the bulldog and his canine friends, like Kafka’s Facebook page and subscribe to my posts. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

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    Liz SanFilippo Hall

    World traveler, aspiring novelist, TV and movie news junkie, food lover, avid reader, and, most especially, dog person. Contact me at: esanfilippo@lizsink.com

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