Don’t Forget About Your First Baby

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Poor, Bennett.

That’s all I have to say about this new baby situation.

Seriously, our poor, poor dog. His world was turned upside down and it must’ve been such a shock for him! They say dogs know when you’re pregnant but I honestly think Bennett had no idea. He didn’t act any differently towards me anyways!

Bennett and bump

Bennett was definitely our baby before Sawyer came. We still try to treat him as such, but no one can deny things have changed. He must’ve freaked out when we were gone for a week and then suddenly came back with a new human that was going to be living with us. Oh, and taking all our attention.

At first, Bennett was fascinated by Sawyer. He was constantly licking him all over and wanting to be wherever he was. Luckily, he was very gentle and loving, just a tad smothering. After a few weeks the effect wore off, now, Sawyer is old news and Bennett hardly gives him the time of day. When Kurtis went back to work I wasn’t really sure what to do with the dog. I could barely walk myself after my surgery let alone walk the dog with the newborn baby in tow. How was I supposed to take him out to go to the bathroom? Leave the baby inside? He can’t just jump up on the couch or the bed to cuddle with me anymore, what if he lands on Sawyer?

His preference for Kurtis over me became extremely obvious, more so than ever before. He waited by the window for hours on end waiting for him to come home from work, and showing the most enthusiasm he had all day when he finally walked through the front door. He moped around the house all day not interacting with and I watched with dismay as my dog became more and more depressed.

I did what I could to try and let him know I didn’t love him any less but it was obvious to us both…he wasn’t my top priority anymore.

Luckily, my mom lives close by and she came over every day for the first 2 weeks Kurtis was back at work and took Bennett on a walk for me. I started to get the hang of taking him out to the bathroom (put Sawyer in the Mamaroo, leave the front door open so I can hear him, and go as fast as possible), and after a few weeks I even figured out how to walk him (Put Sawyer in the Moby Wrap and put a shock collar on the dog so he doesn’t pull me like crazy).

There were a few weeks there when he was just too much for me. Our dog is hyper, and I couldn’t help but be frustrated and mad when he would get into the trashcan and strew dirty diapers all over the living room, or tear up a pillow and leave fuzz all over the house. Normally, I could just discipline him and move on, but now it was one more thing to deal with on top of everything else and I didn’t feel equipped to handle it. And I couldn’t hide from him that he was frustrating to me. So I started making sure I pet him more. If Sawyer was asleep or in the Mamaroo, I let him on the couch or the bed to snuggle. I would pick up a cheap toy for him every time I went grocery shopping, so that he would have something to keep him busy, and he would know I was still thinking of him. I started simply smiling when I talked to him and using a happy, high pitched tone of voice.

I watched as his mood improved and he got back to his old self again. Even though everything has changed, I need to treat him with the same love that I did before. The transition from dog mom to human mom is hard because they have such different needs, but my dog still has needs all the same.

My family is only going to keep growing but I know there is enough love to go around!

We invested in Bark Box a few months back and it has been a lifesaver since bringing Sawyer home. Every month the box arrives full of treats and toys to keep him busy, and it only costs about what we would be spending on treats and toys anyways. Bennett recognizes the box when it comes and goes NUTS. He’s always extremely happy for a few days after it’s arrived! And it’s good for him to get a little special something, especially now that he’s sharing our attention with his “little brother”. We love it!

Bark Box

Did you have fur children before human children? How did you handle the transition?

11 thoughts on “Don’t Forget About Your First Baby

  1. Oh I love this. We have a small fur baby and I always feel guilty lately about not giving her as much attention as I should. Bringing a baby home is such a transition for family pets. I still try to let her know I love her to pieces, especially at night when my son is down and she is snuggled right next to me!

  2. I have this fear when we have our first little. Our dogs are our children right now and are SO spoiled. I want to make sure they still feel loved & know that they are always a part of the family, even after our littles come. We’ve been looking into bark box, so maybe we will save it too, for that special time!

  3. I totally agree! We just brought our little girl home two weeks ago and I think it shocked the pets. So far they have all done pretty well but it took some adjustment. We brought home a blanket that smelled like the baby for them to get used to her and also we had purchased toys and treats before she came to help give the dog something to play with to make him happy and entertained once she was here. We have also tried to make time to at least take a short walk with him if we can, or my parents will walk him too which has helped. Definitely a huge transition for pets as well!

  4. Great tips! I had never really stopped to think about all the subtle changes beyond having another human in the house that a new baby would bring. Love bark box!

  5. We had two fur babies before children and it was an adjustment for them! Fast forward eight years and we now have four kids and five fur babies! (Three dogs and two cats.) It takes a while to get back in a routine with pets, but it happens.

  6. I can totally relate to this. Luckily our dog is the size of your dog’s head and doesn’t require much to tire him out. Our pup definetly did know I was pregnant and he is best friends with our daughter now, but there was definitely a period of ‘neglect’ when we brought her home. I wish we would have thought of Barkbox!

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