Friday, December 13, 2013

Baby's [future] best friend

I've had a few people reach out to me asking how we prepared Ernie for Ford's arrival and to be honest, we didn't really do anything. Ernie totally knew I was pregnant from the beginning and was very protective of me which is annoying but also kinda cute. He thoroughly enjoyed cuddling on top of my giant belly and slept right by my side every night. He was curious when we set up baby gear and wanted to lay on every single piece of baby clothing but other than that... we didn't really do much. I know some people go to extreme measures to prepare their dogs for baby but I wasn't about to carry around a baby doll for him to get used to it. Tough luck Ernie, this baby is here to stay!

Coming home from the hospital was a bit of a blur so we forgot to get the boys initial meeting on camera but Ernie was very interested in Ford for about 2 seconds, gave him a few licks, and was ready to play ball. 


We've made it a point to make sure Ernie still feels loved in our family and it seems as if Ernie is as happy as can be if someone is throwing a ball for him. I quickly learned to maneuver hands free nursing so I could get in some QT with Ernie. We also continue to let him sleep in bed with us which I think makes him feel special. Now that Ford is in his own room, we get to play and cuddle with Ernie after he goes to sleep. 

About once or twice a day Ernie will come over to Ford while he's on the ground and give him a face full of licks which I let him do but cut him off after a few seconds. I don't want him to be afraid of Ford or think interacting with Ford is "bad" (similarly when you tell kids "no", they just want to do it more). We say, "that's very nice Ernie but no more kisses". A couple of times I've caught Ernie camped out by Ford almost as if he is protecting him. Even though he doesn't seem to care too much about Ford, he definitely knows he's a part of the pack.



Ernie I think it'll be a few more months til Ford can throw that for you!

In the past week Ford has started to notice Ernie! He will follow him around the room and even turn his head or body to watch him. I am trying to use Ernie's name when Ford watches him so Ford can start understanding who he is. I don't think it will be long before Ford really starts getting a kick out of Ernie and they become best buds! I see how much my 14 month old niece loves her dog and I know Ford will be the same way. I can't wait to watch both of my boys bond and grow up together, nothing like the relationship between a boy and his dog. Oh and added bonus, tons of research shows that babies who grow up with dogs are less likely to develop colds and ear infections as infants (article here). 

So I guess this post really doesn't answer the question on how to prepare your dogs for baby but really just give you a glimpse into our home and the dynamic between Ernie and Ford. Ernie has never shown aggression towards Ford and is still his crazy, stubborn, wild party of 1 self. One way we have seen Ernie act out (besides going absolutely nuts when people knock on the door) is stealing random baby items. He won't chew things up and is really good when we say "This is Ford's toy", but we've gotten home from being gone and found pacifiers, onesies, and even my breast pads in random parts of the house. The culprit... Ernie!

Did you prepare your dogs for bringing a baby home?

10 comments:

Nicole Webb said...

We had big playful dogs when we had Joseph, I let them see the baby clothes and baby items. When we brought Joseph home I got down to their level with Joseph and let the pups sniff and watch (while my husband was close just in case) I will say, animals just know.. My big pup calmed down a bit and actually became protective of Joseph and stayed by his side all the time. My weiner dog, I wasn't too worried about.. I think it all really comes down to how your dog normally is, if they're aggressive I would take caution while introducing them to baby. :)
-Nicole
OurHumbleWebb.blogspot.com

Emilie said...

Ernie is the cutest little chub!! We had my parents bring home one of the hospital blankets to put in our dog's crate so she could get used to his scent. That is about it. Our dog is pretty indifferent to the baby other than when he spits up, and then she will happily perform clean up duty. She also likes to steal Sophie the giraffe, she thinks anything that squeeks belongs to her. I hope my little guy grows up to love my dog but he already weighs more than her so I am a little nervous about when he gets into the rough housing when he is older since she is so dainty.

Rebekah @ Living && Learning said...

Entirely off the subject - but what is your trick to hands free nursing? I can occasionally wiggle my hands free, but not enough to toss a ball to play fetch! Thanks!!

scoobydoopoop said...

We did the sniff the blanket before you meet the baby trick, but that was all. I think dogs somehow know the baby is part of the pack. But we've always had Labs and they are big, goofy, baby lovers. I would be more careful with an older dog, or a dog that was skitish.

Sarah said...

we had our parents bring a blanket home from the hospital to sniff out before we brought crue home! i don't know if it helped or not. still so far they don't seem to care about him much one way or the other but also seem to finally be realizing that he's not going anywhere! lambeau has just started to give crue lots of licks so i think it'll be ok! they don't love him as i had hoped (yet) but theres been no bad experiences so ill take it!

Nadine said...

I'm 19 weeks pregnant and we just started carrying around a baby doll. We also plan on bringing blankets from the hospital. We have two very big dogs, one has shown aggression in the past on multiple occasions (usually against other dogs, but a couple of time against people) and the other one has epilepsy and is super afraid of everything (and gets seizures every time something is new or out of routine). I'm very very concerned about bringing home a baby, but they are our first babies, so we hope they will accept him as part of the pack.

Sarah @ Life, Love & Dinner said...

Those boys are too sweet! We brought a blanket from the hospital in the house with us when we brought the baby home. He was so good from the beginning, sniffing and kissing and just checking her out. He was really funny when she cried, he would run around and look at us as if to say, 'does anyone hear this? get the baby!' We do the same thing with the kisses, too. We just gently remind him that that's enough and we always say thank you and tell him how sweet he is. Amazingly though, he just knows how to behave around her. He's a 65lb energetic boxer, but he is so gentle with her! It will be so fun to see their relationship develop!

Annie One Can Cook! said...

I just love Ernie--he is so sweet! I'm really happy to hear you didn't do a whole lot to prepare Ernie for Ford's big homecoming.. we have a cat and haven't gone to extreme measures either to get her prepared. We're kinda doing what you guys did and are leaving the nursery door open (for now) and are letting her have free reign so she can smell and lay on everything. Animals are really intuitive so they know when you're pregnant!

C Mae said...

Nothing breaks my heart more than hearing or reading bloggers say they gave up or got rid of their fur babies bec enter human baby. you are so blessed that Ernie is so easy going!

Mason's Mama said...

This is precious!!!! Ernie is such a good brother :) I can't wait to get our pup! Should be ready in June.

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