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That is, however, only one part of a multi-step process of preparing...

That is, however, only one part of a multi-step process of preparing your home for baby. Once you start prepping your home for a child, suddenly your home takes on a new appearance. Swings, jumpers, playpens, bassinet, oh my.

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Objects that move, jangle, play music, and vibrate these are things that dogs can find rather scary. These happen to be all of the same things that you will find in the majority of baby decor. As you start collecting items for your nursery and home, take the time to start getting used to how the different baby items work, and in the process get your dog used to them as well.

Here are a few of the activities I did while I passed the time until "the big day":

1. When we picked up our baby swing, we made a point to turn it on a few times a week. The dogs got used to the motion, the mobile, and the music that it played. (It was a good thing too, as the baby swing was paramount at our home for the first 4-5 months of life with The Boy. )

2. I took the dogs for walks with an empty stroller. Walking beside "things with wheels" can be very frightening! Not to mention you want to really know that your dog's walking skills are up to snuff when you have a real live baby inside that stroller. The only downfall? Your neighbours might question your sanity a little bit. Just..blame it on the hormones. Personally, my neighbours stopped wondering about me looooong time ago (some day I'll share the story about running down the road with a peanut butter-filled wooden spoon).

3. I had a small bouncy seat that I planned to use, that had a vibration function. I turned it on once or twice a week. The dogs found the concept of vibration very intriguing but quickly adapted (and adapted they did..apparently it became Gaci's therapeutic lounge chair).

4. I laid out any play mats that I intended to use so the dogs got used to them before I needed to place a wriggly baby on them.

5. Baby monitors. If you are going to use a baby monitor (is there anyone who doesn't use one?), plug it in and make some noises through it! Let your dogs understand that random robotic noises and the noises through a baby monitor do sound somehow robotic, for some strange reason are nothing to be concerned about. If you refrain from practicing this, don't be surprised if your dog thinks that a stranger enters your house in the middle of the night every time baby makes a noise.

6. I practiced carrying a car seat into, through, and out of the house. Be thankful for practicing this now, as this will be the most lightweight it will ever be! If the first time your dog sees the car seat is when you come home from the hospital, it certainly will be an exciting time for them. That's not the time or place for any extra excitement. Your best bet is to practice carrying the car seat in and out until it is a neutral object like a purse or backpack.

By introducing the items your baby will use before the baby comes home, you can reduce fear and/or excitement surrounding your common baby activities. It will make life less stressful, and more safe, for all.

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Posted in Renovations Post Date 12/28/2016


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