This Meal Delivery Start-Up Wants to Help Feed Your Kids at Every Age (Yes, Babies and Toddlers Too!)
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Easily clip, save and share what you find with family and friends. Easily download and save what you find. To make things go as smoothly as possible for everyone, it’s important to take some time to prepare your dog for the arrival of your new addition. Teaching your dog some basic obedience skills will help you manage her behavior when the baby comes.
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Please see the section below, Teaching Your Dog Important New Skills, for specific training guidelines. Consider enrolling in a group class to get a head start. Four months before the baby arrives: Gradually introduce your dog to the new experiences, sights, sounds and smells she’ll encounter when you bring your baby home, and associate these new things with rewards. This will help your dog learn to love life with the baby. One to two months before the baby arrives: Anticipate the changes you’ll make to your dog’s daily routine, and start making those changes.
The following skills are particularly important. Stay, wait at doors and settle: These skills can help your dog learn to control her impulses, and they’ll prove useful in many situations. For example, you can teach your dog to lie down and stay whenever you sit in your nursing chair. Leave it and drop it: These two behaviors can help you teach your dog to leave the baby’s things alone. Greet people politely: A jumping dog can be annoying at best—and dangerous at worst—when you’re holding the baby. Relax in a crate: If you crate train your dog, you’ll know that she’s safe when you can’t supervise her, and she’ll have a cozy place of her own to relax when things get hectic.
Hand targeting: If your dog is nervous or timid, teaching her to target your hand with her nose will give her something to do when she’s around the baby, which might make her feel more comfortable and confident. After your dog learns how to target your hand, you can even teach her to gently touch the baby with her nose! Teaching your dog to go away when you ask will enable you to control her movements and interactions with your baby. For example, you can use this cue to tell your dog to move away from the baby if he’s crawling toward her and she seems uncomfortable. Many dogs don’t realize that moving away is an option!
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The next step is to refrain from tossing the treat until your dog starts to move away. Then immediately toss a treat four or five feet away, in the direction your dog started to move. Play fetch: Teaching your dog to play fetch with a toy can prepare her for safe, fun interaction with your child. Although things will change with the arrival of your new baby, you can minimize your dog’s stress by gradually getting her used to these changes in advance. If you can predict how your schedule will change when the baby comes, begin a slow transition toward that new schedule now. If you plan to nap in the afternoon when the baby is sleeping, start taking occasional afternoon naps. If you plan to walk your dog at different times of day, gradually switch to the new routine.
Life with a baby can be hectic and sometimes unpredictable. It may help to prepare your dog for a less consistent daily schedule. Try varying the time you feed your dog. For example, if she gets breakfast every morning at 7:00 A. Alternatively, you can plan to stick to your dog’s regular schedule with the help of an automatic feeder,. Consider hiring a dog walker to take over the responsibility of exercising your dog, at least for the first few weeks after the baby arrives.
Interview dog walkers and choose one now. To help your dog get used to leaving your house without you, you can have the dog walker start taking her on occasional walks. If your dog enjoys playing with other dogs, consider taking her to a doggie daycare once or twice a week after the baby comes. Investigate your options now, and have your dog spend time at the daycare so that she gets used to this new activity. Alternatively, you can plan to take your dog to friends’ or family members’ houses once or twice a week for some quality time with people she knows and likes. If you’re really ambitious, you can practice getting up in the middle of the night with your dog.
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Teach her to settle quietly in an area where you plan to nurse the baby. Resist the temptation to lavish your dog with extra attention in the weeks before the baby’s due date. This will only set her up for a bigger letdown when the baby comes and takes center stage. Instead, start scheduling short play and cuddle sessions with your dog, and gradually give her less and less attention at other times of day.
Schedule your sessions randomly so that your dog doesn’t come to expect attention at any particular time. When the baby comes home, some of your dog’s privileges will likely change. It will be easiest for her to accept these changes if you institute new rules in advance. If you don’t want your dog on the furniture or the bed after the baby arrives, introduce that restriction now. If you don’t want your dog to jump up on you when you’re carrying your new baby or holding him in your lap, start teaching her to keep all four of her paws on the floor. If your dog is used to sleeping in bed with you and you want that to change with the baby’s arrival, provide a comfortable dog bed that she can use instead. If necessary, you can place the new bed in an exercise pen or a crate to prevent her from jumping up onto your bed during the night.
Likewise, if you want your dog to sleep in another room when the baby arrives, establish this habit well in advance. Even if your dog adores children, she might accidentally scratch your baby’s delicate skin while riding beside him in the car. Consider installing a car barrier, purchasing a dog seatbelt or teaching your dog to relax in a crate when she’s in the car. You can find barriers, special seatbelts and crates at most major pet stores.
Having a vocal dog in your home can be a great deterrent to burglars, and many people appreciate their dog’s watchdog skills. However, when your baby’s trying to take a nap, your dog’s barking at falling leaves, neighbors and scurrying squirrels outside will get old very quickly. Now is the time to start teaching her that she doesn’t have to be quite so vigilant. Some people decide that they’d like their dog to wait outside the baby’s room unless invited in.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to teach your dog to sit-stay or down-stay by the door. When you’re not training, keep the baby’s door closed or install a tall baby gate in the doorway so that your dog gets used to restricted access. Put a dog bed in an out-of-the-way spot in the baby’s room, and keep a container of dog treats in the room. Every once in a while, leave a few treats on your dog’s bed when she’s not looking. Later on, she can discover them on her own. She’ll learn to love her new spot in the baby’s room!
You can train your dog to settle on her new bed in the baby’s room when you need her to stay out of the way. If you plan to spend time in the baby’s room when you’re nursing or rocking him to sleep, teach your dog to spend quiet time in the room with you. While you sit in a chair, your dog can relax on her bed. Try giving her a new chew bone or a food puzzle toy to work on during your quiet-time sessions. After the baby comes, when you rock or feed him, you can occasionally toss a treat to your dog while she’s lying on her bed. If you don’t have time to teach your dog the Stay cue, you can use a leash or tether attached to a heavy piece of furniture to remind her to stay on her bed. If you prefer, you can screw an eye hook into a baseboard to secure the tether.
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This practice will allow your dog to enjoy time with you and the baby but prevent her from jumping up or pawing at you. To some dogs, a crib might seem like the perfect place for a cozy nap! If your dog is agile enough to climb into your baby’s crib, it’s important to let her know now that she’ll never be allowed to curl up there. If she approaches the crib and spends more than a few seconds investigating it, simply call her to come to you. If she complies, praise her warmly. For dogs who haven’t spent much time with them, babies can seem like pretty bizarre—and even frightening—creatures. They make loud, screeching noises, they smell different, they definitely don’t look like grown-up humans, and they move in strange ways.
It’s a good idea to introduce your dog to as many baby-like sights, sounds, smells and movements as possible so that some aspects of the baby are familiar when you bring him home. Unwrap new baby supplies, such as toys, car seats, highchairs and swings, from their packaging and introduce them to your dog one or two at a time. You can also place smaller items on the floor when you’re around to supervise your dog. Let her investigate them, but if she picks them up, immediately redirect her attention to one of her own toys or chew bones. Keep in mind that it might be difficult for your dog to tell the difference between her things and the baby’s!
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Start to use a little bit of the baby’s lotions, shampoos, creams and powders on yourself so that your dog associates them with a familiar person. If you can, borrow clothes and blankets that smell like a baby to get the dog used to that smell, too. If your dog is sensitive to strange noises, she might become agitated or frightened when she hears the baby cry. To help her get used to the sound in advance, purchase a recording of realistic baby noises and play it frequently. Whenever you play the recording, give your dog plenty of attention, treats and anything else she likes. After 5 to 10 minutes, turn the recording off and ignore your dog for half an hour or so.
Do this several times a day. Some behaviorists recommend purchasing a lifelike doll and using it to simulate common activities you’ll do with the baby, such as feeding, carrying and rocking. Of course, your dog will quickly discover that the doll isn’t a real baby, but her initial reactions to it may help you determine which obedience skills you should focus on before the baby’s arrival. The doll can also help you practice caring for the baby and interacting with your dog at the same time. Some dogs will jump up when you lift a doll and hold it your arms.
It’s important to plan what you’ll do if this happens. A good solution is to ask your dog to stay in a sit or down whenever you hold, lift or handle the doll. You can use the doll to teach your dog to gently give kisses. If you have sanitary concerns, you can teach her to lick the doll’s feet only. Praise your dog for any kind of gentle contact with the doll, and give her plenty of treats. Then immediately redirect her attention to an appropriate toy, and praise her enthusiastically if she plays with that instead.
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Teach her to be extremely gentle with anything you’re holding in your arms like a baby. When your child is old enough to understand the lesson, you’ll teach him to handle your dog gently. However, not knowing any better, young babies often grab dogs’ fur, ears, tails and anything else within reach. To prepare your dog for this inevitability, accustom her to the types of touching you can expect from your baby, including grabbing, poking, pushing and pulling. Poke your dog gently and then give her a treat.