Lately I have been getting more and more concerned about how Comang will react to the baby.
When his previous owners brought their baby home, they told me that Comang didn’t really pay attention…if anything, he seemed to be oblivious to the new strange creature that inhabited his space.
However, I spend a lot more time with Comang than his previous owners did, and as a result he has become very attached to me. This is something that our vet noticed within just five minutes of meeting us — he pointed out that when Comang is nervous or frightened, he has the tendency to hide behind me, or try to jump into my arms.
I have no worries that Comang will be hostile to the baby. He is one of the most gentle and docile dogs I have ever come across, and he’s always played the submissive role when meeting new people. What I do fear is that Comang will react negatively to the baby being given more attention than him by becoming depressed.
I have been doing a lot of reading on how to introduce a new baby to your dog. Some of the strategies we plan to use include:
- After the nursery is set up, let Comang explore the new sleeping and changing areas. Allow him to sniff all the baby products we will be using. Do not let him climb on the furniture.
- Have J or a relative bring home something that smells like the baby before we are discharged from the hospital. Let Comang sniff it and get used to the new scent.
- When we first come home from the hospital, I should come through the door first (with J waiting in the hallway with the baby) and allow Comang to greet me, and get the initial excitement out of the way. Then I will step out and watch the baby in the hallway while J does the same. THEN J will meet us back outside, and the three of us will enter together.
While all these are good advice, none of them address my concerns about Comang possibly becoming depressed after “losing” his mommy. I have been encouraging J to spend more time with him, but Comang still prefers me to him. I read that I should get a doll or a stuffed animal, swaddle it, hold it, and act as if I am actually taking care of the baby, but I would feel pretty silly doing so.
I have also been told that I should slowly start spending less time with him. But knowing that such a drastic change is upon him, I’m having a hard time doing so. I want to spend as much time possible with him, just us two, before the baby comes!
I also have a feeling that Comang knows that a big change is coming. He has been acting extra clingy and has taken to sniffing my ever-expanding belly.
Do any of my readers have any advice? What have you done to acclimate your pet to a new addition to the family?