Today’s entertaining (and informative) guest post is written by Rebecca Thompson. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

There is nothing like that first moment when you bring your new ‘baby’ home. You’re up all night, feeding all day and fretting when you’re apart. You insist on text and email updates from the parent at home and can’t help but show your pictures around the office. Your furry baby is a big hit and you can’t imagine life being anything but peachy. It’s just you and the pooch. 

Then a few years down the line (in our case 10), along come the real bundles of joy. I remember how the moggy would insist on sitting on the bump and the night he got booted off and how the dog just seemed to stare at me all the time and follow me around.  Cute really.

Out of the two, my real concern was the cat, cantankerous and bad tempered on the best of days, a lion in his own living room. Dexter was not going to be happy being supplanted by anything, least of all a set of twins. Lucy dog, a lot more easy going,  would come round quicker. Plus we knew she loved children, especially little girls. Both had never seen a baby before let alone heard one cry. 

With this in mind we set about prepping the pets. About a month before the girls arrival we started operation “Baby Love” – we downloaded and played a recording of various noises that a babies make, cooing through to royal tantrums and played it a couple of times a day, right up until D Day.

I also started using the baby products so that these scents were familiar and friendly. They were unsure at first of what to make of it all but soon seemed happy with the new “radio station”.

When Matilda & Daisy finally arrived, my husband would bring home the baby clothes for the wash but would let the pets sniff in the bags and have a good old rummage. They were very curious by this stage but not at all stressed by my disappearance or the odd hours that dad had been keeping. When it finally came to home time and our big introduction we weren’t worried at all.

Once home my husband went in first and put the lead on the dog and popped her into the bedroom. We all went in together and I greeted my furry pals first whilst my husband had both girls in the car seats. When they were both calm we allowed them to meet at a distance and slowly allowed them to get closer. Our dog was wagging her tail immediately and sniffing into the air. Our cat decided to have a bath – Mission successful!

A few tips: 

  • We watched Lucy carefully for signs of discomfort or aggression and luckily had none.  If in doubt get a professional in, your vet will have a little black book.
  • Your dog should already know control cues.  Some of the most useful around a child are leave it, down/stay.
  • I would trust Lucy with my life, but she is an animal and unpredictable so  never leave your baby with a dog or cat alone. If I needed to leave the room, I brought both pets with me.
  • We gave Lucy quiet time.  Crying babies wake you, the neighbours and the animals.  Make sure the pets get enough sleep.
  • Don’t forget to treat them! Keep a stash of dog and cat treats for visitors to give so that they get made a fuss of too.
  • Last but not least have fun. Kids and dogs can get along really well and it really doesn’t take much work at all. 

Rebecca Thomson is mum to twins Daisy & Matilda, who are nearly 2 years old, plus the furry kids, Lucy the English Bull Terrier & Dexter the moggy. Rebecca is one of the founders (the other is her husband) of greenwichmums.com which is a review and recommendation site for parents living in Greenwich and the surrounding area. Their aim is to give a balanced and honest overview of what’s available to parents living in SE10. By giving them the inside track on everything from top local shops and eateries to activities and fantastic special offers and promotions. Greenwich is full of charm and is jam packed with heritage & history. It’s also a great place to raise a family (cats & dogs included)! You can follow Rebecca on Twitter @greenwichmums

Please share your pets with babies stories!!