Step 4: Getting Pets Ready for A Baby – A Six Step Plan

CONGRATS to Liz – who welcomed a baby boy into the world this week! Check out her posts on getting her pets ready for his arrival  here, here, here and here! We can’t wait to hear how it’s going, Liz!

This week we tackle: Dividing the house: Creating Baby-Only, Dog-Only, and Shared-With-Supervision zones.

I always wondered what I would do when I would be home alone with the baby and the dogs, and someone rings the doorbell, or I wanted to run upstairs quickly to change the laundry around, or grab something from the kitchen without creating the mass chaos of bringing everyone along for the ride.

We agreed that the baby and the dogs shouldn’t be left alone together, even just for a minute. But we needed to come up with a way to make it easier to separate everyone quickly if needed, so we could grab something really quickly or answer the door.

Since the dogs will probably be easier to train than the baby, we designed a little plan around their capabilities. Thanks to the magic of baby gates, we were able to divide our house into zones pretty easily.

We then divided the house into zones:
1. Baby-Only: These are areas where dogs will not be allowed. We’ll spend time with the baby without having to supervise those two. Right now this is only the baby’s nursery.
2. Dog-Only: These are areas where the dogs can relax and take a break from anything stressful where the baby will not be able to go. They have their crates, beds, and some toys in there and can go there to be undisturbed. Right now this is a guest room.
3. Shared-With-Supervision: Most of the house falls into this category. These are areas where we can all spend time together, like the living room and kitchen.

By now, we’ve done so many sessions with the clicker and the cheese that it was pretty easy to teach the pups how to move in between the zones quickly. We’ve even been able to add distractions like a doorbell ringing. Hopefully now it will be quick and simple to move the dogs to a Dog-Only Zone while moving the baby to a Baby-Only Zone (or taking the baby with us) when a quick task needs to be done, and everyone stays safe and happy.

Now if only our cats would be so willing to follow the baby-gate system, we would be set!

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  1. Prepping for Preggers: Work + Life | Graco Heart to Heart Blog - April 9, 2012

    [...] Our next mom letting us peak into her day-to-day is our Lead Usability Engineer, Liz Mauer.  Liz has a son named Jason who is less than 1 year old.  Liz is one of my dearest friends at the office – always shooting you straight with her honest opinion.  Her and her hubs also have 2 dogs and 2 cats, their first “kids”.  You can hear more about how Liz prepared her house and her pets for Jason’s arrival last summer here. [...]