Last night my daughter wanted her Mom to help give baby Alyssa her first bath - and she wanted to do it at home in our kitchen. So they brought the baby over to the house for the first time.
I was worried about how the dogs would handle the baby and wanted to introduce them slowly and with control.
Ranger did not concern me, as a puppy he lived with a foster home that had twin newborn sons. He was gentle, sweet and appropriate with the babies. Bonnie was wonderful with the babies she had met previously. She especially enjoyed cleaning them up after they barfed.
Beth and Brynn were an unknown & needed the most attention during the introduction. I had nothing to be worried about.
When they arrived Amy sat down to nurse Alyssa. Once Brynn figured there was a baby she and Ranger plopped down next to her chair and wouldnt move. Brynn even tried to keep the other dogs from getting near to the baby & Amy. Little miss protective.
Ranger is very concerned about the Baby.
Uncle Ranger smells Alyssa's head while Daddy watches. Daddy has a dog so he understands what is happening here.
Brynn smells Alyssa and the bond is formed. Alyssa now has a new Auntie Brynn.
"What are you doing with my baby" Ranger wants to know.
Its okay Ranger, Daddy is just shifting Alyssa a wee bit because she started to fuss...she is okay.
See, just fine.
Once Ranger was content the baby was safe, he plopped down at Christopher's feet with Brynn.
Now it was Bonnie's turn to smell the baby. Bonnie is hoping Alyssa will puke and she can lick it up. Sorry Bonnie, not today.
When Alyssa started to cry, Beth was VERY worried about her. She started to lick her head - which we discouraged.
Its okay Beth, we are not worried...all is fine.
Besides Uncle Ranger is on duty.
I have a funny feeling nothing is ever going to happen to this baby with Uncle Ranger around.
This is another excellent time to use a 'get back' command. If any of the dogs got too close we just said "get back" and they would back up and give space.
Now it was time for Alyssa's first bath. Mommy brought over a baby bathtub - but old fashioned Grandma (me) showed Mommy what kinds of things can happen with baby bathtubs. The babies can tip over, slide down or slide over and bang their heads etc. So Grandma showed Mommy the easiest and safest way to bath a newborn...in a freshly scrubbed and disinfected kitchen sink. The whole time Grandma told Mommy stories about bathing all the kids in the kitchen sink for years.
Alyssa enjoyed herself. We folded a full size bath towel in the bottom for cushion, extra folds near the head to keep her elevated above the water. Keeping her umbilical cord dry she got her first bath, where she coo'ed and gurgled happily.
She was dried off, powdered and Desitin slathered on her tush...all under the watchful eyes of Uncle Ranger.
Bonnie checked in frequently.
Auntie Brynn was the most concerned about her new Baby.
"What are you doing to her?"
"I need to smell her and make sure she is still okay."
She is just fine Brynn, just fine. Nice and clean now. No worries.
After the bath and some visiting Brynn positioned herself as the guardian of the baby in the car seat.
"She is CRYING! DO SOMETHING!"
Okay, Brynn.....Papa John is on the job, he will find her binky.
"Thank you Papa, thank you for taking care of my baby".
"I will watch her while she sleeps, so she stays safe."
Night Night Alyssa.
NOTE: Border collies are typically not good with children. Please read "The Kid Myth" written by Sheena of That'll Do Border Collie Rescue aka Three Woofs & a Woo. While this post is cute and adorable with photos of the dogs meeting the baby for the first time, this was a VERY controlled and careful introduction. At the first sign of anything inappropriate the dog will be removed. Safety first. Good relationships between new children and dogs is ultimately the responsibility of the owners - and they depend on us to keep them out of situations where anyone can be hurt. None of the dogs will EVER be left alone with the baby. Nope, nada...no way.
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