I gave birth to a little girl, Amelia, in September. Parenthood is everything people say it is and more. My husband and I couldn’t be more in love. We are adjusting to life as parents and along with that comes a lot of guilt. Bailey has been an only child for eight years. I’m sure like many of you, Bailey was my baby. Until Amelia came, I guess I didn’t realize just how much she was my baby. I did a lot to prepare Bailey for Amelia, I guess I forgot to prepare myself for how guilty I would feel over not being able to give Bailey the attention I was used to giving her.
When you have a dog and a child, you have to do a lot of management. Bailey slept in the bed with us, which she is no longer allowed to do. Bailey had full reign of the couch, which she no longer has. She was the apple of my eye. She still is, but she has to share it now. I hate it when I can’t play with Bailey because my daughter needs my attention. If only I had more arms, it would solve most of my problems.
Bailey, overall, has done very well accepting this new person into her life. After a few weeks, I think Bailey realized that Amelia wasn’t going anywhere and Bailey regressed, a lot. She became overly interested in Amelia and it was like she forgot how to do anything…sit, down, go to bed, anything. So, I went back to the basics.
As we get used to this whole parenting thing, we are finding our way and settling into a routine. Amelia, Bailey and I love to play the game “Find It.” While holding Amelia, I hide a bunch of Bailey’s treats around the house and let her find them. Bailey LOVES this game. I also take time each day to do some basic training with Bailey. I have Amelia in a wrap, which frees up my hands. Then Bailey and I work on “go to place,” sit, down, you name it. It makes me feel better knowing we are doing something together that we both enjoy. I might not be able to cuddle with her as much, but I am giving her more and more attention with these games.
We both really look forward to our training sessions. She has improved immensely and I feel less guilty. We won’t ever have to stop managing her when she is around Amelia, but I feel we have the tools in place to make management easier. I expect Bailey will continue to adjust as Amelia continues to grow. This time, I will be prepared for the regression.
Bailey, just like my husband and I, is just trying to figure this whole new baby thing out. Like us, I think she just needs a little guidance and a little love.
How did you feel after bringing baby home? How did your dog handle it?