Kaiya was only 5 months when we found out we were expecting our first baby. In the beginning, we asked ourselves so many questions but the main question was: could we divide our love and attention evenly between the two? (Sneak peek: the answer is 100% YES!)
Even though Kaiya is a Siberian husky and a German shepherd mix, her temperament is all husky! She is friendly, playful, and loves to be outdoors. If you know anything about huskies, you would know that they require a very active lifestyle and lots and lots of attention!
Kaiya is smart, so we had no worries that she would learn fast…plus we had 9 months to get her ready for her role as big sister.
HOW WE PREPARED
We watched videos on YouTube of babies crying with Kaiya and played baby sounds for her. We even bought a toy doll and put a diaper on it so she could get used to the smells. She had no interest in any of it though. I’m thinking it’s because she’s too smart for all that. 😉 We knew she would be a great big sister; the only worry we had was that she would use her huge paws to get the baby’s attention.
Two days after Lylah was born, we came home to Kaiya and our hearts melted when we saw her come up to Lylah’s car seat and look up at us with her head tilted. She immediately toned down her usual energy and went to sniff her baby sister.
Now, I have to say, the first few days were not that easy. Kaiya did not understand what was going on, but day-by-day we slowly introduced her baby sister to her. The following were some things we tried:
- Gave Kaiya a blanket that smelled like Lylah before we brought her home from the hospital
- Gave Kaiya treats every time she calmed down around the baby
- Praised her…A LOT!
- Kept her active (this was the most important!) — My husband would take her on a run every day
- Let her sit next to me while I breastfed the baby to let her sniff the baby
THE FIRST FEW WEEKS
The first few weeks, Kaiya was confused and she didn’t seem to react in a positive or negative way. She was probably wondering why this little thing was making so much noise and requiring so much of our attention. A few weeks later though, we saw a huge change in Kaiya. Her motherly instincts must have kicked in because she went into protection mode with Lylah. During tummy time, she would watch her baby sister and sit right next to her. If Lylah cried, she would come and lick her toes and she would check on her when she was sleeping.
We had perfected the sit, stop, and stay commands with Kaiya before the baby was born just in case she got a little too close or tried to jump on us. I think that was one of the most important things we trained her on. Kaiya is very cautious around her baby sister. She makes sure she doesn’t run fast in the house and is always aware of where Lylah is. She even sleeps near her bassinet at night!
WHAT LIFE IS LIKE NOW
Now that Lylah is 4 months old, I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of balancing a baby and dog on a daily basis. I have learned a lot of things along the way and have made a few mistakes, but we have finally figured out what works for our family. We make sure Kaiya gets a lot of attention and exercise daily. A walk is a must every day! Luckily, we live in California so the weather is close to perfect year round.
After seeing these two together, I believe every child should grow up with a dog! Seeing the bond growing between the two makes my heart so happy. Are you raising pups and babies? What do you think were the hardest moments? Any advice?
This post was written by Rafia, mama to Kaiya and Lylah. Follow their adventures on Instagram @kaiyathehuskyshepherd.