What Are the Best Practices for Acclimating a Dog to a Newborn Baby’s Scent Before Arrival?

If you’re expecting a baby, it’s a thrilling time for you and your family. However, it can also be a period of uncertainty, especially if you have a pet dog in your household. You might have concerns about how your dog will respond to the new addition to your family. You may wonder how to introduce your dog to your baby safely, and how to help your pet adjust to the new arrival. This article is here to guide you through the process of acclimating your dog to your newborn baby’s scent before the big day.

Preparing Your Dog for the New Arrival

Before your baby arrives, you should start preparing your dog for the changes that will ensue. This involves gradually altering your dog’s routine to mirror the one you will have when the baby arrives. This will help your dog adjust to the changes without feeling neglected or stressed when the baby arrives.

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Start by considering the things you will do when your baby arrives. For instance, if you plan to take walks with your baby, start taking your dog for walks at the same time now. If there will be off-limit areas in the house for your dog, introduce these boundaries before the baby arrives. These actions will help your dog understand what is expected of them and reduce any confusion or stress they may feel after the baby is born.

Teaching Your Dog Good Behavior

When it comes to acclimating a pet to a newborn baby’s scent, behavior is a critical aspect. Dogs, like humans, are creatures of habit. They thrive when they have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. Therefore, teaching your dog good behavior before the baby arrives will help ensure a smooth transition.

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Invest time in training your dog to respond to basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’, and ‘leave it’. Reward them with treats when they comply, as this will reinforce the behavior. You may also find it beneficial to teach your dog to be gentle, which will be particularly important when they are around the baby.

Ensure your dog doesn’t jump up on people or furniture, as this could be dangerous around a baby. If your dog has a habit of doing this, start discouraging this behavior now. Again, reward your dog with treats when they display good behavior, to reinforce this.

Introducing Your Dog to Your Baby’s Scent

One practical step you can take before your baby arrives is to introduce your dog to your baby’s scent. This will help your dog familiarize themselves with the new scent, making it less of a surprise when the baby arrives.

You can do this by bringing home a blanket or piece of clothing that the baby has used at the hospital. Allow your dog to sniff the item under controlled conditions. Be sure to supervise this interaction, ensuring your dog is calm and respectful. This practice will help your dog understand that the baby’s scent is a safe and normal part of their environment.

Ensuring a Safe Introduction

When the time comes to introduce your dog to your baby, safety should be your top priority. Never leave your baby alone with your dog, even if your dog has been well-behaved in the past. Always supervise their interactions.

To start, have a family member or friend hold the baby while you control the dog. Let the dog sniff the baby at a safe distance. As your dog becomes more comfortable, you can allow them to get closer, but always ensure that you are in control of the situation.

Remember, patience is key. It might take time for your dog to adjust, but with consistent attention and supervision, your pet will come to understand and accept the new member of the family.

Providing Ongoing Training and Support

Finally, your efforts shouldn’t stop once the baby arrives. Continue to provide ongoing training and support for your dog. Make sure your dog continues to get regular exercise and attention, even with the baby in the house. This will help ensure that your dog doesn’t feel neglected or jealous.

Remember, dogs are very perceptive and can pick up on your emotional state. Therefore, it’s important to remain calm and positive throughout this process. Your dog will take cues from you on how to behave around the baby.

By following these steps, you can help ensure a smooth transition for everyone involved. It’s a beautiful thing to watch as your dog and your child develop a bond. This bond will not only create incredible memories but also teach your child valuable lessons about love, empathy, and responsibility.

Adapting Your Dog to Baby’s Room

Familiarization with the baby’s room is a crucial step in preparing your dog for the arrival of the newborn. This process should be gradual and should start well in advance before your baby arrives. Creating a positive association with the baby room is key to ensuring that your dog will feel safe and comfortable when the baby is home.

Start by allowing your dog to explore the baby room under your supervision. Let them sniff around and get used to the new furniture and items in the room. This will help your dog to familiarize themselves with the new additions to their environment.

Once your dog has had a chance to explore the room, start associating the room with positive experiences. This could be through treats, playtime or simply spending quality time with them in the room.

Over time, establish boundaries for your dog in the baby’s room. Teach them where they can and cannot go. This could involve keeping certain areas of the room off-limits or teaching them to stay off the baby’s furniture. The use of baby gates can be effective in keeping certain areas inaccessible to your dog.

Remember to remain consistent with your rules and boundaries. This consistency will help your dog understand what is expected of them, reducing their potential stress or confusion after the baby’s arrival.

Acclimating Your Dog to Baby Sounds and Smells

Before your baby arrives, it can be beneficial to acclimate your dog to the sounds and smells associated with a baby. This will help to prepare your dog for the new noises and scents they will encounter, reducing any potential surprise or confusion.

You can acclimate your dog to baby sounds by playing recordings of baby noises. This could include sounds of a baby crying, giggling, or cooing. Start by playing these sounds at a low volume and gradually increase it over time as your dog adjusts.

In terms of smells, introducing your dog to baby products such as baby lotion, baby powder, or baby wipes can be helpful. Let your dog sniff these items under your supervision to gradually get them used to these new scents.

Remember, the key here is gradual exposure. Overwhelming your dog with too many new experiences at once could cause stress or anxiety. Take your time with this process, allowing your dog to adjust at their own pace.


Preparing your dog for the arrival of a newborn involves careful planning and patience. By altering your dog’s routine, teaching good behavior, introducing your dog to your baby’s scent, ensuring a safe introduction, providing ongoing training, and acclimating them to the baby room, sounds and smells, you can help make the transition smoother for both your pet and your baby.

Remember, every dog is unique and may react differently to changes in their environment. It’s important to monitor your dog’s behavior closely during this period and seek professional help if needed.

Ultimately, your efforts in preparing your dog for your baby’s arrival will pay off. It’s a joy to watch the bond develop between your child and their furry friend. This bond will not only provide wonderful memories but also teach valuable lessons about love, empathy, and responsibility to your child. With time and patience, your beloved pet will adjust to the new member of the family, creating a loving and harmonious living environment for everyone.