This just in: New dogs and old dogs learning new tricks together.

olddogsWhen you are expecting, you are inundated with information on what to expect each week of pregnancy and upon baby’s arrival. You learn about the soft spot, the need to support baby’s neck, the necessity of cleaning all of that poo poo out of the “diaper zone”, the importance of skin-to-skin contact, the method of swaddling baby, the dangers of germs and smoke. The list goes on and on. I spent at least 6 months doing hard core research and by the time Willow was born, I felt like an expert. But, when it came to handling my baby, I quickly realized that I had to finally use the techniques and they took a lot (!) of practice to get good at them. Reading, while chowing down on delicious chocolate cake (yummmm) while pregnant so was not the same as being 4 days after delivery holding the new one. Now I found myself trying to react to real baby cries and needs. And while I personally had a ton of experience with babies from my younger years with my many nieces and nephews, it was a giant learning curve to get up to speed once I was a 24×7 caretaker of a tiny human.

When you find yourself in this same situation, you will, without a doubt, end up with a lot of people around you that either feel nervous around babies or are out dated in their baby training. (For me personally, I had a bunch of musicians, friends, my parents and my in-laws all bunked up at my house, with my brand new perfect baby. Let’s just say my crazy-a$$, hormone-ridden mind was on planet crazy!) Looking back, I think it’s a good idea to suggest people give themselves a dose of pre-visit “baby bootcamp.” Safety standards change yearly and care basics are not skills to be compared to riding a bike. Interestingly, while preggers, the only suggested homework for friends and family that I read about was the Pertussis vaccination. So, I thought it would be helpful to say do this and to also supply some links here that you can use and share with your people. Click, learn and share. Woof woof.

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