Tag Archives: baby

When Fido Meets Baby: A Primer for Pet Parents Expecting a Newborn

babydog

The birth of a new baby is a joyous moment for parents, as well as a transition for the entire family, including pets. Many pet owners think of their pets as family, and are eager to ensure a safe, healthy connection with the new baby.  Expectant parents who are pet owners may have questions about circumstances that commonly arise where babies and pets coexist. Here are some things to consider and helpful tips for preparing your dog for a new baby:

• Don’t make assumptions about a dog’s breed being more or less suitable for a baby. Much of what ensures safety between dog and baby stems from learned behavior and reinforcement.
• It’s important for your dog to recognize and respect your role as family leader. Start early to instill and/or correct a leadership dynamic with your dog helps to set healthy boundaries and ensure comfort and safety for everyone.
• Prepare your dog for baby’s arrival by establishing physical boundaries in your home. For example, it is a good idea to keep your dog’s toys in a distinct location away from the baby’s toys. It may also be a good idea to train your dog to stay out of your baby’s nursery, or to set limits for access.
• Establish a “go to” place for your dog, and train him/her to follow your “go to place” command.
• Make a safe zone or space for your dog to be able to escape to if he/she needs to get away from new stresses and stimuli.
• Manage the introduction of your dog to your baby and take things slowly. It may be a good idea to walk the dog first, for example, giving the dog an opportunity to discharge energy before greeting baby.
Always supervise your dog and baby when they are together; never leave them alone.
• Remember to make time for your dog and try as much as possible to ease the dog into changes in his routine. Doing so can help to minimize the stress of change.
• As your baby grows, be sure to teach him or her good manners towards your dog (i.e. no yanking or pulling on its ears or tail). Dogs are often very patient with displays of affection, but learn to recognize early signs of stress in your dog to prevent an escalation to aggression.

The Center for Perinatal Education and Lactation at NYU Langone offers a monthly, two-hour-long information session called Dogs and Storks for expectant women and partners to help prepare the family pet for a new baby.  The session is taught by a licensed dog trainer, certified by Family Paws.

Receiving expert guidance on concerns such as those outlined above can make all family members, including our furry ones, to feel safe, happy and comfortable together.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Elizabeth Moore, BSN, RN, is the coordinator for Parent Education and Community Outreach in NYU Langone’s Parent Education Program. As a doula and childbirth educator, she has worked as a maternal-child health nurse and educator for over 20 years.

 

The Truth About Baby-Friendly Hospitals

baby

 

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative was launched by the World Health Organization and UNICEF in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer high-quality, evidence-based care for infant feeding and bonding between mother and baby.  Some of the parents we see at NYU Langone Medical Center have misunderstandings about what being “baby friendly” really means for moms and babies. Let’s look at some of these misconceptions and get to the truth about Baby-Friendly practices:

1. “Baby-Friendly hospitals force moms to breastfeed.” Not at all! The aim of the Baby-Friendly Initiative is to provide women with the best information that they need to make their own choices about how to feed their babies. In fact, Baby-Friendly designated hospitals have committed to providing better information about formula feeding and safe formula preparation to women who choose to formula feed.

2. “Baby-Friendly hospitals have no nursery.” While Baby-Friendly hospitals encourage babies sleeping in the same room with mom, most do provide an area for babies who temporarily require observation. NYU Langone provides a newborn observation area for this purpose. Rooming in is encouraged because research shows that mothers sleep better when their babies are rooming in with them. Rooming in has the added benefit of helping new moms learn their babies feeding cues, while the babies are comforted by being close to their mothers—they cry less and are easier to calm.

3. “Baby-Friendly hospitals don’t have formula.” They do! The difference is that, in Baby-Friendly hospitals, care is taken to provide formula only to those babies whose mothers have chosen to formula feed, and to those for whom it is deemed medically necessary by the baby’s provider. This strategy helps to stop the “casual” use of formula, which may undermine breast feeding for nursing babies.

4. “Baby-Friendly hospitals don’t give babies pacifiers.” This is mostly true, since the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages pacifier use in breastfeeding babies until at least 4 weeks of age.

Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding moms both benefit from choosing a Baby-Friendly hospital, where each can be sure that that her plan for optimal feeding and bonding is fully supported.  In an environment where staff receives consistent training in the best practices, all moms can be empowered.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Elizabeth Moore, BSN, RN, is the coordinator for Parent Education and Community Outreach in NYU Langone’s Parent Education Program. As a doula and childbirth educator, she has worked as a maternal-child health nurse and educator for over 20 years.