By now you may have noticed that I consider my dog an important part of our family. I've thrown birthday parties for him and I described how I felt he prepared me to be a human mom, since I was already a dog mom. When we found out we were pregnant, we knew A LOT was going to change for our four-legged friend. But one thing I knew for certain? I was NOT going to kick him out of our bed.
I Chose Bed-Sharing With My Dog Over My Baby
Say what you will but yes, our 60 something pound dog sleeps in the bed with us. He has been doing so since my husband and I were dating and he's grown quite accustom to our king-size bed. Do we try to keep him at our feet? Yes. Does he more often than not slither his was up the bed near our heads? Also, yes.
When we were getting ready to bring home our new baby I knew our dog would get less attention despite my best efforts. Aside from the lack of attention there were other changes happening in the the house as well, we were rearranging rooms and we were bringing in new things like a crib, pack and play, high chair and a bunch of toys that were not for him. Any change in general can be tough on a pooch but this change was going to be HUGE.
One thing I didn't want to change was him sleeping in our bed. I wanted him to feel like he could still have some place to escape that wasn't touched by baby. I also wanted him to have the comfort in knowing that at the end of the day he would still get to snuggle up in the king-size bed that he allowed us to sleep in with him.
Bed-Sharing vs. Co-Sleeping
It is important to note that "bed-sharing" and "co-sleeping" are terms that are at times used interchangeably but they mean two very different things (and in fact should NOT be used interchangeably). Bed-sharing means to have baby sleep in bed with you while co-sleeping (now being referred to as room-sharing) means to have baby near you, out of your bed, in their own, firm sleeping surface (think pack and play just next to the bed).
I may have bed-shared with the dog but I did co-sleep with baby. We had her in our room but she was a safe distance away from us in her crib. Having her in our room was great for times when she needed to be woken up to eat (yes, really) or when she stirred on her own and having her out of our bed not only kept her safe but also allowed our dog a place to still call his own.
Same Rules Apply Even After Baby #2
He's a very well behaved dog and can freely roam the house while alone and therefore does not require a crate. Incase you were wondering why his crate wasn't his place to relax and let's be honest, escape the madness. As baby girl has grown into a toddler he's seen her take over more and more of the house and gates have gone up blocking him from freely roaming certain areas but he still has our (I mean his) bed to go to and that will stay his bed even after we bring home baby number two.
Um, now that I think of it, we haven't told him about baby number two yet, could someone do it for us?