September 18, 2019

Bringing a Baby Home, Floofins-Style

Author: Jennifer Houghton
When you bring home your first baby, people have lots of advice. When you bring a baby to a home with Floofins in it, you get even more advice. Fortunately, we have an experienced individual to go to for how to bring a baby home, Floofins-style: owner Kristin Skelton.
We interviewed Kristin before she began maternity leave for her second child. The following are the excerpted responses to our questions.
Since this is child number two, is your approach to preparing your Floofins the same or are there differences? My approach is pretty much the same because if worked well and is continuing to work well with my son.  I was in training with Family Paws, a group of trainers and other pet care professionals that help families prepare and deal with some of the challenges that can occur when bringing home baby. I found out I was pregnant then so I had a plethora of tools and support at my finger tips as we got ready for the arrival of our first.

For those preparing for their first child, is there anything you wish you’d done sooner, differently, or not at all? Prissy and Portia were already 8-years-old when we had our first child, so I expected needing, at a minimum, to provide some safe havens/gated areas around the house for them. Also, I use positive reinforcement when interacting with my now three-year-old. As Sam grows up, it will be his turn to learn to be gentle and when and when not to try to interact with a dog.
What new parent services does Floofins & Co. offer? Have you modified them in any way since personally experiencing parenthood? We currently offer our usual menu of services for new moms as many like to have the dog walking taken care of during the first 1-3 months postpartum. We also waive any late fees for services requested during labor, so many clients will call us once they are on the way to the hospital and we will essentially pet sit until they are released. We just ask that clients pass along their estimated due date so we can have all of their details ready to go.

I intend to create some classes for expecting families locally to help them prepare at a general level in the next few years.

What is the best advice you got for childrearing with pets? Don’t assume your first fur babies will be A-OK with your kids right away. Prissy and Portia were our first and only kids for 8 years and believe me there have been moments. They were not used to children and we needed to work at it during all stages. I have seen many pets re-homed quickly due to a single growl/snap but really misunderstanding between child and dog. Knowing ways in advance to set everyone up for success, especially during the first few years where you really can’t teach your child proper interaction will help everyone remain calm and together as a family.

Final thoughts? If you are struggling, reach out for help. Family Paws has a hotline and there are great trainers in the area with this specialty if problems crop up. Ask us for a referral!

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