Should you put a dog bed in the nursery?
Dogs are an important part of any family, and when you’re planning the nursery for your baby, you may think about including a comfortable place for the dog to rest.
They were likely your first baby, and you want them as close as possible when you bring home your real baby.
This post will discuss some of the benefits of putting a dog bed in the nursery, both for the well-being of your dog, your baby, and your own physical and mental health.
We will also share a few drawbacks to having a dog bed in the nursery, so you can make a fully informed decision on what is best for your family.
Table of Contents
Safety concerns about a dog bed in the nursery
The main safety concern of putting a dog bed in the nursery is the chance that the dog and baby are ever in a room alone. This is a big no-no, according to parenting and baby experts.
It is highly recommended to raise your children with a family dog, but there are some scenarios where a baby’s safety takes priority over your sweet, four-legged friend.
Can my dog sleep in the baby’s nursery?
As long as an adult is present, it’s perfectly safe for your dog to sleep in the baby’s nursery. You may be thinking, “Why do I need to be there while my dog sleeps?” and here’s why.
The dog can wake up at any moment and someone should be present to ensure the dog stays away from the baby or tries to jump into the crib.
Dogs can turn at any moment, regardless of how well-trained or gentle they are. Babies smell different, they make loud noises, and any of these things could irritate your dog and make them snap.
On the flip side, if you are present in the nursery when the dog wants to take a snooze, that’s perfectly safe and acceptable. Just make sure someone is always in the room with the baby.
Pros of putting a dog bed in the nursery
There are many benefits of including a dog bed in the nursery, so let’s cover those first.
Keeps the dog involved to avoid jealousy directed towards the baby
Your life isn’t the only one that changes when you bring a baby home — your dog’s whole world shifts right along with yours.
A new baby means new sounds, new smells, and new boundaries for the family dog, which may take some time to adjust to.
That’s why putting a dog bed in the nursery can be a great way to keep your dog feeling included, and sends the message that they are still loved, even if all your attention is on the new baby for now.
There are physical and emotional health benefits for babies being around dogs
Dogs help to strengthen a baby’s immune system, and in turn, they keep children healthier.
One study reports that children ages 9 weeks to 1 year that had a household dog were 31% healthier (fewer runny noses, coughs, ear infections, etc) than children that did not have a dog at home.
Dogs also expose children to a healthy amount of bacteria, providing your baby’s immune system with a nice boost, particularly useful during cold and flu season.
Additionally, it’s a great idea to raise your children with a dog in the house. Pets teach responsibility, can lower stress levels, and encourage nurturing qualities.
These are wonderful life skills and attributes you can help develop just by keeping your precious pup involved in your baby’s life.
Dogs can keep new parents calm and help to maintain a sense of normalcy
Just as a dog’s life changes with a new baby, so does yours.
If you have a close relationship with your dog, it may be hard to try and give your pooch the attention you did pre-baby.
Feelings of guilt may creep in, and you can catch yourself wondering if you just ruined the dog’s life by bringing home this tiny creature.
“Does he think we’re trying to replace him? Did we just turn his simple life upside down?”
These are common worries of a dog-mom turned real mom. But don’t worry. Dogs are adaptable by nature and yours will be satisfied simply being near you as they slowly acclimate to their new family member.
That’s why having a dog bed in the nursery can be a great way to keep your sense of normalcy intact — before the baby, your dog was always nearby. There’s no reason that has to change once your baby is home, too.
Cons of putting a dog bed in the nursery
While you consider your dog as part of the family, there are a few drawbacks to putting a dog bed in the nursery.
Dogs and babies should never be alone together
Let’s imagine a family nap in the nursery. You’re on the daybed or in the rocker with your sweet new bundle. The dog is curled up in their bed on the floor.
Then, the doorbell rings. Or the washer buzzes. Or the phone rings. What do you do next?
The common answer is laying the baby down in the crib and going to tend to whatever needs your attention. But that means you’ve just left your baby in the nursery, alone with the dog.
While it’s likely that nothing will happen in this situation, it’s not worth the risk if something does happen and you aren’t there to supervise or intervene.
Dogs can have a negative impact on physical health
If your baby displays signs of allergies early on, it’s best to avoid putting a dog bed in the nursery. That’s where the baby will sleep, eat, and spend time every day of their early lives.
You don’t want to exacerbate the allergy by having the dog constantly around — the fur alone can be brutal for those who exhibit an allergy or have respiratory issues.
Dogs are loud sleepers and can be disruptive
Whether you decide to allow your dog to sleep in the nursery is totally up to you.
However, don’t look past the fact that dogs have loud, wild dreams where they run, bark, jump, and howl. This type of behavior can wake up your baby if they are sleeping, and can disrupt them from eating or playing.
They may also need to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, or scratch at the door, causing a commotion.
Alternatives to putting a dog bed in the nursery
Here are a few ways you can keep your pup included in the new baby’s daily routine without sacrificing their safety or your peace of mind.
Crate the dog in the nursery
If your dog is particularly attached, setting up a dog crate in the nursery is a viable option.
This way, your pup is still around his family and you have peace of mind knowing that he’s securely tucked away, and your baby is safe if you need to leave the room for anything.
Get a futon
If you have room for a futon in the nursery, this is an easy way to keep your dog included while keeping the baby at a safe distance.
Futons are relatively inexpensive, so you won’t cringe every time your dog jumps up onto yours.
Related post: Should you put a mirror in the nursery?
Final thoughts on putting a dog bed in the nursery
Your dog has been an important member of the family, and that shouldn’t change when your baby is born. Putting a dog bed in the nursery can help make the transition as smooth as possible as you bring home your new addition.
You might also enjoy