We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us how they got their pets prepared for a new baby, and their responses were smart, useful, and totally adorable:
1. "We made sure our dog had a few key commands down, like sit, lay down, OFF — commands we would need to make sure he'd give the baby space. Now that the baby is more mobile, we are teaching him to give the dog space!"
2. "We played crying baby videos from YouTube for our dog, so that he'd get used to the sound."
3. "We brought our daughter's blankets home from the hospital and let our dog roll around in them. They were tight from that moment on."
4. "I let my dogs in the room during my son's home birth. My dog Ginger had given birth to puppies before, so she knew what was going on, and was very calm and helpful the entire time. And when my son was born, she was like his second mom."
5. "We started using the baby soap on ourselves so our dog could become accustomed to the smell."
6. "I know it sounds wild, but we talked to our dog a lot about the baby. We said things like, 'We're bringing you a baby,' and 'You'll have to protect your baby,' and it seemed to help a lot. They've been best friends from the get-go!"
7. "We got a kitten while I was pregnant with our first child, and we did a lot of touching, cuddling, and invading on her space, so that she'd get used to it before the baby came."
8. "We didn't have any major tricks for introducing our dogs to our babies. They were very intuitive during my pregnancy and started behaving more calmly on their own. Somehow they just knew a change was coming."
9. "We played with our baby's toys a lot before the baby was born, so that our dalmatian would be familiar with the sounds. When she wanted to play with them, we said, 'It's baby's,' and gave her a dog toy instead. Our baby is almost four months old, and our dog still doesn't touch her toys."
10. "My dog is more ready for kids than we are! He seeks out babies just to sit by them, and since he's a herding breed, he likes to keep an eye on small children from a distance. My mother runs a daycare, and I swear you can see him counting the kids to make sure they are all there!"
11. "We set up a dog bed in the nursery so that our dog felt he was still welcome in the room."
12. "We trained our dog Scout not to react negatively to our baby grabbing him by saying, 'What happened?' Scout knows that when we say that he gets a treat, and he becomes so excited that he totally forgets the baby grabbed his tail in the first place. And now that our son is crawling, Scout happily lays down in the way, hoping he'll end up with a treat."
13. "We used to let the dog sleep in our bed, but since we were planning to co-sleep with the baby, we actually got a whole new bed for us and a fancy pet bed for her. Then we sent her to her favorite doggy daycare while I was in the hospital, and by the time she came home and saw the baby there, she was just happy and tired. She even barks less now!"
And then there's this one, which is less a tip than just a dog life reality:
14. "My German Shepherd didn't care about our kids...well, unless they had snacks."
Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.