Since Ray was still very young, and still not given the run of the house at will, we knew keeping him separate from the baby areas would be pretty easy. For the most part, Ray and I hang in the kitchen and family room (pictured) and most everyone else watches TV etc from either the living room or the bonus room. Our gate system worked pretty well once we replaced the wooden one that Ray was whittling and he and the baby interacted often that way.
Ray is pretty desensitized to most noises. He doesn't mind thunder or fireworks and we worked a lot in preparation to desensitize him to the baby crying. We did get the scary baby and carried it around and talked to it a lot. We got the kind that cried, so whenever it cried, we threw treats on the floor for jackpot. That worked really well, but like I said, noises like that don't usually bother him. Once the baby was born, I made a recording of her crying and practiced the crying and jackpot again just to be sure.
From the beginning, Ray understood that he could sniff the baby if he was sitting and alll humans understood that there would be no waving of the baby above Ray's head like a treat he'd be interested in jumping up to investigate. Interactions were always low key and very controlled not because of the inherant dangerousness (eye roll!) of Ray, but because of his puppy-ness and zeal.
Going this slow has worked out really well for us and in the meantime, Ray learned about acting calm to get nice rewards and then while we weren't looking something else happened.
Ray grew up and started acting mature. Each day I'm amazed that the corner he turned and happy with his progress. Is he perfect? HECK NO, but he sure is trying hard to be a
And here's a pro tip from the YaYa who hasn't dealt with a baby in over 22 years: when you visit the pediatrician, you have to take any soiled diapers with you and since there will be accidents while you're out and about you should keep one of these handy things clipped to your diaper bag:
We certainly hope you enjoyed our little contribution to the ready for baby trend. We certainly aren't experts, but with the help of our trainer were able to figure a few things out when we needed to.