Barkley Says

So you're a big sibling now... | Barkley's Guides

So you're a big sibling now... | Barkley's Guides

        Now that we've gotten acquainted and have explored the basics of throwing the proper dog themed birthday party, there's another big event I'd like to prepare my furry friends for, an affair that, while dethroning you as the baby, will bestow your life with a bond that will mature you far beyond watching "The Dog Whisperer" on repeat (sst!). It's the bar mitzvah of dog-ness: becoming a big sibling. Since you have nine months for this coming of age, you'll have plenty of time to not just consider what this means, but what to freakin' do about it; and since we're furiends, I'm going to offer my perspective and guidance on the matter in the form of nine steps.

Step 1 | Do your research. 

Two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Wearing Pregnancy Announcement Bandanas

       The love you'll feel for your new bestie is an innate sense that doesn't require Cliff Notes, but becoming their big sister or brother is a multi-faceted role of being protector, example setter, and comforter-in-chief, so I'd definitely advise reading up on the job. How To Be a Good Big Sibling is an in-depth confrontation of essential questions, like, "If I'm not into this weird bald puppy creature, can I return it?" or other pressing issues such as, "Will I lose my spot on the bed?" and "Does it like to be petted?" Once you're well versed in big sibling-dom, make like a humble brag and post a #dogstagram photo of you, clad in a promoted to big sibling dog bandana, and your conquered tome. There's nothing that says, "I know things" like posting a picture next to the things you know, right?

Step 2 | Create a sanctuary for yourself, a cozy place you can go to unwind from this arduous big sibling gig.

      My pal Eli has his own armchair, a cushy Home Goods find that just fits his butt, and he is often found perched there, eyes fluttering shut, in a zen-like trance that says, "Don't talk to me. I've had far too much of the humans today." Eli's onto something that is of the utmost importance: you must have quality time to yourself. I'd recommend setting up your own space and even go so far as to make it an homage to you: a bust of your heada custom pillow featuring your dog ears, a personalized woven photo blanket featuring you and your dog mom, a ball pit, the works. Or garner inspiration from Eggnog the Bulldog and set up a doghouse that puts Snoopy to shame, a hand crafted wooden dog mansion with its own ramp that leads up to your human's bed. And whether you're channeling Eli the GSP or Instagram's beloved Eggnog, make it a work of art; you deserve it. 

Step 4 | Have a conversation with your fur mom about how you're going to create the perfect team.

Custom Team Jerseys Jersey Dog Mom Name Matching BFFs Besties T-Shirt Set for Dog & Human | Unisex or Women's Baseball Raglan Tees

       While sporting a matching dog and owner team jersey set is a super fetch way to solidify your status as a dynamic duo, it's not the only way you and your dog mama can ensure that, like the song by Noah Cyrus & Max, you know you're always on each other's team. Having a discussion about team building is necessary and it starts with considering ways to make each other's lives easier. Can you give your pawrents a paw with play-time? Can you sniff out a dirty diaper before it even happens? And most importantly, can your humans make sure that your toys are your toys? You and your squeaky pig will feel grateful that you tackled these issues with a civil dialogue. Listed below are a few items you can use to keep the team spirit going:

 Step 5 | Craft a pregnancy announcement fit for an adorable Instagram post

       Pregnancy Baby Announcement Sign Worn by Shih Tzu

       I've curated a set of essentials turned pregnancy announcement kit, four items designed to ensure that your baby announcement has all the crucial features: a sonogram, baby name, and gender revealing colors. Barkley's Pregnancy Announcement Kit is hand-made and comes with a "My Big Sibling Has Paws" bodysuit, a customized sonogram baby name announcement sign, an "I Thought I Was The Baby" gender reveal dog raglan, and a "Promoted to Big Sibling" Bandana. Choose from a pink, purple, or blue color theme to convey your new sibling's gender in a way that doesn't require crazy props or pyrotechnics.

       If you're wondering how to incorporate all four of your props in your big sibling announcement scene, you can include multiple shots where you don all or some of your items. For instance, wear your "Promoted to Big Brother or Sister" bandana and have the sign propped up on a stand next to you, baby bodysuit and "I Thought I Was the Baby" 100% cotton dog top placed below. The headliner of this show, however, is your choice of facial expression:

  1. "The Mugshot" | Put on your finest RDF (resting dog face, if you were wondering) and let the viewer know that you're not happy about the prospect of sniffing out dirty diapers and sharing your squeaky pig.
  2. "The Happy Tongue" | Forecast a slew of future love licks with a crowd favorite that says, "I can't wait to meet my new human!"
  3. "The Scream" | Open your mouth wiiiiiiiiiiiiiide open and do your best impression of Edvard Munch's fine art classic "The Scream," showing all your furiends that you're ecstatic about the extra table scraps.

Dog Facial Expressions - Grumpy Dog, #TongueOutTuesday Dog, "Screaming Dog"

 Step 6 | Help your human arrange a dog themed baby shower bash to make your guests go 🥺

Puppy Themed Baby Shower - Meri Meri

       Our readers are fully aware that dog themes are my forte. I happily tout my Portlandia-esque slogan ("Put a dog on it 🐶") as I transform everything from birthday pawties to bar mitzvahs, Christmas parties, all the parties into a dog's dream of treat bones and pupcakes. For a baby shower decked with dog decor, the fundamentals are as such: 

  1. Puppy themed party invites by Julie Bluet
  2. A garland made of cutouts of puppy faces
  3. A baby shower Welcome Sign encircled with an illustration of cute pups 
  4. A "My Parents Are Getting Me A Human!" Personalized Dog Raglan Tee for you to wear
  5. A paw shaped balloon in a color revealing your baby's gender
  6. Doggy shaped cutouts to place in your centerpieces 
  7. Another garland but made of puppy balloons in pink or blue
  8. A colorful assortment of pug paper plates
  9. A puppy cupcake kit
  10. For after the party - Puppy thank you cards for your guests, by Julie Bluet

 Puppy Themed Birthday Party - Plates & Dog Shaped Paper Cups


Step 7 | Watch mama closely in the days leading up to her due date 💕

Dog holding hands with pregnant woman

        As a baby's date of arrival approaches, your pregnant human's body is astir with sensations, persistent back ache and pelvic pressure among nervous anticipation of a baby coming soon. Met with the worry of an early labor, your hoomum has a lot to attend to, making the waiting period up until the big day a tense time. Make certain to notice if she is rushing to the bathroom frequently or has a sudden urge to clean everything. The former is a signal that her body has released the baby's head into the pelvis in preparation for birth; the latter is referred to as nesting, which is a mother's instinctual sense to prepare for baby. Stay by her side and give her all the support she deserves as she's waiting. You are after all a team, one close-knit with the special love between a mother and her fur child.


Step 8 | Have your first proper meeting with your little brother or sister.

Dog Meets Baby For The First Time

       This is the simplest step because the approach lies fully within your preference. Just to make sure that you don't get overly excited, however, have your mom first let you smell an item that has the baby's sweet aroma, ensuring that the new scent won't be a jolt to your fierce smellers. But what ensues after that is however you decide to express your love, whether it's with a contented sniff, a watchful gaze, or the presenting of the squeaky pig: a peace offering that declares something you knew in your heart since the beginning of those nine months... That you'd be friends until the end.

Pomeranian in Love

Step 9 | Support your mama through the postpartum phase.

Sad Woman in Monochrome

       During your human's pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone were coursing through her body at a rate about ten times the normal number and so, following the delivery of your little sibling, those hormones sharply dropped back to normal, a shock not only to her body but to her brain as well. This sudden dip can lead to a myriad of mental health strains such as depression, anxiety, and severe fatigue. So it is imperative that you stay closer to your human than ever, reminding her that there are two lights guiding her to the end of the tunnel: you and your little sibling. Bolster her recovery with postpartum recovery tea, a warm blanket, and a postpartum belly kit. 


       And once she's emerged from this last trying chapter, curl up next to your humans, now decidedly plural, and enjoy this new family of yours, lovingly made.

Dog with Baby

I woof you all!