When you have a newborn baby, trying to balance night feedings, diaper changes, and your own desperate need for sleep become a never-ending battle. Why on earth would you add another creature to the equation? Well, surprisingly, there are actually benefits to adopting a dog when a newborn is in the picture, and they just might send you to the shelter today.
In many cases, adding a dog to the family when your child is very young can pay off in health benefits. "Yes, having a dog in the house early can protect against wheezing or respiratory infections. But this exposure has to happen very early in life," said Karen DeMuth, assistant professor of pediatrics at Atlanta's Emory University, in WebMD. If you wait until your kid is older, and possibly already develops asthma or other respiratory problems, then introducing a dog not have the same effects. To max out the health benefits, adding a dog to your family ASAP may be a good idea.
As with any other major life decision, it's important to make sure the time is right to bring a dog into your home. After all, the last thing you want is to generate even more stress at this intense time in your life. But if you were set on getting a dog in the near future anyway, there are several potential benefits to raising your infant alongside a dog. (Hint: consider adopting an older dog if you don't want to raise two babies at the same time.)