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smudgiebun
21-09-2016, 02:52 PM
Hi everyone! I've not been on here in a loooong time. A lot has changed! We still have our lovely bunnies of course, but we now have a 9 month old baby boy too.

Our son loves the rabbits, he cries/has a tantrum when I take him away after playing with them, and he even knows what the word "bunnies" means (we have paintings of our rabbits in the dining room and if you ask him "where's your bunnies?" he looks at the paintings hehe :D)

My question is, how do you get babies to be nice to bunnies? He doesn't seem to understand when I say no, he just thinks it's funny and does whatever he was doing again. So far he's managed to grab an ear and hit Smudge (not hard), the majority of the time I am constantly batting his hand away.

I try to tell him to be gentle, and I say no when he starts getting grabby, but he just doesn't understand as he's only 9 and a half months old!!

I want him to grow up to be nice to the bunnies :( Does anyone have any tips?

daphnephoebe
21-09-2016, 03:01 PM
I'd first want him to prove he can be gentle with a toy rabbit before being allowed to closely interact with the real rabbits.

Sadly at his age, he won't have complete control over his actions and body movements yet (although its not long until he does).

I'd get him a toy rabbit that is his, it lives in a certain room and you show him what gentle means. (stroking the back/rear without grabbing). Get him to keep practising on the toy bunny until he's proven he understands what gentle means. If you do want him to interact with the other bunnies, maybe get him to feed them fresh veg by hand, again telling him gently while holding his hand out toward the bunny with food. Once bunny takes the food you move his hand back and tell him well done for being gentle.

If he can't be gentle. I.e. won't stop grabbing etc, he gets taken away from the bunnies and told he's not allowed to stroke them until he's gentle.
I'm sorry if it seems like I'm treating him like a toddler, but all my nephews and nieces were taught like this around the animals from around his age and we never had issues with grabbing ears etc. (I don't have kids, but have 14 nephews & nieces which I've had an active role in their upbringing)

smudgiebun
21-09-2016, 07:03 PM
That sounds like a great idea thanks!!

He's so used to just chewing and playing with everything he's not learnt how to be gentle. I guess this is the nature of babies!

He hits out if excitement so part of it is somehow getting him to calm down too.

*Bex*
21-09-2016, 07:47 PM
Your little boy is way to young to teach to be gentle with the rabbits but id consistently use the words gentle, perhaps while helping him stroke them.
Would he let you take his hand and help him stroke them?
If you carry on showing him and gently directing him how to interact with the rabbits the earlier he'll understand how to be with them.
My son was around the rabbits from being a baby. I'd say around 18 months I could let him pet them without worrying he'd grab or pet them too hard. Now, at just under 5, he knows how to approach them, stroke them, what they can/can't eat and how to clean them out etc. I only have one bun now but she much prefers my son to me!

smudgiebun
23-09-2016, 08:44 AM
He doesn't really like being made to touch things, so if I grab his hand to try and stroke the rabbit he just snatches it away lol!

tonibun
23-09-2016, 08:55 AM
I would imagine having a rabbit and a 9 month old child together, free range, that it would be nerve wrecking. Small children poke their fingers into sockets etc, they have noc idea what they are doing, so it's not fair on bunny. When he gets a bit older you can start showing him how to behave around the rabbit. He will cry when you take bunny away but he'd probably cry whatever you taook away. You really need to put your rabbit's wellbeing first here and your child will learn as he gets older, before any accidents occur.

smudgiebun
23-09-2016, 05:51 PM
Please don't assume I am being irresponsible and letting baby and rabbit run wild together, lol. The rabbits have their own very big room so they are safe from the baby monster :lol: Any time our baby has with the rabbits is completely supervised.

These incidents of being grabby are happening when we are right next to them! They are naturally curious about him so they will go and sniff him, and that's when his little grabby hands come out!!

I think it's hilarious that my grandma worries about our baby with the rabbits. As in him getting hurt. The most that is going to happen is a nip if he's in the way. The rabbits are way more likely to get hurt than he is. She seems to think they are like cats!

olices
23-09-2016, 06:19 PM
My lb is 2.5, the rabbits were here when he arrived. When he was younger we kept him away, as he got closer to a year he started to show interest so he used ti sit on my knee and the buns would smell us. He copied me being gentle and we stroked them together. They all get on well now and they come to him! He is really good with them, today he helped me take them to the vets for the RHVD 2 jabs. I still don't let him on his own with them, he is in the kitchen now with the pump to do car tyres and Harry rabbit is following him around x