Introducing rabbits to a baby

introducing rabbits to a baby

When I was pregnant, I was really worried about introducing rabbits and baby to each other. I needn’t have been, because it’s gone really well. They love each other!

The three rabbits absolutely adore the baby, and we’ve not had any trouble yet. She really enjoys them too and squeals happily when she sees them. She’s learning to stroke them and loves how soft their fur is.

They knew that I was pregnant. Barbara fussed around me a lot. Gingee used to enjoy putting his ear to my stomach. Ned just wanted extra cuddles!

Preparing during pregnancy

Before we even started to think about preparing them to meet the baby, we wanted to give them the chance to have a support network. They used to all live in separate rooms, but over the spring (baby was due in November), we worked hard at bonding them and getting them to share one bedroom. We knew this was going to be important both while I was in hospital, so they weren’t alone for too long, and when baby arrived and we had a bit less time.

Before the baby was born, we got them each a little plastic baby doll. It gave them a chance to sniff at something new, nuzzle it and chin it, and for us to remind them to be gentle.

I spent time with them in early labour, before I went to the hospital. I was on all fours on the floor, and Gingee kept stretching up to nuzzle the bump. They knew something momentous was happening, I think.

I had a long labour (38 hours!), so my husband and I were in hospital for a while. Fortunately, our hospital is walking distance from our house, so he was able to pop home a couple of times to check on them. We left them with lots of extra water and hay.

Actually introducing rabbits to the baby

We introduced them on the day she came home from the hospital.

She was in her bouncer and the rabbits got extra fuss and food. They ignored her for the most part. We had to pick them up to even get them to look at her!

She was so new but wanted to stare at them.

Introducing rabbits to the baby

(She was so tiny! She’s grown a lot even in six weeks!)

But, if you know about bonding rabbits, you’ll know that it’s a good sign when they ignore someone.

Their growing relationship

Since then, we’ve just brought her into our routine.

Three times a day, we say to the baby, “Shall we go and play with our friends the rabbits?” She responds happily to that now!

We bring her with us whenever we feed them so they associate her with good things. She usually gets to lie on the floor with them while they eat and they’ve started leaving pieces of food for her, which is adorable.

Gingee has put his head down to ask for grooming from her a couple of times. She’s not quite got the hang of how to do it, but I’m sure she will!

When she cries, our leader bunny, Gingee, goes to patrol the area while Barbara comes to nuzzle and check she’s okay. (Ned is deaf, so doesn’t really respond to crying!) 

We worried a bit about Gingee at first. He is so attached to my husband, and has been known to be jealous. We’ve been careful to make sure that my husband treats Gingee like the special bunny he is, and I often get to hold the baby a bit more while Gingee gets extra fuss. If anything, he seems happier than before!

They all like to get attention from each other. Baby loves it when they come up and nuzzle at her, and sometimes she cries when they move away. They like it when she touches them – Ned in particular. He’ll sit and look really proud, as if he’s saying, “Look, the baby is playing with me! Me! I’m the chosen one right now!”

The rabbits have their own bedroom, so they have somewhere to escape to where baby doesn’t go. They have their door shut most of the day, but we have three long sessions of food and playtime each day, so they don’t feel neglected.

I was really worried about how it would work out, but while they were a bit wary at first, I’ve never seen them binky as much as they have in the past few weeks!

She’s only seven weeks old and they’re already all so close. I’m so excited to see how their relationship develops as she gets older.

Gluten free Christmas baking

gluten free

I find it really hard to buy presents for men. And, I admit, that includes men that I love dearly, like my husband and my dad. This year, I’ve decided to do a frugal and largely homemade Christmas, and as my dad eats a gluten free diet due to coeliac disease, I’m going to do some Christmas baking for him!

I hear that it’s much easier to make gluten free bread in a bread maker, but as an experiment, I’m going to try without. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Gluten free bread

I spent a long time looking online for different recipes here. A lot of gluten free bread recipes seem to use coconut flour, but my dad really hates coconut, so those ones were out. I’m also not very good at anything involving kneading (especially at the moment, when my tiny tyrant might call me away at any moment!), so I tried to go for something that was just pour and go.

I also preferred the idea of using a proper gluten free recipe, rather than just one that substituted bread flour with gluten free bread flour. So I’ve cobbled together a few different recipes and come up with this. We’ll see!

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of flaxseed
  • Half cup of ground almonds
  • 1tsp baking powder (gluten free, obviously)

Preheat oven to 200C.

Beat eggs together in one bowl. Mix the flaxseed, almonds and baking powder together in a second bowl. Add the beaten eggs in, and mix them all together thoroughly. It should have a slightly wet consistency, but not be too loose. (If you struggle to stir it together, add in a tablespoon or so of water, but I didn’t find that I needed this.)

Pour the mixture into a loaf tin, and pop it in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or so.

So… what was the verdict?

Um. Well. It looked quite good, although it didn’t really rise much. The texture was quite dense (maybe I should use some more baking powder next time), but the crumb did look like bread. It just tasted rather, well, rubbery.

My husband’s reaction? “It… has a slight taste of fish to it. Not in a bad way, though. It’ll be great covered in Marmite!”

Yeah. I may not gift this to my dad. I may have had more success using a breadmaker!

A bonus gluten free recipe: brownie cheesecake

Not knowing how the first one would turn out, I also decided to make something that I know works well. You can do this in gluten and gluten free versions – just substitute the gluten free flour for regular if you have a real hatred of free from products!

This is one of my favourite recipes ever. I’ve been making it for years – in fact, to check measurements and timings, I ended up looking at an old Facebook note from 2009! It’s easy and delicious, and tastes basically the same whether you use gluten free flour or regular.

The brownie 

  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1.5 cups white sugar
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar (dark)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 cups plain gluten free flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 175C.

Mix melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add flour, cocoa powder and salt. Stir until well blended.

The cheesecake

  • 220g cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Chocolate chips

Whisk the cream cheese until it’s soft. Add sugar and vanilla essence. Whisk them together until smooth.

Spread brownie mixture into pan, smoothly. Dollop cheesecake on top, then swirl them together. Add chocolate chips.

Bake for around 35 minutes, until edges are puffy and centre is set. Try not to eat it all in one go!

*This is a sponsored post.