If you’re expecting and worried about your beloved pug Pugsley’s reaction to the new baby, then try Baby Sounds for Pets. The brainchild of model/actress Kristen Overdurf-Abud, the CD features a wide range of baby noises — from laughter to a full-on tantrum — to get your pet used to baby sounds before your own little bundle arrives. Celebrity Parents spoke with Kristen about Baby Sounds for Pets, her family, and her aha! moment.
Let’s talk a bit about your beginnings. You worked as a model for many years.
Yes, I did. Most of my modeling has been commercial print so I’ve been in ads for sunglasses, hair products, clothes, cell phones, etc. My acting has been in commercials, a few independent films, and lots of theatre. I have also done a lot of voice over work as well. I also am a professional Makeup/Hair artist for film, TV and print work.
What made you come up with the idea for Baby Sounds for Pets?
My sister had just gotten pregnant and was really worried how her golden retrievers would respond to the baby. I went looking for a CD of sounds and I couldn’t find one anywhere. Someone in Australia said, “You should just make one”, so I did. In my research, I realized so many people were getting rid of their pets without even trying to help them because they didn’t know what to do about a baby’s arrival. So I was very inspired to help people keep their family together. I truly feel that children need to grow up with animals to learn compassion and responsibility. What better way to learn unconditional love than from their pet? My son loves his Wawa, as he calls our beloved Fred the Chihuahua and kitty Pasha.
Let’s talk about the process of creating the CD.
I wanted the sounds to be real so I knew I would need babies for it. I held a casting and asked the parents what their baby did best. Moms and Dads know their kids and it’s amazing how right on they were! The “Laughers” and the “Criers” were right on cue! Then what was left was to put it together, create the graphics, the website and printing. The process was pretty quick; it was the editing of the babies that took the most time!
What has been people’s reaction to the CD?
I have had so many positive responses! Many pet parents were looking for something like this to help them and their pets be prepared for the new arrival. Having a baby is one of the biggest changes for human beings, so imagine how much it changes our pets’ lives! Overall, people love it and find it very simple to use with great results. I even had several husbands say they feel more prepared!
What can people expect when they buy the CD?
I always tell people to start playing the Baby Sounds for Pets on a daily basis about a month or so before the baby’s arrival. That way, the pet has plenty of preparation. Some pets will pace in circles, some will growl at certain tracks and some just lay there. The main thing is that the sounds are being played in the house to get them used to them. No reaction is still a reaction.
I find cats are way more curious about where the sounds are coming from. They usually want to investigate the speakers! My cat was very interested in the crib and bassinet. What I tell people is don’t try to keep the cat out; he will get in! Play the sounds if you can from the crib so they get used to where the baby will be.
Now, I have been told by bird parents that birds are the most jealous! My suggestion is to just start slow with them. You should play the CD’s on a low volume so they aren’t scared.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give pet owners is to try to keep their pet’s routine the same, even after the baby comes. If necessary, hire a dog walker to keep their walk schedule the same, and be sure to make special time for just you and your pet.
Where is the CD sold?
The CD is sold at maternity and baby stores as well pet stores. It also is sold on line at www.babysounds4pets.com and www.petsmart.com. You can find stores in specific states on my site too.
You have a young son, Antonio. Is it hard to balance work with being a mom?
I try to remind myself that the most important job I have as a mom is Antonio and his well-being. After having my son, I realized that living in the moment and not sweating the small stuff is the way to get through it all. Whatever is important will get done.
What do you have planned for the future?
We have some great plans for the future! We have a new version of the CD coming out with a Spanish intro. Also, I will be introducing a new line of Flower Essences for your pets’ water to help with issues such as acceptance, jealousy, and life changes. I also would like to start offering one-on-one pet Coaching on the phone or in person to help get new mommies and daddies get their pets really ready for their baby’s arrival.