Disclaimer: what I’m about to show you is equal parts adorable and tear-jerking and might make you cry into your cuppa.
No, seriously. The combination of babies and animals is enough to make anyone weep, so this is your five second warning. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Okay, so you’d think introducing your newborn baby into the family would be sightly terrifying, wouldn’t you? Especially if pets are involved because who’s to say they’re even going to get on?
But it turned out one couple in Wisconsin didn’t have anything to worry about, because as soon as they brought home their new baby girl she was immediately welcomed into the family by their two giant pet rabbits.
As reported by The Dodo, Jenn Eckert gave birth to her daughter, Bailey, in June last year and knew straight away her rabbits – Alfie and Amelia – would become best friends with their new addition.
Alfie and Amelia loved their baby sister from the first time they met her outside the hospital, standing proud in their matching outfits with their ears held high.
Just look at them!
Mum Jenn regularly tracks their antics at home with Bailey on a Facebook page called Rabbitat For Humanity, posting adorable pictures of the trio on an almost-daily basis.
Jenn described to The Dodo how the two rabbits reacted when they first met Bailey:
Alfie tried to jump into the car seat, and Amelia just sniffed. They were both so gentle, though, so I knew they would be best friends.
And she was right; since bringing Bailey home, the rabbits have made the baby their centre of attention and stay by her side whenever she’s in the room.
Alfred: Mellie, maybe yous should twy explaining…Amelia: Okay, Miss Bailey Bun. Does yous see dees big earsies wees…
And it isn’t all one-sided; Bailey, who is now eight months old, has been around Alfie and Amelia her whole life and loves them right back. I honestly can’t cope.
Bailey will roll over to watch the rabbits – who are Flemish giants and can weigh more than 20 pounds – when they come into the room, and she loves feeding them treats.
She is always their center of attention. They will lay by her when she is sleeping. They tend to hover a bit, like they immediately saw her as their responsibility to protect.
They definitely are protective of Bailey. Alfie thumps if Bailey is crying. When Bailey is sleeping, both of them [keep] sniffing her to see if she is awake.
Alfred: Okay everybun, say "Nanners"!!Amelia: Um, Miss Bailey Bun?…Miss Bailey Bun: zzzzzzzzz……
Not only do Alfie and Amelia look after Bailey, but they’ll soon be able to look after patients in hospitals and nursing homes when they become official therapy rabbits.
Because they’re so gentle and patient with Bailey, Jenn decided the rabbits would be perfect to train and is currently working with an organisation called Pet Partners. Once they become certified, they’ll pay regular visits to hospitals to meet and cuddle patients.
I think people are very curious [about them], as rabbits aren’t the first pet people would put with a baby. With Bailey, I now get to show people that just because you have a baby does not mean you can’t keep your rabbit.
I continue to promote rabbit therapy, as it shows how great they can be with kids. It also gives me the opportunity to educate people about rabbit care — they aren’t just an animal you can put in a cage.
And as the rabbits and Bailey grow up together, that bond is only going to increase as Jenn says the trio even has their own little language.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).