The Monitor

There are few items from a baby shower registry that remain useful after three years. Most of the essentials have run their course – baby towels, baby car seat, teeny outfits, bottles. For us, one item remains a constant in our repertoire: the baby monitor.

We sleep on a separate floor from Little Miss Red. Don’t freak out. It’s all we’ve done and all we know and it doesn’t bother us. We know people who co-sleep with their kids for years, people who share a room with their kids and everything in between. This is Madison, people. It’s fine. She’s fine. And it works for us.

But being on separate floors requires that the baby monitor, a device that most people have packed or given away at this stage, is very much a part of our life. I have Super-Sonic Mother Hearing, so I often wake when her breathing changes. I often say to CH, “she’s waking up,” he oblivious until she cries or starts talking.

When Miss Red was still small, but older than a newborn, I loved hearing her gurgles and squeaks over the monitor. As she grew, it became stories or songs. I feel like it’s a fun peek into her psyche – listening to her conversations with herself.

The baby monitor also means that CH and I never quite sleep well anymore. I mean, that’s a part of parenthood, but  since we need it on, we can hear her turns and sighs. Frankly, we hope to always have one tucked away in her wall or something as she gets older and potentially more daring.

Hindsight being what it is, I wish we had sprung for the video baby monitor, which might have saved us a few trips up and down the steps. And now, as Miss Red fights sleep until 9:30 or 10 p.m. each night, we could peek into her antics. Instead, we always check that it’s on each night, walking around to see the red lights light up, fixing the dial to make sure it’s at the appropriate sound level without being too staticy. It has become such a part of our nighttime routine that if we do ever get to pack it up or give it away, I imagine us still practicing the baby monitor rituals, as parents like us are wont to do.

–          MD

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2 thoughts on “The Monitor

  1. I have such a love/hate relationship with the monitor. We don’t sleep on different floors, but we still use it every night. We tried to not use it one night, and of course that was the night that the kid (quietly) got sick in his bed and fell back asleep in it. So, the monitor stays for now.

    I do hate the buzzing/not totally sleeping great. I do love hearing him talk/play himself to sleep or to being awake. It’s pretty awesome. But I do wish we had sprung for the video monitor. Especially as a toddler–if nothing else, it would be HYSTERICAL.

    • So true! I have a friend who had a video monitor and would laugh, because her daughter would scream hysterically, but in all actuality would be reading a book. They’re sneaky.

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