Ode to the Video Monitor

I confess that I judged people with video monitors. I thought only stupid people who bought $6,000 cribs and had an interior designer come over and do their nursery used video monitors. Oh ridiculous, hovering helicopter parents.

But then last spring we decided we needed to do some sleep training so my poor sweet boy could get some rest and not shriek all day (and night) long in exhaustion.¬† I insisted on buying a video monitor because I needed to be able to make sure little man did not have a leg stuck between crib bars or something. (Not that that has ever happened, but I’m paranoid.) Anyway, I retract all my making fun of people with video monitors. I freaking love this thing.

We bought this basic Summer Infant video monitor and the husband set up the camera over Will’s bed. (I’m sure there are fancier monitors out there, but this one gets the job done.) First of all, I realized immediately that many of Will’s sleep troubles were because his overeager, rookie mama kept charging in there every time she heard a squeak and waking him up. Yes, waking him up. Once I had the monitor, if I heard him cry out or fuss, I would look at it to see what was going on. A huge majority of the time, he wasn’t awake. He was just shifting positions or crying out in his sleep. And then I’d come charging in to “rescue” him and wake the poor thing up. Enter my beloved video monitor. Hear a little squawking during naptime? Click that bad boy on and most of the time, he’s just moving around and resettling himself. Plus, now I know how long he actually slept because I can see when he’s in there awake, just rolling around or playing with his paci.

So, inspired by Wordsworth:

There was a time,

When the video monitor to me did seem

Clothed in parental absurdity,

The neuroses and hovering of a new mother.

I am no longer the way I was-

Whatsoever I may have thought,

The video monitor put all to naught

The things which I now can see,

Will to me, always be

A cause to cherish that precious screen.



3 thoughts on “Ode to the Video Monitor

  1. I would love to have one. We don’t use our regular monitors because they are redundant (my kids might be loud, but we can hear them loud and clear without the monitors). But I would love to be able to see Wren without opening the door and waking her up (that kid is the lightest sleeper!)

    1. We never used a regular monitor either because my house is the size of a shoe box and my child is loud. I do love seeing his little butt stuck up in the air while he’s sleeping, though!

  2. I love/hate our video monitor. Love being able to spy on him, hate that it interferes with our Wifi and that it freezes up sometimes. It was/is a huge asset for sleep training! I would barge in and wake him up, too, but I’ve also had to rescue him from the crib slats and go in and reposition him after he falls asleep folded over face to knees.

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