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.