When you have babies, there’s so many essential items you need as a parent. One of these incredibly important items is a baby monitor. With our first, we didn’t have a baby monitor right away, because she slept in our room and we were typically close by. That all changed during a family event a couple months after she was born. We were all downstairs, talking, lots of noise, and we couldn’t hear her crying. She could have only been crying for a few minutes, but also for much longer. I had a lot of guilt!
So, what’s a mom to do? Well, I went out and bought 3 different sound monitors. Maybe a bit overboard, but I didn’t care. I wanted to be able to know the second my baby was unhappy. I did end up returning one, but I kept the other two. I used a monitor called Summer Infant Babble Band. I loved that you could wear it like a watch and still hear everything going on. It also had a feature that only turned the sound on when there was noise in the room. It stayed charged for the time I needed it to. And overall it was a decent monitor. We use sound machines (ocean sounds) with our kids to help them sleep. Sound monitors pick up every bit of those sound machines, so even though it was only supposed to kick on if it heard sounds from the baby, it would pretty much be on all the time because of the sound machine.
We also got a VTech Baby Monitor as a back-up, in case the batteries on the band went down. This became my go-to for my son. It’s super simple, can be really quiet or loud, and has a battery option for the parent piece. We still currently use this at night for him. He’s good at sleeping through the night, but he usually wakes up pretty early, so it works like an alarm for me.
As our girl got bigger, we decided to get a camera for her room. We wanted something that could be viewed from a phone or device and could view in the dark as well as with light. We landed on a Netvue Orb Cam. Netvue is a foreign company (Chinese I believe); however, their cameras were relatively inexpensive and had all the functions I wanted. It also has a speaker and through the app you can speak directly in to the camera. My daughter loves this! It also has storage and streaming capabilities, if needed. It was also one of the few cameras that could communicate with our Amazon Echo Show (1st Gen).
It was all-around great and we love it’s functionality. There are probably some better items on the market now, but at the time it was just what we needed.
Our kids usually go to bed 2-3 hours before my husband and I. When we’re just getting ready to go to sleep, I always turn the sound monitor up for a few minutes. I just listen, mainly to the hum of the ocean waves though a garbled sounding monitor, but there’s something calming in that moment. Listening to hear a baby stir, listening for a little fuss or cry, hoping only to continue to hear the soft ocean waves. It’s like they’re telling me, “It’s okay to fall asleep. All is well in the world and your baby is dreaming happy dreams.”
Now with the cameras (yes, we got a second camera for my son’s room), it’s even more addictive to watch them before I go to bed. I will usually watch my daughter first. I’ll look to see if her eyes are open, if her hand or feet twitch or if she’s just rolled over. I watch for those little signs that tell me if she’s sleeping or not. 95% of the time, she’s sleeping.
I will then switch over to my son’s monitor and repeat the process. Watching a little bit longer since he’s in a crib and it’s hard to see between the bars. Sometimes he’s awake, just laying there quiet and drifting back off to sleep. Other times he’s out. He goes down easy, but has a tendency to wake up more often than his sister ever did.
I watch until I can tell I’m ready to sleep. It’s like my “binky”. Many times now I have tried to sleep without checking, but my mind races. I need to just see. I want to watch, even for just a little bit. Once I’ve taken a look, I can ease off in to sleep.
Isn’t that crazy!? I used to be able to sleep without a care in the world. Just lay down, run through the day’s events in my head and off I go into another world of relaxation. Now, I can’t sleep. I lie there and obsess over my kids. What if they’re crying and I can’t hear them? What if they’re awake and just need me to comfort them? What if…
I would have to look. Even if I just looked for a second, it was like my sleepy drugs. It relaxed my “what ifs” and allowed me to go to sleep more quickly. Everyone has a night-time routine, mine just involves spying in on my babes while they sleep. I wouldn’t have it any other way.