I remember when we first did our baby gear shopping in preparation for Sam’s arrival, one of the things on my list was an audio baby monitor. My husband the pragmatist (on a student budget no less) was arguing against it because:
1) our 2-bedroom apartment is small enough to get from the baby’s crib to the kitchen in 2 steps;
2) the static in such a small space would actually risk waking the baby up more;
3) there should be no point in time when she’s left by herself; and his favorite statement
4) we didn’t have those as babies and we turned out just fine.
Nonetheless the new mother in me, excited, paranoid, and stubborn, still kept it on the list when we entered Babies R Us. While there I discovered that I liked the Summer Infant Day and Night TV monitor over the typical audio walkie-talkie ones. My husband balked at the cost, $100 versus the budgeted $60. Yet after three hours in the store and multiple trips to the safety aisle to re-read the packaging, he relented and agreed that it would be our safest option. I had of course used those three hours to educate him about SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and make a major contention to his 3rd argument – that in reality at one point in time, the baby will be alone in the crib, for one bathroom reason or the other.
Now when expecting parents ask us for our opinion on baby gear necessities, we are unanimous in saying this is the first thing they should invest in (even before a crib, next to a car seat, but the latter is governed by the law so it doesn’t count). Our monitor allows us to close the bedroom door and have what we call “date nights”, eating a meal together or watching a TV movie, without the risk of waking our incredibly light sleeper. At the same time, we are able to keep a “watchful eye” on her. We’ve even taken it with us on trips to visit relatives, so that both of us can enjoy some adult time while she sleeps, and not have to worry whether she’s awake looking for one of us and we don’t hear her, or if she’s inadvertently fallen off the bed and we don’t see her. I use it during the day when she naps too, so I can do chores or enjoy some much-needed me time. I feel it’s one of the most useful baby gear investments we’ve made.
Now with Jamie’s upcoming arrival, I need to make the case for upgrading our monitor to the Summer Infant Baby Touch version.
The talk-back feature is also useful during Sam’s on-going sleep-training (more on sleep training developments in a separate post), and the swivel control on the lens allows you to pan the room, so I will be able to watch both kids sleeping! It’s almost triple the cost of the Day and Night one though, so wish me luck!. 😉