Friday, September 28, 2012

To video monitor or not? That is the question.

This was a huge source of contention in our household before little Teddy Bear got here.  I wanted the old school walkie talkies.  No frills.  No fuss.  What did TJ (the IT Consultant who loves every single digital gadget out there) want?  The video monitor with skype built in, 100 yard frequency, two way receiver, and blah blah blah (I stopped listening).

My very awesome accountant friends gave me a great baby shower and somehow the type of monitor got brought up.  Sidenote:  I swear I worked in Big Four accounting 2 years longer than I would have ever thought possible if it wasn’t for my specific team.  I love them.  Each one holds a very dear spot in my heart.  We would burn the midnight oil laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes.  We have had heated debates over the finer points of bathroom etiquette, where to stand in the elevator, the proper pronunciation of words, grammar, and I can’t even begin the “would you rather” discussions.  Imagine 8+ of the world’s most opinionated know-it-alls sitting at a conference table for 55+ hours a week.  It’s amazing we ever finished an audit. 

I literally cringed when the topic of the baby monitor came up.  The second I knew their stance, I knew I was done for.  I respect their opinions and once they put their foot down on TJ's side, there was just no way I would ever fight that monster.  They spent a good thirty minutes blasting me for not even considering the video monitor.  Way to push the pregnant lady under the bus guys…

So, now we have the video monitor. We compromised on the mid-range model. What do I think of the dreaded video monitor?  I hate that mother-trucker. Teddy stayed in our room for about four weeks and then we moved him to his own room.  We hooked up the monitor, turned the volume to max, and proceeded to freak out at every peep.  Around 2 months old he slept for eight hours, I kid you not…I stared at the screen the whole time making sure I saw a foot twitch, his chest moving, or any other signs of life.

I compare the video monitor to being addicted to some form of illicit drug (not that I have that experience).  The first step is admitting that you have a problem.  Keep in mind that I do not live in a mansion.  It’s a very small 3/2.  If the baby is crying, there is no doubt you will hear it.  Did that stop me from doing the dishes with the video monitor right by the sink just so I could keep an eye on him?  No.  Did it stop TJ from attaching the monitor to his belt while we were cleaning up for a party?  No.  Problem one: Having the monitor on you at all times.

Problem two: Volume control.  We have a sound machine in his room and we opted for the crickets.  (I wanted something country since I’m afraid he’s missing his down home roots by not being raised in Georgia).  One night when I heard him getting fussy, I stumbled bleary eyed into his nursery and then it finally hit me, “Wait a minute.  The crickets aren’t even that loud in his room.  He’s not making a sound at all.”  Duh.  Again, there is no reason to ever have the volume turned up so high, but as a new exhausted parent I was terrified my darling baby would need me in the middle of the night and I would sleep through it.

Problem three: the actual video.  After we admitted that we had a problem and we turned the volume down, it was time to turn off the video.  It has a switch to where the screen will go black if he’s not crying, but if he starts to make any noise the screen will turn on.  This was the hardest phase.  We would check the screen constantly just to make sure it was still working.  We would turn the volume up to make sure we could hear the crickets and then turn it back down once we knew it was still working.  Also, not to mention it’s kind of hard to relax and sleep with this huge glowing orb on your bedside table. 

So, what’s a new parent to do?  Do you go with the walkie talkies?  Do you go with the video monitor?  Do you go with the one that monitors the number of breaths and movements?  I have absolutely no idea.  You’re going to worry no matter what.  Sorry.  Truth hurts.
My sweet little sleeping angel. We have the monitor mounted above the curtains. It originally was perched right above the crib. As with all of the other steps, moving it further back was another step in the withdrawal process. The screen got cracked in our luggage on a flight and it was ALL I could do to stop TJ from running to Buy Buy Baby to get the higher tech version.

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