Baby Monitors--We love them! (and we despise them)

I was just on a call with a couple the other day and here was the situation:

Their son was (finally!) sleeping through the night (cue the confetti). But, they called to tell me that despite this momentous milestone, they were still not feeling rested.

When I asked why, this Mama reported that she was still up monitoring her son over the live baby monitor cam throughout the night.

Ahh yes...the best show on earth! Babies make for insanely addictive (yet incredibly boring) reality TV.

Babies are loud. I often joke that it is like having a cute little baby goat in the room. In addition to crying, the most stereotypical of annoying baby sounds, they also do the following:

  • sneeze,
  • grunt,
  • stir,
  • cough,
  • hiccup,
  • yawn,
  • gurgle,
  • grunt,
  • sigh,
  • squeak,
  • snort,
  • inhale, and, of course, exhale.

Being awoken in the middle of the night by every single one of your baby’s sounds, as adorable as they are, is not ideal.

Is It Time to Wean from the Baby Monitor?

Once your baby is sleeping well, it may be time to ask yourself: do I still need the monitor as much as you once did?

Don/'t get me wrong, I love monitors, and technology has really improved over the past 10 years. BUT, (and this is a big but), sometimes what is good for us can also be a burden.

For my clients whose son was finally sleeping through the night, I encouraged them to begin the process of weaning from the monitor. Now that their baby was sleeping well, there was no need to have it on and at full volume all night. This came as a relief to them. They had not considered turning off something that had been with them since night one at home.

If you are in the same boat, or even if your baby sleeps nearby and is establishing some good sleep habits, here are some suggestions. For your convenience, I have mapped them out in stages depending on how fast you wish to move when you are ready:

A Three Step Plan to Wean Yourself from the Baby Monitor

  • Phase One: Move the baby sleep monitor to the other side of the bed
  • Phase Two: Turn it down (you will still hear your baby, I promise)
  • Phase Three: If your baby is healthy and if you can hear her/him through the wall or door, then, (gulp) turn the monitor off.

Let yourself be "off duty" and rest deeply.

Even though you are "sleeping" with the monitor on the nightstand, the quality of rest is not deep. Once your little one begins to sleep better OR if you can hear him/her from your bed without the monitor, I say go for it.

You can thank me later.


Did you know?

I extend time for follow up questions after my 1:1 consultations. I find these are critical for addressing anything unexpected—including a previously overlooked dependence on a baby sleep monitor.

I am here for you.

Photo credit: Thank you to Marie Despeyroux via Unsplash.