having a baby

Video Baby Monitors Aren’t For The Paranoid, They’re For The Lazy

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monitorWhen prepping for a new baby, even the smallest parenting decisions turn into agonizing gridlocks as you try to make the best choice possible for your widdle bundle of joy. What type of crib to get (standalone or 4-in-1?), what nursery theme to register for (owls are so hot right now, owls), right on down to what type of baby monitor to buy.

At first glance, you probably think a baby monitor is a baby monitor is a baby monitor. Right? Oh ho ho ho, that’s where you’re wrong. For starters, baby monitors are categorized by Target as a “health and safety” device. Oh no! Oh yes.

This simply means that choosing a basic monitoring tool becomes an uber-complicated monitoring endeavor as you narrow down your selection between analog audio versus digital audio, video versus movement detection, and even wireless network monitors (called the “ultimate in innovation”) that connect to a smartphone app.

I had a lot of noble thoughts before I was a parent, and one of them was that I wouldn’t get caught up in the “newfangled” baby monitoring trap. Back then I thought, what kind of parent watches their baby like a hawk 24/7? Do these parents ever even sleep? Don’t they have anything better to do with their time?

Well, my first mistake was that no new parents ever sleep. So that levels the playing field right there. With my first son, we went with a good ole audio monitor for about nine months, until we let him scream bloody murder in his crib for 15 minutes so he would “settle down”—only to realize that he had his leg painfully contorted and trapped in one of the crib slats.

I felt like such an asshole! Here I was, trying to teach the art of self-soothing, when I really was allowing my son to writhe in pain for a good quarter of an hour. Within just 48 hours, we had a brand spanking new video monitor sitting on our doorstep (thanks, Amazon Prime!). Now that we have two sons with two separate video cameras connected to the same monitor, the baby video monitor is something I can’t live without.

It’s not entirely because I’m a paranoid parent. While that may be a little true, I’m also a LAZY parent. We live in a two-story house—first world problems, I know. I also work at home and don’t want to trudge up the stairs every time I hear a gasp on the monitor to see if my kids are okay.

If you feel like baby technology has gone too far and babies need their privacy, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. If a video monitor means I don’t have to get my ass out of bed at three in the morning to check on a whiny baby, I’m all for it.

(photo: Getty Images)