The Hushababy® Report

Baby Monitor Blues

Do you have a baby? Are you using a baby monitor?

How many times have you been drifting off to sleep in your own bed and you hear a sound! A peep! A snuffle! A snort! A gurgle! A grunt!

You go running into the baby’s room, or over to the baby’s crib, only to see baby staring up at your with a big grin!

Gotcha!!! You’re baby just might be training you!

Today we are going to talk about the baby monitor!

I have met with hundreds of parents over the years that may even be clutching the baby monitor in their hands and spending hours staring at it “in case” baby stirs. Sometimes Moms will even go rushing into the room to feed the baby before she has a chance to actually wake up. In many cases, babies won’t wake up when they are stirring or changing position but you can bet they will wake more if Mom or Dad enters the room, particularly if they are transitioning from REM to nonREM sleep.

Don’t get me wrong. Baby monitors are very important and I absolutely recommend you have one.

The behaviour that concerns me more is if parents want to look at their little one every few minutes. Or the parents that are so worried about their baby’s safety and health, that they are constantly “checking” either by monitor or by entering the room.

There is nothing wrong with having a baby monitor in place and the volume at a reasonable level so you do hear baby if she needs you. Of course you should attend to her if that is the case. However, if you are allowing the baby monitor to ensure you are “on call” all night long for every little sigh, sound, grunt, groan, yell, or babble, it’s probably time to reconsider how you are using it.

Video monitors can even be a more addictive piece of apparatus! I have met with many parents over the years, who have spent most of our consultation time together staring at the screen in anticipation of baby stirring. Video monitors are a very helpful tool that’s for sure but some separation is needed if you find yourself looking at it constantly. If your baby really really needs you, she is going to be screaming or crying and of course, you should attend to her.

If you are very concerned for fear of SIDS or another medical reason, a baby monitor with a sensor pad will help to put your mind at rest. The most common one I see parents using is the Angelcare Monitor and it is quite popular.

If you find yourself doing any of the above behaviour, please don’t worry. Again, if your baby really needs something, she is going to wake fully and most likely cry very loudly! Try to increase the amount of time you put the baby monitor down, or leave it on the counter, so you can go and have some down time while baby is sleeping.

Usually when I work with parents and their baby starts sleeping great, it takes the mom particularly about another 2 to 3 weeks to actually sleep better. For Mom to know, believe and understand that her baby is slumbering away peacefully in her crib, and does not need that much attention. Nursing Moms in particular are always on “high alert” especially if their baby has had sleep issues and they opted to do sleep training.

The first step is to free yourself from constantly having to be attached to the baby monitor and give yourself a break. If you find you are walking around the house with the baby monitor in your hand for fear something may happen, please try to work on putting it down and increase the time you do that, every single day. Quite often, there is no real need to enter the baby’s room. If you do so, baby will just get conditioned to that and that one thing alone can actually “cause” a baby to wake more frequently overnight.

Good luck everyone! Call me if you would like to discuss more. (Helen 604 803 0068)