When I was pregnant I started shopping for a baby monitor.
This should have been simple, I applied my same system that I used for every baby related purchase:
- Make a new page on my spreadsheet, entitled “baby monitors”
- List every baby monitor that has ever existed and been sold in
- Panic about how many there are
- Read reviews of every single item on my list, making notes of particularly salient points on said spreadsheet
- Delete every monitor with a bad review
- Reinstate monitors with bad reviews which don’t appear to be justified
- Attempt to look up safety records
- Re-read reviews
- Go to shop and attempt to view each monitor
- Speak to 10 people and ask for their views
- Post in a forum about baby monitors asking for views on your top 10
- Check Kiddiecare website regularly to see which baby monitor is selling quickest
- Order remaining baby monitors in order of price
- Finalise decision
- Purchase baby monitor and learn to use it
Unfortunately on this occasion I didn’t get to the end of my 15 step programme before my baby arrived (…and he was 12 days late…)
During my NCT course our teacher had advised that baby monitors were largely unnecessary if you lived in a flat as you would be able to hear the baby. Naturally we, the group, disagreed. My own preference was for a monitor which had a pad under the mattress to monitor breathing, but others were adamant that they had to have video monitors. We all had valid reasons, mine being how could I be assured that the baby was breathing if I didn’t have this? I had never held a baby at this point, I assumed that this was an essential and therefore made me a good parent (surely with a video monitor I would have to watch constantly to check baby was still breathing…very time consuming and difficult when I will of course be doing many other vital and important things…)
Naturally I didn’t have the monitor by the time the baby was born (it was a lot of money and despite all my research the Turk was not convinced we needed to spend quite so much…
In fairness the NCT teacher did have a point, at the time we were living in 2 rooms right next to each other, even when not in the bedroom I could hear Jem breathing (he was, and still is, rather wheezy when he sleeps.)
However, we would one day be using more of our 5 bedroom house (you see I still had faith) so I persisted in my plan to buy a baby monitor. My priorities had changed by this point…having passed the 4 month point I was a lot more relaxed about breathing (the baby rarely slept more than 2 hours at a time…I got over it and cared more about sleeping) and I was anxious to move into our real bedroom, and more importantly shift the baby into his.
I redid the process.
Only with a baby it went more like this:
- Google “baby monitor with lullabies”
- Pick the top one
- Attend shop to buy it
- Discover that Tomy actually make a variety of these…
- Return home and read reviews on all Tomy baby monitors
- Debate between 2 for 2 weeks until the Turk says “just buy one and stop asking me what I think, I don’t care I can’t tell the difference between them”
- Order said baby monitor online
- Stress about whether it is the right one until it arrives…
First night of using baby monitor I put Jem into his moses basket awake (the Holy Grail of baby sleep), put the lullabies on, and he fell asleep…
…Love my baby monitor….
…Never worked again.
In short, what I have learned is this:
- It is possible to overthink baby related purchases
- Of course you want the best for your baby (I’ll tell you about the saga of the car seat another time) and what you buy should be right for you
- What is right for you isn’t necessarily right for someone else
- You will always worry, no matter what you buy
- Just because the first time you play your baby electronic lullabies results in instant sleepage does not mean this will be repeated…ever…again
What the NCT teacher did point out to me was that if I was so bothered about checking baby’s breathing I should probably go on a First Aid course to check that I would know what to do should breathing stop…I did a first aid course and would thoroughly recommend to all.