Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dad tip #89: Babies have ESP

My wife and I have both noticed a bizarre recurring phenomenon in our household. Occasionally, one of us will wake up early for one reason or another (full bladder, hungry cat meowing, etc.) and we'll take a peek at the video baby monitor and see our boy sleeping soundly in his crib.

Within moments of returning the monitor to the night stand and laying back down to sleep an extra 15 minutes, we'll hear our son begin to stir and babble. It's almost like he can see us looking at him through the video camera in his room!

I realize there hasn't been a speck of advice in this post yet; I'm getting there. If your child is anything like ours, he's good for at least 15 minutes of solo play time after waking up before he starts to really cry out for some attention. So, if you were trying to catch a smidge of extra sleep, then set your alarm and turn the volume on the baby monitor down.

Your kid will be fine and he might even learn that playing by himself is actually okay. And you'll be fine too as you enjoy your guilt-free extra rest.

("I always feel like somebody's watching meeeeeeeeee!" - Rockwell.)

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dad tip #27: Video baby monitors good for monitoring more than babies

Okay, I don't know if the title of this post is actually true because we've only ever used our baby monitor for monitoring our baby. However, we have a cat that definitely spends way more time on the kitchen counter and the dining room table than he should and it would be great to catch him in the act more frequently (and then *SQUIRT* with the water bottle!).

That said, the real advice of this post is that video monitors may or may not be overkill and they may or may not make you saner or crazier; it really all depends on your personality. We were originally planning on using a hand-me-down audio-only baby monitor from my sister (thanks sis!), but discovered that the static was ridiculously loud.

I think I already harbored some latent desire for a video monitor -- I like gadgets -- so, I did some research and decided to pick up a video baby monitor by Summer that seemed to rate pretty well for reliability and relatively low levels of static.

If you're like me and my wife, the video monitor is great because it gives you the chance to look in on your cute sleeping child, it prevents you from disturbing your child when he may well be perfectly fine, and it answers the "what was he doing to make that noise?" question. However, I could totally see some more OCD-inclined, paranoia-prone, and just-plain-nutty parents having their lives taken over by constantly looking at the monitor.

And you've got to figure that humans have been making and raising babies for a loooooong time without ANY kind of monitor. So, I guess the other real piece of advice here is evaluate what personality type you and your wife are before determining whether or not you even need a baby monitor and, if so, what kind you want to get.

Just to set some people's minds at ease: a.) we love our cat dearly and do not really take enjoyment in squirting him with the water bottle when he's naughty and b.) video baby monitors are NOT creepy a la George Orwell's 1984 ... unless you're actually really creepy like that.

Labels: ,