Most people, even those who have previously not had to venture anywhere near babies, will know what a baby monitor is. It is a trap to catch unwary, sleep deprived parents moaning about the house guests listening on the other end. It is usually obvious when this has happened because the atmosphere becomes cold enough to crack and the guests suddenly find some reason to return home. This is awkward and can mean some effort is going to have to be expended re-building relationships down the line but has the immediate benefit of relieving the stress and tension levels in the house.
Another use for the baby monitor is to listen in on Small to make sure he is okay. Some more expensive models also have a visual relay so that you can watch Small sleep. It is almost as entertaining as watching the washing machine; but not quite.
For new parents in particular, baby monitors offer reassurance that all is well with Small without the need to sneak into his room every five minutes to check he is still breathing. Of course, to hear his breathing the volume has to be cranked up to full, which is enough to burst eardrums when Small wakes up, unhappy.
If Small is unhappy the baby monitor becomes redundant: a Small’s scream can cut through reinforced concrete. Sound proofing will prove no barrier. There is something in the pitch, modulation or intensity of a Small’s cry that will cleave through everything in its path and stimulate every activating hormone a parent possesses to drag them into action, no matter how tired they are or how hard they are trying to ignore it.
Personally I found the baby monitor extremely useful if I was working in the garden whilst Small was having an afternoon nap. It meant I didn’t have to keep going into the house to see if Small was awake yet, which not only used up valuable non-Small time but also ran the risk of waking him prematurely.
By the time Small 3 arrived our baby monitor had died after years of good service [and two relationship rebuilds]. Fortunately by then we were confident enough to cope without it so we avoided the expense of replacing it. And there was no chance of working in the garden anyway because the other two Smalls were awake.
Not so much a parenting guide full of advice, more the reality of parenting kids and being a house husband and father, written by a stay at home dad to three children.
To carry on reading select another category from the menu. If you would prefer to buy the book, you can do so using the links below.