The Baby Monitor Chronicles: When to Stop Monitoring

With the birth of our first baby, I loved registering for all of those sweet baby items you absolutely needed: a wipe warmer, a specially scented trash can for poop and a glow-in-the-dark thermometer for nighttime temperature readings. Okay, I made up the last need, but you get it.

Turns out, I didn’t actually end up needing many of the baby items that I thought were required for the job.

The one saving grace that someone gifted us with from our baby registry was our baby monitor. And admittedly, I used this. Regularly. I loved feeling close to our baby boys when I was actually all the way downstairs. I would fall asleep to their subtle breaths, and I would find it difficult to fall asleep when I was away from them without those sweet noises.

I loved to crank the volume buttons up from green to red and think to myself in the middle of the night after a pee, “Ahhh, yes, they are still breathing.” I loved to hear the subtle snores and the loud BANG! drop of animals off the bed (while I rushed up to make sure it wasn’t a human), and no, it was just Jags Dog that fell off the bed, again.

My heart feels full when this little mini computer of love shows full green bars and clear reception for an overnight session of surveillance.

But I’m now facing one weird conundrum in motherhood that I didn’t expect as our first-born turns 6 years old… when does monitoring my “baby” become weird?

Our boys are now 3 and 5-and-a-half, and I admittedly still listen to the baby monitor every single night. I have never missed a night (while at home) of monitoring our boys. I’m not just laying there awake, waiting for them to make a sound, but I like the feeling of being close to them during the nighttime hours.

About a year ago, the sad day came when our monitor hit the hay. You would think that would have been a wonderful time to officially cut the cord, but then something happened: Our youngest son had a febrile seizure at night. And all of the confidence I had in thinking I was ready to be monitor-free disappeared in a flash. I still needed the monitor. Actually, I needed to buy another monitor!

And I still need the monitor a year later. When will I no longer need it? Well, when our boys are in college, I bet I will wish that I could still listen in on that monitor.

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