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What Your Baby Monitor Says About You

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Tell me what type of baby monitor you have and I’ll tell you what type of parent you are. There are a zillion baby items on the market and a lot of them are useless. But every parent out there has that one baby item that is the “must-have,” the item you make sure your besties put on their registry. For some, this mandatory baby gear is the magical Diaper Genie, others make it their life goal to find the perfect stroller. For me, I’m all about the baby monitor.

Doing hours of research on the subject before my kids were born and being the proud owner of three different monitoring systems makes me a self-appointed pseudo-expert on the subject. I’ve found that people can generally be categorized based on their baby monitor of choice.

1. You don’t have a baby monitor.

You are the definition of “laid-back.” You didn’t have a birth plan, you decided to just go with the flow. This is probably not your first child, so you know that if the baby is really in distress, you will hear her even without a monitor. Or, alternatively, you live in a one story dwelling where you don’t need a monitor because the walls are super thin and if the baby is up, everyone’s up.

2. You have an audio baby monitor.

You like to keep things simple. You trust that the baby will be just fine in her crib, and if she isn’t, she will let you know. You never worry about freak accidents like a silently falling mobile or that if you can’t see the baby you won’t know if she gets abducted by aliens. Chances are your relaxed attitude makes you really good at yoga.

3. You have a standard video baby monitor.

You like to get a glimpse of your sleepy little angel, but you’re perfectly fine if the image is a bit grainy, as long as you can see her general outline you know she is well.You feel better being able to look at the monitor in the middle of the night instead of shaking your partner any time you hear a noise from the nursery and holding a midnight Senate debate over whether or not you should go into the room. This practical streak means you probably have a simple, no-fuss get ready routine in the mornings that leaves you looking polished and perfect and everyone else wondering what your secret is.

4. You have a video baby monitor with multiple cameras.

Sleeping in the room yourself would be preferable, but you recognize that your baby can benefit from sleeping on her own, so you compromise by leaving no inch of the room unmonitored- you don’t want to miss anything. If your child is a toddler it is highly possible that she is prone to climbing out of her crib and getting into mischief, so this way you can see her when she starts coloring on the walls or falls asleep under her bed. A teeny part of you wants to be Quentin Tarantino and you quietly whisper, “Action” to yourself each night as you turn on the monitors.

5. You have a video baby monitor with remote lullaby, nightlight and remote intercom.

This monitor is a favorite among super anxious moms that would prefer to have the baby sleeping right next to them until college. You would totally upgrade to a monitor that allows you to view the baby from your phone, but that would require you to actually leave the baby, and you’re just not comfortable with that yet. With a zoom lens to make sure the baby is still breathing and the ability to sooth whimpers from the other room like the disembodied voice of God, maybe with this monitor you can finally relax enough to get some sleep. In my house, this monitor is known as “My Precious”. If this is your baby monitor of choice, you and I would be fast friends and share hand sanitizer.

6. You have a baby monitor with video monitor, remote lullaby, nightlight and remote intercom remote viewing from your phone.

You trust no one, not even the babysitter, and the babysitter is your mother. You like to be in control of the situation and need to know what is going on with your baby at all times, but you also have things to do, or a job which requires you to leave the house. You fancy yourself just a teeny bit like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible and enjoy the spy gadget aspect of pulling up the baby nursery on your phone where you can watch her without anyone knowing what you’re doing. Also, I’m a little bit jealous of you.

(Photo: B Calkins/Shutterstock)

35 Comments

  1. aCongaLine

    August 26, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Baby #1. 900 sq ft apartment. Video monitor with motion sensors and multiple cameras.
    Baby #2. 3300 sq ft house. No monitor. #totallyoverit #lostinthemovedontcare

    Both children alive and well, and non-traumatized.

    lol.

  2. Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

    August 26, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    My only requirement was a digital monitor. Less chance of interference. Anything else picks up our local quarry.

  3. amyp

    August 26, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Everyone can’t believe that I am not getting a baby monitor for my first baby, I live in a bi-level with terrible insulation, I can hear my husband two floors up talking softly and I am such a light sleeper I wake up if my roll rolls over one floor down. I am not worried about not hearing baby.
    Granted I don’t have a birth plan either…haha…

  4. Blahblah

    August 26, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    I just stick my head over the landing in the stairs now and then. No biggie. If she needs me, she screams. Besides, I was gifted a monitor, but whenever I have it on, the cats just start yowling into it.

  5. Lauren Victoria

    August 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I see your video monitor with zoom and talk back feature and raise you a Snuza motion sensor clipped to her diaper so an alarm goes off if she stops breathing.

    • Meg13

      August 28, 2014 at 11:12 am

      I had the multiple video cameras (with zoom and intercom) AND the Snuza monitors. I admit I was a completely paranoid new mom. I even put the Snuza on during nap time, when we were in the same room as them.

  6. Nicole

    August 26, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Number 5 here, but only cause I didn’t know number 6 existed, or it didn’t when I registered.

  7. Nameless Mom

    August 26, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I’m getting a raspberry pi (think mini barebones pc] and hooking up a webcam I already own to it. DIY audio video baby monitor for $45. Then I can use it as a home security cam later. What does that say about me?

    • rockmonster

      August 26, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Nice. It says that you’re a techie and can you send me an extra Pi?

    • Nameless Mom

      August 26, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Lol, I would if I had mine. I’m gonna get the new b+ a friend offered to send me their original model b but I told them shipping from the uk to the us would be more than it is worth. Btw the new b+ is only $45

  8. EX

    August 26, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    I had a video monitor but it interfered with our wifi, so I returned it for a basic audio one. So apparently wifi > baby. Not sure what kind of parent that makes me…

  9. Harriet Meadow

    August 26, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    We have a hand-me-down audio monitor. Not only am I really good at yoga, but I’m also super cheap. 😛

    • allisonjayne

      August 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      Same! We’re using my sister’s old definitely analog audio-only monitor, that was bought definitely prior to 2003 and may have even been handed down to my sister so could be older. Totally works.

      Granted, we live in a 900 sq ft apartment so most of the time don’t even need the monitor. But it’s useful for when I’m doing dishes or having a shower.

      My parents said they only ever used the monitor when they left the house (to go visit their next-door neighbours, or at least that’s what they say).

    • Larkin

      August 27, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Us too! One of my husband’s coworkers gifted us her sister’s audio baby monitor. We’re in an 850 square foot apartment so, though I entertained the idea of a video monitor, my husband pointed out that it was a little ridiculous. Haha.

  10. Amanda

    August 26, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I had no monitors for baby purposes. It was once we reached the toddler “smear poo on everything including every page of every book in the entire room” phase that I rigged up an old cell phone into a sort of closed circuit surveillance system.

    Sigh.

    It didn’t even work that well.

    • Linzon

      August 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      I feel your poop pain, but man that shot is priceless.

    • KaeTay

      August 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      that shot is pretty much what you see in scary movies before they control you with their mind to do some sort of horrible thing

  11. Kristen

    August 26, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Audio monitor and we stopped using it ages ago.

  12. Metsy

    August 26, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    No monitor here. He’s right across the hall. If he needs me, he’ll yell loudly enough. (Our parents have asked that we move the crib into our room. Nope. Didn’t buy a 4 BR house for everyone to sleep in our BR.)

  13. Marisa

    August 27, 2014 at 12:14 am

    We don’t have one. Her room is two steps from ours, we leave both doors open, if she sneezes we hear it. Plus we think it would make us really paranoid. I’ll probably be checking it constantly and running to her side every five minutes thinking she has stopped breathing.

  14. Jayamama

    August 27, 2014 at 1:40 am

    We have a one-story, two bedroom house. Our older daughter has one bedroom, and the crib is in our room with us until my younger daughter no longer needs to be fed at night. During the day, I just keep the door cracked so I can hear her when she wakes up. No monitor needed.

  15. lea

    August 27, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Standard video monitor here. I’m not afraid I won’t hear baby, I actually put it on silent so I don’t hear his every peep, but I like to be able to see him so I can decide if I need to respond or not when he cries. This mum is really shit at deciphering her son’s cries without the accompanying body language.

    He cries in his sleep from time to time. He sounds like he really really needs me, but his lil’ eyes are shut and he’ll roll around for a few minutes or less and then it’s all over. If I go in during one of these, it becomes 10 minutes to calm him and a further 15 minutes of nursing before I can leave the room again. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

  16. Amber Leigh Wood

    August 27, 2014 at 5:52 am

    I used to have a video monitor, because of my paranoid “was that the baby” in the middle of the night. Now that he’s older and we moved into a 2 bedder apartment it’s no monitor for me

  17. Valerie

    August 27, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Meg I love this!!! We were audio and sometimes nothing because we would forget to turn it on. Lol

  18. Guinevere

    August 27, 2014 at 9:59 am

    We don’t have a baby monitor, but the few times we’ve both been outside doing outside chores while baby was sleeping, we just skyped each other, so baby is on one end of the line and we’re on the other. I am a firm believer that the phone replaces all things.

  19. WhoremonalCrazyLotusSlugalo

    August 27, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Mine said, “You’re frugal and sensible” (read cheap and grateful for what came your way).

  20. Linzon

    August 27, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I still use an audio monitor with my kids because if I’m downstairs in my office and they’re upstairs napping/pretending to nap but stealthily destroying their rooms I can’t hear them otherwise. Sometimes I do wish we had a video monitor for my 3-year old’s room so I could see what he gets up to in there when we think he’s sleeping.. he’s as stealthy as they come!

  21. KaeTay

    August 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    lol I’m on my first baby. I had a audio only monitor that I used for almost the first year but then realized I could hear her when she woke up so I stopped using it. She sleeps in the same room as me still and her toys aren’t kept where she sleeps except for 2 stuffed animals that she has to sleep with. Either way right now muchkin is still in the good girl phase…unless she’s hungry

  22. Alexandra

    August 27, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Audio monitor, 2 cameras, 2 way voice and remote viewing. Just happened to have my mom surprise us with it.

  23. ted3553

    August 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    I was all prepared to call BS until I looked at me-#3 and you nailed it.

  24. Greta Young

    August 27, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I’m a first time mom and wouldn’t say I was “laid back” by any means when it came to pregnancy & birth stuff — but I was pretty selective with what parts of the “baby industry” to support with my consumer dollars, and decided against a monitor. I saw the outrageous prices for some of these devices and got disgusted with all these companies’ attempts to capitalize on parents’ insecurities and tech-obsessions. I do have a smaller sized home though, with high ceilings & all tile floors, so sound carries pretty well. Maybe if I lived in a mansion with wings, or had decided to turn a detatched mother-in-law unit into the nursery or something, yeah then that makes sense I guess.

    My coworker, who is pretty much the opposite of me when it comes to parenting/baby-related topics, will spend money on anything heralded as the latest and greatest contraption. I recall him bragging about spending $250+ (but it’s normally $350 so it was on sale!! *eyeroll*) on some iphone-integrated video monitor with all kinds of silly settings. He later said the thing broke within two months.

  25. dzymzlzy

    August 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    No I don’t trust my mother. I caught her rubbing toothpaste all over my daughter. She thought it was the sunscreen.

  26. Boots

    August 28, 2014 at 1:52 am

    We use what we’ve already got – Skype. I set up the laptop near the bed & Skype call to my phone when I’m outside. Works out brilliantly!

  27. Erin Murphy

    August 28, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I found a video monitor with lullabies and the intercom for 50$ on woot. The lullabies are not only NOT relaxing, they are so loud I can’t hear the baby over them. We mostly use the intercom to practice saying “hey baby!”in our best Chspelle voice. So I.think.I have more of a bare bones video monitor personality.

  28. Pingback: What Your Baby Crib Says About You

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