I look at our video monitor about a bazillion times a day (and at night when I wake up). I love being able to see what's really going on when Emma Vance is crying in her crib; it helps me to assess if she's just crying to settle herself or if there's something really wrong. On the "cry it out" scale of 1 to 10 ("hold her to sleep every time" to "cry your heart out"), I fall somewhere right in the middle. It's SO hard to listen to, and even moms who fall on the latter part of the scale would agree. No one wants to hear their tiny baby falling apart in the other room, but sometimes it's an unavoidable reality. Having a video monitor helps me to stay in that healthy mid-range of attentive yet independence-encouraging mothering, and the other day I appreciated that video monitor more than ever, but for a different reason than normal.
In the past, E.V. has been known to get her arms and legs caught in between the crib spindles, to get stuck standing without being able to let herself down and to get tangled uncomfortably in her blankies--all situations in which she cried, I checked the monitor, and I came to her aid. The other day, however, she (seemingly) feel asleep immediately and was extremely quiet during her morning nap. I just happened to check the monitor despite the peaceful silence, only to find my happy, happy baby playing with her thumbie in lieu of sleeping. Up until a few months ago I had left a ton of toys in her crib for her to play with as she fell asleep, but as she's gotten older I removed them because they seemed to be keeping her awake more than wearing her out. She's down to blankets and thumbies now, so it's very rare for her to play before nap time anymore. You can imagine my surprise and delight, then, to see her making toys of her blankies, entertaining herself and (eventually) trying to fall asleep.
I know it's obnoxious, but since these little moments are passing at a scary pace, here's the adorable first few seconds of her playing, then a longer (more boring, unless you're her mom!) video of her falling asleep process. It's so fascinating to me!
About to have a baby? Please, please invest in a good video monitor! It will bring you peace, confidence, entertainment, and yes, sometimes even unexpected moments of joy.
Click here to see the video monitor we chose and are very, very happy with.
Didn't get enough sweetness and cuteness with the videos? Okay, twist my arm...