Babies seemingly needs tons and tons of stuff. How is it someone less than ten pounds needs hundreds of dollars worth of stuff? It sure can be frustrating and overwhelming.
Since my husband is still in school, we decided to try to only buy the essentials. We didn't even get a swing!
If you've ever been to Babies R Us--you know what a difficult task only buying a few things can be, since everything is marketed as "have to have". That store makes me dizzy.
I think we really lucked out, and because we tried to be very minimal we didn't spend near as much as I hear some people do. I never felt deprived or wished I had something. Obviously, people made it for centuries without all of the added luxuries.
One thing that seemed nice, but got put into the "non-essential" category was a baby monitor. I figured since we're in a tiny apartment that it wasn't needed.
But, then as Carter got older and was sleeping longer I really wished I had eyes on him. I figured I didn't really need ears, since he is easy to hear! And, going in to check on him wasn't really an option since he'd wake with the crack of the door. Plus, you want to be able to see them whenever--and not just for that second you peek your head in.
So, around his first birthday I started looking around. I'm totally into buying things used (love bargain hunting!) but was still disappointed that used video monitors were still going for $80-$100.
Then, a miracle happened. My sister was visiting her in-laws in Reno, Nevada for Thanksgiving. They were perusing a local Ross and just so happened to see ONE Summer Video Monitor randomly placed. Thankfully she was thoughtful enough to call me. When she told me it was only $49.99 I did a heel click. I couldn't even find used ones for DOUBLE that.
I pleaded for her to buy it and count it as Claudy/mine/and Carter's Christmas gift. Heck, I would have even thrown in "you can count this as my birthday gift for the next five years," because I wanted it that bad.
Did I mention she's the best sister ever?
Having had it for a few months, I truly think this is an essential. As cliche as it is, I don't know how I lived without it. Since he is getting more and more mobile it's nice to see what he's doing in there. Sometimes it's pure entertainment (he's chucking his stuffed animals and laughing wildly???) or for safety (his arm is caught in the crib slats!).
It's been invaluable, because sometimes you hear him crying--so you think he's done napping. Instead of going to get him, I look on the monitor and I often see he's still laying down and is just sleep whining. I leave him and he sleeps for another 30 or so minutes. Usually, if he's sitting up there is no way he's going back down and I can kiss nap time goodbye!
And, it's great to see if he's really sleeping. My sly son sometimes plays or lays quietly for upwards of 30 minutes before drifting off. I used to think that he slept for the total amount of time he was quiet. I'm sadly realizing my "great napper" isn't that great--and now I can plan his bedtime accordingly.
It did take a bit to get used to sleeping with the monitor in our room. I have to turn the volume completely down, because every toss and turn was too loud for me. And, it was quite bright for awhile. But, now that we're used to it I love to just look and see my angel peacefully sleeping. It's great to roll over and see how he's doing without having to get out of bed.
Don't get me wrong--he often times finds a way to "go off the grid" as we call it. He'll find the one corner where the camera doesn't reach, but most of the time we can see him.
The only part I don't like is that because it's such a low frequency the screen will frequently get white noise and "snow" across the screen. When I'm home all alone, I have to remind myself that I'm not in a scary movie, and that there isn't a ghost in his room :) It's a bit creepy!
But really, any device that allows you to see that your son is hugging and kissing his sea horse before he falls asleep is worth every penny!
I know this will be especially handy, for when he starts to try to escape his crib, and for when he has a big boy bed and we want to see if he's staying in it.
I'm planning on taking good care of this, and hoping it will last through all of our kids.
So, the next time you're looking at bumbos, boppies and other kiddie devices--be sure to save up for one of these!
**This was not in any way sponsored by the Summer brand, but I sure wish it was. Feel free to send me something retroactively...haha!**