Children of Generation Y are successively being born. Their parents are those who have been substantially exposed to the internet and technology from a very young age. Hence, they are more willing to utilise modern technology when it comes to raising their children.
Baby monitors are undoubtedly popular under such a premise. No matter what generation parents are from, they can feel overwhelmed when facing their newborn for the very first time. Their minds will be always flooded with some unrealistic illusion, such as terrifying robbers’ burglary, household electrical appliances short circuit, malfunction of poor-quality-baby toys, or even a sudden visit from a raccoon -- all these thoughts make those overwhelmed new parents can't fall asleep at night and can’t even take a nap during the day.
They are so afraid of their children receiving any form of damage. So, it's not hard to imagine why baby monitors, which allow parents to keep track of everything, at anytime, anywhere, without their children being alarmed, are so popular.
It sounds like everything about the baby monitor is perfectly fine. The majority of the parents feel that the baby monitor is helpful, but there are a small number of parents who have the wrong concept, which not only makes them more exhausted, and might even disturb their babies’ growth. This article comes here to help parents avoid some common mistakes while utilising the baby monitor.
1. DON'T RUSH TO BUY ONE ON THE FIRST DAY
While many parents are skeptical about the usefulness of baby monitors, many have added them to their shopping list during early pregnancy.
The process of shopping for baby monitors isn't easy: there are a variety of models, including ones with cameras, ones that connect to a smartphone via an app, and even wearable ones that can monitor a baby's physical indicators.
We totally understand that parents always want to give the best to their children. Thus, some parents unthinkingly add a $100+ or even hundred-dollar monitor package to their shopping cart without asking themselves the question: Are baby monitors necessary for their cases? And even if they do, which features are significant to them regarding taking care of the baby?
In fact, we have written an exclusive article, especially on this topic. If you want to figure out do you really need a baby monitor, and how it can help you, you may check it out here.
2. DON’T LET BABY MONITOR KIPNAPS YOU
If you manage to find the appropriate baby monitor, you might quickly fall in love with it: it's instantly connected, super easy to use, and you can see your little one on the screen anytime, 24/7. There is no need to panic when the baby is moving, you can check it through the monitor first. If it is not an emergency you need to immediately go and check, and stay where you are, so as not to disturb your baby abruptly.
However, some problems arise.
Baby monitors may seem to free those vulnerable parents to relax, but many parents become even more anxious because they had overused the baby monitors -- they carry them around the house all the time and place it next to their bed every single night. The monitor faithfully reports every sound and movement of the baby, and the parents will pick it up as soon as they hear something. When they haven't heard anything from the monitor for a while, they become extremely panicked and even assumed that the monitor isn't working. In this case, video baby monitors can contribute to separation anxiety for babies - If you rush to their sides every time their eyes open, you may accidentally create a separation anxiety issue.
This is also a problem that can be exacerbated in some cases, such as in houses that are larger or have two floors, or the children's room is way too far from their own bedroom. The parents are too afraid that they did not hear the call of the baby and neglect their needs.
As a result, they wake up repeatedly each night to the sound of the monitor, and their sleep quality becomes extremely bad. Prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to depression, and even the toughest parent can turn into a walking corpse because of unbearable exhaustion.
The solution is simple and obvious: Don't let the cameras kidnap you. It's easy to understand that humans invent tools in order to increase efficiency and save up time to do more of what they want to do. Of course, a baby monitor is just the tool, and you must realize that it supposes to help you to relieve you from the anxiety and stress of going back and forth to the room, and give you more time and energy to do what you're doing -- whether it's answering work emails or completing some yard work.
In other cases of overuse, parents are addicted to baby monitor just like they were addicted to social media before they had kids. This is due to the reason that the baby monitor is too wonderful-it's so easy to watch your own kids’ chubby face. Parents can’t control their urge to pick it up every five minutes. Sometimes they will even see him yawn and their heart will naturally melt. Before having kids, parents are addicted to their phone. After having kids, the addiction becomes the baby monitor.
If you’ve had this problem, you need to learn to get out of it - trying to slowly reduce the amount of time you spend with the baby monitor each day is a good start. Trust me, when a baby is sleeping, it will make some noises, not any movement is an emergency. Believe in your child and believe in your own superpowers as a parent: if your child really needs you, you will know.
3. USING BABY MONITORS ON OLDER KIDS
The use of monitors during the first six months is understandable, given the amount of sleep a newborn need. Monitors can be a great assistance when we need to go about our business during the day. After six months, the children should be adjusting to their rooms and cots, and the monitors can help us observe how they are adjusting. By the age of one or two, children become curious and might explore their rooms and we can keep them safe by monitoring them. What about three, four years old or a little bit older?
If you get used to the convenience of a monitor, you're likely to become highly dependent on it, even addicted to it -- but we all know that monitors don't last forever. Which begs the question: When exactly should we stop using baby monitors?
Julie, a young mother on our team, recently shared a story about her son, who was not yet 2 years old, locking himself in the room. When she opened the door, she saw that he had pulled his pillow and quilt onto the carpet, making it look like he was trying to make a bed for himself. Before she could speak, her youngest son pushed her toward the door and waved to her, saying: ‘Bye-bye mummy! Please get out of my room now.’ She did not expect that children under the age of two would begin to have their own sense of territory and privacy. Indeed, as children quickly grow up, they also begin to have a desire to express emotions, whether it is positive or negative. They would like to have their own time and space to express these emotions.
Furthermore, as children begin to show curiosity about what's going on around them, the smart kids can quickly figure out that they're being monitored. This conflicts with their budding sense of privacy and may lead to them gradually learning to change their behavior in front of the camera. Surely no parent would want their children to learn to made up a fake personality on the camera, right?
Therefore, we need to learn to respect their privacy -- rather than thinking that our children are too young to talk about privacy yet, we should give them the privacy they need and trust them to be independent. There is no definitive answer to the question of when to stop using monitors. Once children begin to show this kind of appeal, it may be time for parents to consider cutting their dependency on monitors.
4. DON'T GET RID OF YOUR BABY MONITORS TOO SOON
While we repeatedly emphasize the danger of overusing a monitor, that doesn't mean you should toss it in the closet after using it for a year or two. It actually comes in handy a lot of the time.
A. Soothe your kids when they're having nightmares
If the children have a nightmare recently, and his room has a certain distance away from your room, you can place a baby monitor in his room and told him before he went to bed ----
“Mum will accompany you through the small camera with you tonight.”
“Mum will know when you have a nightmare, and I definitely will protect you!”
“You can also use this to call me and I will appear immediately!”
---- This can help calming the kids down and ease their anxiety too.
B. Bring to your family trips
The non-Wi-Fi model can be connected directly to the machine's own frequency band, meaning it can still be used without an Internet connection, which makes it perfect to be included in your family vacation packing list. We can take it with us when we go camping on weekends, visit relatives or go on vacation. Even if you share a room, there's a good chance your child will go to bed before you do -- remember you're on holiday and have a great night with family and friends. Having monitors in your room can make you feel more secure.
C. Use it when you're hosting dinner parties
Sometimes you'll have to invite some guests -- you'll have dinner together, and I'm sure you'll get together afterward to have some small talks, listen to music, and have a couple glasses of wine. This usually means you need to get the kids settled before you can continue the party. A baby monitor can help you keep track of your child's situation and avoid ignoring your child's call because of the loud talk and music.
D. Use it for elderly or senior pets
Baby monitors aren't just for babies. If you have an elderly person in your home or even a senior pet member, you can monitor their safety so you don't have to be with them 24/7.
It's hard enough for parents these days -- they've mustered up the courage to embrace a new life, learn to be a parent, tackle their jobs, and take care of the family. We sincerely hope that modern technology can help these parents cope with all these challenges. But parents should also understand that this is not encouraging you to arm your kids with technology for every single detail. Oppositely, if you start to feel like you're being held hostage by your tech gadgets, you can start thinking about what you're doing wrong, and adjust your mindset and the way you use them. Think about why you bought these products in the first place. They should make you feel more relaxed and offer you more time to enjoy your family life, not causing you to become more exhausted.