Anxious Parenting Part One: Monitoring, Caring, Stressing BACK TO BLOG



Do you ever find yourself standing in front of your video monitor, watching your baby, not knowing how long you’ve stood there?  Have you hooked up your baby monitor to your television set so that you can watch your little one on a BIG screen?   Are you waking up with every little sound your new baby makes because the monitor next to your bed is broadcasting it to you with sound and flashing lights?  Does the thought of your baby rolling onto his tummy to sleep send you to his room several times in a night to roll him back?

I remember the night that my child slept through the night for the first time.  I ran into her room to put my hand on her back, just to make sure she was still breathing.  I was sure something terrible had happened to her, but she was peacefully sleeping in her crib.  Back then no one had a baby monitor, they just didn’t exist.  Today there are monitors or apps for everything, and parents begin to keep tabs on their baby from the moment they are born.  In fact, the hospital sends new parents home with a chart to keep track of every feeding, every poop and every wet diaper.  I don’t think that tracking things like dirty diapers ever crossed my mind when my babies were little, I assumed that if there were dirty diapers that all systems were working.  It never occurred to me to weigh my babies when they were little, I just left that to the pediatrician.  I’m not sure what I would have done with a baby monitor, especially a video monitor, but I know it would have made me an even more vigilant and fearful parent, not more confident one.

Now we learn about wearable monitors.  Just a small band around your baby’s ankle and you will know their heart rate, respiration, the temperature in the room, and when your baby rolls on their belly to sleep.  What’s more, the monitor will learn your baby’s habits and predict when they are likely to sleep or wake and whether a small adjustment to the temperature of the room will help them sleep an extra 20 minutes longer.  For just $200.00 you can get a wearable monitor for your baby … and a whole new set of things to be anxious about as a parent.

Instead of stressing and relying on electronic gadgets, let’s talk about how to become a more confident parent!   Listen to the experts, understand what is truly a danger and what is not.  It is important for young babies to sleep on their backs and not on their bellies, imperative to have a child in a carseat, and essential to make sure your crib meets all safety standards.  There are absolute do’s and don’ts to adhere to as a new parent, and once you make sure you’re following those rules, you’re good to go.   After that it’s about trusting your parenting instincts, listening to your heart and your gut, and maybe even giving up the monitors!