Why You Should Stop Monitoring Your Baby at Night
Before I gave birth to my daughter, I was already terrified of SIDS. Every time I stepped in the hospital, or visit the midwives or the local doctor, or even when I walked into a public toilet, I was faced the anti-SIDS campaign.
SIDS is described as Sudden infant death syndrome, also known as cot death or crib death, and is the sudden unexplained death of a child of less than one year of age. SIDS usually occurs during sleep; diagnosis requires that the death remains unexplained even after a thorough autopsy and detailed death scene investigation.
I had spent the past months avoiding sushi and unwashed salads because of listeria, I hadn’t slept or exercised on my back because I didn’t want to obstruct the blood flow in the vena cava, I hadn’t run or jumped as I was deadly scared of slipping and causing severe damage to the placenta; I was basically living in constant fear, and the SIDS campaign was reminding me that it was just the beginning of a lifetime of anxiety and worry.
And then the babe came, the nursery was adorned with wooden furniture and gentle colors, the car seat legally installed by a certified provider, and the whole house steamed and scrubbed by a green approved organic cleaner.
Nothing was missing; the breastfeeding pillow, the bassinet, the white noise machine. I had followed, reviewed, triple checked all the “Need to have before your baby arrives” lists I could find on Google and all the social media platforms.
I had everything, but the sleep monitor.
I got told off by friends and by a couple of nurses; didn’t I know that some brand-new baby died because they rolled over and suffocated to death? A sleep monitor and a sleep sensor could have prevented such a tragedy.
My heart goes out to these parents, as I can’t even phantom something more horrific than losing a child (in any type of situation), but I didn’t believe a monitor could help soothing my raising anxiety.
Long story shorth, after giving up on my beliefs and trialing the monitor for one night, I decided not to buy it.
This is why:
I followed the rules
For the first six months of my baby’s life, we stuck to the rules: she slept in our room in a separate crib, we put her to sleep on her back without sheets, toys, bumpers coat, and so forth. I breastfed her for months, and we avoided smoky places. There were no reasons to doubt that she was going to be ok. The only thing left to do was checking on her every few hours, with our own eyes.
I didn’t need to be more anxious
These days, the monitors are built on live video feeds, wearable temperature trackers, breathing and movement monitors, and more. My child isn’t a superhero, which is why she doesn’t need more gadgets than Superman and Batman.
A monitor that would beep at a regular interval and that would sometimes go off for no particular reasons, would have driven me bananas.
I was getting really little sleep, and I didn’t need an excuse to rest even less and be anxious all day long.
It was disruptive for bub
Think if someone was monitoring your sleep and your every move; you toss and turn in the middle of the night because you are having a nightmare, and someone barge in and wake you up. Or maybe you are deeply relaxed, a beeping monitors take you away from your restful state, and an apprehensive human being touches your chest to make sure you are still alive. How disruptive would it be for you and for the whole household?
I needed to trust my baby to be able to sleep, and self soothe herself; I didn’t need to eagle eye her all night long, hoping to prevent something that may never occur.
I saw a picture of when I was an infant.
My mum sent me a picture of when I was three months old, sleeping in a wooden crib in my own room; I was the cutest thing, all wrapped up by a blanket that would cover half of my face, while soft and fluffy (and quite dangerous) toys were surrounding my whole body. And still, I’m here today to write this story, as I didn’t die.
I feel that it is extremely important to put all the preventive measures in place, as science has come a long way, and we now know what so many mothers did wrong in the past. But we also need to relax a second and avoid always thinking of the worst-case scenario.
It reminded me of a horror movie
I watched too many horror movies, and I find sleeping monitors with live cameras too scary. Whenever I visit a friend that has one, I’m always expecting to see a monster or a spirit jumping out of the closet. I find it even worse when the child opens the eyes, and they are completely luminescent, as if out of this world. I’m an hypersensitive and very down to earth human; if I hear a loud noise, I go and check, but if everything is peaceful and quiet, I don’t certainly rock the boat.
On top of it, as accurate as they can be, unfortunately, monitors don’t prevent SIDS death, and they aren’t 100% reliable; it all, of course, come down to personal choices, and I have always chosen my gut feeling and mother’s instinct.
And if you are still wondering: my baby is alive and thriving.