Things That Go Bump in the Night .

by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor


I’m always wondering why I torture myself with having a baby monitor for the twins and have come close to ditching it many times. The basic problem with a baby monitor is that they do exactly what they’re supposed to do. Besides letting you know if your kid is screaming bloody murder, they monitor every little snort, sniffle and non-pressing whimper which, if you’re anything like me, can keep you awake for no reason. Plus, I’m often privy to the entirely of Rick Springfield’s children’s CD –which I love but is admittedly getting played to death. Am I a glutton for punishment? Am I paranoid? I suppose both.


With my first daughter, I wasn’t sure if we even needed a monitor seeing as our bedroom was about eight steps from the baby’s plus she spent the first four months in a bassinet making her whimpering noises next to my right ear. I laughed in the face of people who had video monitor. You’ve just spent twelve hours with your baby. Now you want to spy on them while they sleep? I’d have to be at the rock bottom of my DVR queue to choose “watching my baby sleep” as an option.


But then we started letting Elby sleep on her stomach – hang on, there’s someone at the door… aaahhh…it’s CPS! They’ve come for me! Did you call them you bastard? I can explain! Look, she accidentally slept through the night for the first time on her belly and my husband and I didn’t want to mess with a good thing so we just decided to let her continue. But we bought a kick ass Angel Care monitor that sounds an alarm if your baby stops breathing for ten seconds. I became a dichotomy between the laid back, “Dude, whatever works” and the decidedly less sanguine “Holy crap, what if something horrible happens?” But, the child slept and thus, so did we; everyone was happy. Eventually the monitor was lent to other paranoid new parents for periods of time until the twins came and the monitor made its way back to us – still in perfect shape.


Quite a few times a night, even if I have the volume turned way down, I am stirred awake by crying and have to decide whether to lay back and pray it stops on its own or if I need to do a “drive-by” whereby I creep into the babies’ room and check for a client that needs to be held a minute or two or just given a little pat and an “It’s okay” or even, God forbid, a ‘nother round of Rick Springfield; every once in awhile it’s something a little more serious.



I can feel your pain. Number one, the monitor... now on baby four my husband has convinced me to turn the volume really low and that helps me ignore the minor crying. Number two, night terrors... an all too frequent visitor to our house with two of our kids. We sometimes take the child outside and the change in temperature and humidity seems to bring them out of it a little quicker.


My monitor has been plugged in AND on for 4 1/2 years now! My son, who took 3-4 hour naps through the day, I needed a monitor so I could get things done around the house. Now my dear daughter, sleeps the same amount of time, 3-4 hours for her naps, so I kee the monitor on. My Bose plays the same CD, A Fisher Price lullaby CT that has been on repeat since May 18, 2005. I am not even close to joking, the only time it shut off is when the power went out and I had to put it right back on because she woke up instantly!!.


My sons have both had night terrors. My first son's were much worse though (so far). And they did sometimes last an hour and sometimes they happened at nap time too. They are so hard to deal with, you and your husband did very well. After I learned the 'keep them in their bed' trick, I did do that and it seemed to make them quicker at least. But I remember thinking during the 1st one I dealt with that it was like my child was possessed or something. I guess that's 'normal' for night terrors thank goodness! And I too wonder how long I'll keep that monitor on. My smallest is two, so I'm sure it will be a while yet.


Ha - my son is 2 1/2 and I am still attached to the darn monitor. He uses a white noise machine also, so it drives my husband batty. We are experienced 'night terror' parents. Trying to wake them up can make it worse (for you anyways, since the little ones never remember it)...go in tonight after she's been down for about an hour and gently tickle her. Just enough to make her squirm a little but not wake up, usually a finger moving around the ear is enough. It will disrupt her sleep cycle and eliminate the terror. I do this nightly (since I peek in anyways) and haven't had a terror in months. Hope that helps!