Well, we definitely didn’t reach reach the six-month mark that all the baby bumf (that I so eagerly read) recommends a baby should bunk-up with its parents for.
At four months old, Ada was evicted out of mummy and daddy’s room, and checked in to her new cot*. She clearly didn’t know the difference and couldn’t have cared less about her upgrade in overnight accommodation.
To babysit Ada in her room, we opted for the Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitor AC401 (£99 from John Lewis). Although it’s not exactly cheap, we loved the idea of having a movement sensor as well as sound.
What’s great about this monitor, is that it gives us peace of mind. I don’t feel the urge to constantly check on Ada as she sleeps, which means she’s not disturbed. There is a sensor pad safely installed (the reason that you can’t find cable ties in the shops these days is because my husband bought them all and used every single one to super-safely install this monitor) under her cot mattress. If Ada’s breathing or movement isn’t detected for 20 seconds, an alarm sounds. I was dubious as to whether a sensor pad under a mattress is really sensitive enough to pick up a baby’s gentle breathing, but it really is! We’ve had a few false alarms when Ada’s moved into a strange position out of the sensor’s range and the alarm’s gone off – a great work-out for mummy vaulting over the bed and circumnavigating the cat at 2am in the dark – but I don’t mind that as it proves it’s working well. You do need to remember to mute the monitor, however, if you pick up you baby from their cot, otherwise the movement sensor alarm will sound.
Another positive about this monitor is that we’ve enabled a setting so that it doesn’t constantly broadcast white noise. The parent unit is silent until it detects noise in the baby’s room, and only then will you hear the sounds. So we know it’s listening, we’ve also opted to have the parent unit gently beep.
We also use our Angelcare monitor as a night light – there’s a halo on top that gives off a dim blue glow – just enough for you to see your baby in the dark. Another handy feature is the temperature display – again, an alarm will sound if the room temperature becomes too high or too low (although we’re yet to experience this).
The negatives, as far as we can tell, to the Angelcare movement and sound monitor are:
- it’s not the easiest thing to install. There are lots of wires, which need safely tucking away out of baby’s reach.
- it’s not portable. Because we’ve taken extra care to tuck all the wires away, it’s difficult to move the monitor. When we stay away from home, we take a cheap BT monitor that only detects sound with us (which means we check on Ada more frequently).
We love this monitor, and although we were considering getting a camera so we could see Ada in her room, we no longer feel like we need one. We can happily get on with our evening, feeling relaxed, knowing that she’s sleeping soundly upstairs. Obviously, we do still check on her, but only because we want to look at her cute little sleeping face, and not because we’re anxious.
*I say this so blasé, but actually, that first night without her in our room was tough (for me – daddy was loving the peace and quiet), and I definitely got my step-count up that night tiptoeing back and forth to the nursery to stare at my sleeping baby.