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The Unexpected Reversal Of The Baby Monitors

Like most parents did, back when my children were babies we had purchased two sets of baby monitors to keep watch on them while they slept at night and when they napped.

I can still remember those newborn days well. After putting them down for sleep, we would tip-toe out the rooms, and turn on their baby monitors. From then on, with every sound we heard from the rooms, we would quickly check on the monitors to see if they had awoken or if they were in any discomfort.

It gave us peace of mind as we could go about our day at home, knowing we could always check on them and be alerted when they needed us. We would even put the monitors in our pockets as we went around the house, its usage now akin to a pager for a doctor.

As the years went by our babies outgrew their cribs, and we started to co-sleep with them in our beds. They later transitioned to separate beds in our room, and eventually, they graduated to their own rooms.

We repeated this routine three times for each of our children.

It has been over 7 years since we bought these monitors when we had our firstborn child.

Our youngest is now three, and her older two sibling are five and seven years old respectively.

But up to today, we still use these baby monitors daily.

Why, you might ask.

The kids are grown, when they needed us they would come out of their rooms and find us. What use are these baby monitors to us now?

You see, we now have a reversal of the use case for these devices.

Now, it was not used only as a method for us to check up on our kids.

Instead, the children wanted us to keep it on at night, as though they still felt we were connected to them although we were in separate rooms.

Because the kids have grown to be aware that we can see and hear them from these monitors.

We can even speak to them through the monitors when needed.

They felt comforted by knowing that their mum and dad were keeping watch on them as they slept, apart from us in another room.

This helped with the transition of the kids into their own spaces, knowing that we were still ‘monitoring’ them.

My girls would always position it so that it faced them directly on their beds.

“Mummy, it is not facing me, please make the monitor face towards my bed please” my five-year-old girl would tell me as I tucked her into bed.

Eventually, one day, as they grow and get older, they will request us to remove these baby monitors from their rooms. When their own privacy is more important than the need to be close to us at night.

It’s a funny thought, how the roles of these devices changed over time.

Maybe in some ways, it gives me comfort too as a mother, who is also transitioning away from the years my children needed me the most, toward the years when they gain more independence from me.

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