Any parent, the first time one especially, knows that the prime missing resource is sleep. You throw your energy into keeping your child warm, clean, fed and safe and you subjugate your own needs – it is only natural after all to so do – for those of the child.
Of course this brings great joy to the parent, it is, we all know, a very happy time. Ask any new parent how they feel and you will receive responses like “great, superb, I feel so refreshed and vitalised”…. or will you? Are you more likely to see mew parents wandering around like extras on a George A Romero film set? Do you see jaded expressions on their faces as if they have just emerged from a World War 1 trench somewhere in Northern France after a week’s German shelling and rain…….. Well in my experience it is somewhere in between, though nearer the latter examples than the former.
So what is the solution for these ‘walking dead’??
Well there are multiple resources for new parents in print and online and the greatest mistake made commonly by these disenfranchised souls is that the minute it appears that baby is going to leave them alone they go, phew and open a bottle of wine and try to have a bit of time to themselves before the next demand is uttered by the supernaturally sleepless child. What they need to do is sleep when the baby is sleeping – it is the only way to catch up, to conserve energy and to be able to muster ones forces to fight the fight that comes with every waking moment.
The worst thing, perhaps is that once you have had something like toothache or Chinese water torture for a while and it stops, your inner psyche tells you that it is continuing, like tinnitus almost, a subconscious assumption that the source of distress is still ongoing – this is what babies do to you. The more you try to relax, the more you slip into a warm, happy place just for a moment you can be sure that you will either hear, or imagine some calamitous scream from your baby’s room.
This is what baby monitors are for. They are undoubtedly the 20th Century’s greatest invention. They come in a variety of functions and settings, which I shall skirt over later, but the essence is that they can be placed in the baby’s presence and the parents are able to ‘rest’ assured that the child sleeps.
DECT cordless telephone technology has been utilised so as to form a link between the child’s transmitter and the parents’ receiver. You can generally adjust the sensitivity of the monitor so that it only transmits when a certain volume is reached. Hence the parents do not need to sit in the living room listening to every burp and fart from the sleeping child, but rather will only be notified when the child is in distress. Sensitivity settings are down to each parent’s choice. Unfortunately I have yet to find a baby monitor with a do not disturb setting.
The baby monitors I have personally inspected this week are made by either BT ( the telephone people ) or Philips ( the Dutch people ).