As soon as I saw the SocialMoms blogging prompt for today, I had to dive in.
What is the best purchase you ever made as a mother? - Did you buy something that benefited mostly you or your kids? How has this purchase made your life easier? How often do you use it?
I wrote a blog post back in August 2009: The Baby Cage and Other Baby Must Haves that went through a bunch of the stuff that I thought was the cat's meow back when our toddler monster was just a baby monster. Narrowing it down to a single product is easy. Not long after I wrote that post we bought a video monitor. This purchase has turned into the single most useful tool thus far in our parenting adventures.
After what seemed like endless hours of scouring the internet for reviews, I sucked it up and spent the money on the Levana Interference Free Digital Wireless Video Baby Monitor with Night Light Lullaby Camera . We were having tons of sleep issues with Jack from not wanting to go to sleep and waking up crying in the middle of the night and we were totally at our wits end. We got the monitor so we could try doing cry it out. Up until that point, I couldn't do it. The cries would break my heart not to mention my fears- what if something was truly wrong and I ignored it? I kid you not, having a video monitor CHANGED OUR LIVES. I was able to do cry it out because I discovered how bad he was playing us. He would cry, stand up and look at the door, wait for a second to see if we were coming and cry again. I didn't like hearing him cry of course, but he quickly figured out that he was supposed to be sleeping when he was in his bed. We were able to move his naps from our bed and living room (where he slept on a cot similar to the one he had at daycare) and back to his crib. We can see when he is farting around NOT sleeping and be able to go in and intervene. We were also able to immediately tell when he was in trouble. He woke up one night in an obvious panic, struggling to breath. Turns out he had a very nasty case of croup, but we were able to assess the situation immediately and get him to the ER. Even now that Jack is 2 1/2, we still use it every single day. He is still in his crib and although he has yet tried to scale the side, I still have a fear that he will so the monitor is my peace of mind and comfort knowing that he is safe. It is seriously our best purchase ever and worth the extra cost. This particular monitor also has nightlight and we can play lullabies remotely from our receiver which is nice because we can soothe him without having to disrupt his sleep.
Anytime we hear parents say that they don't think a video monitor is worth the cost, we always try to tell them how awesome it is to have one. I know there has been a couple news stories out there about video monitors being unsecure (meaning anyone could drive by, turn on the handheld device and tune in which is yeah... kinda creepy). This was a concern for us when we were doing our shopping so we made sure the one we bought had a secure connection. Yes, I also know the Summer monitors were recalled because of a strangulation hazard. Here's a tip: don't plug it in or connect it right next to or on the crib. We put in a shelf up high and away from the crib and we can still hear and see him just fine on it.
Have I talked you into how awesome video monitors are yet?
I'd love to hear from you! What is your number one mom purchase?