I was warned that movement sensor monitors make for paranoid parents. When I asked paediatricians about them before Hector was discharged from hospital (he’d been premature and was suffering from apneas) they told me they’re not technical enough and we’d be woken by false alarms all night. So we went for normal monitor, and I reined in my desire to hear Hector’s every breath.
How I wish I’d gone for a movement monitor to begin with. It was only after six weeks of checking he was alive all night that I finally invested in one. I’ve never looked back; finally Hector and I got some sleep.
The little pendulum on the monitor (we have the Angelcare AC401), swaying to show all is ok, is so reassuring. I don’t care that it doesn’t have a video screen, play nursery rhymes or allow me to talk to Hector from the kitchen like other monitors on the market. It’s enough for me to know that he is in his bed and is moving (and screaming, sometimes).
There were a couple of false alarms when Hector was about six months and managed to wriggle off the sensor. I agree that if it went off for real it would be terrifying but at least there might be time to do something about it.
Alison Scott-Wright recommends movement monitors in her book, The Sensational Sleep Plan. She says they are useful for babies suffering from reflux, and those who sleep better on their fronts.
They’re definitely not for everyone. My mother can’t see what all the fuss is about, having never had a baby monitor of any description. She never got the hang of it and it went off every time she picked Hector out of his cot.
But we’d had a bad beginning and the monitor made me less anxious, which must surely be a good thing?
I know this is ridiculous but Hector was still using it at 14 months.
NB: Please follow the instruction manual when you install this monitor. Place the nursery unit at least 3 feet away from the cot and make sure the sensor pad cord is well out of baby’s reach by wrapping it around the leg of the cot and securing it with cable ties. A free cord cover kit is available direct from Angelcare; to register please visit www.angelcarekit.co.uk, or call 0845 009 1789.