Fun with baby monitors

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

When you have children, you are constantly being bombarded with talk of milestones.

Did your baby roll over at the right age? At what age did your baby sit up? You tend to take these timetables seriously, especially the ones that specifically depend on you. Did you transition your child from the bottle to a sippy cup? Have you taken the pacifier away from your toddler? And let's not even mention potty training!

One item that has been a bit of a sticking point in my world (and one that I am sure is fodder for plenty of conversation among my family and friends) is the baby monitor. We have a sleep apnea monitor that you put under the mattress that can detect when motion (breathing) stops. It sounds an alarm. Sometimes the alarm sounds in error, which is always fun for an overprotective mom, but for the most part, it's pretty reliable.

We also have a video monitor. It has a nice little TV screen that lets us see our daughter's every move. Now that she is 2, everyone is giving me a hard time about still using it but I am undaunted. In fact, as my daughter gets older, I find it to be the source of many hours of parental fun! To play along, you need a video monitor and an intercom system. I have also heard that a walkie-talkie works as well. When my daughter goes to bed each night, I turn on the monitor. Some nights she isn't as enthusiastic about sleeping and likes to kick the side of her crib in protest. I watch as she stands up to see if I am on my way in to get her. Instead of giving in to her little tantrum I just walk over to the intercom system we have in our home and in my best voice from above say something like "Olivia it is time to go to sleep!" She immediately dives back down in bed.

Sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night and tries to make an escape. I watch her in sleepy amusement for a few minutes as she contemplates the jump over the bars and at just the right moment I walk to the intercom and say "Olivia, do not jump" and down she goes again. I really do love it. Will she be a little messed up when she gets older? Sure, but there are so many other reasons for that, so I'm hoping that this one slips through the cracks.

I know I will have to give it up sooner or later, but I am just having too much fun right now.

After more than 20 years in central Ohio radio and TV, Stacy McKay left her position as a morning radio co-host to spend more time with her daughter, Olivia. Stacy now writes and speaks about the joys and humor of being a first-time mom in her 40s. Visit