Baby Registry Regret

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Twenty-three months in, and I think it's safe to say that I'm no longer a "new" mom. I have had plenty of time to use and abuse (and then pack away! ::sniff sniff::) a crap-load of baby and toddler stuff.

When I was pregnant and we were creating our registry, I was so indecisive about so many things. There is just so.much.stuff out there, and 145 options for each thing. I did loads of research, asked a ton of experienced parents, referenced Baby Bargains repeatedly, and then made selections... and then changed my mind. A lot. Even after we received things at our baby showers, we took a bunch of items back to exchange them for something else that I had discovered was cheaper/safer/better/whatever.

{Me, registering for baby gear back in the day. Note the Baby Bargains book tucked under my arm}

The thing that kills me now is how much things have changed already... in two years. There are things that are baby necessities now were considered unnecessary or a luxury back then. (I use the terms necessity and luxury loosely, by the way. I recognize that most things are actually luxuries, and that babies actually need very little. But you know what I mean.)

Thankfully, because I did so much hemming and hawing over every decision, I pretty much loved everything that we had, and have no problems using it all again for another baby someday. But as Nora grew and time went on, I came to realize: I have one baby registry regret.

A video monitor.We didn't register for a video monitor. Instead, we chose a basic audio monitor, but a good one at that--I think the thing was like $65 at the time, although it is only $45 now. Video monitors were $200+ and I just felt like, Why do we need to see the baby? At the time, we lived in such a small place that I wondered if we really even needed a monitor at all.

Nora was born and it took us a while to even need to use the monitor--but we did set it up fairly early in her life, when she started going to bed before us, even when she was still in our room with us. It was helpful then, and was even more so when we moved her to her own crib. And although there were times that I wanted to see her--I was able to pretty easily sneak into her room (even when she was awake) and get a peek without her seeing me.

That all changed once she started sitting and standing up in her crib. And that's when I started feeling like maybe we had made a mistake with this whole monitor thing. I resolved that we would probably be splurging on one for Baby #2 someday.

Fast-forward a year or so, and this past spring, Nora had a bout with a stomach flu. And by bout, I mean a bout x 3. She was sick, then she was better for a few days, then she got sick again, better, sick... you get it. It sucked.

The worst part about it was that we didn't know. Nora would throw up in her bed at night and would be completely quiet about it. The first night it happened, I happened to go in there to check on her before bed and found her sitting up, shivering from being wet from being covered in her own vomit. She was awake but totally out of it. If we had a video monitor, we decided, we would've been able to see her up, and possibly see the vomit-covered mattress. I started researching, but we still didn't have plans to get a video monitor... yet.

Then it happened again, but this time, we didn't discover the mess until the morning--after she had fallen back asleep in it. My poor baby. And when it happened a THIRD time, we decided we were fed up. I ran out to Buy Buy Baby that morning and brought home a video monitor.
{This is our actual monitor. That's Nora, passed out at this very moment}

And I swear, this thing is the BEST.PURCHASE.EVER. I am still so pissed at myself that I didn't register for one the first time. They were out there, people had them, but I didn't know anyone who had one or insisted that it was a "must-have." Now? Well, now I think that most people know they are must-haves, no? Take it from me, expectant mamas: YOU WANT ONE. You may not know yet that you do, but YOU DO. They're expensive, but you will use it every day, and for a long time.

Now that we realize the error of our ways, we have plans to keep a video monitor on Nora for probably a couple more years so we can see what she's doing in her room once she's in a big girl bed and can move about the room freely when we're not in there. So when we have another baby someday, we'll purchase a second camera and be able to see both kids in each of their rooms. Brilliant.As for our choice of monitor? We love the Motorola we ended up with. We had a 20% off coupon for Buy Buy Baby so the total was right around $200 after the discount. And again, it was worth every single penny. There are cheaper models out there, but we liked a few things about this: First, the ability to move the camera remotely. We have Nora's camera mounted up on the wall (with a simple screw) in one of the corners of her room and when we control the camera, we can see every inch of the room. When she's older and can move around the room, this will be great. Secondly, it has a two-way talk feature--so not only can we hear her, but with the push of a button, we can talk to her and she'll hear us, too. It's not a feature we use very often right now, but again--I can see this really coming in handy with a 3- or 4-year-old, e.g. "Get back in bed!" :)

Otherwise, the clarity of the video is great in both the daytime and in the complete dark at night. Sound is great, too. We haven't had any problems. And unlike some of the other video monitors out there, the data is encrypted specifically for our receiver, so there's no chance of us picking up a neighbor's feed or vice versa. Obviously, being able to add another camera was a must for us, too.

Complaints? Well, I don't really have any. Two things that I've noticed/heard others say, though, is that 1) You can't turn the volume all of the way down. This doesn't bother me because I figure that if I'm going to turn the volume down, I might as well turn the monitor off completely. 2) The temperature gauge is inaccurate. This is an added "perk" and not a necessity to me, so I don't really care. We're used to it reading about 5-10 degrees warmer on the monitor than it actually is in the room, so we know to adjust accordingly.

So, all you parents and future parents out there: Get thee a video baby monitor. I promise you won't regret it.

And that is my nugget of wisdom for the day.

Do you have any baby registry regrets? Something you got that was worthless to you, or something you didn't bother with that you wished you had?


Megan August 2, 2012 at 9:17 PM  

Same regret, though we still haven't done anything about it

Teresa August 2, 2012 at 9:27 PM  

Storing this away for the future. Though after watching my cousin's daughter for a night recently I relied on the video monitor to check on her to make sure she was asleep because there was no way I was opening the door to check on her! That night I decided it will be a must when we have children!

Brie August 2, 2012 at 9:38 PM  

LOL. My baby is due in 6 weeks and I keep going back and forth on whether we NEED the video monitor. You've convinced me!

Erin August 2, 2012 at 10:04 PM  

We originally hadn't registered for a video monitor, but I decided when Annie was 2 months old to return the one we had (and hadn't used yet because she was in our room) and got the video monitor - BEST DECISION EVER!!! Even with them both in the same room sometimes I still want 2 cameras... it's on Luke right now but he's boring to watch 90% of the time (but it's necessary the other 10%)but I really kind of miss being able to watch Annie... might need to move the camera so I can see them both soon!

Jo August 2, 2012 at 10:08 PM  

We bought that exact non-video monitor thinking it was crazy to get a video one, but I totally regret it. There were so many times we ran into our daughter's bedroom, when we could have checked the monitor to see that she was fine. I almost regret that we are only having one kid so I can't buy a video monitor (our daughter is old enough that I can[t justify it.)

basebell6 August 2, 2012 at 10:46 PM  

agree! i realllllllllllllly wish i had one!!! we are still using the hand-me-down [ie free] audio only monitor. sometimes i'm just so curious as to what is going on in there but dare not SQUEAK the door and open it.

Vanessa August 3, 2012 at 3:08 AM  

Oh no, I have just opened and unpacked our non-video monitor! 2 weeks till my due date. I'm so annoyed with myself for not getting the video one! Well, if you have other recommendations I'd love to hear them!

Eric's Mommy August 3, 2012 at 8:07 AM  

I can't believe you posted this because a co-worker and I were JUST talking about this!

I was talking about how I wish I could have gotten my money back for the things I didn't use.

My son is 10 so this is a while ago, but the first thing I mentioned was the Diaper Genie. When I was pregnant everyone told me I must get one. So I did, OMG it sucked SO bad! Turning the dirty diapers into a big long sausagy thing. Plus the cartridges were so hard to replace, it was horrible. We used it for maybe a week and got rid of it.

2nd thing was a big expensive breast pump. Since I was going back to work I wanted it. I ended up using the cheapo manual pump I got from the hospital. It worked just as well (I could only pump 1 at a time, but it didn't matter). I worked in a lab so it was a pain in the butt lugging around the big breast pump, so I never brought it to work.

Those are my 2 biggest regrets :)

Corinne,  August 3, 2012 at 12:24 PM  

I'm due in October and when my husband I first registered we picked out an audio only monitor...then a few weeks later went back and switched to a video monitor. I don't think we'll use the video right away, but it seems very useful once the baby starts to move around more. It's not something we'll need right away so if we don't get it we may wait to buy it. Also, hubby and I are self-admittedly pretty lazy and I doubt we'll want to trudge up and down the stairs more than necessary.

Phase Three of Life August 3, 2012 at 1:32 PM  

Yes. Yes yes yes! This is my only regret, too. My husband still isn't totally on board with why we need one... I am sending him this post right now to add additional fuel to my argument. ;)

Kari August 5, 2012 at 12:45 PM  

We were just talking about the video monitors...I'm glad I read this post. Also..did you find the Baby Bargains book beneficial? As in..should I buy it?

Lindsay August 15, 2012 at 12:58 AM  

Yup, this is my one big baby registry regret as well :(

Tina,  August 24, 2012 at 1:28 AM  

I totally tell all my preggo friends that a video monitor is a must. I knew from the beginning that I wanted one and we have had the Summer Infant Day & Night video monitor for 3 years now. It has been the BEST THING EVER. I am one who likes my sleep so I was not interested in checking on the baby for every whimper or noise she might make so the video was perfect for just taking a look whenever I heard her (or didn't hear her). It saved us so much sleep and eased many first-time parent worries. When she started sitting/standing, we could easily look at the monitor to see whether she would fall back asleep on her own or if we needed to get her. Many times she would wake in the middle of the night, but we could tell that she was 1/2 asleep and after a little bit of fussing she would look for her lovey and just pass out again. And we knew that if she stood up in her crib, then we needed to go in to soothe her or if it was morning, that meant she was ready to get up. No need to wonder what was going on because we could clearly see what she was doing and it made it easier for us to sleep better and longer. I still use the video monitor for our now 3 yr old because she's in a big bed now and can move around and if she's playing in her room when she should be sleeping, I just open the door and say "go to sleep!" So, yes, I totally believe it's a must have for anyone who can afford it! I am looking to purchase another monitor for our 2 month now and I tried the Summer Infant BestView but it wasn't as good as our current one that's 3 years old so I returned it. I may give the Motorola one a try. It seems that the new digital monitors now are more secure but they gave up video quality in the process.

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