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Spy Wares

The 4 a.m. breathing check.

You’re lying in bed, enjoying the fact that Pumpkin’s slept for six hours solid and not asked for her usual 3 a.m. feeding.  Unfortunately, she’s got you trained and you’re wide awake.  You’re listening drowsily to the snap crackle pop of the monitor when you realize you can’t hear her breathing.  She’s probably just scooched away from the monitor and breathing quietly.  Yeah, that’s probably it.  She’s fine.  You know if you get up you won’t be able to see anything anyhow.  Go back to sleep! 

But you can’t.  And now you’re convinced she’s not breathing at all and you’re on your way to a full-blown panic-attack.  So you creep into her room, risking a wake up.

Don’t pretend you haven’t done it.  I’ve practically held a mirror in front of her mouth myself. 

The problem is, you can’t see her.  It’s dark.  Middle of the night, in fact!  So you can’t catch the rise and fall of her chest.  But how are you supposed to see in the middle of the night without waking her up?

My husband and I have solved that conundrum twice over – one low-tech, one high-tech.  (Guess which one is whose idea.)

Low tech – the crib light.  It casts a dim glow, attaches to the side of the crib, and has not awakened Maddie yet, even with the light up near her head.  You can switch it to be sound-activated so it switches on to soothe her when she cries (not sure I buy that) or you can tap it on when you walk in the room.  As a bonus, one version has a “soothing womb sound,” though we’ve never used it. 

Daddies, start your engines.  Here’s high tech.  We grab our video camera, turn it on to “night vision,” and use it like a pair of night-vision goggles.  Swear, it works.  It doesn’t give off any light, and you’d be amazed how well you can see Kiddo on the LCD screen.  We keep the camcorder close by at night for just such an occasion; one glimpse of that reassuring rise-and-fall of her sleepsack, and we’re creeping stealthily back to bed, mission:recon successful.  The army’s got nuthin’ on us.


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