7 Ways Your Baby Monitor Is Making Your Anxiety Worse

Ad failed to load

As a mother with often debilitating anxiety, I know firsthand what things aggravate or alleviate the disorder. While I try to avoid things like crowded places when possible, and try to maintain my structured routine, I know I can't always avoid my triggers — especially when it involves my children. If you're like me, you might not realize some of the ways your baby monitor is making your anxiety worse. Yes, that's right. Your baby monitor. While there's a lot of baby-related products and devices that contribute to anxiety, I think this one tops the list.

When I was a first-time mom over 10 years ago, I thought the baby monitor was my saving grace. If I couldn't be right there, hovering over my newborn daughter, the monitor could relay all the important information I thought I needed so I could determine whether or not to rush in to "save" her, or try to go back to sleep. I hadn't realized how reliant I'd become on every little blip, beep, static fuzz, or stray cough, until I reached the point of nearly no sleep.

The point is, not only did the technology contribute to my anxiety (i.e. making me paranoid about every last sound), but it also gave me insomnia. I worried myself into a depression, fearful if I closed my eyes too long I wouldn't hear my daughter if something terrible happened. Spoiler alert: nothing terrible ever happened and she's fine, 10 years later, while I'm still as exhausted as ever.

Ad failed to load

The same was true for my youngest, too. Though I knew not to give into all the noises a monitor can pickup, I couldn't help myself. I became paranoia personified. And actually, I admit it: my partner and I only just ditched our baby monitor a few weeks ago, and our son is nearing 6 years old. It's not that I needed it, but it was a safety net and a "just-in-case" that I was in no way rushing to say goodbye to. Honestly, it was the only thing that made me feel like I could save my children should something go wrong at night, and my anxiety worsened because of it. With that, here's some of the ways your baby monitor isn't helping you, but instead, making your anxiety worse.

Ad failed to load

Every Fuss Means They're In Pain


I did have pre-existing anxiety before my daughter was born, but it definitely manifested in new ways once I became a mom. The baby monitor made sure of this, actually. Whenever she fussed, even slightly, I was sure something was terribly wrong. She could've choked on her acid reflux, turned into an impossible position, or got a body part caught somewhere. I imagined every scenario and they were all worst-case. Fussing is normal, but the monitor made me feel like it wasn't.

A Random Noise Feels Like A Kidnapping


You know that feeling in the middle of the night, when you hear a stray noise and are positive someone's come to steal your baby? Yeah, I always had that feeling. Every. Single. Night. I wouldn't have noticed any of it, though, if the monitor wasn't right beside my bed.

No Noise Is Bad News


The baby monitor is a double-edged sword. I never wanted to hear my baby fussing, because it could've meant something awful. The silence, however, was worse. A quiet baby might've equated to her death (in my mind). Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a valid concern, so in this case I'd almost rather her fuss than sleep through the night without a single squeal.

Ad failed to load

You Obsess Over The Blinking Lights


The lights, you guys. The damn lights. Our baby monitor has a color span of green to red. A low, green light tells us there's no dangerous noises or anything to be too concerned with. Sometime, it leans all the way red which can be a draft from the air or heat, interference, or — as my anxious mind told me — trouble brewing.

You're Afraid To Fall Asleep, Even With The Monitor On High Volume


I turned our monitor up as high as it would go and still never felt like it was loud enough. In reality it was, of course, but my anxiety reminded me not to fall asleep because I might miss something important, such as a cough that's so much more than a cough, a lingering fussiness that might clue me into a medical condition (that I'd have to self-diagnose in the midnight hour and probably via the devil that is Google), or any number of things.

Without The Monitor, You Fear The Worst


In the weeks since giving up on our baby monitor, I haven't felt my anxiety subside but, instead, increase. Even though my kids are now old enough to physically come get me if something's wrong, I'm always afraid I'll miss something important.

Ad failed to load

You're Compelled To Check In Too Often


Because I've given in to the baby monitor's every whim, I've checked in on my babies more times than necessary. I know I'm overdoing it, to be sure, but I still can't stop myself. I'm convinced it's for the best to over-check, rather than miss something that requires my attention.

My anxiety may always be complicated part of who I am as an individual, but having a baby monitor definitely made it worse. If I had it to do over again, though, I'd probably do it the same way. Because, well, anxiety.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills