Which Baby Monitor for Techie Parents?

Let's Not Try to Replicate a Hospital Environment. Let's Replicate a Cosy Nest.

This is what the techie in me wanted to know: What kind of baby monitor best picks up sounds, maybe even breathing, maybe video? Which baby monitor privately transmits them to me, without going through the manufacturer's cloud web servers? Can I build one myself?

This is what the daddy in me found, after trying to use a baby monitor for about a day: ignore the monitor, listen to the baby! I threw away the monitor.

This is what I would wish to tell my younger self.

Baby Monitor? No. Baby Cuddles!

A few years on, I am looking back at that time. The subject came up in a recent episode of my favourite podcast, The Self-Hosted Show.

Monitors are some cool tech to play with. We can look at all the different options, or build one ourself. It would make a great hobby... for a techie who doesn't have a baby taking over their life :–)

I'm deadly, life-ly serious. My advice, from experience: baby monitoring tech isn't very effective or appropriate, and is a monumental distraction from what's important.

This is our time to be human. Let's not waste the opportunity. It's no time to be fiddling with the tech. This is our time to be holding the actual baby.

How can we best use our limited energy? Being dad and mum! Be hands-on, hold, cuddle. A baby can yell loudly enough when they need us. Instead of putting an electronic monitor between us and them, keep it simple: keep them close at all times. Need somewhere to put the sleeping baby in the daytime? A blanket-lined cardboard box on the floor. At night, sleep in the same room, consider a bed-extension-crib, buy a bigger bed, consider co-sleeping, as far as our own instincts and situation and any special risk factors allow.

(People differ greatly. This is my personal perception and preference and practice. I won't let the modern risk-aversion and suing culture stifle me with fear, or override my instinct for being natural. You may take a different attitude. You need not write to me to chide me or to “correct” me. Follow your own heart as I'm following mine.)

If I had the personality type to write about my feelings I'd have so much more to say. In short, bond with them, I say, and enjoy life with the new little human!

Let's Not Try to Replicate a Hospital Environment. Let's Replicate a Cosy Nest.


That's for the first few months or year. Once that intense period is past, and we eventually have some techie time to ourself again, let's use it to plan what freedom computing tech to start them on. Before we know it, they have reached age 2 or 3 and are demanding “typing practice”!


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