Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sleep strikes & how we're staying sane (mostly)

It's a tired parent's nightmare; the sleep strike. Carina went from sleeping soundly beginning at 7 PM to fussing and calling out until 9 PM or later most nights. Half of the time she wakes up Aurelia, and then we're all in for a rough night. To make matters worse, our infant alarm clock has been going off an hour earlier than usual (6 AM). And that means Carina is up then, too -- the joys of sharing a room.

We tried earlier naps. We tried a later bedtime. We tried skipping the, actually, and it didn't go so well. After a major meltdown at the mall, both girls fell asleep at 4:30 PM, and guess what? Carina's still awake now, at 9 PM, and she's letting us know that she's ANGRY. We're crossing our fingers that Aurelia is able to remain sleeping, but it doesn't look good. I think our next attempt to "take our evening back" will be buying room darkening shades. Any other ideas?

Motorola MBP41 Monitor
Something that has helped our sanity is having a video monitor. We bought one shortly after Aurelia was born and we like it, but it interferes with our wireless network and there's no warning that the battery is dying - it just shuts off. The week we were moving Aurelia into Carina's room, Motorola asked if we'd like to give their new Motorola MBP41 Wireless Video Baby Monitor a try. After hearing that the camera pans, tilts, and zooms from the parent unit, I thought it would be perfect to set up in between their cribs.

The 2.8" diagonal color LCD screen is clear and the color is bright during the day, and uses infrared night vision at night. Mike calls it the "spy cam" and loves that we can see the girls at any time. Aurelia is very quiet after naps and sometimes we would have no idea if she was awake if we weren't able to see her little eyes open on the monitor. Also, when we hear a little cough or call out at night, previously we would run in to check on them, but would often wake one of them up in the process. Now, we can just peek in on the monitor to see if they are okay or if they do actually need us.

Aside from the pan/tilt/zoom function, my favorite function is the 590 foot range. Mike and I can grab a glass of wine and sit out on the patio without worrying that we'll be too far or won't be able to hear the girls if they need us. We can even press the microphone button and tell them to go to sleep if they're up too late giggling ;) If you do get too far, an out-of-range alert sounds. There's also a low-battery alert; the parent unit doesn't just shut off (like our other monitor does). We've rarely gotten to this point, though, as the battery life is really good. We've never had issues leaving it unplugged from 7 PM until well after midnight. The only room for improvement I see is that when it isn't plugged in, the screen goes to sleep after a few minutes. I wish this were optional; I'd prefer it stay active.

Night vision (Left) - Daylight (Right) P.S. LOOK AT THOSE HAMHOCKS!
Other features include volume and brightness control, auto shut-off, a support stand, and a sound level indicator - the little circular lights at the top of the unit: green is quiet (shown), yellow is louder, and red is OMG BABY IS NOT HAPPY.

The monitor comes with a parent unit, one camera, a rechargeable battery pack for the parent unit, and 2 wall power adapters. When we move into a house (hopefully in the next year - more on our plans next week!) we plan on buying another camera so we'll have one in each of the girls
 rooms. You can pair up to 4 cameras (sold separately) with the parent unit.

For now, though, putting our one camera in between both cribs is working out really well. After I check on Aurelia (we leave it aimed at her most of the time), I pan to Carina's crib. Check this out in action, and sorry for the camera skillz - I got none:

The Motorola MBP41 Video Monitor is exclusive to Babies R' Us and has saved us from many a run across the house to check on one of the girls. It gives me peace of mind and I like being able to look over and see their sweet faces at any time ;)

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