When I came across a conversation on Facebook on the Nourishing Our Children page about baby monitors and their safety concerns, I was absolutely shocked.
I had no idea that my baby monitor emitted microwave radiation to my precious baby’s brain. I am absolutely appalled — how could these be legal?! (Some cell phone towers built too close to schools are becoming illegal.) I am especially sensitive, as I did not have an ultrasound scan during either of my pregnancies and I don’t own a microwave because I have read about their dangers. How could I not have known about this?!
Out with the “old” and in with the “new”
When I found all of this out, at about 11pm one night, I couldn’t sleep — my baby was already asleep, so I could not go in to turn the monitor off. The next day, I decided to stop living in the guilt and just move forward. I went to Target and bought an analog audio monitor that has only 40mHz. This is compared to the 2.4 GHz digital video monitor that we were using (can you imagine, 2400 mHz?!) I could be so, so upset about it, but I am trying to remain calm. I am trying to live and learn and move on.
According to The Healthy Home Economist’s informative article: “The long term effects of microwave radiation on children’s developing brains is completely unknown” and parents are “increasingly taking precautions to minimize their children’s exposure to any sort of microwave technology.”
Also, an article from the Wired Child explains the level of radiation of certain technologies through a chart — from cell phones to microwaves to lap tops to baby monitors. This has really been an eye-opener.
In addition to getting a new analog monitor, and keeping it as far away from her sweet, growing brain as possible, I have made other changes, not only for my children with their still-developing brains, but also for my and my husband’s safety:
- I try to use a hands-free device for my cell phone
- Keep my cell phone (which is not a smart phone) as far from the kids as possible
- Turn off cell phone at night (and never leave it next to your bedside!)
- When using lap top, use a hard surface so it isn’t on my lap (especially if pregnant!)
- Turn off Wi-Fi at night
Do I really need a baby monitor?
My two and a half year old son doesn’t need a monitor. I was continuing to use his from babyhood (another digital video monitor, but thankfully, this one was less exposure at 900mHz.) I enjoyed watching him on it, while he read his books at night, and in the morning when he first woke up. But this was not necessary. If he needs us at night, he knows he can knock loudly on his door and we will come running. (We have a child safety lock on his door because he would not stay in his room at night.)
My daughter doesn’t need a video monitor. As much as I would love to see that little snuggle-bug all the time, it is not necessary and CERTAINLY it is not worth risking her health. I am absolutely sick that I sacrificed her little brain. My only saving grace is that I only started using the monitor about two months ago because, before that, I would sleep in the twin bed with her in her room.
(I have since moved upstairs with my husband because he missed me — and I missed him — and because our king bed is so much more comfortable! I still fall asleep with her a lot — either at night or in the middle of the night, but for my sanity, I need to sleep apart from her so I can actually be comfy and get some good rest.)
She is a pretty sound sleeper, only getting up once a night, but sometimes twice. However, her little cries are so little and quaint that they are impossible to hear — this is the complete opposite from my son’s robust and huge scream. She will fuss, but it is hardly audible and you come running and she has tears streaming down her cheeks! It breaks my heart when I don’t hear her for a couple of minutes. Of course, co-sleeping would be safest, in terms of radiation exposure, but as I said earlier, I need my rest and that is just not the way I can get it.
So we have settled on the much safer analog audio monitor. And I make sure to turn it off when she is not sleeping. (And the price was right at $19.99 compared with $189.99 for our second video monitor!)
Some may call my outrage crazy. Just another “Amy loon episode.” I don’t care. We must make these things known. In a world of smart phones and cell phones and microwaves and brain cancer — nothing is sacred — not even the little baby monitor we use to hear our baby’s sweet cries at night, but we must continue to learn!