There are enough reasons to be unable to sleep as a new mom—namely, an infant who wakes up every few hours, in need of food/a diaper change/your complete and undivided (albeit zombielike) attention. I was prepared for that. I just wasn't prepared for the fact that when my daughter is blissfully sleeping, I'd struggle to sleep, often hovering over her crib while neurotically watching the rise and fall of her little chest, just to make sure she's breathing.
She was so tiny, so fragile-looking, that I found myself tossing and turning, continually getting up to check on her. Just to make sure. I picked up the Owlet—that little smart sock that monitors your baby's heart rate and oxygen levels and alerts you if anything's amiss—but at first, the sock was too large for her, so I didn't use it. Then, since my daughter apparently dreams of being a Rockette, she started kicking it off ever so slightly, triggering its midi file-esque nursery song of an alarm. Which didn't help my paranoia.
That's why, when I heard about Miku—a smart alarm that monitors the baby's sleeping and breathing, in addition to providing livestream video of the bébé—I was intrigued. I already used a Nest cam as a baby monitor, but when you sleep so little your coworkers stop commenting on days you look "tired" and start announcing the moments when you seem "alert," you're willing to try anything.
How to Set Up the Miku:
Unboxing the Miku is like opening a new Google Pixel or Apple product—everything's sleek, clearly labeled, and well-positioned. While the setup requires a lot more precision than your typical plug-and-go monitor—you have to center it on the wall above the baby's crib, keeping it exactly 60" from the floor—they make it practically foolproof to do so.
The box comes with all of the tools you'll need to install it, including a tape measure that marks where you should step on it, so you get it exactly 60" up. There's even a pop-off level on the Miku's stand.
All in all, it took less than 10 minutes to set up, including placing the cord covers—which, yes, are included, so you don't have any dangling wires causing an eyesore (or worse, becoming something the baby could grab and yank).
How Well it Worked:
The Miku immediately synced to my phone after I downloaded the app. At first, it had some trouble showing the video in real time (uh, big problem), but after uninstalling and reinstalling the app, it worked just fine. The video had virtually zero lag—a nice change from the 1-2 second delay my Nest cam had—and I can use the app to play a variety of white noise sounds to help my daughter drift off to sleep (which is perfect for when I'm mid-Netflix binge and have a sudden outburst, because honestly, what was that plot twist at the season finale of Dead to Me?!). I can also use the app to talk to her, which is great if I'm in the living room and hear her start to wake up earlier than expected.
It also tracks the temperature in the room, in case you, too, continually question whether it's too hot or cold or intermittently drafty in your spawn's nursery.
The Only Downside:
Aside from some initial issues getting the app to work, my only other complaint would be the price. At $399, it's twice the cost of a stand-alone Owlet sock...and more than most baby monitors on the market. (Certainly more than my previous Nest cam setup.) But, since I kept my budget pretty minimal with my stroller and crib—and, given the peace of mind it's given me—the splurge was absolutely worth it, in my mind. Especially when you consider...
How I Sleep Nowadays:
Hallelujah! I sleep in several-hour bursts! I wake up, and it's like the birds are chirping and there isn't spit-up crusted onto the shirt I forgot to change before dashing out the door. My daughter's sleeping better, too—largely because I'm not jostling her awake with my 2 a.m., 4 a.m., and 5 a.m. hand-on-her-chest "Are you breathing? IS EVERYTHING OKAY?!" checkups.
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