When you join the ‘new mom‘ club, one of the membership freebies nobody talks about are phantom cries. For example, when you’re taking a shower and all you hear is your baby crying (except they are not crying; in fact they are sleeping soundly)💤. Oh, the mind is a powerful thing. Before you start thinking you’re crazy, let’s dig deeper into what causes phantom cries and how you can conquer them.
Phantom Cries Explained
According to Megan Grey, MD, phantom cries “…most likely has to do with a highly stimulated maternal brain that is being wired to be cued by baby’s cries, leading to a heightened awareness to sound.” She goes on to say in the article that physicians experience the same thing–hearing their pagers going off when they’re not on call (and the pager isn’t on, either). So it looks like we’re not alone. Great, there’s strength in numbers. But what can we do about it?
Conquer the Phantom Cries
Buy an audio baby monitor. The lights that illuminate when sound is detected will be a lifesaver when you’re not sure if your baby is really crying. I also appreciate the simplicity of this monitor because when my hands are wet from washing dishes or taking a shower, I don’t have to worry about trying to turn on my phone to access the app for my fancy baby monitor. I don’t have to touch a thing.
Shower Without Panic
Want to enjoy your shower? Put the base in the room where your child is sleeping and carry the monitor to where you will be. Place the monitor in a plastic bag (if you want to be fancy, you can use a clear dry bag). Tape the bag to the outside of your shower or hang it from a nearby towel rack. The lights from the monitor need to be in your line of sight so if you hear the baby crying, all you need to do is glance over. If the lights aren’t dancing, keep showering🚿.
Nap Without Guilt
Catching a quick nap😴 while baby is sleeping is another scenario where phantom cries rear their ugly head. Time to keep that monitor close! When you hear the cries, look to see if the monitor is lit up. If it’s not, close those eyes. While you may not get uninterrupted sleep because you are playing peek-a-boo with a baby monitor, it’s way better than actually getting out of your bed multiple times to check on your peacefully, sleeping baby.
While it may take time for phantom cries to go away on their own, continue to build your arsenal of coping strategies. Instead of straining your ears, let technology work in your favor. Invest in a no-frills baby monitor that you can bring with you wherever you go. It will give you the freedom to be productive and you’ll still feel like the attentive mama you are🙌🏾.