Wondering if you need a baby monitor is one of the top questions new parents have. Whether you’re putting your baby down for a nap, quickly stepping away to the bathroom, or getting them ready for bedtime, there are moments when you have to be in a different room. As a parent, you’ll cherish those quiet moments on the sofa once your baby is finally asleep, but you’ll also wish you could monitor them constantly. That’s where a baby monitor comes in handy. While you can’t be by your baby’s side 24/7, a baby monitor allows you to keep a close watch on them from anywhere in your home or even beyond. Understandably, baby gear can be pricey, and we recognize the importance of limiting your purchases to essentials. So, the question arises: do you need a baby monitor?
What is a baby monitor?
Think of baby monitors like walkie-talkies. There’s the ‘baby unit’ with a microphone and possibly a camera, placed near your baby’s cot, and the hand-held ‘parent unit’ that transmits sound (and video if it’s a video monitor) from the baby unit. You can carry the parent unit around as you move between rooms. Typically, baby monitors are considered essential, at least until your baby becomes a toddler.
Do you need them?
If you reside in a cozy space and trust your ability to hear your little one’s night awakenings or naptime movements, the idea of having a monitor might not initially strike you. However, numerous parents find solace in the added assurance a monitor provides—there’s a comforting feeling in being able to listen to or observe your peacefully sleeping baby while you unwind with a cup of tea and your feet up! Moreover, a baby monitor removes the necessity of quietly sneaking into your baby’s room for nighttime or naptime check-ins, as their waking moments will promptly reach your ears through the parent unit.
Do you need a video baby monitor?
Although an audio monitor effectively notifies you when your child awakens, the value of a video monitor becomes apparent if you desire the ability to discreetly check on your baby. This indispensable device alleviates concerns about navigating creaky floorboards or inadvertently waking your little one as you enter the room. The tranquil and reassuring experience of observing your peacefully sleeping baby from the comfort of your sofa with your feet up should not be underestimated!
Pros and Cons of a Baby Monitor
Ask any parent, and they’ll likely express the priceless value of their baby monitor. The reasons behind this appreciation are vast and varied. Seeking diverse perspectives, we connected with parents to glean insights into the myriad reasons why they find a baby monitor indispensable in caring for their little ones.
According to the AAP, it’s recommended that your baby sleep in a separate crib in your room for at least the first six months (preferably up to a year) to reduce the risk of SIDS. However, room-sharing may not be feasible for everyone. If your baby’s room isn’t close to yours, a baby monitor can provide that needed vigilance during nighttime wake-ups. It lets you listen for your baby and offers the peace of mind that every parent craves.
Checking in While Away
A baby monitor proves handy on date nights, especially those that connect to your phone, allowing you to check on your baby even though they’re left with a sitter. Additionally, it serves as a valuable asset during family travels, offering extra vigilance in unfamiliar places. Opting for a less high-tech audio monitor while on the go is preferred, as it eliminates concerns about Wi-Fi strength and security in the places you stay, making it easier to use and ensuring reliable monitoring.
Monitoring While Working
Not only do you find baby monitors useful for keeping an eye on your baby while they sleep, but also throughout the day, especially as a working mom. With the current work-from-home setup, it becomes convenient to monitor your baby in their play area or while napping while still managing your work. Additionally, the fact that your parents, who may live a few miles away, can also connect and see your son at any time adds to the benefits of using the baby monitor.
Comfort and Reassurance
As a first-time mom, using a baby monitor will become a source of comfort and anxiety relief. The monitor’s features, such as checking your baby’s room temperature and having a constant view of their room, provide assurance. The knowledge that you would be aware if there was any attempt to break in, although a distressing thought, brings a sense of security in the world we live in.
A common worry among parents using baby monitors is the fear of potential exploitation by predators. The concern revolves around the possibility of someone hacking into the monitor’s system to watch their child or eavesdrop on conversations. This anxiety is shared by others, emphasizing the importance of choosing a monitor with robust security measures to prevent unauthorized access.
In addition to the risk of unauthorized viewing, there’s also the threat of cyber attackers deploying malware to control the monitor remotely, posing a risk to both data privacy and the device’s functionality. Overall, parents using baby monitors face potential challenges related to both privacy and the security of their devices against cyber threats.
Being constantly connected to your baby might seem like a benefit, but for some parents, it can be a bit overwhelming at times. While being able to check in on her baby while grandparents babysat was helpful, it also proved to be distracting during a night out. The challenge is the frequent urge to monitor your kids, leaving little downtime for parents. The constant connectivity, although valuable, can sometimes interfere with enjoying moments away from the constant checking in on your child.
Understanding What Baby Monitors Can Do to Help Parents
While deciding on whether to invest in a baby monitor, consider the peace of mind, constant connectivity, and security it offers against the potential for distraction and cybersecurity risks. The choice of a baby monitor depends on your unique situation, balancing the need for constant vigilance with the desire for uninterrupted personal time. Reflect on these insights and make an informed decision that best suits your family’s needs and lifestyle. Remember, the safety and comfort of your baby, along with your peace of mind, are paramount.