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Leaving a baby in another room, especially when it’s your first child, can be a pretty nerve-wracking experience. After all, you just can’t help wondering what they’re doing and whether or not they’re sleeping soundly or crying their eyes out somewhere that’s not within your earshot. There’s also the off chance that they find their way out of their crib somehow.
That’s where baby monitors come in. They allow you to hear or even see your child at all times, giving you peace of mind when it comes to their safety and your sanity. The question is, are baby monitors really all they’re cracked up to be? And do you really need one in your household? In this article, we’ll tell you a bit more about baby monitors, how they work, and some of their strengths and weaknesses are.
What Is a Baby Monitor?
Baby monitors have existed since as far back as 1937 and originated as a pair of audio monitors that transmitted signals to one another through radio waves. They’re also known as baby alarms and earlier models featured one-way communication where only one of the devices had a built-in microphone that would allow the receiving monitor to listen in.
Later on, newer models would introduce two-way communication where both devices would include microphones so parents would also be able to soothe and talk to their children from the other end. Technology has improved immensely since then, with some of the latest models featuring built-in cameras and screens so you can not only hear your baby but see them at all times as well. Here’s a complete article explaining how baby monitors work.
Do You Need One In Your Home?
While baby monitors can certainly come in handy throughout the early years of your baby’s childhood, you should first figure out whether or not the device is truly necessary given your home and living situation. Some people use their phones as a baby monitor!
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Where Will The Baby Be Sleeping?
The first thing you should consider is if the baby will be sleeping in the same room as you for the first few months. If that’s the case, then a baby monitor will just be an unnecessary expense, given how they’ll be next to you or at least within your immediate vicinity most of the time. However, if the baby will be regularly taking naps in another room that might be hard to listen into, then a baby monitor will definitely be quite useful.
How Deep Do You Sleep?
Another big question you should ask yourself is how deep of a sleeper you are. If it only takes the smallest noise to get your attention and your baby is relatively near you at all times, then a baby monitor may not be vital. But if you sleep like a log and feel as though it’s quite likely that you won’t hear the cries of a child from a decent distance away, then you might want to invest in a monitor just in case.
Consider The Other Uses Of a Baby Monitor
While the primary function of a baby monitor is to help keep your ears and eyes on your child, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any other uses for it. For one thing, you can still use the devices when your kids are older for keeping tabs on them while they’re enjoying playtime. It’s also a good surveillance gadget for when you’re doing yard work. Some models even make great pet monitoring tools if you’re ever wondering what your fur babies are up to when you’re not around.
Do You Need a Basic or More Advanced Model
There are various types of baby monitors to choose from. If you live in a relatively small home and just need a basic audio baby monitor for the purpose of hearing your baby when they’re crying or whining, then a cheaper model should work just fine. But if you live in a larger home or just love having more bells and whistles on your devices, then you won’t regret splurging for one of the more advanced kinds. Some of them come with a camera and screen combo that provides you with a constant video feed, and certain models even feature a smartphone baby monitor app. Always make sure to check the list of features to see if any of them seem particularly nifty to you.
Pros And Cons Of Baby Monitors
Baby monitors may be amazing inventions that come with a lot of upsides, but there are definitely some disadvantages to them as well.
The main reason why baby monitors are so useful is that they give you a good idea of your baby’s situation while you’re off doing other things, like household chores, work projects, or leisure activities. That way, you won’t have to check in on them every five minutes just to put your mind at ease and give your family a sense of security.
It can be an important tool for the development of your baby’s communication skills. A child’s younger years are some of the most vital and having a baby monitor can allow you to keep continuous communication with your child so that they’re constantly engaged even when you’re in another room.
They’re good for when you’re travelling out of town on a family trip since you’ll be able to head down to the hotel restaurant while your baby is catching some z’s. That way, you can have yourself a good time while ensuring that your child is always within earshot.
If you’re in the market for a baby monitor, then make sure to read our guide on the best baby monitors.
Baby monitors are still machines at the end of the day and they’re prone to failure due to various reasons, like device damage, running out of battery, and more. Another thing is that some models work through a Wi-Fi connection, so if the internet goes down, then so do the baby monitors.
This is a definite concern if your home internet regularly runs into issues. Finally, there’s the matter of cost. Having a baby is plenty expensive as is and baby monitors can get pretty pricey themselves, so it’s not surprising that some parents have their reservations about committing to such a purchase.
Finding out if a baby monitor is essential for your home really boils down to your baby’s sleeping situation, the layout of your house, and your personal preference. Weigh their pros and cons and make sure to take a close look at all of the model’s features to see if it’s something that would come in useful in your baby’s upbringing.