As an expecting or new parent, you've likely asked yourself this question - is a baby monitor really necessary? Or is it just another overhyped baby product trying to prey on sleep-deprived moms and dads?
Believe me, I've been there! When my wife and I had our first newborn, we debated whether to register for a pricey video monitor or just periodically check on our baby ourselves. We were hesitant to spend money on something we weren't sure we truly needed.
After talking with fellow parents, doing research, and now having gone through the baby stage ourselves, I want to share some real talk on baby monitors - who needs them, what to look for, and alternative options to give yourself peace of mind without overspending.
Let's dive in and see if a monitor should be on your baby shopping list!
The Case For Using a Baby Monitor
Having a baby monitor allows you to keep an ear or eye on your little one even when you have to be in another room of the house. For many parents like myself, this capability brings so much reassurance and peace of mind. There are so many benefits to having a monitor:
- Hearing those first coos when your baby wakes up from a nap, so you can promptly go cuddle and feed her.Related reading: How to Care for Your Breast Health During Breastfeeding？
- Being able to stay on top of things if your baby gets fussy or begins crying in the crib, and you're unable to run in right away. The monitor lets you talk soothingly to him until you can get there.
- Catching your baby giggling or rolling around in funny positions on the video monitor. Those adorable moments you'd otherwise miss if you had to physically walk in.
- Getting instant alerts if your little one ever stops moving or her breathing seems irregular. This way you can immediately check that all is okay.
For anxious parents like myself, monitors, especially those with video and movement features, are invaluable for confidence that your baby is sleeping soundly and safely even when in another room. They provide that much needed peace of mind, especially if you have a high-needs baby or one with medical needs. You’ll never have to wonder what’s going on in the nursery while you quickly get some chores done or take a shower.
Helpful tips for choosing a perfect monitor: How to Find the Best Baby Monitor for Your Little One?
Reasons You May Not Need a Monitor
On the flip side, there are certainly reasons a monitor may not be necessary:
- You have a small home where baby's sounds are easily audible
- You plan to room share with baby in your bedroom
- You don't feel additional monitoring beyond periodic checks is needed
- You prefer alternative options like an audio-only monitor or periodic look-ins
- You are monitoring your budget and don't want added expenses
If you'll always be within earshot of baby or have a room layout allowing you to easily look in, a high-tech monitor likely isn't required. Likewise, if you are room sharing or have a calmer baby that doesn't fret often.
And for some parents, periodic visual checks provide adequate peace of mind without a monitor. Take your baby's temperament and your own personality into account.
Key Factors to Help You Decide
Here are some important things to consider when making the baby monitor decision:
- Home Size and Layout: Walk through your home and pay attention to if you can clearly hear noises coming from the potential nursery room when in key living spaces like the kitchen, living room, your bedroom, etc. Can you easily discern cries or fusses when the doors are closed? If your home has thick insulated walls or multiple floors, this likely necessitates a monitor so you don't miss any noises while on another level.
- Baby’s Sleep Patterns and Noises: If you have a baby that tends to be fussy, colicky, or makes lots of grunts and sounds while sleeping, a monitor would be very useful to alert you to what's going on even when you're not in the room. On the other hand, if your baby is very chilled out, sleeps soundly, and rarely makes many noises, periodic checks may suffice most of the time.Get more tips for creating quiet environment: How to Create a Safe Sleeping Environment for Your Baby？
- Your Comfort Level: Really think about your personality and how you respond to uncertainty or not being able to visually confirm your baby is okay. If you consider yourself an anxious parent, the peace of mind of having a monitor can soothe a lot of worries. More laidback parents may feel confident enough periodically peeking in on their sound sleeper. Know yourself and what would give you reassurance.
- Features You Want: Determine whether audio monitoring is sufficient for your needs or if you prefer expanded capabilities like live video and movement tracking. Also consider if you want features like humidity sensors, temperature alerts, wifi connectivity, night vision, etc. Identify what specific elements would help you worry less and feel more connected to your baby when separated.
- Budget: There is a wide range when it comes to monitor costs. Basic audio monitors start around $30, while multifunction high-tech video monitors with all the bells and whistles can run over $200+. Set realistic expectations about what you can spend so features align with your budget.
Take an honest assessment of your needs and lifestyle to gauge if a monitor is truly right for you. Don't succumb to marketing making you feel a monitor is an absolute essential!
Alternative Options to Consider
If after thinking it through you aren't convinced you want a high-tech monitor, alternatives like an affordable audio monitor or simple periodic check-ins can provide comfort without the cost.
- Audio monitors allow you to listen for fusses or cries without the video element. Still provides reassurance at a lower price point.
- Periodic visual checks at natural intervals give regular confirmation baby is sleeping soundly.
- Wait and see! No need to buy one now if you want to see how you feel after the first few weeks at home with baby. Monitor needs often change.
And if you do opt to use a monitor, you can always scale back usage later if you feel comfortable. Start with an affordable audio or movement monitoring style to test it out.
Momcozy Baby Monitor: Mom's Choice Award- Winning Product
For parents who are looking for a trusted brand, The Momcozy 1080P Baby Monitor is a must-have for responsive, confident parenting.
With its crystal clear 1080p HD video and 5'' display screen, you'll always have a close-up view of everything your little one is up to. The 360° monitoring lets you scan every inch of the nursery without disturbing your sleeping cutie.
The handy VOX audio alerts ensure you never miss a peep or cry, automatically activating the display so you can check in. And with impressive 11.5 hour battery life, you can keep watch all night with no disruptions.
For seamless day and night monitoring that allows you to see and hear everything, while also being there the moment your baby needs you, the Momcozy 1080P Monitor is a lifesaver. No more worrying what's happening in the nursery - you'll have 24/7 peace of mind.
Do What Feels Right For Your Family
At the end of the day, take your family's needs and preferences into account above all else. For worried parents like my wife, the video monitor provided confidence and peace of mind that was worth the splurge.
For other parents, periodic check-ins are totally adequate. And audio monitors offer a nice middle ground for many.
Relax those new parent worries and make the choice that you feel provides the ideal balance of monitoring while still enjoying these precious early months bonding with baby!