When should we give up the baby monitor?
Another week, another parenting conundrum. This one involves something that you stare at incessantly for the first couple of years of your child’s life. No, I’m not talking about the photo where “you used to be young and thin”. I’m referring to your son or daughter’s baby monitor.
Chicago, Dundee, Dubai, Newcastle, New York, Edinburgh, Bristol, Amsterdam – the Bubster’s Motorola video baby monitor has travelled far and wide with us over the past few years. It has frightened snoozing grandparents, it has interrupted crazy parental dreams and it has blasted out more “muuuummmmmmeeeeee” screams than just about any device in the history of existence. But now, thanks to the little man finally agreeing to sleep fairly consistently between the hours of 8pm and 5am*, pretty much all it does is pump white noise into my wife and I’s eardrums.
This got me thinking. My son is nearly three-and-a-half. He has a more than decent set of lungs. And he is perfectly capable of getting out of bed, walking through to our room and waking us up with a blow to the face or ribs. Is it time that we sent the baby monitor off to join the stair gate, cupboard locks and high chair in the attic?
Ask the nation
My first thought was to ask my wife. Unfortunately, she was at work. Fortunately, I quickly came up with another idea. Namely: polling my Twitter followers.
Wowsers. Did 73% of respondents really say that they gave up their baby monitor when their child was aged between 3 and 4? They did, but several revealed that they only clicked this choice because there was no “younger than 3” option.
I think when my son was just under 2? We don’t live in a very big house tbf— Fran (@WhingeWine) May 22, 2019
Way before 3! Didn’t need one he was so bloody loud 😬😆— Claire Lock (@clairewoods93) May 21, 2019
Between the ages of 1 and 2.— Blonde_Elle (@Blonde_Elle) May 22, 2019
I think they were about 2ish— Fiona Morgan (@FionaMorgan79) May 22, 2019
Whoa, whoa, whoa. So, you’re telling me that lots of mums and dads ditch their baby monitor before their kid hits 24 months? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m telling you. But, but… …does this mean that any mums and dads currently listening to 3, 4, 5, 6 or even older year-olds are lagging behind? No, of course it doesn’t. When it comes to baby monitors there is no getting ahead or lagging behind.
So, so… …what does it mean? It means that the decision to get rid of the baby monitor has nothing to do with age and everything to do with the answers to these three questions.
- Is this your first kid?
- Is your kid a good sleeper?
- How easily can you hear them without the monitor?
Which team are you on?
If your answers are “no”, “yes” and “very”, then the chances are you’ll join the mums and dads quoted above in the Get Rid of The Baby Monitor Before The Age of 3 Club. And if they are “yes”, “no” and “not very”, then the chances are you’ll join the parents quoted below in the Keep The Baby Monitor Until we Are Absolutely 100% Certain That They Aren’t Going to Fall Off The Bed or Swallow Their PAW Patrol Pillow Club.
My two are 6 and 2 and we still use it! They are both wrigglers and littlest likes to wake up!— Mummascribbles (@mummascribbles) May 21, 2019
My children are 9 and 6 and my wife insists we still use it.— Aaron Porter (@aaronsporter03) May 22, 2019
We’re still using ours and she’s 6 now. More so out of habit but also she’s the type to sit and cry until we heard her rather than actually get out of bed and come to see us if somethings wrong. 🤷♂️— Neil – OneDadsView (@One_Dads_View) May 22, 2019
So, what are my wife and I going to do? Well, after considering all of the above, we’re going to keep the monitor. This is partly because our answers to the three key questions are “yes”, “no” and “not very”, but mainly because we live in a townhouse and speaking to our son through the monitor means we don’t have to climb two flights of stairs.
Until next time…
*except when he’s hot, cold, ill, overtired, excited, out of routine, suffering from FOMO or in one “those” moods.
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