When should we give up the baby monitor?

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.

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 decision

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.

**As an Amazon Associate, Father-Hood.co.uk earns from qualifying purchases.

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4 comments

  • I was thinking about this the other day. My daughter is nearly 3 and we still have a monitor for her, but now we have two glaring at us all night due to having a 11 month old too πŸ™ˆ. I think we will keep ours too for the time being.

    • Ha. Yeah, I hadn’t even thought about what we’d do if we have a second. Not sure I could cope with looking at two different children not sleeping like they are supposed to :-).

  • We’re still using ours for youngest who is three and a half. This is simply because she can’t be trusted to stay put. That said, we’ve had our baby monitor for nearly nine years and it has survived being completely immersed in a pint of orange squash, so I feel we ought to continue to use it until it finally conks out in recognition of its outstanding service and resilience.

    • Nine years truly is an outstanding period of service – but can you really believe that listening to that device has been part of your life for so long? It’s incredible when you think about it. My son sounds similar to your youngest. He does what we describe as nocturnal gymnastics, and always seems to end up with his head as far away from its original position as it possibly could be, and his feet on his pillow.

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