It’s Okay If You Can’t Let Go Of The Baby Monitor

baby-monitorTransitioning a baby or young child to their own room can be kind of terrifying for parents, and that’s why baby monitors are such hot ticket items. You can get them in every size, shape, and color now, and they don’t just let you hear your baby. These days you can talk to baby, play music, watch baby on a video screen, and even monitor the temperature in the room.

The bells and whistles might seem unnecessary to some, but they also provide peace of mind during a really anxious time in parenthood. For nervous parents like me, they sometimes provide peace of mind even longer than that. My daughter is almost four years old, and we’re still using a baby monitor in her room. In fact, I’m not sure when we’re going to stop. My husband has felt for a while that it’s time for the monitor to go, but I’m in favor of keeping it a little longer.

Not knowing when to ditch the monitor is apparently a common occurrence. A thread on Reddit recently touched on the subject and nearly everyone there had a different response. Some said they got rid of the monitor as soon as the baby started sleeping through the night, others got rid of it around age two or three, and some were still using a baby monitor with their seven-year-old. A few people even said they’ve never used a monitor. User goyploy writes:

“Three kids in, we’ve never used one. As our pediatrician said: Your baby is either alive or it’s not. If it is, you don’t want to be going in and checking on it every time it snuffles. You’ll hear it when it wakes up and wants to be fed. If it isn’t, you might as well get some extra sleep because tomorrow is gonna be the worst day of your life.”

That’s a pretty jarring statement, and I can’t say I see it as a real argument against monitors. Baby monitors might not be able to prevent our worst fears from becoming reality, but for me they provide a sense of security I can’t get from anything else, save for just sitting next to my kid all night. Maybe I’m overly concerned or helicopter-y, but I like being able to hear what’s going on in my kid’s room at night. I like knowing I will definitely hear her if she cries or calls or flops out of bed onto the floor. I’m worried about more than just the absolute worst case scenario.

Worrying is a part of the parent job description, and while some of us take it farther than others, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with extended baby monitoring as long as it’s not being used as an invasion of privacy. Sitting there spying on your kid’s every move is creepy, but needing some extra reassurance that they’re okay at night isn’t such a bad thing.

One Reddit user, catbus_connoisseur, came up with a compromise that I might need to try in the future. They suggested switching the baby monitor out for a set of cool walkie talkies, so you still have the communication element without the constant supervision a monitor provides. Kids love walkie talkies, so that might be a good fourth birthday present to help ease the transition. In the meantime, I’ll keep sleeping with the monitor on my nightstand. It’s the mom version of a security blanket, and you can pry it from my sleepless, paranoid hands.


(Photo:  / Shutterstock)

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