If you’re preparing for a new baby and trying to gather all your necessities, you may be asking, “Do I need a baby monitor?” Here are my thoughts. There are pros and cons to a baby monitors, and to be honest, not every mother needs them. Here’s how to decide if you need one.
When I was pregnant with my first child we were clueless as to what was needed.
We knew we needed diapers, a crib, and a car seat.
That was about it. I’d read books about nursing, setting up good sleep habits, and the basic logistics, but wasn’t sure which gadgets or gear to buy.
I read that in a house where bedrooms very close together, a baby monitor was not necessary. I also read that a baby monitor helped give you sanity.
Note: I’ll start off by saying in the almost 5 years I’ve had kids, I’ve only used a baby monitor consistently for 1 of those years. Reasons are below.
Let’s dive in… do you actually need a baby monitor?
Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding whether or not to purchase an expensive baby monitor.
1. Where will the baby sleep from Day One?
If your baby sleeps in the same room as you for a few months, you probably don’t need a monitor for a while, if ever. If their crib is beside you then you can be assured you’ll hear their every move and whimper.
In fact, even if they are in a room directly beside your room, you may hear them both out loud and in the monitor since the distance is small.
If you have a two story home and plan on allowing the baby to nap upstairs while you putter downstairs, that’s another consideration. We didn’t use a monitor with any of my babies until they were older and sleeping in their own rooms at night.
2. How deep do you sleep?
I once heard it said that after you have kids you’ll forever sleep with one ear open.
Ain’t that the truth!
Now, if you are a deep sleeper, a baby monitor will likely be just what you need to ensure you hear all your baby’s noises and to give you reassurance. If you are a light sleeper and the baby is very near you, it may not seem necessary. I am a lighter sleeper and even without a monitor, but with the baby in the same room, I wake up for every little gurgle.
If your husband takes turns getting up with the baby and he’s a deep sleeper, a monitor might be just the ticket. Just put it on his side of the bed. :)
3. What else will you use the baby monitor for?
If you think you can live without a baby monitor (which you most definitely can) but wonder if it would have other uses later, then you are right.
The baby monitor is useful for activities such as independent playtime, and even to check and see how long it takes my toddler and preschooler to actually fall asleep.
Monitors are a godsend during nap time if you want to take the other kids outside or if you’re going to a part of the house that is fairly isolated. It helps you get things done during those brief free periods without worry you’ll miss your baby’s cry.
4. So if I want one… should I get a basic monitor or a smart one?
I’ve used the cheapest, a medium, and a fairly expensive version, and all have been satisfactory for me at different periods.
In a smaller house where the bedrooms are closest together, the basic bottom of the line monitor will do the trick. Honestly, if you’re in a small house you probably don’t even need a monitor except for peace of mind.
We didn’t use baby monitors for the longest time until we moved into a two story home where the master bedroom was on the bottom floor. Baby monitors were a complete necessity then.
When we used a smart monitor, I could actually talk to my toddler when he woke up. I’d tell him I’d be right there, or that it wasn’t time to get out of bed yet, etc. It was like an intercom system!
Monitors to consider
Here are four monitors from different price points to consider.
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