Do I Need a Baby Monitor to Raise My Child?

The invention of the first baby monitor back in 1937 was the first big step towards the development of advanced units that would help parents to keep an eye on their kids.

And we’ve come a long way if you ask me.

From the days of the mediocre Zenith Radio Nurse to the current time where the likes of Infant Optics DXR-8 and VTech DM111 are the leading models, there’s no denying that child security is as important.

But perhaps one of the questions you’ve asked yourself is this: do I need a baby monitor to keep my child safe? Or can I live without one and raise my baby just fine?

To be frank, there’s no right or wrong answer to this question. I strongly believe that whether or not you use a baby monitor to keep an eye on your little one comes down to a personal decision.

But then again, that’s not to say that these devices aren’t important.

In a way, they not only help you to ensure that your little one is sleeping well but also give you peace of mind, allowing you to sleep well at night knowing your child is doing fine.

In this post, I’ll tell you why I think baby monitors are necessary. I’ll also share why I believe these devices may not be as significant

In this guide, I’ll tell you why I think baby monitors are necessary. I’ll also tell you why I think they may not be as significant nearly as much. Then, I’ll let you figure out whether you need one or not.

But first things first:

What is a Baby Monitor?

baby monitor defining

I like to think of them as walkie-talkies that allow communication between babies and parents. Which is exactly what they are anyway.

In other words, a baby monitor is a radio system consisting of a transmitter and a receiver. And its primary function is to let you keep an eye and lend an ear to your child.

There have only been three major categories of baby monitors since invention.

Analog System

Although an analog baby monitor happens to be the least expensive mode, it’s subject to signal disruption.

Sadly, anyone with a device on the same frequency can pick up the signals and listen in. 

At its worse, this kind of monitor is not secure, not to mention that it’s not exactly something you’d use to keep an eye on a baby.

Digital Units

If there’s just one big reason to love digital baby monitors, then it’s the fact that they mainly use FHSS technology to encrypt signals between a transmitter and a receiver. 

Some also use DECT 6.0, a technology that not only eliminates background noises for audio clarity but also encrypts the signals for secure communication.

In essence, signal disruption is simply nonexistent because, with such a high level of security, no one can listen in to your child. 

Internet-based monitors

These are ideal for parents that want to keep an eye on their babies from outside the house.

While they don’t feature parent units, they have iOS and/or Android apps that allow you to connect to a transmitter in the nursery from anywhere in the world.

The only condition is you must have access to a reliable internet access.

Keep in mind that this type is subject to data theft. So it’s important to secure your network as much as possible to protect against baby monitor hacking.

Why You Need a Baby Monitor

Now that you know what a baby monitor is, it’s time learn why they may be necessary in the first place.

In fact, here are 6 reasons why I would strongly recommend getting a baby monitor if you don’t have one yet.

1. You Live in a Bigger House

You Live in a Bigger House

If you live in a bigger house or a storied building and your child’s nursery is far from your bedroom or upstairs, get a long distance baby monitor.

And if you’ve switched from a bassinet to a separate crib or you’ve simply decided that it’s time to put your child in a separate room, you should consider getting this device.

Here’s the thing:

Making frequent visits to a child’s room can be a hassle. And while it’s your responsibility to check in on your kid, it can become a boring and tedious routine.

A baby monitor can be a game changer here. Because, at the very least, it allows you listen in or see what’s happening in your child’s room without lifting a foot from your current location.

2. You’re a Deep, Heavy Sleeper

Do you find yourself sleeping through noises and sounds outside your bedroom?

Then you’re a heavy sleeper, and probably a deep one at that. In such a case, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll hear your child’s first cry if they sleep in a separate room.

The solution?

It makes a lot of sense to invest in a baby monitor that includes a parent unit.

Once you buy the device, complete the setup, turn up the volume on the receiver to maximum, and place it close to your bed.

When your child wakes up and starts to cry, the parent unit will sound loudly, allowing you to hear the noise and act accordingly thereafter.

3. You Want to Monitor Your Baby from Outside the House

monitor from outside house

Here’s the deal:

Every baby monitor has an effective coverage range that allows you to keep an eye on your child even when you’re outside your house.

Take the Infant Optics DXR-8, for example. This device has an outdoor range of 500 feet, which allows you to watch, listen to, and communicate with your child on the go.

So if you intend to spend a lot of time outdoors and you still want to keep an eye on your little one without frequenting their room, a long-range baby monitor is a must have.

4. You Seriously Want to Monitor Breathing

SIDS scares me to death.

And while it’s something I don’t have to worry about, I know how concerning the early days of your baby’s growth can be.

How do you even know if they’re moving if you have them sleeping in their own room? How do you even know if their breathing pattern is consistent?

Here’s where a movement monitor becomes handy. And if you seriously want to monitor their breathing without ever stepping a foot in the nursery, this is the real deal.

I should state that there’s no scientific link between Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and movement monitors. If the argument by time is anything convincing, then you can be sure that even the smartest monitor can’t control SIDS.

In a way, they’re right

Because despite the arguments presented in that analysis, I still strongly believe these devices are very important.

In fact, a movement baby monitor might be the only thing you need in those times when your child’s breathing stops for 20 seconds.

They are a godsend, because they can probably help to save a precious life.

Trust me on this one.

5. You Want a Family Member Far Away to See Your Baby

family member using baby monitor

If you want a family member who lives far away from your neighborhood, or even in a different time zone, to see and interact with your child, then you’ll need a baby monitor.

In particular, you’ll need a Wifi-enabled unit that works from anywhere in the world. It comes with an Android and/or iOS app, which should enable your family member to monitor the feed even if they are a thousand miles from your place.

Remember, any monitor that uses the internet to work is prone to hacking. That means you must secure the network as much as possible. Using strong password can be the difference between your child’s safety and data theft.

6. You Want to Monitor Older Kids

You can’t always keep an eye on older kids by frequently visiting their room.

Why not use a baby monitor to keep an eye on them while you focus on something else.

Again, the device can be good for sleep training. That’s because you can use it to instruct a child to go to bed when it’s time to sleep. Or go back to sleep when it’s not yet time to wake up.

Why You Don’t Need a Baby Monitor

Granted, a baby monitor is an important device. But that doesn’t really mean you need one. In fact, you can raise a baby just fine without it, so they aren’t a must-have.

In fact, here are 7 reasons why I believe that a baby monitor may not be worth an investment.

1. Your Child Sleeps in Your Room or Their Bedroom is Close to Yours

child share your bedroom

A baby monitor is a cool gadget to have in your house. But as long as your child’s room is closer to yours, or you have their crib in your bedroom, you may never need it.

After all, the two of you are really close to each other. So it’s easier for you to hear their every move and whimper, and offer the necessary parental care that they need.

2. You’re a light sleeper

So you’re a light sleeper. Your child’s room is closer to yours. And you’re wondering whether this gadget might help you keep an eye on them.

Well, it can. But is it necessary in this case?

No, it’s not.

A heavy sleeper tends to wake up to even the slightest sound. Which is to say that should easily hear your baby’s first cry without a baby monitor.

3. You Live in a Small House

you live in a small house

Some parents buy baby monitors because they’ve heard of their many benefits. Except they don’t realize that it’s not even something they need to raise a child.

My point is this:

If you live in a small house, you’ll always here your baby cry no matter where you are in the room.

Putting the size of a small apartment into consideration, you can bet this stuff can be just another unnecessary investment in your bucket list.

4. You Talk False Alarms Seriously

Babies are the loudest tiny human beings in every household. Not a night passes before they make several noises.

They cry, squeak, wheeze, hiccup, sneeze, and cough. They can grunt and gurgle. Sometimes they’ll grumble and yawn, not to mention snore loudly you’d think they‘d develop a breathing problem.

That baby in the crib can make up to 37 noises. Quite frankly, that’s a lot from a child. And it can be quite overwhelming when you hear all these through a baby monitor, especially if you’re a first time parent.

Here’s my take:

The only sound that should wake you up is your child’s cry.

So if you’re a paranoid parent, or a light sleeper, who wakes up to every little sound that your child makes, don’t bother buying a baby monitor. And if you have one already, you probably should stop using it indefinitely.

5. You’re too engrossed, even for no apparent reason

parent so attached to baby monitor

Look:

I understand how parent to baby attachment is. You want to both with them as much as possible before they’re old enough to go to school.

And for you that probably means watching them every step of the way. If not paying frequent visits to their room, then it’s constantly looking at them through a baby monitor.

Unfortunately, looking at that device all the time is unhealthy. Plus, it probably makes you feel paranoid – maybe even dumb.

If you think about it, your little man/woman needs some alone time to sleep, relax, and/or play on their own. So unless they’re crying because they’re hungry or need soothing, you don’t need to peep into their little world all the time.

So what’s the deal?

Ditch that monitor if it makes you too engrossed. And if you haven’t bought one yet, don’t even think about it.

6. You seriously hate troubleshooting gadgets

I love gadgets and the benefits they bring.

But when it comes to troubleshooting them, either I’m not interested or I just suck.

If you’re like me, you definitely want your baby monitor to work right all the time.

But they can break down. And if they do, you’ll probably spend hours perusing the troubleshooting manual to find a solution to fix the problem.

That’s just too much to do and you’re too sane to waste your time trying to figure things out.

Your only problem should be your baby, not fixing a monitor. If it stops working, you probably shouldn’t fix it.

7. You’ve hired a nanny to take care of your child

This is a no-brainer, or is it?

nanny looking after kids

If you’ve hired a nanny to take care of your child, you don’t even need an internet-based monitor to look at your child.

The nanny is your second eyes and ears, so they should be able to do all the work for you.

Let’s Wrap this Up

Now that you know why you need a baby monitor and why you don’t, it’s up to you to make up your mind on whether to buy one for your child or not.

Even with that said, here’s something I don’t want you to forget:

A baby monitor should never be a substitute to parental care. And it’s not a necessary equipment to buy. 

Besides, our parents raised us without these devices back in the 1990s. And we grew up just fine without them to say the least. 

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