At what age does a child no longer need to be monitored in this way, and what choices do parents tend to make when it comes to their use of a baby monitor? In this article I’ll be taking a look at these issues and exploring questions and concerns a great many parents have.
Let me first of all say this: whatever choices you make as far as bringing up and looking after your child is concerned, your use of a baby monitor cannot be directly compared to anyone else, since individual circumstances can often mean that what one person does is entirely different to someone else, and entirely justified.
I have seen a great many discussions on forums lately about when you should stop using a baby monitor. What is interesting is the huge discrepancy between the suggested answers from parents. On the one hand there are parents who claim to have stopped using a baby monitor before their child’s first birthday, and there are other parents claiming that they still see a very real need for a monitor with their seven year old child.
There’s no point asking who is right and who is wrong, because these extreme examples come from completely different situations. Let me give you two examples.
On the one hand we have a family who live in a very small cottage in the country. They have no pets, and the nursery is right next door to the parents’ bedroom. The doors are all left open at night, there is no other sound, and both parents sleep lightly. In such a situation there may well be much less need for a baby monitor, and so you may expect such a family to claim that they no longer needed one after a fairly brief period of time.
On the other hand we have the family who live in a much more urban environment where there is a great deal of background noise. They have a pet, and so the bedroom doors are all shut at night, and the nursery is at least a room away from the parents’ bedroom. In such a case it is clear that the need will remain for very much longer for a high quality baby monitor.
But it is not wise to be too eager to throw a baby monitor away, sell it, or give it away. They have a wide range of uses which go far beyond simply monitoring a young baby. It is often these uses which mean that a monitor can continue to be useful well past the baby and toddler years.
For example, if you have a child who is ill and off school, having a baby monitor in their room can be extremely reassuring for them as much as being useful for you. If they need you for something then they don’t have to sit there yelling, which may be something they feel unable to do anyway, and they don’t need to get up out of bed to come and find you. A monitor offers a great way for them to call for you easily.
Baby monitors also have a wide range of practical purposes which have nothing whatever to do with babies or children. For example, if you rarely hear the front door when you’re in the shed or garden, an audio monitor can help extend the range of the door knocker or bell to wherever you happen to be.
If you are often burning things in the oven because you don’t hear the buzzer, a monitor can help to make sure you hear it immediately even if you’re in the loft or the back of the garden.
If you have a video monitor then you also have an excellent security camera system which, if connected to the internet through your home network, provides you with remote access viewing at all times.
Don’t be in too much of a hurry to say goodbye to your baby monitor – they have a great many uses, and your circumstances will always offer a unique combination of needs and benefits.