Parents who want to be reassured with a 24/7 view of their little one no matter where they are in their home certainly have that option nowadays.
We recently transitioned our 2-and-a-half-year-old from his crib to a “big boy bed,” and realized he now had the option to get up from bed whenever he wanted to. So, we decided to try out a video baby monitor (it was actually a Wyze doorbell security camera we had gotten as a Christmas gift) to make sure he was'nt getting into any night time mischief.
At first, when it was time to go “night night,” we put him in his bed and pulled up the video app on my phone. It was a little weird at first; it kind of reminded us of The Truman Show — like we were the masters of his universe. And I have to admit, we could’ve watched him swinging his arms around like an orchestra conductor all night long — it was our new favorite show!
The first time we saw him start to get out of his bed, we remembered the intercom function on the device's app that allowed us to speak through the camera. My wife grabbed the phone, held the intercom button and said, “it’s time to go night night, buddy.” He immediately jumped back into bed, pulling the covers over himself faster than I've ever seen him move, and didn’t get up for the rest of the night!
The experience was most certainly a win for us, but parental powers like this must always be used for good — and knowing at what age to stop is key. After all, people managed perfectly well for centuries without many of the hi-tech gadgets we have today. That said, here are both the pros and cons of video monitors, because we know you're just dying to peek at your baby!
PROS of Video Baby Monitors
Baby video monitors are nice to have rather than a must-have. If you are expecting your first child, you will undoubtedly have plenty of other things on your shopping list that may take a higher priority.
That being said, here are 10 ways that a video baby monitor will make mom and dad’s life a little bit easier:
1. Peace of Mind
A video monitor will allow you to put your mind at rest as often as you wish. And you will not need to open the door and disturb your sleeping baby when you check on them.
2. Check on Baby Without the Lights
There will be times when you want to peek at your baby at night to ensure that everything is Ok. The best baby video monitors have night-vision. See your sleeping child without switching on any lights.
3. Fewer False Alarms
Having an audio-only baby monitor can lead to unnecessary trips up the stairs to the nursery. A video baby monitor will allow you to investigate any noises from the comfort of your chair.
4. Help Train a Baby to Sleep
A video baby monitor will let you judge if your baby needs help or not. Sleep training a baby will be much easier if you don’t need to see your child every time there is noise.
5. Talk to Your Baby Remotely
Some of the best baby video monitors have a two-way talk feature, an excellent item for giving your baby a few comforting words if she's having trouble getting to sleep. When your child gets a bit older, the two-way talk will also come in handy to tell them to put down their toys and get back to sleep!
6. Allow You to Take Naps
Catching 40 winks can be a challenge when you are listening for a baby. If you place a baby monitor by your side when you take naps, you will be able to hear any noises straight away.
CONS of Video Baby Monitors
Baby video monitors do have their advantages, but what are the drawbacks to baby monitoring devices? Well, for one, while baby monitors are convenient to have, they are not cheap. The best video baby monitors will set you back around $150 (see a fewer less expensive options in our Editor's Picks).
Here are a few other disadvantages to bear in mind:
1. Signal Interference
You might find that some appliances in your home interfere with a wireless baby monitor’s signal. You will also need to check the signal range of a baby monitor before you buy it. The wireless signal on the best baby video monitors is excellent these days. Even so, there is no guarantee that you will always get a perfect signal in your home.
It has been known for video baby monitors to be hacked. So, make sure that you understand the security features of a baby monitor. And don’t forget to change the default password for your device when you set up the system.
3. False Sense of Security
Some people argue that baby monitors create a false sense of security. You could become too reliant on the monitor and not physically check on your baby often enough. It should always be remembered that no electronic device can be a replacement for good parental care.
4. Increased Anxiety
It could also be argued that a video monitor could lead to increased anxiety. You could wind up never taking your eyes off your baby monitor’s video feed. The ability to watch the baby 24/7 could create more worry for some parents than if the child were left on their own to sleep.
5. Too Much Hovering
It is possible for monitoring to become a crutch, causing an excess of usage. Find a balance so you are still meeting Baby's needs.
Michael W. Aldrich is a father, husband, writer and journalist.
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