Do I really need a baby monitor and can it help my child sleep better?

Is a baby monitor the right choice for me? Some parents swear by them, some don’t see much need

Yes or no?

Like most parenting products, it’s up to you, for some a baby monitor is vital, for others, not so necessary

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In the early days you may see all the baby products around and think you need it all. But as you get to grips with you baby essentials checklist you may find that some things you don’t need it all.

Baby monitors are a popular choice for keeping an eye on your baby as they sleep. It is recommended the safest place for your baby to sleep for the first six months is in your room so baby monitors are a way of keeping an eye on them when they have moved to their own room.

The need for a baby monitor could depend on the size of your home. If you live in a small flat you may find hearing your baby stir in the night isn’t a problem and don’t feel you need one. If your house is big and you may be a fair distance from your baby as they sleep, a monitor can help you hear them at all times.

Having a monitor can help you distinguish what kind of cry it is. Without having to go in and disturb them, you can hear the cry from the monitor and know whether it is a hungry cry and you need to go in or if your baby is distressed or they are simply groaning in their sleep and haven’t really woken up - and going in would risk properly waking them up!

The downside of this is that with a monitor you may hear virtually every sound your baby makes which may disturb you throughout the night as babies do make a lot of noise and not all of it requires your attention. 

As your baby gets older, if you find yourself having to go into the room to check on them for every noise you hear through the monitor, you may find your continuous in and out may be what is disrupting your baby and not the noises they make. Remember, babies do fuss and cry a little even in their sleep, so it is not always a necessary reason to go into them straight away.

On the up side, many baby monitors now include a video option where you can see your baby sleeping.  These can give you peace of mind  to see your baby is OK and you can visibly check whether they’re groaning a little or a lot and weigh up the likelihood of them settling back to sleep without you.

Some monitors also include sensor pads to go under your baby’s mattress that alert you if your baby hasn’t moved in a certain amount of time.

However, it is important to remember that whether you use a baby monitor or not, it is not a replacement for parental supervision of your baby and will not prevent or solve any sleep issues. It is simply a tool to help you monitor your baby without having to disturb them too often going to check on them in their room.

Do I really need a baby monitor and can it help my child sleep better?