The Pros & Cons of a Baby Monitor

I take care of a seven month year old baby. The baby’s mother bought a monitor when Alyssa was born. I have used it a number of times and have come to realize the pros and cons of having one.

First of all, you get two monitors that come in one package. One is for the baby’s room and the other is for when you or an adult are downstairs. What I like about it is that you can hear every sound that the baby makes. Most important, you hear when the baby wakes up and cries. You can rest assured that if you shut the door in the baby’s room due to excessive noise in the house, that you will hear him/her cry with a monitor.

Baby Alyssa has a type of monitor that is designed to avoid sudden infant death syndrome. A pad with wires is placed under the crib mattress. If for some reason the baby stops breathing while sleeping, an alarm will go off to alert the mother or adult. The idea is to pick up the baby immediately so he/she could start breathing again. Many times the baby’s nose or mouth may be blocked especially if they sleep on their stomach. Toys or blankets in the crib can also cause blockage, so this type of monitor is extremely important. The alarm is loud enough to wake you up at night or for you to hear if you are in another room.

There are a few disadvantages. First of all, the padded wire does not cover the entire crib mattress. So, if the baby rolls over to the side, the alarm will go off. Last night it went off about five times and it woke me up and it woke up Alyssa’s mother who had to go to work. This has scared me the first few times it happened because I did not know until Alyssa’s mother told me. Now when it goes off, I am a little more relaxed because I am pretty confident that she rolled to the side. Also, as she is getting older, her risk of sudden infant death syndrome is getting less. In someone’s panic to rush getting to the baby, you could easily get hurt by turning a foot or falling. If you know that a baby’s life is at stake, you try to get there as fast as you could.

At times the baby is right in the middle of the crib and the monitor still goes off. When I go to check on her, she is breathing, so I do not know what is setting it off. I find this to be a great disadvantage. This morning when she took a nap for about an hour and a half, the alarm went off at least five or six times.

A few times I was in the baby’s room talking to her mother and the monitor happened to be on. It was also on downstairs where there were other people present. Alyssa’s mother warned me that what I was saying could be heard downstairs. I was not saying anything inappropriate, but the rest of the household did not need to know what I was talking about.

A couple of times when I turned off the monitor in the baby’s room, I went downstairs right away only to hear other people’s conversations. At times what they are saying are not always pleasant. No one needs to hear anyone else’s problems.

The advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages. If I had a baby of my own, I would definitely get a monitor. The cons are very minor compared to saving a baby’s life.