Mum 2 Mum: Sleeping With One Ear Open

What is Mum 2 Mum? Mum 2 Mum is a place where as online friends we can share a little of our own experiences, so why not pop in for a cuppa and join the conversation.

I have a wee confession to make. Immy is now 3 and we still sleep with a baby monitor on. Admittedly, her bedroom is quite a way from ours and we would be unlikely to hear her wake if we were asleep and we didn’t have the monitor. Some nights this wouldn’t be a bad thing – like when she is really restless and keeps me awake half the night – but I do worry on nights when she is unwell or upset that we won’t hear her.  And that if we didn’t have the monitor my sleep would be even more interrupted as I would be trying to sleep with one ear open to hear her if she called! The one positive that I do think comes from our use of the monitor is that Immy doesn’t come into us during the night, she stays in her own bed, so at least when she is sleeping soundly, we are all sleeping soundly 🙂

But it does make me wonder… if and when I will ever be free from sleeping with the constant electronic buzz of a monitor next to my head!

Do you use a baby monitor? Why or why not? And at what age did you get rid of it? Do you get up to your kids, or do your kids come in to you in the night?

P.S. Pop over later today when I will share a new video blog about children learning to read.

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  1. We have never owned any type of baby monitor because we practice co-sleeping. And many times I have thought to myself how appreciative I am that we do, because then I know she’s safe. This was really important for me, too, because my daughter has severe food allergies and it was always nice for me to know that she IS okay, she’s right next to me and I can be there right away if anything were to happen. When she does go to her own room though, it may be hard for me to sleep! We will see.

    I can still sympathize with the situation. We are moving into a new house soon, and my daughter will have her own room because it is a bigger house. So, not only will toys and the like go into it but so will her own bed. She is 4 now and she talks about a bunk bed – which I am very weary of. They seem dangerous to me!

    So, at night – it can be hard because we want to continue to protect our children. If having the baby monitor gives you extra confidence (since you can hear what is going on in her room) then that is good. I think the day will come and you will just know when it is time to chuck it (so to speak).

  2. I used a baby monitor when they were little babies but not after the age of one.
    But then somehow after the crib, the kids managed to go sleep with dad in his room. (he’s a heavy snorer and not allowed in my room) ….so my kids never woke up throughout the night because big daddy polar bear was there snoring next to them.

    When the kids were babies though, I had a twin bed in their rooms so I could sleep in there if they were sick and needed tending to. Sure beats walking down the hall a million times.

    Good luck in whatever you decide.

  3. We had one but I don’t need it even in this big house I eventually hear them if I’m downstairs. Otherwise I haven’t really used it inside the house. We do however use it when we go outside or to the neighbors garage to hang out, (its really like 20 ft away so don’t think we are going across the street or something and we do go in to check on them periodically).

  4. We still have a monitor in Miss 2’s room, but as she’s only been regularly sleeping through the night for 2 or 3 months, I am definitely not confident to ditch it yet! Her room is next to ours and I probably would hear her if she woke anyway, but I sleep sounder with the monitor, knowing I won’t miss a call for me.

    With the older two, they each had a monitor in their rooms until they were 4 and 2.5 respectively, at which time they moved into a shared room and I used one monitor in there for another year. Yes, until my eldest was 5 … but the context is, she was (and is still) a “sleeping vomiter” when even mildly sick – she upchucks in her sleep and doesn’t usually wake. I just was not willing to risk her vomiting in the early hours and waking distressed several hours later in a mess of stink. With the monitor I could hear her and that made me more secure. (Now, if she’s unwell, she sleeps with me and her Dad takes the couch.)

  5. My E is 2 and we still use a monitor. She was a co-sleeper until about 7 months. She has been sleeping through the night since about 11 months, but we still feel that we need it for “peace of mind”. Plus, I agree that it helps for us to hear if she is not feeling well and then we can get there a bit quicker and put her to ease faster. I am not certain how much longer we will use it. I guess we plan on using it until it breaks:-) Kerri

  6. We hardly used the one we purchased for Miss M in the end. I thought I could smell a burning smell and I couldn’t work out if it was the monitor or the power point. We had had trouble with the power at that rental. Thought is best to do away with using the monitor. As it turned out, being in such an old house we could hear everything. With Miss H, she seemed to spend quite a bit of time in our room when she was smaller. In fact, because of space she was in our room ’till well over the age of one. In the new house she transitioned into her room and once again being in a small, old house, we tend to hear everything. Like Heather said, I think you’ll know when it’s the right time to finish using the monitor. You’ve gotta do what works best for you. You’re a great mummy!

  7. I’m right with ya. I have 2 monitors – one for each kiddo. I’ve tried not using one for my nearly 3 year old, but like you, I’m just afraid I won’t hear him if he starts whining if he’s sick or scared. He never comes into my room until he’s ready to be up in the morning. I don’t use it for his nap – he knows to just come downstairs. I find comfort in it. Though, I do, too, wonder when I’ll be able to give it up.

  8. I used to tune my baby monitor into next door’s baby monitor when our neighbour was singing her baby to sleep. Hysterically funny for us parents and appreciated by the newborn. Don’t tell her… x

  9. We use a monitor. I can’t imagine not using it! Our daughter is 16 months and still in a crib, and I do go to her in the night if she needs me. I always think about the times I’m so happy I went in because she had gotten sick or was running a fever…what if I had let her cry and not checked on her?! I figure the buzz and the green glow from the monitor will be with me for many years!:) ha

  10. I have never used a baby monitor for any of my children, no real reson except that my house is no mansion so I can pretty much hear most goings on from our bedroom. The times when I have slept wth my kids near us or in the same room when we are on holidays I have had the worst sleep listening to every breath and snort and snuffle. I can still hear them if they are coughing or even sleep talking so it has never been an issue. And they have all been great sleepers so each to their own I guess.

  11. We have a monitor base in our 2.5 year old’s room but the receivers are on the main floor and the basement. We wouldn’t necessarily hear him if we were watching tv or listening to music. At night, though, we just leave our door open (his is closed) and we hear him just fine. He’s still in a crib so I hike down the hall…and bring him to mommydaddy bedroom for a 5-minute cuddle before “own bed, mommy”!

  12. When my aunt found out I was pregnant she sent me an email containing heaps of advice. One of her points was “don’t waste your money on a baby monitor, if they want you to hear them you will”. I think though in situations where you are quite a distance from your child’s room they can be handy.

    My son is still in a cot so he can’t come to us. Maybe I’m kidding myself but I think (and am hoping) he’ll stay put when he gets his bed.

  13. I also feel that I sleep more soundly knowing that the monitor can pick up the sounds in each of our children’s rooms. The monitor is actually in the baby’s room, but we have tested it and know that you could hear coughing and crying from the child’s bedroom that is the furtherest from the monitor. What a relief this was to me. Otherwise I would have bought another monitor.

  14. We used one till Heidi was about 3yo because she would cry during the night but be too scared to get up and come to us. She still uses the half of it in her room – we got a baby monitor that included a teddy bear nightlight at the childrens room end. Very useful when we moved house as we could use the monitor for the first couple of months until Heidi settled into the new place. So they come in handy even when your kids are 5yo 😀

  15. We had a baby monitor that we got when our oldest daughter was born (she’s now 3 1/2). But the instructions were all in German and we never were able to figure it out! (It was either too loud or too quiet, and we couldn’t figure out how to get it in between.) So in the end, we just never used one! If the kids are sick, we just leave all the bedroom doors open so we hear them. But then again, we live in an apartment, so we are on the same floor as them.

    I do sometimes wish we had one for travelling, though, as it would be convenient for when we visit the grandparents. One set has air conditioning (we always go in the summer) and for that to work the doors need to be shut, and of course we can’t hear anything over the A/C. The other grandparents have a large house with various additions that are really spread out, making the bedrooms not only on different floors but also very far away from each other, with multiple other rooms and doors in between. It means that we end up having to sleep in the basement to be close to the kids, instead of in the much more comfortable guest room. But, we manage without one 🙂

    We did once stay at a fancy kinderhotel (a hotel specifically for families with small children) and every room had a built-in monitor so that parents could put the kids to bed and then still enjoy their dinner in the restaurant. We thought it was a great idea, but we were too nervous to use it!

  16. We co-slept with our first daughter for the first 9 months, and then when she moved into her own room in her own crib we used the monitor…for about the first year. Then with our second daughter she again co-slept and when she moved out we didn’t use the monitor. They were very different sleepers…and so was I by the time the second came around. I found I woke up at every sound…and really most sounds I heard in the monitor were breathing sounds…not crying…crying I could hear from the other side of the house! I really didn’t find the monitor all that handy. But, that’s me?!

  17. I would still be using a monitor now for my 2.5 and 4.5 year olds if I still lived in my old house, our current house we have put them in the room right next to us so its easy. I hated the buzzing sound but now my husband is on a CPAP machine so I sleep next to Darth Vader anyway so I dont think the buzz would annoy me so much anymore. I dont think there is a problem using one. We are going away over the weekend and Im planning on taking one so we can still go sit in the spa outside and hear the kids if the kids need us.

  18. I still use the monitor for my three year old and my one year old and would have real trouble going to sleep without it on. They’re at the front of the house (while we’re at the back) and worry about who could be walking along the street since there’s no fence nor security screens! Maybe a bit silly, but at least it means I can go to sleep!
    (So glad to hear of others co-sleeping since I did it for so long, perhaps at the detriment to my marriage!)

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