This was a recent question posted in an online "mom group" that I'm a part of. My instinctive answer was/is: ABSOLUTELY NOT!
While pregnant with my first (nine years ago!) I was given a used baby monitor from a kind co-worker. It is one of those old fashioned monitors that has two frequencies and....nothing else. Most of the time I heard more static than actual baby noises. Additionally Isaiah slept in our room with us for the first six months of his life. Plus our house was SO tiny and poorly insulated there wasn't a room in the house I could go into and NOT hear his crying...even if I wanted to! Basically a baby monitor of any kind was unnecessary! Except when traveling. I always take my monitor with me while traveling. Almost always. Fast forward a few kids, years and houses and my stance on baby monitors remained the same. (I attribute my kids early sleeping through night/good sleep habits to my lack of monitor use. I sleep soundly. They sleep. Win-win!).
However...this past fall I was selected to test a video baby monitor...and I've been swayed. Just a tad. Are video baby monitors necessary? No! But are they incredibly fun and useful? Yep. You betcha! Because how cute is it to watch your baby sleeping? Off the charts cute!!! And how nice is it when I take the super rare night away from the house to use my baby monitor app on my phone to check and see how bedtime is going at home? Yep. I totally spy on my kids and husband. Oh and in the evenings when I'm binge watching my current favorite Netflix show and eating a bowl of ice cream but I can hear the girls NOT sleeping in their bed, the talk-through-the-monitor-feature is AMAZING! Semi life changing. ;-) Necessary? Nope. But it definitely has it's perks.
Yesterday at the end of one of those crazy-I-just-can't-catch-a-break kind of days I finally FINALLY was able breath and relax for a minute in our backyard while my children were playing peacefully together. I was able to chuckle a little at the irony of what I was hoping to be a fun little trip earlier in the day to Hobby Lobby to pick out a Mother's Day gift for MYSELF turned out to be a sprint through the store with two screaming children (one of whom was determined to throw crackers down every aisle) while I grabbed every single sign/wall hanging that I thought could possibly work to decorate my laundry room.
The fact that the school nurse called just as I was pulling into my driveway after said shopping trip AND just moments after the one year old had fallen asleep somehow didn't surprise me. Not in the least. However I was not expecting to get vomitted on as we were exiting the school with my sick child. But it happened. It really happened. So yeah it had been one of THOSE days. That being said when my children migrated inside I decided to sit outside a minute or two longer. To enjoy just a little peace and quiet and sanity. My bladder however had other plans. But...........…………………….................................my kids had locked me out! Intentionally? I'm not sure. What I do know is knocking on the door got me no where! Levi was the only one I could see and he couldn't be bothered to help out his dear old mom. He had a (forbidden) recycling bin to sort/destroy! And the big three were who knows where.
Video baby monitor to the rescue! I grabbed my phone and checked the camera in the girls' room. Nothing! I switched over to the boys' room and while I could not see my children (thanks to one of them changing the camera's angle) I could hear them! Which meant they heard me loud and crystal clear when I spoke through the monitor asking them to please unlock the back door. Problem solved.
So yeah video baby monitors come in handy. I'm a fan.
Oh and I may have decided to pick up a thing or two for my kitchen today when I went to return the excess laundry room decor today. That place is dangerous...