In our regular column, our postnatal expert Melinda Hunt answers some common questions about birth and babies.
Often my clients ask me if a baby monitor is a crucial necessity when shopping for their newborn’s arrival. You will often find it on baby item shopping lists, but is it really an essential in the first few months?
Facts of the matter
Let’s look at some of the facts and current research. The American Pediatric Association now states that “infants should share their parent’s bedroom for at least the first six months and, optimally, for the first year of life, based on the latest evidence”. This recommendation is in relation to SIDS prevention.
Based on these recommendations, a baby monitor would not be necessary for night time if a baby is to share the same room as their parents or carer. However, during the day a newborn baby still needs to be supervised and checked regularly; so, if you have a big house or thick walls a baby monitor may give you the peace of mind you need. Baby monitors come in video and audio mode and in some models can be streamed through your smartphone for easy accessibility.
Other options to consider
Another option for the first three to four months is to place your baby in a Moses basket that can be moved from room to room during the day allowing for constant supervision and no need for a baby monitor. Once baby starts to spend naps and night-time sleep in their own nursery from six to 12 months, a baby monitor becomes a more viable option to consider.
Melinda Maternity is a bespoke postnatal care and night nurse service. A mother of five herself, Melinda brings first-hand experience and professional advice on topics, from feeding and settling to basic baby care.
See more in our mums & babies section
This article first appeared in the October/November 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.