Hello, Grandpa. Hello, Grandma.

Our toddler granddaughter had a two-way audio-only baby monitor in her bed.

Digital wireless video baby monitor

Digital wireless video baby monitor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Her parents thought that, since her bedroom was two stories above theirs, they’d better have a way of checking on her, once they were willing to move her from a crib in their room to a bed in her own room.

We visited when the baby-monitor was still in place.

“Oh, Grandpa. Oh, Grandma,” she sang into the baby monitor one evening to call us after she’d been in bed for a few minutes.

We’d completed the nightly ritual bedtime stories and had returned to the living room to read.

She said she wanted a glass of water.

I think she was checking to make sure we were keeping an eye (ear) on her.

Who Invented It?

Little is known about the early days of the baby monitor.

Norman Emerick, then at Fisher-Price, is credited with inventing it.

It is believed to have been invented in the 1930s.

When Did Baby Monitors Get Popular?

There were no baby monitors when our children were young in the late 1960s and 1970s.

I kept the house quiet and we were close enough to their bedrooms that I could hear if a child called out at night.

They didn’t become popular until the 1980s and 1990s.

Now, there are two-way video baby monitors. They have night vision, so you can see the baby in low light.

They can be wired or wireless.

You might want to make sure they’re not broadcasting images and conversations to neighbors,  as some have been reported to do.

There is a Smartphone app that will ring a specified number and let you hear the noises in the baby’s room.

Some have sensors that let you monitor the baby’s temperature or movement.

How Long Do You Use a Baby Monitor?

Is there a general rule on when to take the video monitor out of a baby’s room?

When they’re two?

When they’re five?

When they demand it as teenagers?

A pediatrician on a popular baby site, babycenter.com, says you can take a monitor out of a baby’s room as soon as they are sleeping through the night.

Parents, however, may have a variety of reasons to keep it longer, ranging from distance between the baby’s bedroom and the parents’ to potential health problems.

Grandparents may just want to hear their sweet grandchild’s voice, knowing they are safe with Grandma and Grandpa in the other room.

Click here to order a digital video baby monitor with smartphone viewing.

Did you ever use a baby monitor?

Do your grandchildren have one?

Does it play music?

To you and keeping your grandchildren safe.


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers

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