We have used the angel care noise and movement monitor (sends off an alarm if they stop breathing) and we think it is brilliant.
Our bub slept with us for the first couple of weeks but then made it clear she wanted her own space (nearly 2 and still loves her own cot in her own room, dark with door closed). I obviously felt nervous aout not sleeping with her since I think you can sense their breathing when in the same room. A neighbour recommended it to me. At first I was sceptical thinking it was parannoid parenting but then she pointed out "yes, it is - but isn't she a good reason to be "paranoid"?"
If bub doesn't sleep with you I think they are a great idea (and if you go to friends houses for dinner etc and put them to sleep they are a great tool)
Yep, a monitor is just a tool, and as with all tools, it can be used well, or badly. That's no need to make those of us who need a monitor feel like we're doing the wrong thing though. I used to have DD in the same room as me during her day sleeps, but as a reflux baby, it took only the smallest noise for her to start to wake, then she would be in pain (from the reflux) and wake up crying, never having a decent sleep unless I sat in one space and made no noise. It just wasn't possible to have her sleeping in the same room (unfortunately at the time I hadn't discovered a sling, or I would probably have used that instead).
Now, at 2, she sleeps in our room on our bed when we're not there, and still, from habit I think, she will wake at the slightest noise. In order to be able to do anything at all while she's sleeping, I have to have the door closed.
She's old enough now that when she wakes she could call our and have us hear her, but we like the added security of the video monitor. It makes us feel like she's in the same room, while she has the quiet she needs to get a decent rest. It also means that I can respond more quickly when she needs me, before she even calls out in most cases. I can tell, if she's wriggling around, if she needs me, or is just getting more comfortable, without disturbing her all the time.
As I said, like all tools, it can be misused, but it can also be used to help parent in a sensitive and caring manner.
OK, probably a bit of an over-reaction, but I just get the feeling from several posts that people think monitors are unnecessary, and that if you use them, it means you're more detached from your children. While that may be the case in some instances, I feel it is a generalisation.
We didn't bother with a monitor for DS in the beginning because our house was tiny! He was normally with me during the day (sling, held or just right beside me) and we coslept at night. DH laughs about the superpowers mothers must have because I could hear DS sqeak in our bedroom even over the din of other noises. Maybe it's the attachment parenting, but I can also tell what he's doing (in his sleep) from the noises he makes eg. rolling over etc.
We moved house when he was 23months old and he went into his own room from then on and I used a Uniden 5.8GHz cordless phone as our room monitor. We tried the AngelCare brand one but found the static to be too much. The great thing about the cordless phone as a monitor is that it can be recharged, is digital so no fear of neighbours listening in, is crystal clear, has a huge range (1km) so I can be in the garden when he's napping, and it lets you know when you do go out of range. The only downside is that the battery only lasts 5-6 hours so we need to swap them over during the night.