Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Two Baby Monitors Or One???

Question for moms of more than one kid: I definitely need some opinions on this one! For awhile, our two little girls will be sleeping in separate bedrooms. We won't be able to hear them unless we have a baby monitor in each room. So if you need to own two separate baby monitors, do the frequencies interfere with each other? Do you have two of the same kind, or different brands of monitors? Do they interfere with each other less if they're the same brand of monitor or different brands?

Here is the kind we have now. . . the Fisher Price Sounds and Lights Monitor. We keep one receiver downstairs, and the other receiver in our bedroom.
I also read about a Graco monitor that actually monitors two separate bedrooms at the same time, and just switches back and forth between the two rooms. It seems really cool to me, and like it would be a lot easier than having so many different transmitters to deal with. But it's pretty expensive. Has anybody used this before, or another multi-room monitor? What's your opinion?
Here's another question for moms of any amount of kids: What do you do when your almost-2-year-old constantly asks to watch the same show or movie ALL day long without fail? And refuses to be distracted by anything else? Kirsten asks for "Ernie! Ernie!" a million times a day, and she means that she wants to watch Play With Me Sesame, a half-hour show that features the Sesame Street characters and has Bert and Ernie as some of their main characters. I keep them on our DVR so we always have access to them, but I just can't keep it on all day! What should I do?

Thank you for all advice and opinions! I love the blogging world, where there are so many wonderful moms with tons more experience than me. I want to learn as much from you as I can!


  1. With the movies, we watch/do one one thing with a screen each day. It was hard at first, but now the kids don't ask for another very often. That includes movies, computer games, or video games. It has made my life so much simpler, because I'm not CONSTANTLY being asked about movies movies movies. And the kids have to be more creative. They are also realizing they might want to "Save" their movie time for when I'm taking a shower so they aren't so bored. Also, we have a clothed and fed rule that must be fulfilled before anything is turned on.

    As for baby monitors, I would just use two systems (you can find them so cheap if you get them used). Generally there is a channel 1 or 2 you can choose. Have one child on channel 1 and the other on channel 2.

  2. We have a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD that Lilly has seen about 4.2 billion times. I *hate* it. But I think Savanna watched Nemo 5 kajillion times too at that age. I just say, "okay" because she likes it, it makes her relax, and heck, I often veg the same way every day. "Rachel blogs and gets on Facebook EVERY day." Haha!

    As far as baby monitors, get one that has two handsets that go to one receiver. Having lived in apartments, it doesn't matter if the other monitor is switched to a different frequency. We often had cross connection static with neighbors and even funnier, *heard* most of their lives!!! Good luck shopping!!!!

    I can't believe you only have ONE week left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. We have recently cut back our boys' screen time drastically. Although there were a rough few days at first, it's not so bad now. And I notice them being more creative in their playtime now that they're not plugged in to the tv as much. Our general rule is that if there's fussing when the tv gets turned off, the boys won't get to watch it for several days afterward. When they do get the privilege back, the expectation is set before we turn it on that crying and fussing will result in a longer break from the tv.

    I hope this helps... and know that we certainly didn't implement this rule when I was close to the end of my pregnancy with our baby. I was simply too exhausted to deal with the amount of drama this caused!

  4. Each kid has been addicted to something - Rachel watched Lion King over and over, Sleeping Beauty for Emily and Blake was addicted to Toy Story, but now he and Caleb watch Cars once a day. The good news is she'll eventually want something else, but not before you start hating Bert and Ernie. I am not strict enough with their TV time - it's easier with the girls who can earn TV time.

    As for baby monitors I say just stick with the one you have, use it for the baby and save your money - it's only a few months. Your place isn't so huge that with Kirsten's door propped open you would probably hear her, + she sleeps through the night.

  5. Just thought of a novel idea - Since baby girl will be in with you guys for a bit, just unplug and move the monitor into Kirsten's room at night! I know we were really worried about having the kids sleep together, and the new baby waking up the older kids - I'm amazed at what my kids learn to sleep through.

    Good luck in the next few days or so!!

  6. Well, I am not a mom and have no advice!! But you are so close so I just wanted to say that I am sooo exctied. And good luck!!!

  7. i would get a baby monitor that has 2 handsets & one main one that stays in your room. I had those and they worked just fine :)

    and you know kids... they like to watch the same movies over and over.... shoot... i do, too! some movies i can watch EVERY DAY!

  8. Amen, Elizabeth.

    Could you just stick the monitor in the hall between their rooms at night? If you have two systems, though, then you can turn one down/off while you're up with the baby - and not disturb whatever other parent is trying to sleep through it. Our baby monitor is *ancient* and still works great! I'm all for saving $$$ for things more fun & cute than baby monitors.

    Movies... took me a few years to get that worked out, but yup. One a day is a good rule. I'd worry more about Kirsten watching too much movie than I would about it always being the same thing. Kids that age love the same thing over & over & over & over, day after day... It drives us crazy, but makes them feel so smart! "Hey! I knew that was going to happen! Haha!" (I still have Finding Nemo memorized!) ;) Try to curb her screen time to less than an hour if you can. She's only two...

    Although... Confession:
    Cinderella watched Nemo (the whole movie) twice every day during the last month (or, um, two) of my pregnancy with Doodle,
    and she's still much too smart for her own good!!! At some point we graduated to Monster's Inc for my own sanity, but yeah. Movies are so nice at the very end, there, aren't they?

    GOOD LUCK!!!!! :)

  9. I wish that I had a good advice for you on the monitors. The girls are sleeping in the same room so we have not had to deal with that. I am anxious to see how it turns out.

    My doctor told me that educational programs like most of the shows on KPBS is good for children to watch. But for entertainment movies, he recommended limiting it to one a day if any. Hyrum and I let Rachel watch KPBS in the morning then the TV is off for the rest of the day. And then on some days, we let her watch a movie after dinner, right before bed time. It is usually on those days that I just need a break from at least one of my children. Hope that helps.

  10. I don't really have anything to offer here, but I just wanted to say hi! Looks like you guys had a fun easter. I wouldn't buy another baby monitor -- I bet you don't really need it for Kirsten anymore. And I really got NOTHING to offer on the TV/same movie all day. I tend to keep the volume pretty low, have plenty of toys out to distract kids (read: only pick up once a day!) and get a good book, blog, or clean with some music on.

  11. I only ever had one monitor and my oldest two were under two years apart. You won't need it much longer if at all with Kirsten.

    And movies... I've waxed and waned, but I'd say don't worry about it til after baby is born and you're feeling a little more settled or normal. Then you can set up whatever rules you decide. That's my two-cents!

  12. When you have a *brand new* baby in the house, get used to the phrase "all bets are off". Don't think that everything will get back to normal right away; it's sort of terrifying how much you forget about having a newborn around! The reality is, your house will never be clean again, you won't have time to decorate for every holiday, you will have mounds (mounds? I mean mountains) of laundry to do, you will have baby brain, etc etc, for a good long time! So don't expect perfection immediately, just learn to be flexible and kind to yourself! ;)
    I only have the boys watch KPBS, all the other cartoons I can't stand, they are SO annoying to me and just full of fluff and bad habits I don't want them to pick up on! At our house it's on pretty much all morning, though they only actually sit down and watch for about 20 minutes. BTW, if Kirsten has a fave show, just let her watch it and tune it out. Especially if it's a learning show like Sesame Street. Repetition can be a good thing if they are learning about colors,shapes, numbers, etc. With other shows, I'd say limit it fairly strictly. Do crafts/activities in it's place. I know it's tough and sometimes bothersome to think of stuff and set everything up and then things get chaotic and not what you envision, but it's so worth it to be able to foster your children's creativity! Lincoln and I bake things and he LOVES using the measuring cups. It's a cool thing that we can share, and that won't ahppen if they are plugged into the TV all day. (Bryan grew up with NO tv and he's super creative all the time!) In my case, TV never held enough interest for L, so my hand was sort of forced in that area. But it's really cool to see him learning about stuff around him.
    We only had one monitor (the kind you have now) for both kids; Lincoln sleeps like a rock through the night when he actually falls asleep. Orion slept through the night at 2 months on, so I never really had to worry too much about that. Anyway, we only needed one monitor, until it broke a few months ago, and don't need to replace it until we go for our third. But I agree with the idea of having two receivers of the same system being on different channels. I'm not sure if you can do it from the same base, as it can only be set to one channel at a a time, but... I dunno! I never had to deal with that.
    If it were me, I would have them share a room at an early age, but it's kind of past that point for you. Kids can sleep through stuff if you train 'em early enough! It's like it becomes white noise. :)

  13. Oh yes, and when we are doing the potty training stage, we must also go to the bathroom immediately before anything super involved (like a movie they can't bear to unglue their eyes from).

  14. of course, I totally agree that when you have a new baby is no time to change rules... and you'll need every minute you can get. Things will shake out in a few months.

  15. We actually never needed a baby monitor at all for Marianne, so I don't have any advice for 2, let alone 1. (sorry! our apt is just too small to need it :) But Marianne already LOVES TV, so she'll probably be just like Kirsten when she's a toddler! You are a much more experienced mom than I am so I don't have any advice for you, but good luck!! Let me know what you do! :)

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