“MOMMMM! Can you hear me?! I’m singing a song for you,” my nearly 4 year old screamed from the next room.
What she didn’t know is that I had turned on the baby monitor to make sure her sister stayed asleep and the second camera was on too…
…and was sweetly serenading me with every word of her made-up song for me.
These are the moments I feel like I have my life together. Where I can get my own tasks done, feel in control, and not miss out on fleeting memories.
So whether you are looking at just getting a monitor or don’t know what to do with the video baby monitor you already have, but you don’t have babies anymore, there are some awesome uses for it with toddlers and preschoolers…whether by coincidence or not!
Affiliate links included to our baby monitor!
Choosing the right monitor to also use when the kids are older
We personally have a Levana Mylo baby monitor and an extra camera. It has a video touch screen that displays at night and works in color during the day.
Choose a monitor that’s right for your situation. Ours is right for us because my kiddos are on the go and I need to be able to see the entire room by panning the camera around (we mounted it up on the wall in one room even).
I also love that with the one we have, it has an intercom function so that I can talk to my girls when needed and the two-way communication is invaluable!
Finally, know how many rooms you want and need to monitor. While of course you can move cameras when needed, it’s easier to just have them permanently placed. Ours allows for up to 4 cameras to be connected at the same time which is super helpful!
Side note… make sure that you’re getting cameras that are secure so no one from the outside can get an insider’s view to your house. The Mylo is a closed wi-fi system meaning it doesn’t even have to connect to our internet and each extra camera has to be manually connected with the monitor to set it up. This ensures that someone on the outside can’t come in an push that button to establish a connection.
5 Great uses for a baby monitor with toddlers & preschoolers
We actually never had a baby monitor when our kids were infants. But now that I have an almost 4 year old and a toddler who thinks she’s running the whole house, having a video monitor has been truly extraordinary.
From the squeals of laughter to the small thuds during the rough and tumble phase, it’s hard to not want to miss out on it all.
But my kids need their independence and I still need to get work done.
Monitor the playroom.
Many days I need to get something done on the other side of the house while my kids are wanting to play in the playroom. Sometimes it’s totally fine to let them without the monitor, but I also know if I need to stay out of the room for extended periods of time that I might need to moderate the bickering or just check in to see them sweetly playing together.
Sometimes just the ominous mom voice coming from the monitor is all I need to break up the hair pulling.
Set timers for quiet time and nap time.
I love timers. They seem to hold so much power. However, a timer with a video function is like holding the key to the universe.
We have mandatory quiet time in our house whether it means snoozing for a bit or just quietly reading or playing. Setting a timer on the monitor makes this easier and sometimes I even set it to play music softly in that time so that my kids also know when it goes off, we’re on to our next task for the day.
Let them be independent!
Freely giving them reign of the house allows them to feel more capable and in control. But then if they know the monitors on, it also helps them know you’re never far away.
So whether you’re trying to convince your older child to stay in their bed, you need to go outside for a bit (confession: I have been known to just run down to get the mail and get caught in a 30 minute conversation with a neighbor), or are just encouraging independence in your children in general, it’s a great tool.
Use the timer function for a “sanity break”.
Momma needs a break sometimes and has reached her limit.
So again, setting the timer in the playroom and letting them know when the music stops, they’re free to be is a great way to find time for you and refill your cup.
During this time read a book, relax, pray, drink a cup of tea, or even watch that show you can’t around your kids.
Put your kids on task while you get chores done too.
Family cleaning day is a lot more effective when everyone is working on their own thing at the same time instead of having to follow every footstep of your kids. Even our youngest toddlers do chores in our house, but it’s easy to get distracted by the shiny or squishy things when you’re only 18 months old.
Having the monitors on and carrying the screen with you to check in to make sure they’re pulling their weight is invaluable.
I can use the voice function to remind them to stay on task or to answer questions they have as they’re working without leaving my own job unfinished to go help.
What ways have you used a monitor once your baby got older?
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Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!