AIBU to go to the pub 30 metres away with a video monitor.

(304 Posts)
HoveDad Thu 25-Apr-13 12:04:45

I live in a terrace of houses and ten doors down is a really nice pub that does great food. Would it be horribly irresponsible to leave the kids (8,4 and 2) home alone with a video (+audio) monitor watching the doors to the bedrooms, toilet and hallway? One of us could be home within one minute of seeing / hearing a child but in the mean time we could be sat having a couple of pints and a tasty meal with friends with a laptop/ipad on the table showing what's going on in the house.
I suspect this isn't ok and haven't suggested it to my wife yet but wanted to canvas opinions. You could get the kit to do this for ~ £100 which is what 4 baby sits would cost.

THERhubarb Mon 29-Apr-13 10:54:14

We shall have to agree to differ there. I have done this and it has been on a few occasions and yes, the monitor was there in front of us and one of us would nip out every half hour just to check on them and make sure the other person could hear clearly on the monitor.

It depends what kind of parents you are, what kind of pub you will be in, etc. Lots of factors.

And no, crossing a road is not a necessity. I could drive him and we would be much safer, protected by a steel cage. I choose to walk him to school even though I know that some of the walk is a potential hazard. I do all I can to keep him out of harm's way however.

Not every choice we make is a necessity. It's not necessary to go out and leave them at all really is it? It's not strictly necessary to get a babysitter - after all why leave them with a family friend when stats show they are more likely be abused by someone within the family? If we are to be paranoid here let's analyse the risks shall we? Babysitters pose more of a threat than abduction.

We take unnecessary risks every day. I let my 2 now aged 12 and 9 to walk alone to the shop and back. That is a risk as they could be abducted or get run over. I could go myself but I choose to send them so they can learn independence. I also let them play in the field where they make dens in the scrubbery. They could have an accident here or find some needles (there is a crack addict who lives nearby) but I choose to allow them to roam around because again, it provides them with skills.

I choose to take time out with my husband at times because this is good for our relationship and if we are happy as a couple then I believe we make better parents.

I no longer have to worry about going out and leaving them at home alone, but I have done so about 9 or 10 times in their lifetimes. As I said, in France it's more acceptable than it is here. Perhaps they have a different attitude or are simply not as paranoid.

I think if a parent has gone to the extent of buying video monitoring equipment then they are the kind of parent who would eliminate as many risk factors as they can, who would also check on their children and who would put a great deal of thought into that decision. Asking on Mumsnet for advice is another sign of a conscientous parent.

SpanishFly Sun 28-Apr-13 13:53:30

and most risk stems from something thats a necessity - ie the school run is a necessity, crossing a road is a necessity, etc etc. Leaving them unattended to get a meal and a couple of pints is not.

I still dont believe for one second that all eyes and ears would be glued to a monitor if out with friends in a pub. hmm

Iggi101 Sun 28-Apr-13 12:06:16

TheRhubarb they have no intention of doing it as a one-off, as monitor costs price of 4 nights babysitting.
So the maths changes a little. And if it works once, why not do it every week?

THERhubarb Sun 28-Apr-13 11:33:59

I think it's a perfectly manageable risk as a one-off.

So you wouldn't hear a smoke alarm through a baby monitor? Methinks you would. So you would get pissed and not have the monitor in front of you? Quite presumptive there, not everyone goes out to get hammered, some just want a nice quiet meal with a glass of wine.

As I said before, I take my ds to school and bring him back every day crossing quite a dangerous stretch of road. Now I do that crossing 4 times a day, 5 days a week which statistically increases my risk (and I have spoken to our local councillor about making the crossing safer).

If you leave the children home alone with a monitor whilst you have a meal just a few doors down as a one-off, statistically the risks are much less. My ds is more likely to be injured on our walk to school than he is at home on the one occasion we might leave him.

It's quite mathematical really. The risk lies only in peoples perception of it. You think it must be more dangerous to leave them with a monitor and so this increases the risk in your mind. Yet if you think of all the worst case scenarios and take measures to prevent them whilst mathematically calculating the risk, you'll find it is in fact quite safe.

I would not do it on a regular basis but if a couple did this as a one-off, so long as they did a proper risk assessment. I don't think it's anything to get hysterical about.

MrTumblesTreasureMap Fri 26-Apr-13 20:30:06

I thought you were serious for a second then hafen! Bloomin eckers grin

Iggi101 Fri 26-Apr-13 20:28:26


Iggi101 Fri 26-Apr-13 20:27:58

Quietlysuggests, it could be a one off though, OP said could get a monitor for price of 4 nights of babysitting, so would need to do it at least 5 times (at the same pub) to make it worth while at all..

Hafen Fri 26-Apr-13 20:26:59


SweetSeraphim Fri 26-Apr-13 20:13:27

Hafen grin

SpanishFly Fri 26-Apr-13 19:31:45

Yep, it must be fine after all.

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 26-Apr-13 19:24:15

There you go, OP. Hafen's on your side. hmm

Hafen Fri 26-Apr-13 19:18:27

Yanbu we go to the pub most nights and leave the kids 3 and5 on there own without fancy gadgets, £100 seems pricey for the gear that would get you 30 pints at our local

JesusInTheCabbageVan Fri 26-Apr-13 19:09:11

As a slightly tipsy aside, do you want to hear what nasty fuckers wasps are? I once swatted a wasp when DS was a baby and pretty much mashed it. Stomped off feeling very righteous and mother-lion-ish, having protected my darling PFB. Came back an hour or so later to find the head, a few legs and some goo still crawling determinedly along the landing. Nasty, nasty fuckers.

SpanishFly Fri 26-Apr-13 18:11:41

But there's no way the parents actually WOULD be constantly watching the monitor while drinking and having a meal. And if a child got up and fell down the stairs while you were alseep youd hear them but if youve not been watching the monitor like a hawk then you wouldn't know it had happened til you got home. I know which is preferable to me.

Nokidsnoproblem Fri 26-Apr-13 17:43:03

I don't understand. I am not supporting the OP on his original idea, I think it's a bit silly. However the reactions of people have been much worse...

So the child could get out of bed?
Yes, but this could happen with you in the house. This could happen while you're asleep and there would be nothing you could do about it. Surely it would be better to be watching on camera and actually see said event happen?

Surely all of the consequences mentioned could still happen? Just without the parents watching them?

quietlysuggests Fri 26-Apr-13 16:55:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OrlaKiely Fri 26-Apr-13 16:48:58

eh? What did I say that was so appalling? confused

thanks ForgetfulMog.

Ob, there was no need for that. I assume you thought I was criticising by default mothers who leave their kids in any way? No. Not at all - wish I could o the same! I was responding to a comment by Tee that said she couldn't imagine anyone staying with their baby all the time in the first six months.

That was all - no motive behind my post apart from to say that yes we exist. smile

My reasons aren't particularly idealistic - just I'm a SAHM, a single parent and he cries a lot.

(though it did mean a wasted cot! which ironically I passed on to you when we had finished with it...wink)

SpanishFly Fri 26-Apr-13 16:23:52

Re the smoke alarm going off - the difference with being in the garden is that you'd hear it. Do you really believe you'd definitely hear a smoke alarm through a monitor in a busy pub?
Yes it's about weighing up risk - and I personally wouldn't risk being far enough away that I couldn't hear them or at least be with them IF something happened

THERhubarb Fri 26-Apr-13 14:46:59

Meringue33, we can spend our lives being paranoid. I know of a fatal accident at a crossing I use every day involving a pedestrian and many more involving cars. It's a notoriously dangerous spot yet ds and I cross it every morning on the way to school and back again every afternoon. It's a risk I take. Others might decide that it was too risky and they would drive. Overall I feel the benefits of us both walking, getting fresh air and exercise outweigh the risks of us being injured by car accidents whilst we are crossing.

You would have to look at your own individual circumstances. If you were enjoying a BBQ at the bottom of the garden and heard the smoke alarm it would probably take you the same time to reach the house as it would if you were in a pub a few doors down. There would be seconds, not minutes, in it.

I would look at how many smoke alarms I had, what fire risks I had, etc.

ryanboy Fri 26-Apr-13 14:46:41

Hmm but your reenage baby sitter is a minor too.They should not be to putting themselves in any danger saving your Dc in a fire.Remember you are just as responsible for the teenaged sitter as your own children.

Meringue33 Fri 26-Apr-13 14:39:03

TheRhubarb - fires can take hold in seconds. I don't think fires are rare, I know three households who experienced a major fire, in two there were fatalities.

Forgetfulmog Fri 26-Apr-13 14:38:40

I don't think it necessary to criticise a mum for not cutting the umbilical cord tantrums.

Hey, what do I know though

yes because it would be wrong to "attack" someone posting about how they parent, even if you disagree with it wouldnt it................................?

Forgetfulmog Fri 26-Apr-13 14:31:31

Oblomov - harsh reaction to Orlakiely, I don't think you need to be so rude. Lucky you being able to go out when your baby was under 6 months - my dd is 7 mo & for the first 3 months I had to carry her in a sling everywhere as she would scream as soon as I put her down. Things are now a little easier but she still much prefers to be in the same room as me & still naps & sleeps on me.

I don't think it necessary to attack someone like that

THERhubarb Fri 26-Apr-13 13:15:42

It's a matter of culture perhaps.

We lived in France where parents would take their eldest to school leaving the babies at home in cots. When we asked neighbours over the square to babysit they turned up, set the baby alarm up and went back over to their house!

It's all a question of risk too.

For me the stats on babysitters who have abused their position are much higher than the stats on children who have been abducted. If your child is going to be abducted or abused then this is much more likely to be perpetrated by someone you know. Stranger kidnappings are so rare that people can still only think of Madeleine McCann who was taken from Portugal almost 10 years ago.

Fire risk - yes there is one but if a house is fitted with smoke alarms and everything is turned off then you have minimised that risk. To my mind, being 10 doors down is no different to being at the bottom of the garden. A smoke alarm would alert you to a fire way before you saw any smoke.

A good baby alarm doesn't just pick up sound, you can now get ones with video monitors and which record breathing. That also lessens the risk.

I would far rather have a video baby monitor on my child than hire a babysitter who I might not know.

But then I might consider other things to be a risk that other parents would happily do, like letting primary school kids have a sleepover with friends. I wait until secondary school before I start sleepovers. I wouldn't threaten those who have a different perception than me with social services though on the basis that their friends' parents might be child abductors.

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