Owning one of the best video baby monitors can offer true peace of mind, especially if you’re a new parent and feeling worried when it’s time to separate you and your little one into two separate rooms. Along with allowing you to keep an eye and ear on your baby while he or she sleeps, video baby monitors also allow a way for your friends and family living in different cities to login and catch a glimpse of your little one.
However, as wonderful as video baby monitors maybe, you shouldn’t use them forever. At some point, you have to be able to create space and distance between you and your baby to ensure a healthy and functional lifestyle where you are not constantly monitoring your children. That being said, it can be difficult to determine at what age you should stop using a video baby monitor. Here are our recommendations for when to turn the video baby monitor off and start allowing your little one to snooze without a camera.
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Baby Monitors to Help Baby Fall Asleep
When it comes to your baby falling asleep, one of the first things you’ll worry about is how to put your baby to sleep. As your baby grows and goes through his four-month sleep regression or the eight-month sleep regression, he may begin to sleep worse than ever before. You may think about sleep training, and this is where the baby monitor can come in handy, depending on the method you choose to help him learn to fall asleep unassisted.
Baby Monitors and Helping Baby Stay Asleep
Some people feel that baby monitor are a form of Helicopter Parenting, which may lead to your unhappiness as a parent. “Helicopter Parenting” is where you are overly involved such that you don’t teach your child how to be self-reliant. Others feel that baby monitors abuse a new parent’s vulnerabilities for a profit and are unnecessary.
When it comes to sleep training, the moment where baby monitors hinder your progress is that you can hear every sniffle, moan, and fuss. Having a fuss or cry magnified in a monitor may make your heartbeat twice as fast and make you think that someone is either kidnapping your child or he is facing extreme harm. No doubt that if your baby does have a medical condition, it may be imperative to monitor his movements and breathing more closely. But, for the average healthy baby, we don’t need to hear every little noise the baby makes. That may make you get in your way of having your baby sleep through the night. Fussing and crying a little between sleep cycles is very normal and expected. Go in too quickly, and you may even wake your baby up!
Baby Monitors Can Be Useful
Having said all of that, a baby monitor can be extremely helpful, in some situations. If your baby wakes up, it’s easy to look in the monitor to see what’s going on. Is she fussing, searching for her pacifier, finds it, and rolls back over and goes to sleep? Does your baby have reflux and because you lifted one side of the bed, is she at the bottom of the crib? A video monitor, specifically, helps you stop imagining that something terrible happened in there or helped determine precisely whether you should go in at all. Perhaps that is teaching your baby more self-reliance than if you were forced to check on her each time.
Check out our range of safety baby monitors here.
When To Stop Using Video Baby Monitors
Babies Younger Than 6 Months
For babies who are under six months old, there’s nothing wrong with using a video baby monitor many pediatricians recommend it as a way to keep an eye on your child in the case that something unusual might be happening. For example, if your baby flips over to his or her stomach or a newborn won’t stop crying.
Additionally, video baby monitors offer a great way to monitor your baby’s breathing without being in the room and risking waking your little one up. They can also be used to monitor your baby from afar, in the case that you are working or out of home and have hired a babysitter. They also allow the child’s grandparents, aunts, and uncles to login and see the baby even if they live in a distant state or city.
Babies Older Than 6 Months
Once your child is six months old, the chances are that he or she is sleeping much more consistently. Because of this, a video baby monitor does not need to be used as frequently. One way to navigate this is by lowering the volume on your video baby monitor so that you can only hear loud or startling noises, rather than every little creak and breath in the room. Simply put, the more consistently that your child is getting a good night’s rest, the less that you’ll need to use a video baby monitor.
Should You Use A Video Baby Monitor After Your Child Turns One Year Old?
Deciding whether or not to use a video baby monitor once your child is one year old is one of the biggest debates happening in the realm of parenting. Many parents advise against using video baby monitors after the baby has turned one year old because they find it to be a source of stress for new parents who might become too attached to watching their child at all times. Sometimes, helping your child to become independent can be more difficult for the parent than the child. Additionally, some parents find it to be an invasion of privacy, especially if their spouse or loved one is in the nursery. Another common complaint about video baby monitors is that they keep the parent from getting a good night’s rest, which is essential when you’re raising a little one.
On the flip side, many parents also advocate for using a video baby monitor until the child is two years old, stating that it is important to have a watchful eye on your child as he or she continues to grow and learns to crawl, walk, and flip over onto his or her tummy. While cribs have plenty of safety precautions, at some point, your child will find a way to move around in it or even get out of it on his or her own. Having a baby video monitor will help you catch this while it’s happening and ensure that your baby remains safe and unharmed.
Here are the main reasons why parents are ditching the monitor
It’s not all noises that need your attention
It’s normal for a baby to be noisy when sleeping. There are all types of normal sound, including breathing, snorting, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, hiccuping and more.
After six months, the only sound who need your attention is crying. Even crying can be normal. My daughter uses to make a sound that seems like a cry. At first, I was rushing inside her room every time until I realize she was dreaming.
This is when I stop using a baby monitor all night. I didn’t want to risk waking her up by rushing into her room because of a strange little noise. It was hard enough to put her to sleep that I couldn’t risk to disturb her for my reassurance.
If you are anxious and still want the peace of mind, this is when a video baby monitor with the night vision feature is useful. You don’t have to be inside the room to check if your baby is still sleeping. You turn on the monitor.
Check out our post on How can I improve my baby sleep?
Your bedrooms are close to each other
In my experience, if my kids are crying, I can hear them through the wall. I can even hear them coughing. So if your child is loud enough so you can hear him from your room, you can ditch the baby monitor.
Using a baby monitor can lead to anxiety and sleep problems
After using a baby monitor for five months, I become obsessed with every sound coming out of it. I will even check if the baby monitor is still working.
The anxiety became so intense! My sleep became lighter, and I felt like I was never profoundly asleep. I was tired, and depression was coming my way. The solution was to stop using my baby monitor and trust that my kid was loud enough to wake me if he needed my help.
Now I’m ok, but I still wake up 2 to 5 time per nights. I am pretty sure it’s because I became programmed to do so.
If you can’t stop using your monitor right away, maybe you can try to move it a little bit further every night. First, Ppt it a the bedside table, then after the dresser and finally outside the bedroom.
If your baby monitor is doing more harm than good, it’s better to get rid of it.
Watching is addicting
Sure, the ability to check on your kid through the video monitor is helpful. It gives you the possibility to make sure your kid is safe without disturbing his sleep. But, after a couple of months, it becomes addictive, and you develop the habit of always checking on your kid.
Because it is so easy to peek inside the bedroom without risking to wake your beautiful sleeping child, it’s something you can do every 15 minutes.
Just like scrolling through your Facebook feed, you start to open the monitor to see if there is something new going on in your kid bedroom.
If this situation sounds familiar, it will be better for you to stop using your baby monitor.
You will become a spy
Sure it super cute to see them playing and interacting with their siblings or friends. It’s a privilege to see how our kid is acting when no parent is around.
This curiosity is even more present with parents who use a video baby monitor. Many parents will still be using their baby monitor beyond the point where they would have normally stop with an audio monitor because they become fascinated by watching their kid on video. It’s a way for us to see what a great job we are doing at parenting.
Being a spy can backfire fast.
If your kid realizes you are watching, he could modify his actions. Maybe what you see is not what’s happening outside your home.
I don’t want my kid to become the type of person who changes his personality when he is in front of the camera. I don’t want my kid to become a narcissistic jerk who thinks his every move are worth to be seen.
Privacy is essential for everyone. And I’m sure things are happening in my kid room that I don’t want to see.
Here are the reasons to keep your baby monitor
Sleep training your toddler
As a parent, I feel like I never really knew what my kids were doing when to suppose to sleep. I mean, sometime I could hear noise or little footsteps coming from their bedroom.
My baby monitor was the only I could tell if there are sleeping or playing.
When my son move got his big boy bed, I didn’t take long before we turn back on the baby monitor. I finally understand that when it’s bedtime, it’s for his good and not just because we wanted him to stop playing. I’m not sure if he understood the concept of sleep or it was just the fear that we were always watching him. But it works!
Do you live in a large house?
Most parents will stop using a baby monitor when they can hear their kid from the bedroom. But for many families who live in a large house, they will keep on using their baby monitor.
It’s also true for families who have rooms on separate floors. The kid may have his bedroom upstairs, and it can be difficult to hear him.
If you are a heavy sleeper who might not hear your kid asking for help, you probably should keep the monitor for a while. Or at least when your kid is loud enough to wake you.
Does your kid have nightmares?
My daughter, until she was five years old, used to have nightmares and she could go back to sleep until I reassured her. Hopefully, our rooms were close, and I could hear her correctly. This situation can be terrifying for a child who calls for help, but the parents are not coming, because their rooms are too far apart.
Is your kid sleepwalking?
Depending on the configuration of your house, sleepwalking can be dangerous. If your kid is sleepwalking, he might not make enough noise to wake you. Your baby monitor could be the only way to be alert if he leaves his room.
Does your kid have a health condition?
Many parents who’re kid have a health condition will continue to use their baby monitor. It a good solution to keep an eye on their child and be alert if their help is needed.
Do Baby Monitors Even Matter That Much?
The main reason why parents choose to stay away from their toddlers is usually to allow them to develop a healthy sleep cycle.
Constantly being close to the child, or carrying them around, especially when they are asleep, creates some dependency where the child only falls asleep when they are in somebody’s arms.
Children gradually get too used to being carried around to the extent that, when they fall asleep in your arms, they wake up at the precise moment you put them to bed.
This kind of attention is counter-productive both to the child and to the mother. And unless you have a helping hand, it becomes difficult to focus on other activities when the young one constantly begs for your attention.
It also affects the child’s sleep pattern, due to the frequent disruptions when you put them down, or when you have to go with them to a noisy place.
Moreover, studies suggest that carrying a child constantly may make them develop sleeping problems that might affect them even when they grow into adults.
Some early language experts also suggest that, at around one to two years of age, a mother should practice leaving her baby alone, even when they are awake, to allow the young one to do crib talk as this facilitates language development. This is partly why some children tend to develop language earlier than others do.
However, every parent wants to know how their baby is doing, and this is where baby monitors prove useful. Baby monitors offer a less invasive means to ensure that your baby is fine, even when they are alone.
There are claims that baby monitors also offer certain prevention mechanisms against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), especially during the first nine months. This is because parents can easily notice if their baby is in need of help and respond quickly.
This is a very individual thing. In your baby’s first weeks and months, a monitor can be a valuable assurance that your baby is safe as he snoozes, especially when he first moves into his room or if it’s down the hall or on a different floor from yours. But babies can be very noisy at night. If you’re the type of parent who is roused by every little gurgle and sigh, then either ditch the monitor when your baby starts sleeping consistently through the night (usually by six months) or turn the volume way down so you’ll only hear the baby if he’s really upset and screaming away. It’s not a good idea to go rushing to your baby’s side every time he makes a peep anyway, since this will not only disturb him but also thwart your efforts to teach sleeping through the night. However, if you like the reassurance of hearing your baby’s every breath, or you’re a heavy sleeper who might not hear your child shrieking otherwise, then go ahead and keep the monitor until your child’s older. Some moms find it’s natural to give up the monitor when their toddler’s ready for a big-kid bed — and can get you himself if he needs you.
When it comes down to what age you should stop using a baby video monitor, the choice is a personal one. Some families never use a monitor, while others feel more comfortable using a monitor until their child has moved from a crib to a regular bed. Ultimately, the decision must be one that you make with your spouse, taking into account all the pros and cons of using a video baby monitor.