Does it boggle anyone else’s mind that our parents didn’t have baby monitors? Like… you just said goodnight, and hoped we would wake you up with our screams?
I sure am grateful for modern conveniences and that we have cameras to check on our sleeping babies. But did you ever think, when to stop using a baby monitor? When should we give kids the privacy and autonomy they need to grow? Or, is our access to seeing our children negatively affecting them/us?
Let’s dive into this question together.
Why Baby Monitors Are So Great
These little devices have given parents a new kind of freedom. We can check on our kids without having to poke our heads into their rooms to check, or to say “time to get back into bed.” Better yet, they have multiple features that can record or alert you for certain sounds, have a two way microphone, monitor breathing, and can be connected all to our smart phones! If you are trying to sleep train, or have general anxiety about your child, video baby monitors can give you some peace of mind about your healthy baby while away from them.
Having so many upsides, you could say monitoring your baby is always a good thing. Not necessarily. In this article we will talk about why you should hold on, and the why of letting go.
Reasons You Might Not Be Ready To Part
So you feel a little guilty with how much you monitor your baby. I get it, that’s why you are here on this post! Here are some reasons it’s important to monitor those little ones.
- Sleep training
- Sleep walking
- Special needs child
- living in a large house with multiple levels
- Frequent nightmares
- Want to communicate through microphone
There really isn’t a hard and fast rule with when you need to ditch your baby video monitor. Truth is, you are the parent and know your kids best. There are reasons to have that monitor on full time! But there are reasons to turn it off unless something alerts you. Here are a few ways it could be negatively affecting your family.
Reasons A Monitor Could Affect Your Child
When a child is around 4 years old, they become more cognitively aware of their surroundings. Meaning, they know that they are being watched and will start to ask why. This constant surveillance may lead a child to question their own safely. Dr. Hershberg explains “Kids think, ‘it must not be safe because my parents feel like they need to watch me, so, clearly, dangerous things can happen in my bed.”
By the time a child is 4, she may have started modifying her behavior because she does not want to be watched playing in a certain way.” said Hargis.
In addition, if you run to your child with every whimper, you could be doing a disservice to your kids as they will rely only on you for soothing. Not learning proper self soothing can lead to anxiety issues later on in life.
So, constant monitoring your child isn’t a good idea.
Reasons A Monitor Could Be Affecting You
Just take a minute and ask yourself:
Am I doing this because there is a real safety issue here that I might need to intervene quickly? Or is this constant checking just feeding my own anxiety?
It’s totally normal to worry as parents. We love these little monsters so much it’s scary. But if you are disrupting your sleep cycles, distracted from your partner, or can’t turn the audio monitor off for more than 5 minutes without a panic attack, it’s probably time to cut the electrical umbilical cord.
When Is A Good Time To Ditch The Monitor All Together?
There really isn’t a hard a fast rule for when to ditch the video monitor. But, for starters, if your child is big enough to walk into your room for help in the middle of the night, or your rooms are so close and they are vocal enough to get your attention, you are in a good spot. This is a great time to let your toddler grow and have some autonomy. If you need to back away in stages, turn off the monitor and only use it when you absolutely need to. If the viewings are far a few between then you will feel more comfortable taking it out of their room.
Conclusion: When to stop using a baby monitor
Video baby monitors are designed to help anxious parents monitor gain a sense of security for their children from a distance. However, after your baby turns 6 months old, you will notice the need for a baby monitor decreases. This is a great time to adjust the level of alerts, or turn it off all together unless you hear something that needs checking.
There are circumstances that require longer monitoring, but be aware that constant long term surveillance could be negatively affecting you, and your kids with healthy sleep habits. These little ones are growing whether we like it or not! Let’s give them some healthy freedom and a sense of privacy when the time comes.
Should I still keep my monitor? Yes!
Having a monitor on hand isn’t a bad idea. When traveling, or if you can switch it to some sort of home surveillance like using the WYZE camera. They can still be useful!
Does a baby monitor help decrease the risk of SIDS?
There are some monitors like the Owlet smart sock which monitors breathing and heart rate. However, there are mixed reviews on the product as babies will kick it off and alarm the parents for no reason. In addition. There are studies that SIDS could be linked to genetics so following some basic guidelines will help reduce the risk.
Do you need a baby monitor at night: Depends
This is up to you as a parent. If the baby is under 6 months, they recommend having it on all night but once they start sleeping through the night, you will not need to have it on all the time.
What is the best baby monitor:
We have a few suggestions. Click Here