When Is The Best Time To Stop Using a Baby Monitor?
Baby monitors vary in terms of the underlying technology, the range they can cover, and the extent of monitoring capability. Picking the one that suits you will depend on what level of monitoring you want, your security concerns, and how much you are willing to spend.
Both audio and video baby monitors are necessary these days because fewer parents subscribe to the idea of sharing rooms with their babies until they are old enough to sleep in their own rooms.
Sleeping in one bed with a young one might not only be uncomfortable at times but may also pose the risk of asphyxiation to the baby. Therefore, remote monitoring is a nice way of keeping closer to the infants even when you are not sharing a room.
Baby monitors have become a popular choice for many as they provide a more efficient way for parents to keep tabs on children who sleep in separate rooms.
With the help of these monitoring devices, you can hear your child make sounds, or move, or even talk back to them. Some devices also offer visual observance capability.
For How Long Should One Use a Baby Monitor?
There is no definite answer to this question. Deciding on when to stop using a baby monitor largely depends on when the individual couple agrees that it is best to do so. But even with that said, here are four cases where using a baby monitor may be less than ideal.
1. When Your Baby is 6 Months or Older
Some parents stop using baby monitors when their toddlers are 6 months of age or older. That’s totally fine. After the 6th month, children tend to sleep peacefully the whole night, so you really wouldn’t have to worry if they are awake or uncomfortable.
At this age, a baby is also able to call for help in a way you can easily understand: by crying loudly. If you are in another room, or outside, and you can still hear them when they cry or giggle, you really wouldn’t want to continue using a baby monitor to watch or hear them.
If you go a week or two, or maybe even more, without using the monitor, it would probably be a good idea to turn it off completely.
2. If You're a Paranoid Parent
It is not always a good idea to wake up to every little sound that a child makes during normal night wakings. Of course, you want the best for your little one.
And who really wouldn’t be worried when their baby coughs, sneezes, or hiccups in the middle of the night? The problem is that being anxious could make you to respond to false alarms, even when there is nothing to worry.
Understand this: baby monitors are built in such a way that they can transmit signals of even the least sound in a child’s nursery, including their every breath.
So if they make noises that you often won’t hear unless with the aid of a baby monitor, you should probably turn off the device and use your ears instead.
One more thing: waking up to every sound you hear in the baby’s room actually disturbs them. And it can make it difficult for them to learn how to sleep peacefully all night long.
3. When the Child is Old Enough to Sleep in a Regular Bed
You do not need a baby monitor to keep an eye on or lend an ear to a child who is old enough to sleep in a regular bed.
These ones always sleep peacefully for up to nine hours without waking up. And they will most likely come to your room on their own if they need help.
4. If Your Child’s Bedroom is Closer to Yours
You may never even need a monitor to keep an eye on your baby if their bedroom and yours are next to each other, unless, of course, you are a heavy sleeper.
The closer your bedrooms are, the more easily you can hear your baby cry, cough, or hiccup, without depending on this safety device for sure.
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 9 months. This is because parents can easily notice if their baby is in need of help and respond quickly.
Choosing a Baby Monitor
Monitors that emit short-range radio waves are generally cheaper than the highly advanced ones that use mobile network technology.
A disadvantage of short-range radio waves is that they are more susceptible to interference and are therefore unreliable. For instance, if two neighbors use the same type of monitor, at times one device may end up picking the other’s signal, leading to confusion. It also raises privacy concerns as conversations within a home can easily be overheard by outsiders.
Modern digital baby monitors use more secure technologies, which emphasize on privacy, efficiency and ease of use. Such monitors provide an almost comprehensive update of the baby’s status: their movements, sounds, and even the heartbeat rate and temperature.
Some can raise alarm when any unusual change in a child’s activity arises, like if they don’t move for too long.
If you want to speak or sing to your young one remotely, you might want to consider buying a unit with two-way communication capability. Some of them even come with built-in music, also known as lullabies, which you can set to play automatically when the baby wakes up.
How to Get the Best Out of Your Baby Monitor
It is true that these gadgets provide a much easier parenting experience, allowing the mother to have some time for herself when the baby is asleep or playing on their own.
A downside of these units is that they might end up making you too concerned about your young child for your own comfort. When you are used to doing instant checkups, it becomes difficult to avoid them even when you need to.
It has to do with the wrong thinking that one has to dash to the nursery whenever they hear a sniff. If you respond to the every single sound that your little one makes, you are creating excess dependence and that child will never get used to being alone.
Sometimes it is completely fine to let children play by themselves, unless there is need for feeding or change of clothing.
At the end of the day, infants know how to create fun for themselves. After you have done some “mommy time”, let the young one get used to the cot and have more time for yourself. Parenting will become less stressful to you in this way.
Past six months or more, it is advisable to reduce the baby monitor speaker’s volume during nighttime to allow you to sleep with less disturbance. A moderate volume is enough to wake you up when a child needs of you.