Baby monitors (and baby cams) are loved by parents the world over because they let you check on your baby without distributing them.
If you have been using a monitor for a while, and your baby is now a little older, then you might be starting to ask yourself when should you stop using a baby monitor?
As with a lot of baby questions, the answer is “it depends”, so let’s take a look at the things you need to consider before deciding if the time is right to turn the monitor off for good.
When To Stop Using A Baby Monitor
If you decided it was worth investing in a baby monitor, then you’re probably well aware of the benefits they offer.
The ability to see what your baby is doing (including when they are in the dark) from anywhere in your house – or anywhere in the world if it’s Wi-Fi enabled – is a hard thing to give up.
So to help you make the right decision, we’ve taken a look at the major reasons why you might want to stop, or depending on your circumstances, to continue, using a monitor.
Reasons To Stop Using A Baby Monitor
1. The Monitor Is Impacting Your Sleep
Baby monitors are awesome devices…until they start to interfere with your sleep that is.
Nowadays the technology involved is so good that they can pick up every single sound your little one makes.
And this means that if you are a light (or even a normal) sleeper, you may be woken up multiple times each night.
You might even find that hearing white noise in your baby’s room over the monitor disturbs you enough to be a problem.
If any of this is happening, it could be time to either get rid of the monitor completely, or at the very least turn the volume way down.
2. Your Baby Knows They Are Being Watched
Once your little prince or princess is around four years of age, they have developed enough awareness to know when they are being watched.
This could cause problems for two reasons:
- You child thinks it’s amusing to wave at the camera, talk or even do something silly (or worse yet dangerous), in order to get a reaction out of mom or dad and to potentially lure you into their room.
- Your child views the fact that you can see them as an invasion of their privacy.
Due to the reasons above, the most common age that parents stop using baby monitors is when their little one is somewhere between the age of three to four.
3. You Are Concerned About Hacking
A baby monitor that is W-Fi-enabled is similar to any other device in your home that’s connected to your WiFi network, and this means it could potentially be hacked.
There are some things you can do to help stay safe and reduce the chances of your baby monitor being hacked, such as using a strong WiFi password, updating the firmware regularly and unplugging the device when not in use.
So if you are at the stage where the baby monitor is now a nice-to-have rather than something essential that you can’t live without, then it could be time to stop using it.
4. Your Child’s Room Is Close By
Depending on how close your bedroom is to your baby’s room, you may be able to hear your baby quite easily when they are lying in their crib or when they are in their room.
In this scenario there’s a good chance that continuing to use the monitor could be doing you more harm than good, given that the powerful microphone will be able to pick up all those little sniffles, grunts, coughs and sneezes that aren’t enough to warrant concern, but are loud enough to wake you up if heard on your receiving set.
Reasons To Keep Using A Baby Monitor
1. You Won’t Be Able To Hear Your Child
The counter argument to the point above is that if you live in a large house, or the layout is such that your baby’s room is far away from your own room, then a baby monitor may be the only way to hear your child.
It’s clearly important to be able to hear your little one in case something is wrong, so if a baby monitor is the only way to make this possible, you may want to consider extending its use until your child grows a little older.
2. Your Child Climbs Out Of Bed
Do you have a little roamer who loves to explore their room at every opportunity?
In this case a monitor is a fantastic device, because it will allow you to check on them and hopefully catch them before they do anything that could be dangerous.
3. There’s Another (Younger) Child In The Room
If there are siblings sharing a room, the decision as to whether to continue using a monitor will probably be influenced by the age of the youngest child.
It’s unrealistic to expect or rely on an older child to let mom or dad know that something is wrong with their brother or sister, so if you have children that room share, you may want to continue using a monitor even if the older child is five or six.
Hopefully thinking about the reasons above and your own circumstances has helped you decided whether it’s best to keep using your baby monitor for a little longer, or if the time has now come to bite the bullet and stop using it for good.
It’s worth mentioning however that if you do decide to say goodbye to the monitor, it’s a good idea to keep hold of it rather than getting rid of it completely.
This is because if you are planning to go on a family vacation, or your little one is sick or going through a sleep regression, then you might find that it’s very helpful to temporarily use the monitor until everything is back to normal.