One of the technological advancements we have come to rely on as adults is the video baby monitor. During the baby stage and as the child begins to sleep in his or her own bed, they can be immensely helpful. How old should your child be before you stop watching them sleep with a baby monitor?
As with so many things in parenting, the answer is…it depends. Unlike official health recommendations, there is no official recommendation on when you should stop, so most sources emphasize doing what makes sense for your family. However, we found that there was a general consensus:
- You should stop using a baby monitor when your child reaches the age of four, according to most experts. There were two main reasons:
- This is when they are aware they are being watched
- It has taken them some time to adjust to sleeping in their own beds
- You can stop using a baby monitor if it is disrupting your sleep (or sanity).
- However, there are plenty of situations where it makes sense to keep doing it. Let’s say you…
- Sharing a room with a younger sibling
- Having difficulty hearing your child at night in your house
- Sharing a room with a younger sibling
What To Consider When Baby Monitors Aren’t Needed (Around) Four
Julie Dodge, product manager at video monitor manufacturer Summer Infant, says that’s about the time when parents naturally stop using a monitor.
It was found by Dodge and his colleagues that parents usually stop video monitoring their children’s bedrooms at about 3 or 4 years old. as opposed to 12 months old for audio monitoring.
Video monitors should be used from birth until young children are four years old, according to Katie DiMonico, a sleep consultant.
In toddlerhood. DiMonico can use this to determine whether a child is climbing out of their crib or engaging in potentially dangerous activities (climbing furniture, playing with curtains, etc.).
It is possible for video technology to interfere with a child’s sense of privacy, according to parenting coach Aubrey Hargis in the same article.
As a child reaches the age of four, she may have started to modify her behavior due to the fact that she does not want to be watched playing in a particular way.”
In addition, your child may start asking about privacy more often, especially when getting dressed. In an interview with Healthline. Dawn Huebner explained that “around ages 4 and 8, children develop a sense of modesty about their own bodies.” Her discussion covered nudity, but it can also be applied to video monitors.
Don’t do things that are threatening your sleep (or sanity):
According to sleep experts. The monitor may not be worth it if it exacerbates anxiety and causes you to lose sleep.
Video monitors are discussed here by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The following tip might be helpful to parents of toddlers as well as parents of infants:
Some people find leaving the monitor on at night significantly disturbs whatever little sleep they are able to get… causing them to be awake every time their baby twitches or snores.
The New York Times quoted Nicole Johnson, founder of the Baby Sleep Site, as saying it is best to get rid of a monitor that does more harm than good.
Her own website has more information on this topic. This advice is more geared toward infants, but some of it also applies to toddlers: “When it comes to sleep training. Baby monitors hinder your progress because they pick up all of your sniffles, moans, and fusses.
We don’t have to listen to every single noise the baby makes if he or she is healthy. Having your baby sleep through the night may be difficult if you get in the way of that. The occasional bout of crying and fussing between sleep cycles is very common and expected. You might even wake up your baby if you go in too quickly!
On the other hand, Hargis argues, monitors can give worried parents a sense of security. Particularly if the parents can’t hear the child cry during a daytime nap or at night.”
Baby monitors should be stopped for children around 4 years old, according to most experts. There are two camps of reasons: They know they are being watched at that time. Sleeping in their own beds has become second nature to them.