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There are no hard and fast rules about when you should stop using a baby monitor. It really does come down to personal choice and your own individual circumstances.
You could stop using your baby monitor when your baby starts to sleep through the night.
By around six months old your baby should be loud enough to wake you if they need you. But don’t throw that baby monitor away just yet as it could be really useful in certain situations.
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At What Age Should You Get Rid Of Your Baby Monitor?
As we said there are no specific rules for when you should get rid of your baby monitor. Many parents continue to use theirs until their child is at least two years old. While other parents are glad to see the back of them as soon as possible.
There are two different stages during your child’s life when you will use a baby monitor.
Babies Under 6 Months Old
For the first few weeks of your baby’s life, your baby monitor will be a handy tool for checking on your baby, ensuring they are safe and well. This is even more true when you move your little one into their own room.
As a parent, we all worry about our children but even more so when they are so tiny and delicate. We have so much information dumped on us with regard to SIDS that it can create some serious anxiety.
But using a baby monitor especially the more advanced ones that can now monitor breathing and heart rate. These can help to lessen this anxiety and even offer parents some great peace of mind in those early months.
Babies Over 6 Months Old
Once your baby reaches around 6 months old they should be loud enough for you to hear them if they need you and you may be lucky enough that your baby is sleeping through the night by this age – I was not one of the lucky ones.
Getting rid of the baby monitor at this time may also mean that you get a better night’s sleep as you are not responding to low-level sounds unnecessarily and disturbing both you and your baby.
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Toddlers Sleeping In A Big Bed
This is another milestone that you can use to finish using a baby monitor. By this stage, if your toddler needs you during the night they can just come and get you.
Reasons To Stop Using A Baby Monitor
Using a baby monitor past the age of 12months when your baby is fit and healthy is unnecessary. Here are some of the reasons why parents are ditching that baby monitor.
Not Every Noise Needs Your Attention
Baby’s are noisy sleepers and it is completely normal. They very often breathe heavy, snort, sneeze, cough, wheeze, and even hiccup in their sleep.
Past 6 months the only normal sound that really needs your attention is crying.
Many babies make a whole host of weird and wonderful noises while they sleep soundly and if you are rushing into their room for every one of them there is a great chance that you are going to disturb them.
2. Your Bedrooms Are Close To Each Other
If your bedrooms are close enough that you can hear your little one crying and coughing then there is no real need for a baby monitor.
3. Using A Baby Monitor Can Lead To Sleep and Anxiety Problems
The sleep and anxiety problems are the parents and not the child’s. An anxious parent can quickly become obsessed with every little noise that comes from their bay monitor.
This can get to the point that it raises anxiety levels hugely and can even go on to cause sleep problems in some parents.
The best solution to this is to stop using the baby monitor and trust that if your child needs you they are loud enough to get your attention.
4. Watching Becomes Addictive
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Having the ability and technology to check on your baby through a video monitor is always helpful and reassuring. It puts your mind at rest that they are safe without disturbing their sleep.
But it can become addictive, you can find yourself opening the app every 15 minutes just to see if anything new has happened in the bedroom.
If this sounds familiar it may be time to ditch the baby monitor.
Reasons To Keep Using A Baby Monitor
There are no hard and fast rules about when you should stop using a baby monitor. But there are a few reasons why you may want to continue using your baby monitor.
Here are a few reasons to keep using that baby monitor:
1. Sleep Training Your Toddler
When your baby becomes a toddler they often do not understand the concept of sleep and that you are telling them they need to go to sleep for their own good. Not just your sanity!
Once they move out of a cot and into a big bed they suddenly find that they have much more freedom in order to put up a fight about going to bed. This is when the return of the baby monitor may be a good idea.
It may not make them understand that they need to sleep but they will at least know that you are watching and that there will be consequences if they are caught not doing as they are told – sleeping.
2. If You Live In A Large House
Most parents stop using a baby monitor once their children are old enough to be heard from their bedroom. But if you are lucky enough to live in a large house, you may have to keep on using the baby monitor.
This is also the same for those families that have rooms on separate floors. If your child has their bedroom upstairs it may be very difficult to hear them.
If you are a heavy sleeper it may also be a good idea to keep using your baby monitor at least until your child is old enough or loud enough to wake you up.
3. Children And Nightmares
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My daughter had night terrors until she was around 5 or 6 years old. She would not settle back until I had reassured her that everything was alright.
If your bedroom is close enough that you can hear them clearly then there is no problem but if there is any doubt that you may not hear them then it is best to continue using your baby monitor.
Having a nightmare is scary for a child and can be made worse if they are calling for their parents and they do not come because they haven’t heard them.
Depending on the way your house is laid out sleepwalking can be extremely dangerous.
If your child does sleepwalk then there is a strong possibility that they will not make enough noise to wake you meaning that your baby monitor may be your only alert.
5. Children With Health Conditions
If your child has a medical condition then it definitely a good idea to continue using your baby monitor. It offers parents the peace of mind that they can keep a watch over their child even when they are not in the same room as them.
Reasons Why Many Parents Continue To Use A Baby Monitor
There are situations where a baby monitor can be useful even if you do not use it every day. Here are some reasons why you should not get rid of your baby monitor just yet.
1. Children Are Sick
Unfortunately, children get sick and a baby monitor can be a great way to keep an eye on them without disturbing them by going back and forth in their room.
It can also help you to get to them in a super quick time meaning that they can be comforted. cleaned up and back asleep in record time.
2. When You Are Entertaining
If you have friends over for dinner and a few drinks, they can often last way past your little one’s bedtime.
But with people chatting and music playing it would be easy for you to miss your child calling you. So again you can put your mind at rest and just use a baby monitor.
3. When Traveling
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Whether it be by plane, cruise ship, road trip, or camping you will often not know the layout of your final destination.
So unless you plan on retiring to bed at the same time as the kids, a baby monitor will give you a little more time to enjoy those peaceful evenings with your partner.
The Final Thought
The problem is that there are no hard and fast rules about when you should stop using a baby monitor, it really is up to the parents.
It will also depend on the personal circumstances of each individual family as many will require the use of a baby monitor past 6 months, maybe even past a year old.
But if your child is fit and healthy and there is no safety issue that requires the use of a baby monitor it may be time to let this stage pass. Switching it off will be as much for your benefit as for your child.