Parents, let’s admit it: Taking care of your baby is not the easiest gig in the world. It takes a lot of hard work, patience, and presence of mind. Fortunately, baby monitors make it a lot easier. Baby monitors let you keep tabs on your little one from a few feet away or in another room.
Benefits of using a baby monitor
In the past, parents had to trust their instincts and each other when leaving infants alone. But now, with video baby monitors, parents have peace of mind during the infancy stage. If you’re worried about leaving your infant alone while working, sleeping, or taking a bath, you can use a video baby monitor to keep an eye on him or her.
Knowing that your child is safe and sound while you do other important things can make a big difference to your state of mind. But the lingering question is: Until when can you use a baby monitor? How do you know when it’s time to stow away your baby monitor?
When to stop using a baby monitor?
As your children learn to sleep in their own beds, and as they get closer and closer to self-sufficiency, you can take that as a sign to stop using a video baby monitor. This is the general rule of thumb for many parents.
For many, however, this answer isn’t clear-cut because children learn to take responsibility for their well-being at different periods, and with varying degrees of success.
Thus, there is no correct time to stop using a baby monitor.
Additionally, most doctors won’t give a formal recommendation, but they do agree that, as with any parenting decision, you should decide what’s best for your family situation.
Thankfully, we’ve done a little research to help. Here are things you need to know:
Signs that it’s time to put away your baby monitor
1.Sleep experts say that, if a baby monitor keeps you awake and makes you more anxious, then it might not be for you.
Some parents who get little sleep find that their baby’s every subtle (or not-so-subtle) movement causes them to be wide awake, and this only leads to anxiety. While it is normal for parents to be sensitive about every peep and rustle, feeling alarmed at the slightest hitch will not do you any good. What you can do is to get a baby monitor that will allow you to customize the sensitivity level detection so you can weed out unwanted alerts.
2.Your toddler is big enough to walk and get your attention when they need something.
It may be a little hard to swallow this news, but your kids are growing up. Eventually, they will be big and independent enough to stand and walk around on their own, but that doesn’t mean your role as a parent will become any less.
Trust us when we say that once your baby is big enough to explore, they will come to you on their own if they need something. However, they have yet to develop an understanding of areas that are unsafe to enter on their own. You may still need to keep an eye on them while they explore around the house, or have a baby monitor that tells you when your little one runs into a designated danger zone in the house.
3.The baby monitor is distracting you from accomplishing other tasks.
Whether you are doing chores or clearing your workload, the sound of a baby monitor may cause alarm, making you drop everything that you are doing to check on your baby. However, a quality baby monitor should be able to send you notifications that matter and not bombard you with unnecessary alerts where the majority of it are false alarms.
As the months and years go by, your kids will be moving and talking a whole lot more, and most of the time, these babbles and movements are not a cause of concern. That is why using a baby monitor to track all of your child’s activities might not suit your needs anymore. However, there are baby monitors out there that are designed with mobility. Having a mobile baby monitor catered to your needs of looking after an active baby might be more suitable for you especially if you don’t want to worry about being distracted constantly.
4.You are becoming too dependent on your baby monitor.
After months or years of using a baby monitor, it is inevitable to develop a habit of frequently checking it even if nothing’s happening. We know you mean well, but if you are starting to look at your baby monitors more than you look at your baby, it might be about time to break the habit.
Should You Use A Video Baby Monitor After Your Child Turns One Year Old?
If it helps you put your mind at ease, then, by all means, use a baby monitor. For one, a baby monitor will help you keep a tab on your child even when you are out of sight. Even when your baby can walk and talk, there are still times when they might need an adult’s help, like when they are trying to reach for something or crawl towards an unsafe zone. The same goes with parents who work outside the home and need to keep an eye on their kids even if they’re not in the house as it helps parents to rest and relax knowing that their baby is safe and sound.
On average, children start to develop their faculties and sense of self by the age four. At that point, you have the option of whether you should still use a baby monitor. At that age, you’ll be able to directly observe whether they are exhibiting any activity that could be dangerous.
Nonetheless, if you think a baby monitor would still be helpful to check on your child after your baby turns a year old, here are some suggestions on how to use it.
- Place the monitor in your child’s room but don’t turn it on unless necessary.
- Turn it off during the day and only turn it on at night when your child is sleeping. If you think your child might be very active during the night, then turn it on when he or she wakes up in the middle of the night, but only for a few minutes.
- Place it away from your child’s reach if possible because children may be tempted to touch objects that are placed right in front of them.
It is important for parents to let their kids have their space to explore without parents intervening too much even when they are still babies.
So, when exactly is the right time to stop using your baby monitor?
There is no specific month, year, and age that can tell you it is time to stop using a baby monitor. What you can do is to look at the list above and review if you are experiencing the mentioned difficulties from using a baby monitor.
Of course, if you feel like you and your baby are not yet ready for the change, there’s no pressure to stop using your baby monitor in a snap. After all, you, as a parent, best understand your child’s needs and that includes whether to keep using certain tools and devices to better protect your baby.