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When to Stop Using Baby Monitor: Beyond the Crib

When to Stop Using Baby Monitor

For new parents, baby monitors can provide much-needed peace of mind. The ability to hear every coo and cry lets moms and dads know their little one is safe.

But at some point, it becomes time to stop using a baby monitor. Knowing when your child is ready for this transition can minimize anxiety for both of you. Let's take a look at when to stop using baby monitors.

When to Stop Using Baby Monitor

The question of what age to stop using the baby monitor depends on your child's age and development. Most experts recommend stopping baby monitor use between ages 2 and 4. By this time, children have developed more regular sleep patterns. They can also get in and out of bed without assistance. These milestones mean less need for constant overnight supervision.

Of course, each child's readiness will vary. Look for signs your toddler or preschooler is outgrowing the need for nighttime monitoring. Watching for critical physical and behavioral changes can help determine the right time. This is how you can decide when to stop using a baby monitor.

Key Signs to Stop Using Baby Monitor

Deciding when to say goodbye to the baby monitor depends on where your child is developmentally. Consider their increasing independence and physical environment. Let's take a look at when to stop using a baby monitor:

Infancy Stage

In the first year, babies still need overnight monitoring. Newborns sleep 16 hours or more each day. And their sleep cycles are short and irregular. Waking every few hours for feeding is common.

Between 4-6 months, sleep patterns start becoming more regular. But babies still need middle-of-the-night feedings. Around six months, separation anxiety and sleep regressions are also common. So, keeping the monitor on remains essential.

Between 9-12 months, sleep becomes more consolidated. Babies take longer naps and sleep for more extended nighttime stretches. Parents should be comfortable turning off the monitor between bedtime and early morning feeds at this stage.

Changes in Sleeping Patterns

As your baby turns into a toddler, their sleeping patterns change. Naps will shorten, and nighttime sleep will become even more consistent.

At this point, you can start moving the monitor further from the crib. Place it outside the bedroom door to reduce sensitivity. Over time, leave it off for short periods each night. Watch for signs your little one still needs overnight supervision.

Increased Independence

Growth and development bring more independence. As your child learns to stand and walk, the crib becomes less confining. Increased mobility means your child can let you know if they need you overnight.

Verbal skills are another factor. Once your toddler can call out for you, they can self-soothe or ask for help as needed. These milestones indicate your child may no longer need round-the-clock monitoring.

Physical Environment Changes

Changes in your child's bedroom environment can also influence monitor use. The transition from crib to toddler bed is a significant shift. Your child may now be able to get in and out of bed unassisted. This freedom reduces the need for constant supervision, which is one of the main signs to stop using baby monitors.

Relocating your child to another room is another reason to reconsider the monitor. School-aged children often move to their "big kid" bedrooms. It is one of the main reasons to stop using baby monitors. If your child is sleeping well in their new, secure room, it may be time to turn off the monitor.

Risks of Using a Baby Monitor Too Long

While baby monitors provide security in infancy, keeping them past necessity has downsides. It is better to know when to stop using baby monitors to avoid downsides.

Potential Anxiety in Children

The constant presence of a monitor may cause unnecessary anxiety. Children who grow up with long-term monitoring can develop exaggerated fears about safety. This hypervigilance continues even after they no longer need overnight supervision.

Over-Reliance on Technology

It's easy for busy parents to use monitors as electronic babysitters. But there are no shortcuts to providing comfort and security. Kids still need parents to be actively involved, especially at night.

Allowing a monitor to replace physical presence and communication doesn't support their emotional needs. Relying too much on technology can distance you from your child's feelings.

Sleep Interference

Some research indicates long-term monitor use may impair children's sleep. The constant background noise, even when subtle, can disrupt sleep patterns. Studies show children with monitors in their rooms spend less time in deep, restorative sleep.

Restless sleep from monitor disturbance can create overtiredness. This fatigue often leads to behavior issues like irritability, tantrums, and hyperactivity. It is one of the good reasons to stop using the baby monitor.

How to Transition Away from Baby Monitors

When you decide it's time to stop using a monitor, don't go cold turkey. A gradual weaning process reduces anxiety for both of you.

  • Keep the monitor on, but move it farther from the crib each week. This desensitization helps lower dependence on constant supervision.
  • Work on creating positive sleep associations like white noise or lullabies. These cues help your child self-soothe without the monitor.
  • Reinforce daytime independence by encouraging play in their room alone. Build confidence and autonomy.
  • Use positive reinforcement when your child sleeps through the night monitor-free. This motivates continued progress.
  • If your child resists the transition, compromise with intermittent monitor use. But emphasize they're safe without nighttime checking.

Your toddler or preschooler will adjust to sleeping without the baby monitor with patience and reassurance. It is better to stop using baby monitors gradually instead of suddenly.

What is a Baby Monitor?

Since we are talking about when to stop using a baby monitor, let's understand what a baby monitor is. A baby monitor is a device that allows parents to listen in on their infant remotely. It consists of a transmitter in the baby's room and a receiver to carry around the house.

Basic audio monitors pick up sound via a microphone and transmit it to the parent unit. This allows you to hear cries or noises from your sleeping baby. More advanced monitors are capable of seeing your little one in their crib. Other features include room temperature displays, lullaby playing, and movement tracking. High-tech options even monitor breathing, heart rate, and sleep positions. Some connect to your smartphone for mobility.

Best Baby Monitor Recommendation

The Reolink E1 Zoom is an excellent choice for top-rated baby monitoring with premium features. This innovative camera delivers 5MP super HD 1080p live streaming for remarkable clarity. The 3x optical zoom lets you see the baby up close without losing video quality.

The wide 135° viewing angle provides full nursery coverage. You can scan the entire room from your smartphone with remote 355° panning and 50° tilt. The Starlight CMOS sensor also provides outstanding night vision. This smart monitor includes advanced detection functions. The person and pet detection ensures you get alerts for what matters. The auto-tracking feature automatically follows the baby’s movements to keep them in view at all times.

Reolink E1 Zoom

PTZ Wireless Smart Home Camera

Smart, Powerful and Affordable All-Round Home Protection. 355° Pan and 50° Tilt; 5MP Super HD, 3X Optical Zoom, Two-Way Audio, 2.4/5 GHz WiFi, with Google Assistant Integration.

The intuitive Reolink app makes monitoring simple. It provides real-time notifications if the baby cries or stirs. Two-way audio allows you to hear and talk to soothe the baby if needed. Easy setup and dual-band WiFi will enable you to access the live stream anywhere.


Do I need a baby monitor?

A baby monitor is a must-have for most parents for the first year or two. The ability to hear your infant's needs allows you to respond promptly. Monitoring helps establish healthy sleep patterns. It also reduces separation anxiety when your baby transitions out of your room.

A monitor may be less necessary if you live in a small space. But for multilevel homes, they provide indispensable overnight supervision.

At what age should I stop using a baby monitor?

Most experts recommend discontinuing monitor use between ages 2 and 4. Signs your toddler or preschooler is ready include regular sleep schedules, verbal communication skills, and increased independence. Of course, every child develops at a different pace, so base the timing on your little one's maturity.

Should I leave the baby monitor on all night?

In infancy, keeping the monitor on overnight provides needed security. But as your child ages, strive to minimize use. Constant background noise from monitors can impair the quality of sleep. Aim to gradually transition your toddler or preschooler to sleeping soundly without ambient supervision.


Knowing when to stop using a baby monitor prevents over-reliance. While monitors grant peace of mind in a baby's first years, they become less necessary as children grow. Watch for developmental signs your toddler or preschooler no longer requires overnight surveillance. You and your little one can adjust to restful nights beyond the crib with patience and gradual weaning.

At what age did you stop using baby monitors for your little ones? Please share your experience with us in the comment section below!


All Comments Are Welcome

Editor from Reolink. Interested in new technology trends and willing to share tips about home security. Her goal is to make security cameras and smart home systems easy to understand for everyone.