Should I Leave The Baby Monitor On At Night?

by Monique Labelle
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Baby monitors are incredibly useful gadgets for parents everywhere. Not only do they give you a sense of security while you are handling your business during the day, but they can offer a lot of peace of mind at night too while your baby sleeps in a separate room. Whether you use a video monitor to keep an eye on your little one at night or an audio monitor, the use of a baby monitor will come with benefits and disadvantages. Since Amazon offers a wide range of audio and video baby monitors, you’ll be able to find a great fit without leaving your home. Let’s get into the benefits of a monitor for nighttime use and how you’ll know if you should be leaving it on or not.


Why Are Baby Monitors Beneficial Overnight?

Leaving a baby monitor turned on at night in your baby’s room has a number of benefits to you and your child. SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is a major fear of parents with babies less than a year old. Using a baby monitor in this time can help alert you of the signs while you still have a chance to do something about it.

There are many other reasons to keep a baby monitor on overnight that aren’t on a life and death scale. During the time period that your baby still needs an overnight feeding or two, a baby monitor can alert you to your baby’s cry saying they are awake and hungry. Smaller sounds of fussing and discomfort can also be picked up by the monitor and transmitted to your room, and this will allow you to monitor your child’s sleep cycles and take note of any signs of illness that may be coming on.

Leaving a baby in a separate room for the first time can be stressful for new parents, as they will have gotten used to the baby’s crib being only feet away in their own room. A baby monitor can be a great way for anxious parents to check on their child in the middle of the night without entering their room and potentially interrupting their sleep.

Furthermore, many baby monitors have the ability to track breathing and heart rate while your child sleeps overnight and during nap time. Your baby monitor can therefore provide a lot of valuable information about your baby’s sleep habits that can be taken to a pediatrician or sleep consultant if you feel your baby is not sleeping properly.

Baby monitors are ideal for heavy sleepers as well; even if your child is in the next room, you may not always wake up when they cry. Having the ability to adjust the volume on a monitor right next to your head will ensure you can always get up for your baby when they need you.

Parents of toddlers can also benefit from leaving a baby monitor on at night. Kids at that age love to climb out of their cribs and do everything except sleep. If you have a larger house or you are a heavy sleeper, your baby monitor may be the only way to know how your child is faring in their kids room.

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Is It Safe To Leave A Baby Monitor On At Night?

Let’s answer this question right off the bat; yes! A baby monitor is perfectly safe when left on all night. The one note we need to make is that a baby monitor should NOT be a replacement for safe sleep practices. Even though you may check in on your child periodically throughout the night and will be alerted to even the little noises they make overnight, there is no excuse for leaving your child in an unsafe sleeping environment. Accidents can happen quickly, and even with a monitor, you may not know about a sleep emergency until it is too late. Pairing your baby monitor with safe sleep practices is the best thing you can do for your child.


Do Baby Monitors Help With Sleep Training?

Baby monitors can indeed help with sleep training, but you need to have one with video functionality. Audio-only models will make it impossible to know whether your child is crying for a significant reason or if they just don’t want to go to bed. If you use a wall mount for a video monitor that lets you see the whole room, you’ll be able to identify any reasons why your baby is crying to know if you should let them self soothe and go to sleep or if they really need you.


Should I Use A WiFi Monitor or Audio Monitor At Night?

Both WiFi baby monitors and audio-only monitors have their pros and cons for overnight use. Audio models are great at picking up even the smaller sounds like a sniffle that can alert you to potential illnesses right away, but their sensitivity may also keep you up at night and leave you tired in the morning. They also don’t give any indication of WHY your child is fussing, just that they are awake and not content. WiFi monitors come with a number of features that can benefit your child at nighttime, and they also provide you with a visual update of your baby rather than just audio. As mentioned previously, this can help with sleep training and also help you prepare what you need before entering the room to minimise the disruption to your sleep and your baby’s.

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Best Baby Monitor Features For Nighttime

There are a few nighttime oriented features that make certain baby monitors better for overnight monitoring than others. If you plan on using your monitor overnight for a significant amount of time, these are some things you should look for.

White Noise and Lullabies

Many of the more complex baby monitors on the market will have a sound machine built in that can play white noise, lullabies, and even a variety of natural sounds like waves or rain. This feature can dramatically improve your baby’s rest because it helps them tune out any sounds in their environment and sleep more soundly.

Night Vision Camera

A night vision camera is a must have if you plan on checking on your child overnight. Without it, you won’t be able to see much, and you would have to enter the child’s room to check on them properly. A camera that automatically enters night mode will help improve visibility of their room while they sleep and reduce your anxiety about their well-being to let you sleep as well.

Baby’s Breathing and Heart Rate Monitoring

Some of the more advanced baby monitoring systems on the market will have health trackers that can monitor stats like breathing and heart rate. Not only does this offer a lot of peace of mind to parents overnight, but over time, this tracking can provide a pretty relevant look into the overall health of your child and even help pinpoint any sleep disorders or health concerns that may arise.

Night Light

A nightlight will have a few benefits for both you and your child, so it is a good idea to add this feature to your list. Leaving the night light on for your child will help them feel more secure overnight and improve the visibility of the camera. Plus, if you need to enter the room for a diaper change or feeding overnight, you will be able to see well enough to perform your duties without waking you or your child up fully with the overhead light.

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When To Stop Using A Baby Monitor At Night

While baby monitor’s have their uses for overnight monitoring, there comes a time when you want or need to leave your child unsupervised overnight.

If you find that your monitor is keeping you up at night with alerts or noises from your baby’s room, it might be time to turn the monitor off. Once your child is old enough to sleep through the night without a feeding (anywhere between 3 and 12 months), they will almost never need you through the night. Leaving the monitor on to listen to their shuffling or small noises will actually be a detriment to your child; a rested parent is always better than a tired one.

Another reason to turn the monitor off at night is if you simply can’t sleep for the obsession of checking on your child. While switching to an audio-only model might fix this problem for you, some parents need to completely remove temptation in order to get the rest they need.

One final reason to turn the monitor off at night is if it is actually becoming disruptive to your child’s sleep. If your baby starts moving around or making soft noises while they are asleep, you may perceive that they have woken up and go in to soothe the child. However, you may end up actually waking them up and disrupting their sleep cycles. If you find that you are regularly going into their room when they don’t actually need you, it might be time to shut off the monitor and let you both rest more soundly.


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