When to Stop Using Baby Monitor?

Updated on February 16, 2010
A.M. asks from Lake Wales, FL
31 answers

Hi Everyone,
When do you think is the "right age" to stop using a baby monitor? I have a 2 year old that sleeps through the night and my husband and I are disagreeing on this issue. I would still like to use the monitor to hear him breath, especially since he has had some "asthmatic issues" in the past. Since baby #2 is on the way, my husband feels that the monitor should be used for the new baby only and that our son is too old for a monitor. Any thoughts or opinions?

P.S. I am not opposed to buying another monitoring system and obviously my husband is!

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D.G.

answers from Boca Raton on

Unless the asthma issue continues today, I dont see a need for it at 2. However, if it makes you more comfortable, tell hubby to get over it. If the money is an issue, try Freecycle.com and try getting one for free. There are always people giving away baby items to others that need it. Or try Good Will or a second hand store. Same quality, less money. Try meeting in the middle. You are suppose to be a team, listen to each others side then find a happy meeting place. Good luck.

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J.G.

answers from Orlando on

I ended up buying a second set of Graco monitors that were the same so we could have 4 recievers. I used it up until I moved and my eldest was 9 and shared a room with her two younger sisters. My husband snores and I use ear plugs, so that was part of the reason we orginally used them so long, but not the only. Do what you "feel" is right for you.

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C.M.

answers from Boca Raton on

I am in the same exact situation - I'm sorry I don't have an answer for you right now, but I thought I'd let you know you are not alone. I am to the point where I am just thinking I am going to tell my husband I am not comfortable taking the monitor yet from my older son and just keeping two whether he likes it or not. I don't want it to cause argument, but I know I will never get any sleep if I take the monitor out of my son's room.

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D.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

I stopped using the baby monitors before my kids were 1 year. Our bedrooms have always been on the same floor.

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J.J.

answers from Tallahassee on

Hi A.,

I have a 4 1/2 year old and I still have her baby monitor in her room. I can hear her when she has bad dreams, when she is playing instead of going to sleep, but most importantly when she calls out to me in that really quiet, sleepy voice - I always hear it and can respond. Our house is really small and still I wouldn't hear her without the monitor. You said you've got a new baby coming - this isn't a one or the other issue. Every monitor I've ever seen has a feature of different channels. Usually it is "A" and "B". Your 2-year-old could be A and your new baby could be B and you could always feel safe knowing they are safe. I mean we are talking $15 security here... I'm not talking about video monitoring, especially for the older one. Does your husband realize this issue can be solved with only $15? If so and he is still throwing such a fit then I say whack him with a broom. :D Better now that you can blame it on pregnancy hormones. ;)

Ultimately, I say get it - what is the harm, really?

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Why not get another monitor?

My kids are 3 and 7. There are times... that I still use the monitor for my 3 year old when he is napping... and I am upstairs for example... that way I can "hear" when he wakes up... or is calling for me. Or when I have playdates/friends over for my 7 year old and my 3 year old is napping... I have the monitor on so that I can 'hear' my son... amidst the "noise" of our guests and I am not nearby my son's room.

There is no age at which you have to "stop" the monitor. It can still be used for other things as I mentioned above. There is no such thing as a child being too old for it.

Also, even though your 2 year old sleeps through the night... at certain age junctures, they will still go through sleep phases where they WILL wake up for whatever reason.

All the best,
Susan

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T.F.

answers from Orlando on

I say NEVER stop using it-- hide it in their closet when they are teenagers so you can still keep tabs on them--hahahaha!!!

I only stopped using it with my other 2 when the monitor broke-- now I have a 3.5 year old and still use it. He calls me in the middle of the night when he has to pee instead of wandering through a dark house. Also, he called me in the middle of the night once and I made it in time to get him out of his bed when he threw up everywhere!! Can you hear him from your bedroom if he calls out to you at night? If not, I say keep it and buy another monitor for the baby

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S.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

We still use our monitor but like another poster mentioned it's in the hall so we can hear everyone. I would start now by moving it out of his/her room and then into hallway so you're comfortable that you can still hear your child. Then move it into of the new baby's room once he/she is born, if you put it by the new baby's door you should also be bale to hear your other child. We have a pretty long hallway and we've been able to hear both kids w/ our monitor in the hallway. We have a Sony.

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D.P.

answers from Melbourne on

My daughter is 4 also has asthma and I keep the monitor and always have the monitor on. My video one broke, so I ended up just getting a standard one, and it puts me at ease that I can hear her breathing especially if she is sick. I paid $16 at Target for the basic one and it sounds better than the $100 one I bought 4 years ago! 2 years old is still very young, I don't plan on stopping mine until she is much older, maybe never.. haha

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S.S.

answers from Miami on

I was the same way. When I was expecting my third son I continued using a monitor with my second child even though he was 3 1/2. He had the same issues. He is asthmatic and he was sick a lot as an infant and if there was a problem at night I wanted to be aware of it before it became to problematic for him. You can buy monitors that are not that expensive and you can buy dual monitors for both rooms. I would say that you are better safe than sorry. I continued to use the monitor with my youngest child until about 4 months ago, he will be 5 in may. There is no harm in using the monitor as you feel it is necessary. You will know when it is time to no longer use it.

Good luck.

S.

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A.G.

answers from Punta Gorda on

My girls are 25 months apart. I only owned one monitor. When our youngest started sleeping in her own room she got the monitor.

However I think you have to trust yourself. Whatever makes you feel comfortable. Tell him it is very important to you and instead of flowers for Valentine's Day you would like a new baby monitor. Most of the time with men the bottom line is the almighty dollar.

Congratulations on the new baby.

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R.S.

answers from Miami on

Do what makes you feel comfortable. You are the mother and mother's have a sense that no one else has. If it makes you feel more comfortable to buy another monitor, then do it as these are your babies.

Congrats, R.

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C.D.

answers from Orlando on

I got the best advice from a friend of mine regarding the baby monitor situation. She tells me your children are never to old to have one in their room. So that you can always hear what is going on the there. I suggest that you get a second set of monitors for your 2nd child and continue to us the monitors in both rooms.

M.R.

answers from Port St. Lucie on

I feel you should follow your instincts. My children are now 3 and 5 and I still use baby monitors. I use the monitors when they play outside. We have a fenced in yard, but if I need to run inside real quick I can still hear them outside. You can always find a use for them and it provides you comfort, especially considering your son's asthma.

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

When our boys got a little older (2 or so( we moved it to the hallway outside of their rooms. that way we could hear all of the kids rustling around but it wasn't right in the room. But as for when did we get rid of it. the kids were teens lol. we always knew when someone was up and out of the room. its amazing how much sneaking around kids do (hey lets get something to eat mom and dad are asleep they won't know if we play the video game all night etc...)

A.L.

answers from Naples on

My sons are almost 7.5 and almost 6 and I still have the transmitter in their room and receiver in mine. We have a two story house. I don't have it on consistently and haven't for a few years, but I like the comfort of knowing I can turn it on at night if I need to and hear that they are okay. Go with your gut. I always know when I am going overboard and I am sure you do too. At two I don't see any problem with having a monitor in his room. Two may be old enough for a toddler bed but it's still young enough to get in all kinds of trouble that needs an immediate response.

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C.S.

answers from Miami on

My son will be 4 in April and I am still using my video monitor! I asked this question myself when he was around 2.5. Here's what I do:

I leave the camera/microphone on in his room. We have a 2 story house so we keep the video unit downstairs and on so that we can see if he is out of bed at night - and during the day, I can keep an eye on him if he is playing in his room and I'm in the kitchen. When we go to bed at night, I have the audio unit next to my bed but turned off. I only turn it on if I hear something strange before I go into his room. He has a big boy bed so he can come into our room if he needs us.

We are expecting #2 in August and I'll be looking for one of those video monitors that can do two rooms - they are worth every penney in my book! I agree with the poster who said to hide it in their closets when they are teenagers so you can keep tabs on what they are doing!!!

Good luck to you! C.

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D.F.

answers from Tampa on

I think using the baby monitor is a good thing since he has "asthmatic issues" . Two years is still a baby to me. Parents tend to make the older child grow up too quickly when another child is born. Don't make that mistake. Two years old is still young and he is going to need even morelove and attention when the new baby arrives.

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L.D.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hi A.,

I can't remember when I stopped using my monitor, but I think it was after he turned 3! Of course our son had a lung problem when he was born so we were extra protective. Do whatever you feel comfortable with. If it gives you peace of mind, then that's all that matters.

We used the BebeSounds Angel Care Movement Sensor with sound monitor. Not only can you hear them, but it also tracks their movements so if they were to stop breathing, an alarm goes off. Absolutely the best baby shower gift I got!!! I probably would not have gotten any sleep had it not been for this device.

By the way, I do baby shower invitations and birth announcements. If you're interested, let me know.
Good luck, L.

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T.F.

answers from Miami on

I'm glad you asked this because I've been wondering the same thing. I have two girls - 3 and 4 and I still have a monitor in each of their rooms. We have a 2-story house, so I like having the monitors on downstairs after their bedtime because I don't think I always hear them if they call for us, especially if we're watching TV and it's a little loud.

We also have the second set of monitors in our bedroom, which we use when we go to sleep, but it's probably unneccesary because their rooms are so close to ours. However, my husband, when he's home, likes to nap when they do and I take advantage to run errands. He sleeps much heavier than I do, so I always make sure the monitor is on so he'll hear if our little one wakes up calling for us.

I've been considering getting rid of one monitor and instead of having in their rooms, just use one and place it on a small table that's in the hall between their room and ours. Wouldn't really give us any benefit, so I'm not sure what to do. I am tired of using the monitors, but can't let go yet either!

Sorry, I know this probably didn't help you much - I guess your question inspired me to "get it out!"

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S.B.

answers from Fort Myers on

My daughter is 6 and I still have it. Its just in case she falls out of bed, wakes up in tears, I can hear her playing in her room. She hasn't questioned it so it has not been an issue.

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R.K.

answers from Orlando on

A.,
My daughter is over 2 and she still sleeps in the crib, which is in our room! Please don't feel like you are being overprotective. That's what moms do. We protect our young. My daughter's "room' is on the other end of the house. I imagine that when I do eventually move her to her room I will definitely put a monitor in the room so that I can know when she needs my attention. Or maybe I'll just move into the bedroom next to hers!

Can you imagine your little one needing you in the middle of the night and you are unable to hear their little cries? Your peace of mind and a good night's sleep are worth paying for an extra monitor in my opinion.

Take care ,
R.

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J.K.

answers from Gainesville on

I guess it depends on how tight your finances are, since the things are only $20 to $30 for the basic Target version. If it helps you sleep at night to have one, use one. If it keeps you up at night to have one, don't use it. As a person who has had four hours of consecutive sleep only about twice in the past 8 months, sleep is PRECIOUS. Whatever gets you the most sleep is the best answer. We used a $30 model from Target until I realized that I'm a light enough sleeper to hear her without one. Does your 2 year old have asthma or not? Is it causing sleep apnea? If he doesn't have night attacks it doesn't matter, but asthma can cause poor sleep or sleep apnea. Talk to your pediatrician about that one, because there could be a medical reason for you to be concerned about your son's sleep; your husband is wrong to discount it only on account of his age.

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L.T.

answers from Dallas on

I have a 3 1/2 year old and I don't know that I will be getting rid of it anytime soon. SHe is upstairs and we wouldn't be able to hear her if we didn't have it.

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J.F.

answers from Minneapolis on

Who gets up to attend to your child if he needs assistance? I'm assuming you do.

You're the mama, trust your gut and do what you have to be the best mommy you can be.

We still have the monitor on for our 2 year old and will have regardless of when our baby #2 comes and they share a room. She is a pretty sound sleeper, but still makes some noise through-out the night. I like to know if she really needs me and to ensure that I can hear her. We also have two fans on in our room and we wouldn't be able to hear her without the monitor. She is also too short to reach the door knobs yet and can't come to our room.

Again, do what YOU think is necessary, especially if you are the caregiver at night.

That's my 2 cents. :)

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T.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

I don't see any reason why you can't use it a little longer. I used them until they were 3. It made me feel better to hear her and to know if she was getting into something ;)

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I.S.

answers from Miami on

My child is only 22 months, however I intend to keep using it until I can get away with it, not only can you monitor if something is wrong, but you can also monitor intruders etc... my personal vote is to keep it.

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A.W.

answers from Tampa on

Sorry, I have to agree w/your husband on this one :) The reason for a BABY monitor is to hear your BABY when he/she wakes in the middle of the night. I think once a baby turns 1, it's time to turn it off. I completely understand about the asthma issue, 2 of my 5 kids have been diagnosed w/asthma. Only 1 of them continues to have issues, and it's only in November. So I do understand about wanting to hear him, but only when he's having asthma issues. There's no need to have it on every night. Good luck!!!!

After reading some of the other posts, I have to ask, what kind of "asthmatic problems in the past" are you talking about? When I read it, I took it to mean he's had 1 or 2 "epidsodes" in his short 2 yr life. I don't consider that to be a big enough issue to have a monitor on every night. My whole thing is, you need to let your kids grow up. He's 2, he sleeps through the night. Why is a monitor needed? Kids need to learn to be independent. If you run to them everytime you hear them on the monitor, how are they going to learn to help themselves? My sister has 3 boys. The 2 1/2 yr old and almost 5 yr old (5 in early April) share a room and she still has a monitor in their room. The 4 yr old still cannot get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom by himself! He has to call out to them and they have to go get him!?!?

All I'm saying is if you keep the monitor in his room and get a new one for the baby, set limits for yourself on when to "run in" to him.

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A.C.

answers from New York on

Is your 2-year-old sleeping in a regular bed yet? If so, he will eventually get up by himself to get you if he's not comfortable during the night. That's what my daughter did. At first, she'd call out to us to get her but now, she's confident enough to get out of bed on her own.

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V.M.

answers from Melbourne on

I believe you should follow your intuition. Keep the monitor for your two year old, and get another one for your new baby. I always slept with my kids till they are older, so this has never been an issue for me. I can hear and see them breathing next to me. :) I just always had a king sized bed, and put it up against the wall on the side the kid is at. My kids are something I don't compromise on. If price is an issue, buy another monitor on ebay, or join your local freecycle group online and ask for one. Actually, I have one I was going to give away. Send me your address to [email protected]____.com and I'll send it to you. I haven't tested it yet, but it was in a brand new package. Don't ever go against your mother's intution- my best advice ever. Just find ways to do or get what you know is best for your kids. Tell me how your husband would feel if something happened to your two year old while sleeping and you couldn't hear him? I'm sure I don't have to answer that. It would be too little, too late, yes? To the woman who said to not use one, and just let your kids "grow up". Good Lord, these are small children we're talking about here and they are just children for such a short time. And If we give our children what they need to feel totally safe and secure when they are babies/children, this will make them feel like independent, secure adults! I don't believe having the monitor on it the room will make your child feel anything but loved and heard (when they are older and aware of it)! If you are far away from a child's room, especially when they are really young, what in the world is the harm in having a monitor in their room so you can hear them? Wouldn't it make you sleep a little easier??? ~V.

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K.M.

answers from Miami on

I imagine it's a bit of an individual thing. My daughter was 2.5 when my son was born and we opted to get a second monitor (same brand as the first). I can't remember why I took it out. I think my son was transitioning to his room and I wanted to hear him in our room and his. When we took it out, my daughter who was probably getting close to 3 was coming out of her room and shouting down for us anyway so it wasn't that necessary to have one for her. Now, at almost 4, she just comes downstairs during the night (we have a nightlight on our stairs) and comes to our bed if she needs us. Now I keep one monitor charging and one on my nightstand to listen for my son.

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