It seems like every day I come across new things to worry about as a mom: Some food ingredient that will increase the likelihood for behavior disorders, a new choking hazard I'd never considered, warnings against what screen exposure will do to my boys' brains — the list never ends. But like many moms, I worry most about my toddler because hello, age of insatiable curiosity. I like to know what he's up to even in his crib, but how close is too close for the monitor to be? Is it safe for a crib to be near the baby monitor?
SafeWise home safety expert Emily Long urges parents to place baby monitors with cords at least 3 feet away from cribs, bassinets, playpens, or anywhere a child might be left unattended. In an exclusive interview with Romper, Long explains, "This ensures that baby cannot reach the monitor and put themselves at risk of getting tangled in a cord. If you place the monitor on a high shelf, ensure it's in a spot where the cord doesn't hang within baby's reach if they're crawling or playing."
Though no one wants to think about it, Long says the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported seven deaths and three near-strangulations related to corded baby monitors between 2002 and 2012, so this is definitely an area to exercise vigilance in, just as you would with cords on blinds and curtains.
If you've made the mistake of close proximity, you're not alone. Nursery designer and co-founder of Project Nursery Pam Ginocchio tells Romper that in her practice, "We see all too often that new parents place the monitor inside the crib or wrap the wires around or near the crib, which should never occur. We recommend that all monitors be mounted or placed a minimum of 3 feet away from the crib, ensuring there are no dangling or loose cords which pose a risk of entanglement.”
But these days, many homes are opting for cordless devices — baby monitors included. While this option takes away the risk of strangulation, some parents feel the electromagnetic frequency of cordless baby monitors pose their own dangers to developing skulls. Although science has not definitively proven any long term concerns regarding this issue, it's important to some families and an angle you might choose to consider.
Baby monitors are incredibly beneficial, but as with any technology, they do come with potential risks. Once you've carefully chosen the device you feel most comfortable with, be sure to abide by the prescribed precautions to the fullest. After all, you got the monitor to decrease your stress, not to give you one more thing to lose sleep over.