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  • This Baby Sleep Coach Does Not Like Wi-Fi Baby Monitors: What She Recommends Instead

    “I personally have concerns when it comes to 'smart baby tech.'”
    by Gabrielle Weil .
This Baby Sleep Coach Does Not Like Wi-Fi Baby Monitors: What She Recommends Instead
  • In recent years, there have been questions regarding what happens when babies are exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMF) via baby monitors with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. While it is convenient, it requires your internet to be on all night, which means it can be emitting EMF for an average of 11.5 hours. It also needs your mobile phone to be switched into Wi-Fi mode all night, which is usually placed on your night table. 

    I personally have concerns when it comes to “smart baby tech” and often advise my clients in my baby sleep coach practice to limit their baby’s exposure whenever possible.

    I asked Dr. Jose Clemente, a pediatrician who practices at St.Luke’s Medical Center and Makati Medical City, about some of his thoughts concerning the latest studies that look at our cellphone usage and brain cancer. These studies are alarming for us adults but what about the radiation-emitting ‘toys’ or gadgets on the market including sleep monitors worn on the baby via Bluetooth or even new ‘smart’ diapers that are going to be emitting EMF directly over our baby’s genital area?

    Dr. Clemente says that “since the brain is in the earlier stages of development, it can be more sensitive to the damaging effects of radio frequency, which studies have shown as a potential human carcinogen.”

    What other parents are reading

    The International EMF Project of the World Health Organization looks at possible health effects from exposure to electromagnetic field sources. The WHO concluded that “current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields.” However, some gaps in knowledge about biological effects exist and need further research.


    Here is what it has to say about EMF: 

    “Despite many studies, the evidence for any effect remains highly controversial. However, it is clear that if electromagnetic fields do have an effect on cancer, then any increase in risk will be extremely small. 

    “The results to date contain many inconsistencies, but no large increases in risk have been found for any cancer in children or adults.

    “A number of epidemiological studies suggest small increases in the risk of childhood leukemia with exposure to low-frequency magnetic fields in the home. However, scientists have not generally concluded that these results indicate a cause-effect relation between exposure to the fields and disease (as opposed to artifacts in the study or effects unrelated to field exposure). 

    “In part, this conclusion has been reached because animal and laboratory studies fail to demonstrate any reproducible effects that are consistent with the hypothesis that fields cause or promote cancer. Large-scale studies are currently underway in several countries and may help resolve these issues.”

    What other parents are reading

    Certain countries like France, passed a law in 2015 banning and limiting Wi-Fi in schools which I think is fantastic. Preschool playschools have an outright ban and the use in primary schools up to around the age of 13 years old is limited, making it available only when absolutely necessary for lessons.

    Here is my step-by-step guide of what I practice at home to reduce your exposure:

    • Turn your Internet router OFF at night. This means no Wi-Fi baby monitors can work.
    • Buy a no-Wi-Fi baby monitor, which emits ZERO EMF at night.
    • Turn your baby monitor OFF when it is not needed. So when the baby is not napping or sleeping, turn it off or unplug the unit in both your baby’s room and the parent unit.
    • Place your baby monitor as far away from your baby’s crib as possible. I like to aim for at least 2 meters if space allows.
    • Position your Wi-Fi router as far away as possible from where your baby plays during awake times and never near any bedrooms. If your home space and layouts create challenges with this making your router unavoidably near where your child will be playing, turn it off whenever you are there with your baby or child. You can avoid this altogether by using wired (ethernet) cables to connect to the internet and remove the Wi-Fi all together in your home.
    • Never use “smart” socks, “smart” diapers or other body wearing EMF emitting device on your baby.
    • If using an iPad, put it in airplane mode to disable the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
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    Sleep coach Gabrielle trained with two UK based sleep trainers using various methods prior to gaining her certification in London. She specialises in the most up-to-date, respectful parenting strategies, 360-degree understanding of the factors affecting pediatric sleep, and how to help families with more complex cases. Coach Gabrielle is also a certified Baby Listening™ Instructor for newborns with the Baby Language Institute Sydney Australia You may reach her at www.babesofbliss.org and Instagram @babysleepbliss

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