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Do Baby Monitors Cause Autism?

This blog post will explore the question of whether baby monitors cause autism and what scientific evidence exists to support or refute this claim.

mark elias
Mark Elias
October 31, 2023

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication and behavior.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 36 children in the United States has been diagnosed with ASD. While the causes of autism are not yet fully understood, studies have shown that genetic and environmental factors play a role in its development.

What are Baby Monitors?

Baby monitors are a crucial tool for parents who want to keep an eye on their little ones while they're asleep or playing in another room. These devices give parents peace of mind, knowing that they can keep tabs on their baby's well-being at all times.

When it comes to baby monitors, there are two main types: audio monitors and video monitors. Audio monitors allow parents to hear their baby's sounds, such as crying, cooing, or even breathing.

This type of monitor is ideal for parents who want to be alerted to their baby's needs without having to physically check on them every few minutes.

On the other hand, video monitors take things a step further by allowing parents to see their baby's movements as well. This means that parents can not only hear if their baby is crying, but also see if they are rolling over or getting into any other potentially dangerous situations.

No matter which type of baby monitor you choose, it's important to invest in a high-quality device that will provide clear audio and video signals. This will ensure that you can always keep an eye on your little one and respond quickly if they need your attention.

The Claim: Do Baby Monitors Cause Autism?

The claim that baby monitors cause autism is not only unsupported by scientific evidence, but is also a dangerous myth that can cause undue stress and anxiety for parents.

While autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with no definitive cause, research has identified a number of genetic and environmental factors that can contribute to its development.

It's important to understand that baby monitors have not been identified as a significant risk factor for autism. In fact, many parents rely on baby monitors to keep their little ones safe and secure while they sleep.

It's important to remember that correlation does not equal causation, and that just because two things may be associated with each other, it doesn't mean that one necessarily causes the other.

If you are concerned about your child's development or have questions about the potential risks associated with baby monitors, it's always best to consult with a qualified medical professional.

They can help you understand the latest research on autism and provide you with the information and support you need to make informed decisions about your child's health and well-being.

Scientific Evidence

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics looked at the use of baby monitors and the risk of autism. The study followed more than 2,700 children and found that there was no significant association between the use of baby monitors and the risk of autism.

Another study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives looked at the exposure of pregnant women to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) from cell phones and other wireless devices. The study found that there was no significant association between prenatal exposure to EMF and the risk of autism.

While these studies suggest that baby monitors do not cause autism, more research is needed to fully understand the causes of autism.

The History of Baby Monitors

Baby monitors have come a long way since their inception in the early 1900s. The first baby monitor was invented by Eugene F. McDonald Jr., the founder of Zenith Radio Corporation, in 1937. This device, called the "Radio Nurse," consisted of a microphone that was placed near the baby and a receiver that was carried by the parent.

In the following decades, baby monitors continued to evolve and improve. In the 1950s, Fisher-Price introduced its first baby monitor, which used a wire to transmit sound from the nursery to a receiver in another room.

By the 1970s, wireless technology had advanced enough to allow for cordless baby monitors that could transmit sound without wires.

The 1990s saw the introduction of video baby monitors, which allowed parents to not only hear but also see their babies while they slept or played. These devices quickly became popular among parents who wanted an extra level of security and peace of mind.

Today's baby monitors are more sophisticated than ever before, with features such as night vision cameras, two-way audio communication, and even sensors that can detect a baby's breathing patterns. Many modern baby monitors also connect to Wi-Fi networks and can be controlled via smartphone apps.

While technology has certainly made it easier for parents to keep an eye on their little ones, it's important to remember that no device can replace parental vigilance and attention. Baby monitors are simply one tool among many that parents can use to ensure their children's safety and well-being.

The Benefits of Using Baby Monitors for Parents

Using a baby monitor can provide numerous benefits for parents, including peace of mind and increased convenience. With a baby monitor, parents can keep an eye on their little ones without having to physically check on them every few minutes. This means that they can go about their daily tasks or get some much-needed rest while still being able to respond quickly if their baby needs attention.

Baby monitors are especially helpful for parents who have infants with health conditions or who were born prematurely. These babies may require additional monitoring and care, and a baby monitor can help parents stay alert to any changes in their baby's breathing or movements.

In addition to providing reassurance and convenience, baby monitors can also help improve the quality of sleep for both parents and babies.

By using a baby monitor, parents can be confident that they will be alerted if their baby wakes up or needs attention during the night. This means that they can relax and get a better night's sleep themselves, knowing that they won't miss any important signals from their little one.

Overall, using a baby monitor is an effective way for parents to ensure the safety and well-being of their children while also giving themselves some much-needed peace of mind. Whether you choose an audio or video monitor, investing in a high-quality device will provide you with the assurance you need to confidently navigate parenthood.

Other Environmental Factors that May Contribute to Autism

While baby monitors have not been identified as a significant risk factor for autism, there are other environmental factors that have been shown to contribute to its development. These factors include:

Prenatal and Perinatal Factors

Research has shown that certain prenatal and perinatal factors can increase the risk of autism. For example, exposure to air pollution during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of autism.

Additionally, complications during labor and delivery, such as oxygen deprivation or premature birth, can also increase the likelihood of developing autism.

Parental Age

Studies have found that the age of parents at the time of conception can impact the risk of developing autism in their children. Children born to older parents, particularly older fathers, are more likely to develop autism than those born to younger parents.

Medications During Pregnancy

Some medications taken during pregnancy have been associated with an increased risk of autism. For example, one study found that taking antidepressants during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of autism in children.

Chemical Exposure

Exposure to certain chemicals has also been linked to an increased risk of autism. For example, studies have found that exposure to pesticides and phthalates (chemicals found in some plastics) may be associated with an increased risk of developing autism.

While these environmental factors may play a role in the development of autism, genetics also play a significant role. It is likely that a combination of genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of this complex disorder.

Tips for Reducing Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields from Wireless Devices

While the scientific evidence does not support the claim that baby monitors cause autism, some parents may still be concerned about exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) from wireless devices. Here are some tips for reducing your family's exposure to EMF:

1. Use Wired Devices

One way to reduce your family's exposure to EMF is to use wired devices whenever possible. For example, you can use a wired internet connection instead of Wi-Fi, and a wired phone instead of a cell phone.

2. Keep Devices Away from Your Body

When using wireless devices like cell phones or tablets, it's important to keep them away from your body as much as possible. This means avoiding carrying them in your pocket or holding them up against your ear for long periods of time.

3. Turn Off Wireless Devices When Not in Use

Another way to reduce exposure to EMF is to turn off wireless devices when you're not actively using them. This includes turning off Wi-Fi routers and unplugging baby monitors when they're not needed.

4. Choose Low-EMF Devices

When shopping for new devices, look for ones that emit low levels of EMF. Many manufacturers now offer products that have been tested and certified as having low levels of EMF emissions.

By following these tips, you can help reduce your family's exposure to EMF from wireless devices and ease any concerns you may have about their potential health effects.

The Importance of Early Detection and Intervention for Children with Autism

Early detection and intervention are crucial for children with autism. The earlier a child is diagnosed, the sooner they can begin receiving the support and services they need to thrive.

Research has shown that early intervention can lead to significant improvements in communication skills, socialization, and behavior for children with autism. In fact, studies have found that some children who receive early intervention may no longer meet the criteria for an autism diagnosis by the time they reach school age.

There are many different interventions available for children with autism, including behavioral therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and more. These interventions are tailored to each child's individual needs and can help them develop important skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

In addition to providing direct support and services to children with autism, early detection also allows parents to better understand their child's unique needs and strengths.

This knowledge can help parents advocate for their child's needs in school and other settings, ensuring that they receive the accommodations and support they need to succeed.

Overall, early detection and intervention are essential for ensuring that children with autism have the best possible outcomes.

If you suspect that your child may be showing signs of autism or developmental delay, it's important to seek out a qualified medical professional who can provide a comprehensive evaluation and connect you with appropriate resources.

How to Properly Install and Use a Baby Monitor?

Proper installation and use of a baby monitor is crucial for ensuring maximum safety and effectiveness. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your device:

1. Choose the Right Location

When installing your baby monitor, it's important to choose the right location. Place the camera in a spot where you can see your baby clearly, but make sure it's out of reach so that your child can't accidentally knock it over or grab at the cords.

2. Secure Cords and Wires

Make sure that all cords and wires are properly secured so that they don't pose a tripping hazard or become entangled with other objects in the room. If you're using a cordless monitor, keep the charging base out of reach of children.

3. Test Your Connection

Before relying on your baby monitor, test its connection to ensure that you can hear and see your child clearly. Make sure that both the camera and receiver are properly charged or plugged in, and adjust the volume settings as needed.

4. Check for Interference

Sometimes, other wireless devices in your home can interfere with your baby monitor's signal. If you notice any static or interference, try moving the camera or receiver to a different location or adjusting their positions slightly.

5. Follow Manufacturer Instructions

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing and using your baby monitor. This will help ensure that you're using the device safely and effectively, as well as avoid any potential damage to the device itself.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your baby monitor is installed and used properly for maximum safety and effectiveness.


Can baby monitors emit harmful radiation?

All electronic devices emit some form of electromagnetic radiation, including baby monitors. However, studies have shown that the levels of radiation emitted by baby monitors are well below the safety limits set by regulatory agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Are audio or video baby monitors better for my child's health?

There is no evidence to suggest that either audio or video baby monitors are more harmful to your child's health. The choice between them is a matter of personal preference and what works best for your family's needs.

How far away should I place the baby monitor from my child's crib?

It is recommended to place the baby monitor at least three feet away from your child's crib to reduce the risk of strangulation or other accidents.

Can using a baby monitor prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?

While there is no evidence to suggest that using a baby monitor can prevent SIDS, it can help parents respond quickly if their child experiences any breathing difficulties or other sudden changes in their condition.

How long should I use a baby monitor for?

The length of time you use a baby monitor depends on your individual needs and preferences. Some parents may choose to use it until their child is old enough to communicate effectively, while others may continue using it for longer periods of time.


In conclusion, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that baby monitors cause autism. Studies have not identified baby monitors as a significant risk factor for autism.

While the causes of autism are not yet fully understood, genetics and environmental factors are known to play a role in its development. Parents can continue to use baby monitors as a helpful tool to monitor their babies' safety and well-being.