Excessive use of camera monitors creating 'helicopter parents'

New parents who excessively use video monitors to watch over their babies are being advised to trust their instincts.

Sleep consultants say baby camera technology, which retails for up to $400, may be creating a generation of "helicopter parents".

Founder of one of the country's biggest sleep agencies Baby Sleep Consultant NZ, Emma Purdue says her staff have a name for it- "video monitor syndrome".

The new generation of baby monitors with a camera, and in-room heat sensors sync to apps on a parent's phone, even an iPad at the office, and sleep consultants worry it's making parents unnecessarily anxious.

Serene Sleep expert and workshop tutor Anne Faamausili says "the high-tech devices amplify sound so you're not only going to hear every snuffle squeak and movement you're going to see it as well, parents are misinterpreting those moments and think they need to jump in and intervene."

She adds, constantly checking your baby on the camera also "eats into your own sleep time or precious time out" from your child.

Mother of two Lauren Menzies says it can be tempting to watch her baby Sienna's every move, but her sleep consultant has taught her to trust her instincts.

"Oh no you think she's in a funny position, do I go up, do I not? Hopefully, she'll be okay but you do start to overthink things."

Like us, babies wake between five and 10 times a night.  

"Parents are getting overanxious about those wakings and having a lot of self-doubt, thinking something is wrong and they need to intervene whereas their baby is just navigating a sleep cycle, changing position," says Faamausili. 

Not everyone can afford a baby monitor, let alone a sleep consultant but Newshub spoke to several sleep companies around New Zealand who advise parents and their own polls suggest 90 percent of their clients are using a camera monitor.

Faamausili says camera monitors definitely have a place for keeping watch over sick or premature babies, just don't rely too heavily on them.

She says "use your maternal instincts and at night maybe turn the screen off and just use the audio setting and listen out for what your baby is telling you". 

Because as any caregiver knows, your baby will usually make it very clear when they need you.