When it comes to ensuring that you baby is safe and making sure that you can always get to them when they need you, you will have to rely on a baby monitor. The idea behind these is so that if they are upset or wake up from their sleep requiring food or changing, then you will be able to tend to them as needed.
Baby monitors allow you to see and hear your sleeping baby from any other room in your house. There are of course two types of baby monitor these are, video with audio and just audio. Most of the models have a base transmitter which contains a microphone and in higher end models a camera. The portable unit allows you to move to any room in the house whilst still being able to see and hear your baby.
With technology constantly advancing, it is now possible to connect the monitor to your smartphone which replaces the need for the portable unit. Audio monitors are usually either analogue or digital, the analogue models are usually a lot cheaper, however they can suffer from interference from other devices around the house. Things such as wireless phones, Wi-Fi, and microwaves, all of these can affect the sound quality received.
The digital monitors which are by far the most popular but priciest option available. These give a longer range, so if you have a large house then you won’t lose signal, not to mention that it gives better privacy and a clearer reception which isn’t affected as heavily as the analogue models. Audio only models give more features which include: movement sensors and talk-back which will allow you to soothe your baby no matter where you are in the house.
The video monitors which are usually connected to your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to see a live stream from the camera and also gives digital sound to the receiving portable unit, or your mobile phone depending on the model purchased. Most of these units are portable and can reach ranges of up to 200m, many even come equipped with a night light also, which gives it multiple purposes. Like some of the audio baby monitors which are available, these video monitors will report on the temperature of the room, dependant on the model you purchase. With the advancements in the baby cam arena, there has been a significant number of features which have been added such as: two-way audio, night vision and the ability to rotate and zoom to get the best picture/view when monitoring your child. Some of the features available on the higher end models include: motion detection, breathing monitor and the ability to record footage, storing it on your home computer.
Choosing a Baby Monitor
There are a lot of great baby monitors on the market today, many of these offer great features, but if you are a new parent, the wide range of choice can be daunting. It all can depend on what exactly you are looking for, whether you need an audio or video model, or if you simply require a simple audio one way model. Many people are against the use of these baby monitors, but for new parents they give peace of mind when it comes to their baby, meaning they can catch up on some T.V without needing to check on the baby every few minutes. Of course, when you enter the parenting world, you will find that it opens up a whole new world of technology specifically designed for the infant market. The usual analogue monitors seems like an antique compared with its modern day equivalent which has the ability to track movement and send everything to your smartphone. Although, when looking at these monitors it is important to note that your anxiety levels will ultimately dictate which monitor you are going to purchase. With a simple two way monitor, it will allow you to hear when your baby is having a tantrum, whilst the newer models with sensor pads will alert you when your baby hasn’t moved for a set amount of time (This can make you somewhat nervous, as not all babies move regularly when they sleep, so it is not recommended by us). When you look into the more premium models which are available, you begin to see that there are monitors which will send live streams to your mobile 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As well as this, there are options for night vision, temperature monitors and much more, all of which can be monitored from your smartphone, not to mention that some monitors give the ability to play lullabies whilst you are sat on the sofa. All of the features mentioned of course com at a price, with the premium models containing the highest amount of features, it is down to you and what you require when considering a baby monitor.
Below are good things to look for when purchasing a baby monitor, not all of them are required as it will be down to yourself to judge whether you think that a feature is right for you or not. We will discuss each feature and explain the benefits of having them.
This feature will allow you to monitor your child whilst they are in an unlit room. Giving you piece of mind no matter the lighting situation in the room where you baby currently is.
It is important that your baby monitor has the correct signal for your house, in larger houses you will lose signal more frequently if you choose a monitor which has an analogue signal. Most baby monitors have different channels to choose from, these channels will help to prevent interference to the signal especially if you live a built up area.Digital signals allow for a better connection and distance as it will provide a solid connection which will suffer less from any interference, this is where an analogue signal will fall down as it can be picked up by other radios on a similar frequency.
When it comes to the range of a monitor, it is essential that you select the best range for the size of your home. It is not recommended that you purchase a small range monitor if the distance between the room you wish to monitor and the room you will mainly be monitoring from are at a greater distance.Some monitors claim that they will still work up to 600m away, which is a bold claim to make. When looking closer into it, a good baby monitor will allow you to be around 80m away from the base unit without losing signal, however with many low end models you won’t be able to go much further than 20m away.
Sensor pads monitor your baby and whether it has been moving frequently during the night. It will sound an alarm if the baby hasn’t moved for a certain period of time or if they have stopped breathing completely. This feature can help in catching any early health problems your baby may have and will save time when it comes to emergencies.
The nightlight, which is available on some models, will help to provide a glowing light, which can helps your baby to drift off easier.
Ability to Play Lullabies and Light Displays
Some of the baby monitors on the market allow for you to play soothing lullabies to your child without the need to get up and soothe them yourself. Another feature is the lights display, this basically is a set of moving lights which monitor your baby’s sound even when you have the volume off, that way you can ensure that everything is okay without the need for the sound.
The temperature sensor which is fitted to most of the higher end models allows for you to check on the temperature of the room, it can help you to make sure that the room is at the right temperature and that the baby isn’t getting overheated.
Mains or Battery Powered
When choosing a baby monitor, you should always check to see whether it is mains or batter powered, depending on where you are going to have the monitor will depend on which type of power you will need. Many have the option of both mains and battery powered, these can be ideal when you are travelling to another country without the need to carry the whole mains transformer as well as a travel plug.
Top 3 Best Baby Monitor
Philips AVENT SCD630/37 Video Baby Monitor with FHSS
The Philips Avent Video baby monitor allows parents to watch their child from anywhere in the house. The camera provided offers the ability to monitor the child both day and night by the use of infrared technology, the feed from the camera is viewed on a 3.5-inch color screen which comes included with the product.
The main feature of the product is the camera module. This allows parents to watch their child at any time through the use of infrared technology. The camera module also includes an infrared thermometer to monitor the ambient temperature of the room, a remote controlled nightlight and two-way audio with the control module in order to let the parents interact and calm the baby when it is worked up about something.The control module includes a 3.5 inch LED backlit screen to enable parents to view the footage and hear the audio from the camera, as well as this, the built-in microphone, allows for the two-way communication. The screen also provides a clear quality image to make it obvious what’s happening in the room.
- Many built-in features allow for in-depth details of what’s happening in the baby’s room.
- Backlit screen allows image to viewed even in the dark
- FHSS means that the only person watching your baby is you.
- The thermometer allows for monitoring the ambient temperature of the room.
- Relatively expensive means that it may be difficult for first-time parents to afford.
- Fairly short indoor range means it would be easy to lose range.
- No low battery or lack of signal means it could be easy to lose the signal with the camera.
- Static camera means that product is unable to track a mobile baby around the room.
The product has received generally positive reviews from users, with many praising the fact that it is well built and provides a high-quality audio and visual interface.
ComfortCam Pro HD Baby Monitor
The Comfort Cam pro is a very feature rich baby monitor which can rival the features of many high-end home security cameras. This baby monitor camera like the others in our top 3 offers you versatility with the camera system rather than a traditional intercom style monitor whilst still keeping these features intact. The Comfort Cam is stylish, compact and utilizes smartphone technology to help you integrate it into your day to day routine easily.
One of the best stands out features of this product is it’s Pan and tilt features, offering you 350deg of pan and 120deg of tilt all controllable with swiping motions on your smartphone. This feature offers you a very easy to use the system from the palm of your hand and is ideal for being able to monitor the entire room creating a longer lifespan of the product as you can keep tabs on a whole play room and not just a cot. This s also helped by an included mounting system to let you position the camera in an optimal place in the room for a maximum field of view.Besides the products nice camera supported by LED lighting for night time use the product also features impressive audio processing. You can set up sound alerts to let you know when you need to tune into the camera and keep an eye on the room. With the inclusion of a speaker, you can also communicate with the child without having to be in the room to talk to them.
- Motion and Audio alerts
- Night vision
- Impressive Pan and Tilt
- Smartphone integration
- Wall / Ceiling mounts provided
- Fully reliant on Wi-fi
- Requires subscription to cloud-based services
The Comfort Cam Pro has received very positive reviews on the whole with customers noting the feature rich product for the price point it sits in. However, are not happy with the subscription costs.
Summer Infant Dual View Digital Video Monitor Set with 3 Cameras
The Summer infant Dual View baby monitor allows for visual monitoring of up to three rooms at any one time. It does this by making use of a split screen function on the monitor screen. As well as this, the monitor includes many other features, such as two ways communication and the ability to pan, zoom and tilt the cameras remotely from the control makes this monitor incredibly convenient and useful for children with more than one child.
- Multiple cameras and split-screen allow parents to watch more than one room at any one time.
- Remote control allows the camera to tilt, zoom and pan as required, meaning that they can be used to keep track of more mobile children.
- Low battery and low signal warnings allow parents to deal with an issue with the product before they lose the signal.
- 3.5 inch LCD screen allows for high definition images to be viewed easily.
- Two-way communication allows for parents to talk to their child without having to be in the room with them.
- 3 camera come included with the product.
- Inbuilt LED noise monitor allows users to mute the sound on their control module while still being able to monitor the sound in their child’s room.
- The product is relatively expensive meaning that it may be difficult for parents to afford whilst still looking after their child
- Split screen function only allows you to monitor the audio from one room at a time.
- product has a tendency to glitch, meaning that the parents can’t always see the image on their screen.
The product has received largely positive reviews, with customers praising the ability to switch between all the cameras easily, and that the quality of the image from the camera is very high. However, some customers are unhappy with the fact that the product can sometimes glitch, leaving them unable to see the feed from the camera.
Whether you are a first time parent or have had the experience of having children before, it can also be useful to do your research before purchasing a baby monitor. There is a great deal of features which are now available and even having experience with children before, there may be features which you didn’t have the first time around.There are a great range of monitors out there and you should get together a list of everything you need the monitor to do before considering your purchase. This will allow you to get a monitor which ticks all the boxes.