How to choose the best baby monitor

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Written By DonaldMoon

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How to choose the best baby monitor

A baby monitor allows you to hear your baby and send soothing sounds to them.You can continue with your day knowing that you will be there when your baby calls. These are great for large houses, especially if your baby’s bedroom is far from your living spaces or kitchen. While basic audio-only baby monitors still work, you might be interested in other features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity, movement sensors, or video.

Is it necessary to have a baby monitor since birth?

Before you start researching baby monitors, you need to understand when to use one. You can do what you want, there are no set rules. However, we recommend that you use one as soon as you leave your baby alone for any length of time.

Even if only one parent is watching, it may be worthwhile to get a baby monitor right away. If there is an emergency, everyone in the home will be notified quickly. Remote access is possible on some models, so that one parent can get updates from work and the other at home.

What is the working principle of baby monitors?

There are two main categories of baby monitors:

  • Audio is essentially a walkie talkie between you and your baby’s bedroom. These were common for decades but have been mostly replaced by video systems.
  • Video: This system sends a video feed to a camera and to a tablet-like device, or your smartphone through an app. If the system is app-based, you can purchase the monitor and then download the official app for your tablet or smartphone.

These devices transmit audio and video using a proprietary signal or radio, Wi-Fi, or a mobile network (3/4/5G). If the product supports video, some brands use walkie talkies. We’ve seen many manufacturers switch to apps over their tablet in the past few years. All you have to do is connect your phone with the baby monitor.

The microphone will pick up any noises your baby makes during sleep or if it starts to cry, and send it to you. You can also get audio alerts from some video monitors if there is any movement or no movement for a prolonged period of time.

How much do baby monitors cost?

Some baby monitors are as cheap as $50 for an app. However, we have tested other monitors that cost between $50 and $800. We recommend that you choose a few baby monitors under $100.

Are all baby monitors Wi-Fi enabled?

There are many baby monitors available that use radio or a proprietary signal, or mobile networks like 3G, 4G, or 5G. A Wi-Fi unit, especially if there is good internet coverage, is the best choice.

They are only useful if the Wi-Fi signal strength is high and there are no obstructions like walls. This also depends on how many devices you have connected to your home network at the same time. These can slow down performance and clog up the network. For example, if you have four members of your family, you might consider a modem router/router that has a lot of bandwidth.

Sound range, interference, and sensitivity

The baby monitor must be able to maintain high quality sound and image, even when you are at another end of the house. It should be able pick up soft sounds and reproduce them. While build quality is important, interference from other devices can also be an issue.

Common radio frequencies can cause interference and signal loss from nearby devices, including cordless phones, microwaves and baby monitors. Some monitors allow you to choose from multiple frequencies to minimize interference. Others that use DECT (digital enhancement cordless communication), are more private and offer less interference because the frequency isn’t as common as other devices.

Connecting your smartphone and a baby monitor

Yes, you can use a baby monitor to replace a radio or an included tablet. This is an excellent option in many aspects.

  • If Wi-Fi is lost, your smartphone can backup using mobile data
  • Your smartphone is always with you, or at your fingertips.
  • Remote access is often included so that you can check in from work even if your baby’s with a relative or babysitter.
  • You only have to pay for the monitor.

You should also be aware of the battery life as smartphones can quickly drain. You can use your smartphone to make calls, send texts, and watch videos, but a baby monitor is only one thing.

Keep in mind that streaming video over a mobile network can increase your monthly data usage. Limit your streaming and connect to Wi Fi as often as you can if you have a low data limit.

Use a security camera to monitor your baby

Branding and aesthetics are often what make a difference between a baby monitor and a security camera. To test how well they compare, we often add one to two security cameras to baby monitor tests. Most modern security cameras can connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi or mobile Data. They do not come with a viewing device.

You may consider this option if you have security cameras in your home. However, you won’t be able to play soothing music or two-way audio communication with your baby.

Use a baby monitor app

Download the appropriate app to each smartphone or tablet and you can make them a baby monitor system. You have many options, and they are relatively inexpensive.

The device’s microphone and camera are used to monitor baby’s movements and sounds. The ‘parent’ device allows you to monitor your baby from anywhere you may be.

What should you look for in a baby-monitoring device?

  • You should now have made your decision about what you want.
  • A baby monitor that can be used as an audio-only or video/audio device.
  • A monitor that has a dedicated listening/viewing device or one that is connected to a smartphone app.

Choose the type of connection you would like to use.

Once you’ve got these points down, you can begin to think about additional features and functions.

Monitor movement

When the baby is unresponsive or restless for a certain time, this alarm will sound. Instructions will indicate the time limit.

Infrared camera

This is helpful if your baby’s bedroom gets dark at night or if they are being monitored at night. Keep in mind that the image will appear as black and white, and may have poor contrast.

Sound indicator lights

When your baby cries, the visual sound indicators will turn on to notify you. These indicators allow you to see the sound your baby makes, rather than hearing it. This is especially useful if your baby is hearing impaired, you are talking on the phone or have visitors. This is also useful if you don’t want to wake any other children who are sleeping nearby.

Camera mount type

A variety of mounts are available to place your camera in different locations. This is especially important if you live in a rental house where it may be difficult to mount the camera to a wall.

  • Flat surface: The camera can be placed on a chest, changing table, windowsill, or other type of storage. This mount is the most popular.
  • Clamp This allows you to attach the camera to a side bookcase, the top of a bassinet or floor lamp.
  • Wall mount: Includes drilling the camera into the wall. These mounts are the most versatile, allowing you to position the camera wherever you like.

Camera viewing angle

A shallow angle will not show everything in front of the camera. If you are able to position your monitor so that the baby can’t move, this is a good option.

A camera with a wider angle captures more of the room, which can be useful in situations where space is limited or when you need to monitor multiple children. Some cameras can also be controlled remotely using pan and zoom functions. This allows you to keep a better eye on what’s happening.

Two-way communication

The baby monitor will have a speaker that you can use to communicate with your child. This can be helpful if your baby is restless. However, you don’t want it to wake up by entering a room where it can smell or feel you. You can also use it to communicate quickly with the baby in their room, even if they don’t have a phone.

Monitor for baby room temperature

This allows you to set a temperature limit. When the temperature in your room goes beyond or below these limits, the monitor will sound an alarm.

Multi-cam support

You have the option of connecting additional cameras to the account. These can be placed in the same or multiple rooms, depending on whether you want to monitor more than one child. This is usually possible with a single app from the same manufacturer.

Night light and Lullaby mode

It plays a soothing tune to soothe your baby or to help you relax if it is restless. For babies who don’t like the darkness, they often come with a nightlight.

Battery power

Backup option to keep the camera running in case the mains goes out or it is accidentally unplugged.

Video recording

Although it is possible to record footage from some video baby monitors, this feature is not a standard one. To store your footage, you will need an SD card if it is available. Make sure to read the instructions before you purchase an SD card.

Security and privacy concerns regarding baby monitors

An audio baby monitor that operates on public transmission frequencies means that anyone can listen to the conversations of others who have a receiver (such a walkie-talkie or two-way radio) within range of the baby monitor.

Set up a Wi Fi enabled baby monitor with a password that is only you. This password should be different from your local Wi Fi password. You could expose your connection to hackers if you don’t change the default password for your camera (which often is blank). Hackers can remotely shout at babies using unsecured Wi-Fi baby monitoring systems, or accessing open webcam feeds without a unique password.

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