You are probably asking yourself “what is the best baby monitor? I will never forget the day when we brought our premature twins home for the first time. Olivia and I were filled with both excitement and fear. We were going into the great unknown of parenthood without the help of doctors and nurses from the NICU. The first few nights were filled with anguish and we slept with one eye open. After being through so much we rushed to check on our babies with every noise that they made. After several sleepless nights, we decided to get a baby monitor.
Having a baby monitor will give you peace of mind and help you sleep better. If there is one thing that the parents of newborns need it is sleep. A reliable baby monitor is, in my opinion, a must for parents that live in big houses or apartments. There are so many options to consider when buying a baby monitor. To make your life easier I have put together an in-depth guide to finding the best baby monitor for you.
Reasons for and against a baby monitor
Peace of Mind
A good baby monitor will last several years and can help you to make sure your baby is okay when they sleep. This peace of mind that you get from being able to monitor your baby is worth the price tag. The fewer worries that parents have the better.
Baby can sleep in their own room
When you invest in a baby monitor you will be able to leave your baby to sleep in another room. At the start, many parents sleep with their baby in a bassinet in their bedroom. When the time is ready they will progress to their own bedroom. When that time comes you will be happy to be able to monitor them despite not being in the same room.
If you are a good sleeper and do not wake up easily then a good baby monitor in your room will actually help you sleep better. Just knowing that you can hear them breath and coo in bed will help you to relax and get a good nights sleep.
Get more done
When you have a baby monitor you can go about your daily household chores and not be constantly worrying if your baby is okay. You can cook in the kitchen or do some laundry all while keeping an eye or ear on your baby in another room
With a wifi baby monitor, you can share the video with family
Modern technology is a wonder and many parents chose to buy a wifi monitor. If you share the login details with your loved ones they can log in and check on your baby. This will not be for everyone, especially those worried about security but the option is there for those that want it.
Check on your baby without disturbing them
One of the best reasons for having a baby monitor is that you can quickly check if your baby is okay without having to disturb them. If you live in an old apartment like me then checking in on your baby without disturbing them with creaky doors or floorboards is of great benefit.
Monitoring older children
The right baby monitor is not just for newborns. If you invest in the right monitor then you will be able to monitor your baby as they grow older. It can be very amusing to monitor your baby as they learn to escape from their cot.
Your baby sleeps in your room so you don’t need one.
If you sleep in the same room as your baby then there is no point in getting a baby monitor. Many parents sleep with their baby in the same room for the first year or two. Until they are sleeping in a separate room, you may not need to invest in a baby monitor.
You live in a small house or apartment
Those that live in a small house or apartment may also not need to buy a baby monitor. If you can hear every noise that your baby makes as you are not too far away then you do not need a baby monitor.
You have security cameras
If you live in a big fancy house with a surveillance system and cameras in place then you may not need a baby monitor. You can monitor your baby through your security system instead.
You have a “live in” Nanny.
Those that are lucky enough to have a “live in” nanny may also not need to invest in a baby monitor. Your nanny is your baby monitor.
You co-sleep with your baby
Co-sleeping is a debatable topic and often starts heated debates. If you are a parent that chooses to co-sleep then a baby monitor is not necessary for you.
You are a very light sleeper
Are you a very light sleeper? If the answer is yes then a baby monitor is not right for you. A good baby monitor will pick up even the slightest noise and amplify it over the speaker. Light sleepers will be disturbed by this and sleep even worse.
Baby Monitors can be expensive
If you have just had a baby then you will realise that there are a lot of expensive things that you need to buy. A baby monitor is a luxury product that is a nice to have but not a need to have. If you are on a budget then there are more important things that you need to buy. You may also consider picking up a second-hand baby monitor if you really want one.
What is a baby monitor?
A baby monitor is a wireless radio system that allows you to remotely monitor your baby. Baby monitors transmit audio signals from a microphone transmitter unit to a separate monitor/speaker. Many baby monitors come with a video camera that transmits video and audio to a separate monitor. Some baby monitors have two-way communication which enables parents to speak back to their children.
Do you need a baby monitor from birth?
You do not need a baby monitor from birth. This is especially true if your baby sleeps in the same room as you. If you live in a small house or apartment then you do not need a baby monitor. If your baby sleeps in a separate room and you cannot hear them easily then a baby monitor is a worthwhile investment. The most important question that any parent needs to ask themselves is “where will my baby sleep?”
Do you need a baby monitor with a video?
There are many benefits to buying a baby monitor that has video but it comes with a price. Many parents opt for a sound monitor as it is considerably cheaper. You do not need a video monitor but a good baby video monitor is worth the investment.
The biggest reason to get a baby monitor with a video is that you can see your baby while they sleep. This will help worried parents to reduce their anxiety. It will save you a lot of time to monitor a baby from the comfort of your living room without having to get up with every whimper. A video will help you see that your baby is sleeping safely in their bed.
Being a parent is a constant game of trying to get your baby to sleep. Trying to create a baby sleeping routine will help you with this process. A baby monitor with a video will help you see if those tears are just crocodile tears or if something serious is wrong.
A baby monitor with a video has it benefits as your baby gets older. As they progress to their own bed you can monitor their behaviour. Are they actually going to sleep or are they running around the bedroom like raging lunatic? If nothing else, having a video can be an amusing way to watch your little one’s actions when you are not around.
Do you need a baby monitor in small house or apartment?
I would say no. If you live in a small house or apartment then you do not need a baby monitor. If you are of a nervous disposition then you have to decide if the peace of mind is worth the investment. Baby monitors can be expensive and you live in a small house and your baby sleeps in your room then a monitor is a luxury that you can live without.
How to chose the Best Baby Monitor for you. 15 factors to consider when buying a baby monitor:
When it comes to buying a baby monitor the options are varied and so is the price range. If you are on a budget then you can pick up a used audio baby monitor second hand online for under $10. On the opposite end of the scale, you can get a gold plated royal baby monitor for £35,000 ($39,685). There are options for all budgets and it depends on what your requirements are. The key is to ask yourself the right questions. Do you want video or audio? Do you need multiple transmitters?
There are many types of a baby monitor for you to chose from. The main types are an Audio baby monitor, radio frequency video baby monitor, Wi-fi(cloud-based) baby monitor. For me, the best type of monitor that you can get is radio frequency video monitor. These type of monitors provide you with the security of seeing and hearing that your baby is okay.
In this day and age security is a big issue for parents. Stories of cloud-based wife baby phones are not uncommon. Click here to read stories from the huff post and BuzzFeed. If you are worried about security then I would recommend that you do not get a wifi baby monitor. Click here to read more about how to find a hack-proof baby monitor.
The battery life of your baby monitor is one of the most important factors that you should take into consideration when you are buying a baby phone. You need a baby phone that will last through the night or at least for 8 hours. Make sure that you find a baby monitor that has a rechargeable battery that lasts.
If you live in a big house or have a big garden then you will have to take range into consideration. Obviously, wifi or cloud-based baby monitors are the best for the range but you are taking your security into your own hands. Audio monitors have a decent range but usually, lose signal at about 600-700 feet. Radio frequency models have the shortest range but if you live in a normal size house then you should not have any issues.
Audio and image quality
The more you the pay the better the quality of the audio and image on your baby monitor. When it comes to video you want a monitor that can clearly distinguish your babies facial features in the dark as they sleep. The screen resolution is not a deal breaker. What you need is a screen that you can see clearly at night as your baby sleeps. When it comes to audio monitors you need to be able to clearly hear your baby as they sleep in another room.
The higher end camera baby monitors are pretty high tech surveillance units. You can remotely pan, tilt and zoom in your baby from the screen on the monitor. There are also wide angle lenses and mounts for the wall. You should consider these factors as you make your decision on which camera is best for you and your baby.
Get a baby monitor with a frequency over 900 MHZ.
This is especially important if you are buying an audio baby monitor. The higher the frequency the lower the interference on the monitor. Baby monitors with higher frequencies will also have increased clarity.
Consider a baby monitor with easy to see “low battery life”
A low battery indicator that is easily visible is important when choosing a baby monitor. You want to make sure that the battery is charged when you are using the handheld unit. a clearly visible battery indicator will make it easier for you to make sure the battery does not die
Wireless is better
A wireless receiver is a must when buying a baby monitor. Most come with a clip or lanyard that you can clip to your belt or put around your neck. This feature will give you the options to do your chores around the house while monitoring your baby.
Baby monitors with sound activated lights are more useful
Sound activated lights on the receiver are very handy. If you are listening to music or hoovering then you can do so without worrying. The light display on the receiver will light up if your baby is making sounds.
If you are worried about size then consider both the size of the monitor and the receiver. If you are worried about how much space the monitor will take up then buy a smaller one. The baby monitors with smaller receivers are very convenient. For those that are not worried about security then consider a wifi monitor.
Multiple transmitters are a good for bigger families and bigger homes
If you live in a very big house or have a big family then you may need to consider a baby monitor that has the option for multiple monitors and receivers. Some models come with two receivers. Wifi baby monitors will usually have the option for multiple receivers.
Is a baby Monitor Safe?
There is a debate over the safety of baby monitors. Most reviews do not go into detail about the safety of baby monitors. Could baby monitors influence your baby’s health Safebaby have said:”All wireless baby monitors emit non-ionizing radiation (NIR). NIR has two kinds of effects on our bodies: (1) a thermal effect and (2) a non-thermal effect.” For more information on the effects of baby monitors on babies read this article.
The Best Baby Monitor:
Now that you are fully informed you probably have a better idea of what kind of baby monitor you want to buy. To make your life easier I have created 12 sections for the best baby monitors. Based on this criteria you will be able to make a more informed purchasing decision.
1.The best baby monitor
Winner of the Best Baby Monitor
If you do not have time to do your research and want to the best baby monitor that money can buy then look no further. Infant Optics DXR-8 has everything that you need from a baby monitor. Good battery life, quality night imaging, good sound and clear monitor.
The monitor has a clear display both during the day and at night. The DXR-8 is intuitive and easy to use for all parents, even when sleep deprived. One of the most important things for a baby monitor is the battery life. Compared to most other brands the DXR-8 has a battery life that will last longer, 8 hours +. A standout feature is that it has got two lenses. There are pan and scan functions that are automated and can be controlled by the display unit.
If you are not worried about the price and want the most advanced easy to baby monitor on the market then this is the one for you. If you find the price offputting then consider one of the more affordable options.
Runner-Up for Best Baby Monitor
I decided to choose a runner-up that was not just an audio monitor. The best baby phone without a camera is the Philips AVENT DECT Baby Monitor SCD580/01. If you are looking for a baby monitor that can monitor only your babies sound then you will not be disappointed. It comes with many bells and whistles that will help you to get your baby to sleep. Out of the packet, it is super easy to use and set up. It picks up every little sound that your baby makes and has sound level lights that light up with every sound.
One of the best things about this monitor is that the battery life on the handset lasts over 8 hours. The baby unit is beautifully designed and includes a projector that displays a pretty collage on the roof. The projector also has a speaker that has 6 lullabies. Babies like adults are creatures of habit, displaying the light on the roof combined with the lullabies creates a sleeping routine that can help your baby to fall asleep.
If you are looking to buy a baby monitor then do your research. There are a lot of options for you. As some baby monitors can be quite expensive, I would recommend taking your time before you make your buying decision. Ask yourself what is important and then read as many reviews as you can. This way you will get the best baby monitor for your individual needs.