Baby monitors, along with diaper bags and other essentials, frequently end up on registries and lists of items needed before your precious little one arrives. Many first-time (and even experienced) parents view them as something that they have to have in order to keep an eye on their infant and put their minds at ease when their little one is out of their sight.
In order to choose the best baby monitor for your needs, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of even having one in the first place, not to mention the features that each model contains. To make things a bit easier for you, we've listed some of the best baby monitors here as well. So, let's get started!
Advantages of a Baby Monitor
There are numerous advantages to having a baby monitor installed in your baby's room. These handy devices allow you to keep an eye on your baby without having to be in the same space. This means you can be elsewhere in the house and still be able to hear your little one crying when they wake up from their nap. This is just one of the many advantages. There are others, like:
Surveillance and Safety – The number one advantage of a baby monitor is the ability to keep an eye on your little one from anywhere in the home. If you're worried about your little one moving around in their crib and getting stuck, simply keeping an eye on the video monitor can let you know if and when this happens, so you’re able to go in and adjust their position. Plus, if you want to see what goes on when the babysitter or nanny is present, the video monitor does that as well.
Communicate with Your Infant – Many baby monitors allow for two-way communication. Not only will you hear your little one crying or babbling to themselves, but soothing them with your voice is possible as well, simply by talking through the device. They'll hear you, thanks to the speaker on their end of the monitor.
- Take Care of Yourself – Look at it this way – new parents rarely have time for a shower or to do other things to take care of themselves. Why? Because they are so busy with their infants. With a baby monitor, taking that much-needed shower or spending some time napping yourself is an option because you'll be able to hear your baby cry. This gives you the precious few moments of me-time that you need.
Disadvantages of a Baby Monitor
While baby monitors have plenty of advantages, there are a few disadvantages as well. In order to truly weigh whether or not you want to even add a baby monitor to your registry, there are a few things that you need to consider, such as:
Hacking – You've no doubt heard the stories about baby monitors that end up getting hacked. Random voices end up going over the feed, video streams are interrupted, and other disturbing things can occur. This is scary enough when you're home and know that your baby is safely in its room, and even more so when you're out and your child is with a sitter. Thankfully, there are some models that are easier to hack than others, and choosing one of them solves the problem.
Parental Anxiety – Becoming a new parent tends to bring plenty of anxiety along with it. And sometimes, a baby monitor can make this even worse. The need to check the monitor frequently can lead to new parents sitting there and staring at the monitor while the baby sleeps, preventing them from completing any necessary self-care tasks or chores. If you're worried that this, a baby monitor may not be for you.
- Signal Interference – In some cases, the signals produced by the baby monitor can interfere with other ones in the home, especially if you have smart home appliances installed, like those linked to Google, Amazon, and Apple. These crossed signals can cause the baby monitor and those other appliances to not work properly, leading to problems across the board. Make sure to check the signals used by the baby monitor models that you're considering before you choose one to purchase.
Features to Look for in a Baby Monitor
Things have changed quite a bit in the baby monitor field. Gone are the days when a monitor only had a single speaker on your end and a microphone on the other. Now, there are baby monitors that fit inside diaper bags, as well as those that come with a video camera to watch your baby's movements. Among the most up to date features are:
Video Capabilities – Practically every baby monitor these days comes with video capabilities. These videos allow you to keep an eye on your baby while they're asleep, no matter where you are in the house.
Portability – Planning to take your baby monitor and your baby with you? Choose a portable model that fits into a diaper bag. Look for small, lightweight models that use a smartphone app (more on those in a minute) instead of a second monitor piece. This makes them much less bulky to carry around.
Speakers – Although old school monitors had one-way speakers, the newer models have two-way ones, allowing you to speak to your baby through the device. This makes it easy to soothe them back to sleep, without having to physically go into the room.
- Smartphone Apps – One of the coolest things about today's baby monitors is the fact that they use smartphone apps instead of a separate monitor section. In the past, you had to carry the monitor section around with you, but thanks to technological advances, you can use an accompanying app on your smartphone, which you most likely have on hand anyway.
Best Baby Monitor Models
Now that you know more about the advantages and disadvantages of baby monitors, as well as the various features that some have, it's time to peruse some of the best options for you and your precious little one. Here are the top recommended baby monitors on the market you have to choose from:
1) Nanit Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor
The hefty price tag (over $200) on this baby monitor is justified, thanks to the many features that it contains. Want to monitor your baby's sleep over time? The monitor does just that, but only if you subscribe to the additional app features. It also has live audio and video streams that you can listen to and view on your phone, thanks to the free features on the app. The streams transmit over Wi-Fi, so you won't have to worry about the monitor interfering with anything. Plus, it can be crib or wall-mounted.
2) Philips Avent SCD-570 Baby Monitor
If you have a big house or plan to spend time in large spaces with your little one, then this Philips Avent SCD-570 is for you. This monitor operates in a very large range, up to 980 feet, making it perfect for parents who want to wander the house or spend time in the basement while their infant sleeps upstairs. But not to worry, you’ll still hear and see them perfectly. The downside is that this model doesn't operate with an app, so you need to carry the other half of the device with you at all times.
3) V Tech DM223
Sometimes, you just want a baby monitor that’s simple, user-friendly, and doesn't come with all the confusing bells and whistles. Whether you want a portable model to take with you on the go or prefer to only have audio – not video – come through the feed, the V Tech DM223 is a great option. Made by a reputable company, this simple and budget-friendly model is easy to set up, use, and take with you whenever necessary.
4) Eufy SpaceView Baby Monitor
If you want a baby monitor that produces video but is still easy to set up and use, then look to the Eufy SpaceView. Complete with a monitor side that looks futuristic and includes a built-in camera, as well as an app, this baby monitor can be up and running in no time, which is great for those who prefer not to spend hours getting it set up.
5) Miku Smart Baby Monitor
For parents who want a baby monitor that does it all, look no further than the Miku Smart Baby Monitor. This one has a high-definition HD camera, can monitor the temperature and humidity in your baby's room (as well as their breathing and sleeping patterns), and comes with a free app that doesn't require a subscription to access some of the fancier features.
In Summary: Choosing a Baby Monitor
With so many awesome baby monitors out there, how can you decide which one to pick? It’s actually pretty easy! After weighing the pros and cons of having one in the first place and then examining the available features, check out the list of possible options, and then pick the one within your budget that has the features that you need. Then, simply place it on your registry or buy it yourself before your precious little one arrives. It's that simple. For most parents, a baby monitor is a definite must-have!