Long gone are the days where parents silently peeked in on a sleeping baby in the nursery. In fact, today, they don’t have to worry about waking baby thanks to baby monitors. These monitoring systems use a camera to keep a watchful eye on the sleeping babe. While you’re busy doing other things, you’ll have a handheld device to peek in on your sleeping little one. You won’t have to worry about tiptoeing in and startling or waking your baby. You can check on your baby from any room in your home as long as you have the baby monitor handheld device with you.
Do You Really Need A Monitoring System?
If you’re sleeping in the same room as your baby, or if you live in a very small space, you might not require one. You’ll be able to see your baby easily if that is the case. Otherwise, you may appreciate the investment and the convenience of a baby monitor. You won’t have to stand outside of the nursery listening and peering in to see what baby is doing. You’ll be able to see it all from your handheld device if it’s a good one. You’ll be free to get some great sleep yourself, do your various chores, or simply enjoy some down time while your dear little one is sleeping. Ideally, the absolute best monitoring system also works very well as a nanny cam. You can keep an eye on the caregiver if you’re out of the house.
What Kind Of System Should You Get?
There are many great systems on the market today, such as the Angelcare AC1100 or the Motorola MBP36s, for example. It really will be dependent on what you’re most happy with. There are audio monitoring systems that you can listen to like the Angelcare AC401, video monitors that you can see and listen to, and quite a few others. Stores offer parents many great video monitoring systems to choose from.
There is great peace of mind for a parent to be able to check on their baby without having to worry about waking him. It can be terrifying if parents find a baby that was wrapped in their swaddling, and now has wriggled out of it and put himself in danger accidentally. It can be frightening if the child crawls out of the crib and it may be well worth the investment, if the baby is a climber, to have an extra video camera setup as well. There is a peace of mind and a great feeling of security if a parent can see what a baby is doing when they’re out of the room. Newer monitoring systems will even track the child’s sleep or their breathing with a movement clip or a smart sock that is attached to the child.
There are many great video models to choose from. There are two basic kinds. A smartphone-based unit that is very traditional and utilizes your WiFi system. And there is also a standalone system that works well too. Both kinds of monitoring devices rely on a camera that is placed in the room that the baby is in. You carry the handheld with you like a walkie-talkie, and in fact, it works much the same as a walkie-talkie. You carry it with you and can see what is going on when you’re not in your baby’s room. It’s convenient and easy. The newer kind will stream a video to the smartphone, tablet, or even an app that you can download. We provide our users with ideal selections for any parent.
How We Chose Our Top Devices
After asking thousands of families what their favorite products are, we’ve compiled our list. We took the top products that they shared and we did our own research on the products. After evaluating the products, we came up with our top list of devices for you to be able to keep an eye on your little one with. We think you and your baby will love these monitoring systems.
Nest Cam Security Cam
The Nest Cam offers a 130 degree wide-angle lens that uses an app as well as WiFi to stream the video to a smartphone. The smartphone can be IOS or Android based. It can stream to a tablet, computer, or whatever is closest to hand so that you can keep an eye on your angel with whatever is closest to you at the time. You’ll have a super clear picture, and you’ll enjoy two-way audio that will allow you to soothe baby from any room. Often, just some shushing or a quick lullaby may be all that you need as the baby is soothed back to sleep. Nest Cam offers a very sweet unit for you to use.
Nest Cam will also alert you if there is motion or other noises to be concerned about. You’ll get a few false notices now and again, especially if there are pets in the house.
Traditional And True
Samsung BabyVIEW Monitoring System
The BabyVIEW Monitor is traditional and standalone. It can zoom, as well as offer tilt and pan. It will allow you to look around the room for that wandering toddler that chose to get out of bed and play in lieu of that nap you put him down for. Just as the other models, it has a built-in mic so that you can tell your toddler to get back in bed. You can also tell baby you’ll be right there or offer up a lullaby to soothe them back to sleep. Additionally, BabyVIEW will alert you when the battery needs to be charged or if you’re out of range.
While the picture isn’t quite as clear as it is with the Nest Cam, the price is comparable. We found that the battery in the receiver drains fast.
Big Screen, Lower Price
Summer Infant Inview Digital Color With Video
Thanks to the large screen, you won’t have to squint when you’re using this model. With a large screen of 5 inches, it’s the largest screen in our top picks this year. You can zoom in and out, and while there aren’t any other bells or whistles, it does have the standard features one has come to expect in these types of systems. It works well and shows when the battery is low or out-of-range. It has sound activated lights, and the batteries are rechargeable for the handheld device.
The video quality is sharp, however, the color can be off a bit now and again.
Infant Optics DXR-8
Ranked as the Number 1 Best Seller for Amazon for quite some time, the Infant Optics DXR-8 system offers an interchangeable optical lens capacity. This means that you can customize the viewing angle. You can zoom and you can set it to use three different lenses. Normal mode with a crisp clear image, mid-range coverage, and optical zoom for ideal close-ups of your little babe while sleeping. The wide-angle lens is sold separately. You can capture the entire room using a full 170-degree panoramic setting. Along with an invisible IR night vision, this is the best optical camera of all of the monitoring devices on the whole list.
The video can be streamed wirelessly in real time. It streams to a 3.5-inch LXS color module. This offers you a crisp clear image with no grainy or pixelated imagery. A 2.4 GHz FHSS wireless view offers up both privacy as well as a delay-free picture and audio. The monitoring device itself utilizes a portable power source that will last for about 10 hours if you’re using it in power saving mode. You can have six hours if you leave the display for the entire time. You can charge it with any USB port, and this means you can use your laptop, your desktop, or a portable USB charger.
The view screen for the system uses a row of LEDs that allow you to see your baby’s voice as well as hear it. It will alert you if the baby cries. With two-way talk, you can soothe them from another room easily. Also, the screen uses a remote in-room display for the temperature so you can always make sure that the baby is safe and comfortable.
Many of the Amazon.com users appreciate the system’s 70-meter range, as well. It also offers clear audio. Other users were critical that the system isn’t as user-friendly as some other devices, however. It takes a bit of learning, and the learning curve is steep for some. To utilize the unit at full functionality it will take some patience.
Runner Up, Best Overall
To locate the best accessories for you and your little one, can be a challenge. If something isn’t working right, the right features aren’t on, or if you’re stressing to find the ideal device for your baby, it can be an event to make just about anyone crazy. We stand by our choices for best overall picks. If you want a secondary choice, you’ll like the HelloBaby. It’s an ideal option.
The HelloBaby offers you a 3.2 inch LCD screen that can also transmit the video up to 900 feet, which matches many long range units. Ideal for the great features that other budget units don’t offer. This includes two-way talk so you can soothe your child back to sleep. Night vision. Temperature display and a zoom in and out a feature that allows you to see up close. It also offers a digital pan and a tilt feature. The scan view and the ability to play up to eight lullabies make this a unique unit that has kept more than one parent from singing until their voice gave out. It warns you if the temperature is too warm or too cold. Lastly, it also offers up a unique feature that isn’t found on other monitors. You can turn the speaker off when sound is below 50 decibels for more than seven seconds and it will auto turn on when there is noise thus, saving the battery for the unit.
Best Budget Video
New parents find that it’s expensive to have a child. If you’re one of these parents who is watching the dollar amount climb, fear not, there are many great ways to cut corners and save money. Choosing a budget device to keep an eye on your child is one of these ways. A budget-conscious accessory such as the Anmeate is just what one might need.
With a 2.4 inch LCD screen, you’ll have high-quality-video up to 960 feet. You’ll find that you can use the features to keep you connected to your child including night vision, pan, tilt, 2X zoom, temp alerts, and more. The battery should last up to 8 hours on one single charge.
Those who are all “ga-ga” on it love the fact that it offers up superb quality and great range. You can take it all over your house and still see and hear exactly what is going on no matter where you’re at in the house.
VTech DM221 Safe N Sound With Audio
To save even more, many parents opt for a sound monitor without any video. The audio only VTech DM221 device won’t cost you an arm and a leg to know what baby is up to with this crystal clear unit. Just keep in mind there is no video with this one.
Everything is included with this device that you’ll need to listen in. With DECT 6.0 technology, you’ll have a clear transmission as well as reduction of any noise that may come from other monitoring devices such as analog based units. Graphic bars on the parental unit will indicate the sound level so that you can decide whether or not you need to investigate. You can visually see what is going on with the sound and mute the unit as needed. There is a two-way talk as well so you can talk to and soothe your little one.
This unit also includes rechargeable batteries so you can have up to 18 hours of monitoring time on one single charge. If you lose the batteries or can’t take the time to charge them up, you can use two AAA batteries in the unit until you can charge the batteries. It offers a hands-free belt clip with the parental unit. You can take this with you all over the house and it works well as a night-light.
The operating range for the parents unit works up to 1000 feet outside and 150 feet inside. The parental unit can beep if the link is lost, if it needs to be charged, or the batteries need to be changed. You can use a vibrating alert as well if you choose. Most of the Amazon.com reviews rave about the unit and state that although it’s simple, it also offers up a reliable choice with rechargeable batteries.
Best Budget Audio
VTech DM111 Safe N Sound Audio Device
This low priced unit offers a great option of crystal clear sound and no white noise. DECT 6.0 will eliminate the background noises and it will prevent any interference. It will also transmit secure and encrypted signals so that all you hear is the baby.
It requires two AAA batteries that aren’t included in the purchase. It also doesn’t offer two-way transmission so you can’t soothe baby from other rooms of the house. In spite of this, the batteries will last up to 20 hours and the system has up to 1000 feet outside and 150 feet inside. With a five-level sound indicator, it offers an ideal level of sound so that you can keep an ear on what is going on in another room even if you have the unit muted.
The Runner Up is the Best Budget Video
Infant Optics DXR-5
This unit offers a great budget unit for those who need it. With video and audio, it is designed to be portable. With 2.4GHz and FHSS digital, it gives you a great wireless communication link. There are no encryption breaks and it gives you complete privacy.
A 2.4 inch bright TFT screen that is LCD is ideal and powered by a rechargeable lithium battery. This lasts up to 12 hours. It works up to 150 feet indoors and 800 feet outdoors.
The DXR-5 comes with VOX and auto mute. It has IR night vision and many users like the crystal clear view. It’s affordable and the only issue is that there isn’t any warning when the battery is low.
Best Multi-Camera HD Connections
Samsung SEW-3043W BrightView
Ideal for twins or more. You can use up to four more Samsung SEP 1003R cameras with this unit.
With an HD camera and five-inch screen, you’re going to get a 300-degree pan angle and 110-degree tilt. Two-way talk makes it easy to soothe your little one. 900 feet range and night vision make it a great unit indoors and out.
Pre-recorded lullabies and sound sensitivity work well and you can turn it on very easily.
Choose What You Need
Many units are higher priced, but provide a lot more features and a higher level of quality. Keep in mind that you’ll use your monitor throughout your baby’s infancy and into toddlerhood to be able to keep an eye on them. This is a valuable investment, so keep in mind that you’ll want to take your time and find the best fit for your individual needs.