Best Baby Monitor Reviews in 2018
If you’re a first-time mom who’s shopping for a baby monitor, you might not know where to begin. With so many options, how can you tell if you’re getting the best one for you? This guide will compare our favorites and help you choose the perfect monitor for you.
How to Choose a Baby Monitor and the Advantages of Them
The ability to check on a baby – without tip-toeing into their room and waking them – is typically why parents opt for a video baby monitor. It’s also for peace of mind. New parents are bombarded with a barrage of thoughts surrounding nighttime dangers (and we’re not talking about monsters under the bed or things that go bump in the night). From Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) to their bundle of joy being kidnapped from their crib (a la Baby Lindbergh) to if the baby’s room is the right temperature or if they’ll sleep through baby’s cries (not likely), the list is endless.
But how do you choose between the hundreds that are on the market? Often the noises that baby makes in the middle of the night are normal and don’t warrant a check, but keeping a visual monitor nearby can allow you to make an informed decision on whether your baby truly requires your attention or if she can self-soothe (especially important if you’re sleep training). Let us helps you narrow down your choices by recommending you for a baby monitor that meets the following five criteria:
Five Important Criteria:
1. Choose a model with a frequency of 900 MHz or higher. This will reduce possible interference and increase clarity.
2. Find a model with a prominent "low-battery" light. This handy feature alerts you when the monitor has lost its juice.
3. Go wireless. A wireless receiver gives you the most options for finishing chores inside and outside the house. Look for one with a belt clip to free up your hands.
4. Look for a model with a sound-activated light. It flashes when it detects noise, so you can keep track of your infant while you're vacuuming, talking on the phone, or listening to music.
5. Consider a video monitor. With these models, you can tell at a glance that baby's still sleeping peacefully. Check for sufficient low-light quality of the picture.
Even if you find a great visual baby monitor, it will still have its disadvantages, though. (Nothing beats occasionally checking on your child in-person and knowing they’re still breathing by the up and down of their chest).
Controversy Surrounding Baby Monitors
Unfortunately, nothing is 100% foul-proof. There have been cases of people hacking into baby monitors and watching children or yelling obscenities at them and making crude comments to them.
Also, studies have shown that electronic devices all have an electromagnetic field (EMF) associated with them, which can be associated with radiation (and radiation is harmful in heavy doses). In fact, overexposure to these fields might have life-long consequences to human health, which could be even more significant to babies because they are still developing. (Babies are more vulnerable to exposure to EMF than adults).
Attributes That Differentiate Baby Monitors and the Best Way to Use Them
What sets visual baby monitors apart from each other are their features. So, choose one based on your own needs because you could pay more for one with all the bells and whistles that has many features you won’t ever use. Here is a list of general features to choose from:
• Frequency Band – To prevent static and cross talk.
• Batteries – Most monitor systems have an electrical cord or non-rechargeable battery option and some models are notorious for burning through batteries at an alarming rate.
• WiFi Capabilities – You’ll never be out of range because you can check on your baby anywhere you have WiFi.
• Handheld Audio/Video Parent Unit – Video baby monitors feature a color video screen in a portable unit so you can watch your baby with ease.
• Night Vision – To see your baby in a dark room.
• Temperature Sensor – Monitors the temperature in your baby’s room, which should ideally be between 68-72 degrees.
• Motion and Sound Sensors – Only turns on when your baby makes unusual motions (i.e. rolling) or begins to cry to save battery.
• Sound and Lights – The receiver will light up when the baby cries.
• Low-Battery Indicator – Beeps when your battery is low.
• An Extra Receiver – Ideal for carrying around if you’re doing housework or outside.
• Expandability - Some monitors let you add up to four cameras
• Connectivity - Some video monitors connect to VCR/DVD recorders or televisions so you can watch your baby on a bigger screen.
• Volume Control – Make sure it’s conveniently located for easy access.
It seems like everyone is on a budget these days, so all the options below fall between $100-$200, but you can find deals and special pricing on them with the upcoming holiday season.
Five Best Baby Monitor
Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor with Interchangeable Optical Lens
The DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor by Infant Optics is the best-selling baby monitor available and it is the only baby monitor with interchangeable lens that allow you to zoom in and out remotely without losing clarity. You can see your baby on its 3.5-inch screen and enjoy many other great features, such as its expansion capabilities.
Sumpple S822 Wifi 720P Cloud Baby Video Monitor Camera
A security camera, this camera is a class above other baby monitors and video WiFi monitoring cameras. Whether you are using it for monitoring your kids or your office, the Sumpple has a fresh revolutionary design, rounded with your choice of pink or blue trim, making it easy and fun to use.
Babysense Petite Clip
Babysense Petite Clip is motion sensor that clips on the infant’s diaper or pants and can detect even the slightest movement, allowing you to breathe easier. It monitors baby’s breathing movements and activates a gentle vibrating stimulation. If no tummy movement is detected at all for twenty seconds, an alarm will sound.
Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor
The Philips Avent's new Eco-Friendly DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication) Audio Baby Monitor with Temperature Sensor keeps you connected to your baby. This monitor provides clear sound and guarantees a secure connection with zero interference up to 1,000 feet. Also, the built-in nightlight and soothing lullabies help lull baby to sleep.
Martheroll Video Baby Monitor Wireless Home Security IP Camera HD 720P
The Martheroll Video Baby Monitor is a home security camera with whole-room surveillance (355 degree horizontal pan and ninety degree vertical tilt). It’s simple to use – just plug in your camera, download the free mobile app, scan your code, and to WiFi. Within minutes, you’ll be ready to live-stream and get worry-free sleep.
The top baby monitor for new parents, when weighing the pros and cons of the above, is the Sumpple S822 Wifi 720P Cloud Baby Video Monitor Camera. It is superior to most other choices because it is a security camera first. The fact that it is a baby monitor is just a bonus. The reason it is our leading choice is because it can be controlled remotely through a smart phone or tablet and it’s WiFi compatible. Also, it is one of the only baby monitors with a rounded design that emails or sends motion detection alerts through the app. Unlike the Infant Optics DXR-8 Camera, it has longevity and can be used long after you no longer need a baby monitor.
There are no problems with charging it (like with the Phillips Avent DECT Monitor) or running out of battery (also Infant Optics). It might not have nifty features like playing lullaby music like the Martheroll Video Monitor, but it is a solid, affordable choice that most parents will be pleased with. The Sumpple meets almost all the requirements a good monitor should, from having a built-in microphone and speaker for two-way audio to an alarm that sounds when the monitor picks up abnormal movement or voices. The Sumpple Video Monitor Camera may not be the techiest monitor on the market, but it’s simple to use, set-up takes about sixty seconds, and it serves its purpose well. If it’s important to have peace of mind and to get the most for your money, this could be the perfect monitor for you and your baby.