While video baby monitors are relatively new on the market, they are quickly gaining popularity with new Moms. Video monitors work by transmitting images from your child’s room to a portable unit. This enables you to check on your baby whenever you want, without waking up the little sleepyhead.
Unlike standard, audio-only baby monitors, which only lets you hear your baby, video monitors give you a constant visual of your sleeping baby.
The Advantages of Video Baby Monitor
- Sight – The first advantage is an obvious, but very important one. You can see your baby. This is a hugeadvantage over an audio only monitor. With video, you don’t have to run into the nursery to check on your baby every time they make a sound. Sometimes, they’re just trying to get comfortable or they are doing fine playing in their crib. On the other hand, your baby could need you, but for some reason isn’t making a sound. Video makes it easy to always have your baby within your sight.
- Convenience – One of the drawbacks of audio monitors is always having to be alert and listening. Having the option to listen to the television or have a conversation over the telephone is another big advantage over audio monitors. Video monitors allow you to see what your baby is up to, even if you want to put in earplugs, kick back, and relax.
The Disadvantage of Video Baby Monitor
- Price – Video baby monitors do tend to be more expensive than audio-only monitors. Video monitors have an average cost of around $150 while audio monitors sell for as low as $50 or less.
Video Baby Monitor Feature
What features are available for video baby monitors? There’s a lot. Take a look at each option and see what’s important to you.
Screen – The first thing you should look at is the screen. Do you want color or is black and white ok? Now days, most video monitors have color screens, and it is worth the extra expense because of the higher quality image. Most screens are designed to be portable, so you can easily carry the device around with you around the house. Stationery screens are also available if you spend a lot of time in a particular room.
Channels – A video baby monitor that has multiple channels gives you an option to select the channel with the best picture quality. Multiple channels are a must if you have more than one child to watch or need additional cameras in your household. It’s also important if you have a neighbors who is also using a video monitor.
Pan, Zoom, and Tilt – The ability to pan, tilt, and zoom the camera around the crib and nursery, using the parent remote control, can be very helpful. This is particularly beneficial when your baby gets older and starts moving around the crib. You can also keep it for watching toddlers as they learn how to play independently.
Night Vision – Night vision with infrared lights within the camera is another feature to consider. The infrared lighting will transmit pictures of the sleeping baby while in a dark room. Another option is a built-in night light, which can be turned off and on from the receiver, to illuminate the nursery without disturbing your baby.
Temperature Sensors – A temperature display is somewhat of a luxury, but an option none the less. The sensor checks the room temperature, which lets you know if extra blankets are needed, or if the room is getting stuffy. This is a wonderful way to keep you assured their baby is comfortable throughout the day or night, no matter what the season.
Two-Way Intercom – The parent talk back intercom allows you to soothe your baby without having to stop what your working on or get out of bed.
Long Range / Wi-Fi – In addition to long range units which work up to a couple hundred feet away, some video monitors now have Wi-Fi technology which allows you to view your child on your phone or computer, even if you’re not at home.
Lullabies and Music – Maybe your baby just needs a little lullaby to soothe and relax them back to sleep. Some models let you record and play your own music.
iPhone and Smart Phone Capability – If you are an iPhone, iPad, or Android user, then finding a video baby monitor that works with your smart phone may be an important feature. It’s much more convenient to check on your baby using your phone than carrying the parent-unit around the house from room to room.
Things to Consider
Frequency – The current options for frequency are 900 MHz, 2.4GHz, and 5.8 GHz. If you have a cordless phone at home, check the frequency and make sure to get a different frequency on your baby monitor. Wireless internet routers can also cause interference, so check that as well. When you do buy a monitor, try it out as soon as possible to make sure it works without any issues.
Picture Quality – The baby video monitor you choose should have a clear picture quality. Otherwise, what’s the point? Whether you choose black and white screen or full-color, the images should be clean and crisp.
Sound Quality – You also need decent sound quality. You should look for one with high audio clarity and with as little static as possible. Volume adjustment and microphone sensitivity should be included.
Power source – Most video baby monitors come with A/C adapters and are operated with rechargeable batteries. Check the reviews for battery life and make sure it will work for your needs.
Design – This is just as important as any other feature of the monitor. Do you want a contemporary look or a design that blends in seamlessly with your nursery decor The best monitors should offer a pleasing aesthetic as well as convenience and versatility.
Customer Support – Only consider video monitors that offer a minimum of one year warranty and 24/7 customer support. Also a plus is an excellent customer service department that gives the buyer post-sale support and installation help. Don’t forget to fill out your warranty and/or registration card so you can receive any recall notices or special information regarding your product.
Baby Video Monitor Tips
Before you start your hunt, here’s a few quick tips that will come in handy.
Consider the size of your home when you’re choosing your monitor. If you live in a large house or have more than one level, you want to make sure the range is adequate You may want to purchase a monitoring system that has more than one receiver, so you can place them at different areas around th e house. If you live in a small apartment or have limited space, you’re probably fine with just a single receiver.
Read the Reviews
If you can’t decide on a particular brand, always read the product reviews. Getting other parent’s opinions and perspective on the device you are interested in is helpful in making your decision. However, note that there are always a few “bad apples” in the reviews. If you are unsure about a particular feature or function, you can always call the manufacturer’s customer service department and ask them for guidance.
Safety and Durability
Unfortunately, some video baby monitors are poorly made or improperly placed. This creates potential choking hazards if your baby gets their little hands on the monitor. Remember to set the monitor in a high place and keep any hanging cords far away from the crib. Lastly, remember to keep extra batteries charged so your monitor is always ready for use.
At this point, you should be able to decide which features would be nice and which you just can’t live without. Here’s a list of our must-have’s not matter your situation. Just remember the four “S” words when you’re choosing a monitor.
- Security – Video monitors that use digital technology has better security. They encrypt the images on your monitor to give your family privacy.
- Sound – Find a model that has a sound-activated lighting system. This helps alert you if you are taking a shower, vacuuming, or just not watching the screen. If your baby makes a noise, the parent-unit lights up alerting you to check the screen.
- Smaller – The smaller the receiver, easier it is to carry it around the house with you. Just make sure you can still see what’s happening on the screen.
- Several – Some models come with more than one receiver or transmitter. Having more than one receiver is handy when you live in a large house or if both parents want a screen. You can leave one receiver in your office and have another that you carry around the house. If you have multiple children, consider having more than one transmitter. This allows you to monitor several rooms with a single receiver.
Where to Buy Your Video Baby Monitor
Should you purchase your video baby monitor online or make in-store purchase? There are advantages and disadvantages to both options.
It may be helpful to visit a store and see the video baby monitor in person, but more than likely you won’t be able to test the product until you buy it. Even then, the conditions in the store are going to be different than in your house where you will actually be using it.
On the other hand, with our video baby monitor reviews, you can compare the top ranked products and easily find the online store with the best price. Once you have you selection narrowed down to two or three models, you can take a look at reviews to get feedback and opinions of real users.