Unless you’re a parent with some supernatural ability to be by your baby’s side at all times whilst being in a completely different location at the same (if you can, tell us your secret!), you will need to keep an eye on and ear out for your baby. In come baby monitors. Those handy devices that allow us to keep tabs on our precious baby.
When it comes to choosing a baby monitor you have several options depending on your needs. You can get an auditory monitor, video monitor or one that tracks your baby’s movements. Finally, smart monitors give you the ability to keep an eye on your little one remotely
We are going to look at each different option individually yet the focus of this article are smart monitors as they provide more versatility (yet, as you will see, come with a major caution).
So with all that said and done, let’s monitor the monitors!
You need to know when your baby is crying or upset and if you are out of “earshot” range, it’s going to be tricky for you to hear. It’s time to look at getting an auditory baby monitor. Now you have the freedom to move around the house and still be able to listen for when your baby is wanting your attention.
Here is what you need to consider when looking at getting an audio monitor:
With more and more appliances coming out that are competing for radio waves, it can lead to issues with your baby monitor. The most crowded frequency is 2.4Ghz thanks to your wireless network, Bluetooth devices, game consoles and cordless home phones. To make sure that your audio monitor can send its signals with little interference, look at the models that have DECT technology or operate at 900Mhz or above. Also, ensure that you have the ability to change to a different frequency if you find that the range you have chosen isn’t all that clear.
The last thing you want to be doing is constantly running into the room where you have placed your baby monitor to check if there is a noise. It will only lead to frustration and wasted time. Grab a portable version where you can place the receiver onto your belt or carry with you. There are models that come with additional receivers which is fantastic as you can place them around your house or carry one with you while the others are charging
You don’t want to keep making a trip to the shop to buy new batteries. Look at getting a monitor that has rechargeable batteries and you will save money (and time!). Also, some models have a “Low Battery” light that alerts you to when it’s time to recharge (or replace for non-rechargeable models) the battery.
Sound activated lights
Sometimes when your baby’s is having a nap you will be busy doing housework. Noisy housework like vacuuming. You might be on the phone and unable to hear the monitor clearly. That’s where flashing lights come in! Some monitors have sound-activated lights that will alert to your baby when your hearing is diverted elsewhere.
The great thing with video monitors is that they add “eyes” to your ears, so that you can watch what is happening in the baby’s room and if your wee one is waking up. When it comes to getting a video monitor you need to consider several things so that you don’t feel disappointed.
When the lights are off you still want to be able to keep a watch on your baby. By having night vision means that you can check in on your bundle of joy without disturbing him or her through having to flick on the light.
You want to be able to adjust the brightness and sound volume if your monitor. So make sure that you have at least these two controls and that they are easy to use. The last thing you want to be doing is struggling with the settings when your baby is having an upsetting moment.
Adjusting the view of the camera
All videos baby monitor cameras allow you to change the angle, pan and view of the video. The cheaper to mid-range models require that you make the adjustments manually, while the higher end video monitors give you the ability to change the angle, pan and tilt of the camera remotely. It’s just a question of cost versus convenience.
Just like it’s audio monitor counterpart, video baby monitors can be affected by other items in your house that are competing for bandwidth and frequency. The best way to avoid an interruption in the video feed is to look at digital video monitors that operate at 900Mhz or have DECT technology.
If you are worried about your baby’s health, sensory/movement monitors let you keep track of the breathing, body position, temperature and heart rate of your infant while he or she is sleeping in the crib. A slight movement can alert you to if your treasure is waking up or simply having a wee twitch. There are models available that offer you video functionality so you can watch what’s going on in the room and if you have to attend to your child.
This type of baby monitor is becoming the more popular option due to their versatility. You can contact and view your child from wherever you have decent internet access. You can control the monitor with your voice, watch several children at once through multiple cameras and are able to view the video from multiple devices.
However, the smart baby monitor is vulnerable to being hacked as it requires internet connectivity. If it is a major concern, then look at getting one of the other types of baby monitors we mentioned. At the end of this post we will show you how you can set up your smart baby monitor securely so as to reduce the risk of it being hacked.
If you are in the market for a smart baby monitor here are 10 of the best monitors on the market…
10 of the best smart baby monitors
The best is a debatable term because what is great for one person may not be so for another. However, the monitors we are about to show you are the most popular on the market, so that has to tell you something about them! Let the list begin…
This adorable rabbit-shaped monitor is packed with features. If security is a concern for you, the bank-grade encryption will set your mind at ease. Video recordings are kept for 7 days so you have plenty of time to go through the footage and find those moments you want to keep a treasure. It also has inbuilt sensors that monitor the environment in the baby’s room so that you can make sure that your baby is nice and warm, and that the air quality is ideal.
The Arlo app allows you to control the multi-coloured light and melodies so that your wee one will nod off comfortably. For those who have a smart home, the Arlo Baby Monitor is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple Honekit and more. There are too many benefits to list here, you need to go check it out! Oh…if you don’t like rabbits, you can customise it and turn it into a dog or cat\ shaped monitor (the accessories are sold separately).
When you are travelling and want to check in on your baby, this smart monitor from Motorola allows you to have a digital video feed that is highly encrypted to ensure your privacy and data aren’t compromised. The camera can be mounted onto the crib so that you get an overhead view of your baby.
If your baby is upset or having trouble drifting off, the projector casts a soothing image onto the ceiling and you have the option to either talking to your baby, play lullabies, or a story. The camera is also detachable so you are covered for when your child grows and you need to keep watch in the nursery. If you want to control the monitor with your voice it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
The Peteme Monitor extends its night vision out to 30 feet so you know that it will be a breeze to keep an eye on your baby when the lights are out. Also, the wide-angle of the camera gives tug the ability to have a 360° view of what’s happening in the room
If Mum and Dad want to check remotely check in on the baby at the same time, it’s not a problem as this smart monitor allows multiple people to view simultaneously in 1080P Full HD. Plus, you can get alerts in real-time whenever your baby makes a move. The user app is available on both iOS and Android.
When it comes to streaming video footage from this camera, you can set up authorised accounts so only the people you approve can have access to the video. The Owlet camera has the ability to pair with the Owlet sock so that you can monitor your baby’s health such as heart rate. You can download the app for iOS and Android devices, turning them into a sound and video monitor.
With its infrared LED lights and 1080 Full HD video quality, you can keep an eye on your baby with crystal clarity at night with a range-extended out to 48 feet! The camera will switch light settings automatically as it detects the night turning into the day. If there is a movement, this smart monitor will lock on the source of the movement and track it. So you can safely keep an eye on your child and communicate through the two way speaker system, You can download the app for both iOS and Android.
If you want to have several people keeping an eye on your child, the app allows up to 10 people to watch the baby.
With three anti-noise microphone, you can be assured that you can communicate with your baby in clear audio with no background noise. The night vision turns on automatically once the camera detects the light dimming when it comes to installing the camera you can mount it on the wall, ceiling or place it on a table. It operates on the 2.4Ghz band, but not on 5G or on publicly available Internet.
The 120° wide-angle lens means that you are going to have a decent view of the room in 1080P quality video. The supporting app for this smart monitor can be found on both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Playstore. The video can be stored on an internal SD card or in the cloud (you get the first month of cloud storage for free, after that it will cost you).
If you are one of those people that like to have things done fast, the iBaby Monitor will only take 69 seconds to set up. Quick, huh? The 360° view moves as fast as you can slide your finger across your screen so you can view the baby and room as fast or as slow as you like. When it comes to allowing access to the camera, you can set up an unlimited number of users and see their activity (and notice if there is anything suspicious any of the authorised users are doing).
When it comes to keeping an eye on the room environment the iBaby will provide you with the humidity, temperature and air quality in the baby’s room so you can adjust them if you need to. The supporting app is available for both iOS and Android.
With 256-bit encryption and 2-way authentication, you know this camera is going to protect your sensitive data and video footage. Also, you can control who sees what with the advanced user permissions. This Smart Monitor also keeps track of sleep patterns and give should recommendations on how you can change the sleep patterns of your child so as to ensure that they get better rest. The video footage can be viewed on any iOS or Android device as well as on a Kindle Fire or Echo Show.
And, if you lose Internet connection, don’t panic this monitor will still deliver the goods to you!
Don’t let the price fool you, You are still getting a load of features for your money! Crystal clear black-and-white night vision allows you to check in on your darling without the need to switch on the lights. You also have access to a wide range of songs and stories as well as customisable audio to help your baby drift off to sleep. The rechargeable battery will provide you with 3 hours of video. The app is available for iOS and Android.
Want to keep tabs on your baby’s breathing? Then this is the smart monitor for you! The apnea monitor sends reports to your phone and gives you a real-time breathing chart. You don’t have to worry about placing electronics in the crib or on your wee one as with this monitor! Talk about amazing!
Also, with the 355° pan and HD video you are going to get an amazing view of baby and the room so you can keep an eye on your loved one while out and about. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
How to minimise hacking risks of your smart monitor
Because your smart monitor requires internet access means that there is a possibility that some rogue will try to hack into the system and watch the video (even though you have set up authorised user accounts). Such is the way with anything connected to the net. But, don’t fear! There are ways that you can reduce the possibility of someone hacking into your smart monitor.
1. Have a secure password When setting up your monitor give it a strong password of between 8 – 20 characters. Make the password a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
2. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations
In the app that you use, set all the security settings to default. If you are unsure about anything contact the manufacturer
3. Check for security updates
There are always going to be holes in any system that needs internet access. Constantly check to see if there are software and security updates for your smart monitor.
4. Remote access
If you think that you don’t need remote access to your smart monitor, switch it off.
By doing the above means that you are taking a proactive approach to minimise the chance of someone gaining unauthorised access to your smart monitor.
As always, in our posts discussing the best models for you to consider, we don’t endorse any particular product. It all comes down to a personal choice. Jump online, ask friends and family for recommendations.