Watch your baby from anywhere, anytime

Modified: 29 June 2016

If you want to keep an eye and ear on your fast asleep (hopefully!) baby from another room, then you obviously need a baby monitor.

baby monitor is, also known as a baby alarm which allows you to remotely listen to his/her sounds or see his/her movements. One part of the monitor must be placed in the baby's room and the other part is carried or placed where parents can hear what is going on.

It makes it possible for you to have a peace of mind and feel more relaxed while your baby sleeps in another room. It is up to you to decide whether to buy a baby monitor or not and it solely depends on your needs and your baby’s needs. You might be content with an exceptionally straightforward screen that gives you a chance to hear your infant cry when he/she wakes. Yet, if you want something more advanced, you may lean toward a screen with a video or sensor pad. In any case, it's best to measure the advantages and disadvantages before purchasing one.

Types of Baby Monitors

There are mainly three types of baby monitors. There are monitors that transmit only sound or video, and there are motion monitors that just detect when baby moves. They are given as shown below.

Baby Sound Monitors

  • The most standard choice by parents over the world is sound monitors which are made available in both analog and digital models.
  • It has a transmitter to grab sounds coming from baby's room and receiver (more than one) to make parents listen to their little one.
  • It is generally portable and helps you to well-supervise your the baby when awakes up from a nap, cries for feed, or needs some support.

Baby Video Monitors

  • In addition to audio, sometimes parents would love to feel extra comfort that comes with watching the baby's business.
  • Its types includes portable receiver, non-portable receiver, and internet enabled video monitor which enables you (parents) to watch your darling anywhere at any device with internet connectivity.
  • It accommodates a camera and microphone to transmit snaps and audio and finally displays it on receiver which is generally a handheld device with small screen.
  • They are available with many features based on the brand and specifications, e.g. LCD display, night vision, multiple camera installation, etc.

Baby Motion Monitors

  • Baby motion monitors accommodates a sensor that rests under the mattress in which baby sleeps to detect their movement.
  • It is specifically designed to detect baby motion not baby sound. 
  • An interesting feature is it alarms if your little one doesn't have any movements for more than 20 seconds, so it will be a great advantage for infants born prematurely or have health concerns.
  • Some type of motion monitors even transmits audio to listen your baby coos, cries, etc.

Wired Vs wireless baby monitors

Portability plays a major role in baby monitors. Wired monitors stay in one place and parents must restrict themselves in one room while monitoring their babies. The distance from which you can monitor your baby is restricted to the length of the wires that are attached to the receiver whereas wireless baby monitors come with a receiver that are portable or strapped on clothing.

Wireless monitors are easy to assemble and have the flexibility to be used in different locations (possibly rooms) in your house without worrying about wires and its length and outlet plugs. One main concern wth them is that they might receive interference from other wireless devices which can affect the sound and quality of the picture coming through the monitor.

Advantages of having a baby monitor

For many parents, baby monitors provide reassurance and greater confidence. 

  • The top advantage of baby monitors is that it can alert you when your baby awakens, needs some assistance, if he is crying, or if there is a lengthy gap in breathing patterns.
  • Breathing monitors can be very helpful for babies with chronic breathing concerns like severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, or sleep apnea. Hence you need to have a close monitoring if your baby suffers from any of these conditions.

Disadvantages of a baby monitor

There is also some cons in buying baby monitors. 

  • Few monitors can sense every single movement or sound and ring out an alarm and it ends up waking up everyone at home.
  • Using monitors doesn't mean that it will prevent SIDS. Parents think that it gives them a piece of mind but it can also make them anxious about their baby.
  • Sometimes the quality of the signal might become a problem because the concrete walls can block the signals, cordless phones, and wireless systems and can interfere with reception. This will make the receiver grab the audio signals from the surrounding environment and and theirs from you.
  • In order to prevent malfunction, check the batteries and adapters and the connection and placement of cords or wires on a regular basis to mitigate strangulation risk for babies.
  • If video monitors don't encrypt their signals it can allow other people a peek into your baby's room, so make sure you choose a model with strong security features.

This means that a baby monitor is not a complete substitute for your presence. Instead of trusting an electronic gadget you may prefer to leave your baby in the care of a trustworthy adult.

Features to Consider while buying a baby monitor

There are several different baby monitor types and brands to choose from, and selecting the monitor that best suits the family's needs can be hard. In order to make the process easier, parents should carefully look at the features offered by each monitor. Some of the top 5 features that you may want to consider are:

  1. Frequency of 900 MHz or higher - Choosing a baby monitor with this frequency will reduce the possible interference and increase clarity.
  2. Low-battery alert - This handy feature alerts you when the monitor has lost its battery and you can charge them immediately.
  3. Wireless Receiver - Wireless is always meant to free all your chores so with this you can finish all the household, indoor and outdoor tasks at ease. A belt clip is another better option to completely free up your hands.
  4. Sound-activated light - This feature renders flashes when it detects noise, so you can manage, supervise and soothe your infant while you're doing household chores, busy on phone, or listening to audio or any talks.
  5. Video monitor - You can watch your baby cry, sleep, movements at a glance and know about the baby sleep routine too. Night vision or low-light quality picture enabled one is better to buy.

Top 10 baby monitors available online

There are loads of baby monitors in the market. We have picked some of the reliable ones for each of your needs. Choose the one that suits your needs.

Summer Infant baby zoom wifi monitor

Summer Infant baby zoom wifi monitor

  • The Summer Infant baby monitor comes with a free app for Apple and Android device.
  • Enables continuous monitoring at home
  • Color hand-held monitor
  • Remote viewing on digital devices
  • Can be connected to a home wireless network
  • Works with smartphones, tablets and computers
  • Price: $300, Buy now

Levana's new Ayden Baby Monitor

Levana's new Ayden Baby Monitor

  • 48 Hour Battery Life in PEEP Mode
  • See More on a 3.5" Screen
  • Private ClearV­u® Digital Signal
  • Invisible LED Night Vision
  • Talk to Baby™ Two-Way Intercom
  • Three Soothing Lullabies
  • Price: $120, Buy now

Philips AVENT Digital video baby monitor

Philips AVENT Digital video baby monitor

  • Private & secure (A-FHSS)
  • 3.5 inch color screen, 2x zoom
  • Lullabies, night light & temp.
  • Talkback & vibration mode
  • Range up to 300 meters
  • Price: $220, Buy now

Samsung SmartCam HD Pro 1080p Full HD WiFi Camera

Samsung SmartCam HD Pro 1080p Full HD WiFi Camera

  • Quick and Simple Setup
  • Intuitive Operation
  • 1080p Full HD Video Streaming
  • Customized Push Notifications
  • Two-Way Talk
  • Price: $200, Buy now

DXR-8 monitor by Infant Optics

DXR-8 monitor by Infant Optics

  • First monitor with interchangeable optical lens capability, which allows customizable viewing angle and zoom
  • Large 3.5" full-color LCD display in sleek, compact unit with retractable antenna and sound-activated LED display
  • Remote pan/tilt and digital zoom
  • 10-hr battery life on power-saving mode, 6-hr with screen on
  • Includes 1 optical zoom lens with wide-angle lens sold separately
  • Price: $170, Buy now

Some of the top baby monitors

  1. VTech Safe & Sound Digital Audio Monitor , Click here for more details
  2. Motorola MBP36S Remote Wireless Video Baby Monitor, Click here for more details
  3. iBaby M6T Monitor, Click here for more details
  4. Foscam FBM3501 Wireless Digital Video Baby Monitor, Click here for more details
  5. Dropcam WiFi baby monitor, Click here for more details
  6. WiFi Baby Monitor, Click here for more details
  7. Snug baby Monitor, Click here for more details
  8. Snuza Hero SE baby movement monitor, Click here for more details

Best Baby Monitoring Apps

Instead of buying those expensive baby monitors you can use your phone right? Confused uh? These apps help you to use your mobile phone as a baby monitor device. With all the monitoring apps bumped out in the digital market , how do you know which one is right for you and your family? To help you we have come up with the top three picks:

Cloud Baby Monitor ($3.99)

This tricked-out app broadcasts high-quality video and audio of your baby on home, so enjoy your baby's every coo, movements, and soothe your baby with built-in popular lullabies and white noises. It's wonderful features include noise, motion and battery alerts, night vision, acts as night clock, quality indicator and makes your baby hear your sweet voice or songs. Ultimate one: Works as a child unit or parent unit on all Mac computers running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion or newer and supports any cameras compatible with the Mac.

Download Cloud Baby Monitor on iTunes

Dormi ($8.99 for lifetime unlimited usage, with additional pricing options)

Dormi is specially designed for android lovers to provide audi and video streaming at good quality and offers simple listen and speak button to hear your baby's sound and soothe and calm your crying baby respectively. It can use any available route to connect parent and child units (WiFi, mobile data), and can work even when Internet is not available (WiFi Direct, HotSpot / AP). Ultimate One: While you are busy on a cal, it vibrates to inform that your baby cries. 

Download Dormi for Android on GooglePlay

Baby Monitor 3G (iPhone and Android App, $3.99)

It transmits audio and video via Wi-Fi or cellular connection to the parent station and enables you to monitor your baby with your android and iphone. It lets you see high quality live video, hear baby's voice, and lets your family members to monitor at their corresponding handset. Its other features include night light vision, vibration alert, personalization, adjustable audio, hassle free initial setup, low battery indication and many more. It is made available in iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac OS X, and Apple TV.

Download Baby Monitor 3G on iTunes

Download Baby Monitor 3G for Android on GooglePlay

"Always keep an eye on your baby" 

Review written by Ilakkiya Parthasarathy

Born and brought up in Chennai, Ilakkiya is an IT engineer who works as a business analyst. She is an expert when it comes to buying; from pretty dresses to useful gadgets. Her ubiquitous opinions have led her to exhibit her writing skills to the world at large through Review Frenzy.