Shopping for an baby monitor? Read about types, features, and other must-know topics in our video baby monitor buying guide. Find the best baby video monitors based on our professional baby monitor reviews. Read more about which best summer baby monitor that is the best for your specific needs.
Best Baby Monitor 2017
Surely, these baby cameras are not for everyone as some of them carry a hefty price-tag.
With that said, one thing can be said for sure, these wifi baby monitors are good enough to make it to our list of the top best Baby Monitor 2017.
About Baby Monitor
A baby monitor, also known as a baby alarm, is a radio system used to remotely listen to sounds made by an infant. An audio monitor consists of a transmitter unit, equipped with a microphone, placed near to the child. It transmits the sounds by radio waves to a receiver unit with a speaker carried by, or near to, the person caring for the infant. Some baby monitors provide two-way communication which allows the parent to speak back to the baby (parent talk-back). Some allow music to be played to the child. A monitor with a video camera and receiver is often called a baby cam.
One of the primary uses of baby monitors is to allow attendants to hear when an infant wakes, while out of immediate hearing distance of the infant. Although commonly used, there is no evidence that these monitors prevent SIDS, and many doctors believe they provide a false sense of security. Infants and young children can often be heard over a baby monitor in crib talk, in which they talk to themselves. This is a normal part of practising their language skills.
Video baby monitors (baby cams)
Some baby monitors also use a video camera to show pictures on the receiver, either by plugging the receiver into a television or by including a portable LCD screen. This type of surveillance camera is often called a baby cam.
Some baby cams can work at night with low light levels. Most video baby monitors today have a night vision feature. Infrared LEDs attached on the front of the camera allow a user to see the baby in a dark room. Video baby monitors that have night vision mode will switch to this mode automatically in the dark. Some advanced baby cams now work over Wi-Fi so parents can watch babies through their smartphone or computer.
Baby monitors continue to evolve and now also can utilize features such as night lights and built-in lullabies. These are not available in all monitors. Some include temperature and movement monitoring devices to sit underneath a mattress or close to the baby within a cot.
Wired and wireless
Baby monitors generally use wireless systems, but can also use wires or may operate over existing household wiring such as X10.
Wireless systems use radio frequencies that are designated by governments for unlicensed use. For example, in North America frequencies near 49 MHz, 902 MHz or 2.4 GHz are available. While these frequencies are not assigned to powerful television or radio broadcasting transmitters, interference from other wireless devices such as cordless telephones, wireless toys, computer wireless networks, radar, Smart Power Meters and microwave ovens is possible.
Digital audio wireless systems using DECT, are resistant to interference and have a range up to 300 m.
Analog audio transmissions can be picked up at a distance from the home by a scanner receiver or other baby monitor receivers, and so present a risk to privacy as long as the transmitter is switched on. Digital transmission such as Frequency-hopping spread spectrum provides a level of protection from casual interception.
Some wireless baby monitors support multiple cameras on one handheld monitor-receiver. These systems are even compatible with a standard wireless security camera.
FM transmitters, paired with a microphone can be an inexpensive solution to a DIY baby monitor, since clock radios can also be used as one.
Smartphone as baby monitors
Smartphone apps allow a user to monitor a camera-equipped device, such as another smartphone or a tablet. Alternatively, Wi-Fi can link a camera to a dedicated app on a smartphone or tablet. This means a smart device doesn’t need to be left in the baby’s room.
The Different Types of Baby Monitors
Our children are our most valuable possessions. If only it was possible to be able to watch over them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, then you would. This is most especially true when it comes to babies since they are dependent on their parents with everything that they do.
Unfortunately, parents are only humans and as such, you also get tired and will need rest from time to time. And what better way to rest than from the comforts of your room. This is where baby monitors come in handy. With these devices, you will still be able to monitor your baby even if he or she is in another room.
What Are Baby Monitors?
Basically, a baby monitor, also known as a baby alarm, is a device that can be used to monitor your children or babies even if they are located in a separate room than yours. It is a simplex transmitter and receiver system that can be used to remotely listen for different noises made by your kids and babies.
A transmitter device with a microphone is placed in the room of your baby (usually near the baby). Another device with a receiver and with speakers can be carried by you, the parents, or the baby sitter, or anyone who is taking care of the babies. With baby monitors, you can keep track of your baby’s even if you are doing something else in the proximity of your house.
Types of Baby Monitors
Baby monitors have evolved through the years. From the simple transmitter and receiver device, different baby monitors have been developed. Currently, there are two types of baby monitors: video baby monitors and audio baby monitors.
Video baby monitors, as the name implies, use video footages for overseeing events in the room where the baby is located. It incorporates the technology used by webcams in computers. Instead of only using the simple transmitter with microphone, a camera is installed with it. The receiver, instead of just having speakers, already has LCD screens installed along with them.
Video baby monitors have also taken advantage of the current technology of the Internet. With the video baby monitor installed in the room, parents can access the cameras and view the conditions of their babies even when they are at the office. All they need is a computer with Internet access and voila! Instant video feed direct from the baby’s room.
The other type of baby monitor is the audio baby monitor. This is the descendant of the basic uni-directional system used by basic and usually old monitors. These new types of baby monitors however have been integrated with new technology. Instead of just being able to hear your baby, you can now actually talk back to him or her.
There are even some devices that will let you send commands to the baby’s device to play different music to hush him or her back to sleep.
Both types of baby monitors, audio and video, can either be wired or wireless. The wireless devices may, in some cases, be more advantageous than the wired devices since you will be able to go anywhere anytime for as long as both devices are within range.
The set back of this setup though is that wireless connections seem to be more affected with different interferences than the wired devices.
Shopping For The Best Baby Monitors
Looking after your baby’s safety is not an easy task. In fact, a lot of parents are willing to spend tons of money just to make sure that they’re little bundles of joy are safe and sound. With this in mind, buying only the best baby monitors that the market has to offer seems like an excellent idea. Unfortunately, some people mistakenly translate money for quality. The truth of the matter is that the price tag doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll actually get what you need.
Like any other products, baby monitors need to suit your lifestyle and satisfy your requirements, even to the slightest of details. So before you purchase one, try to dwell on a number of factors first. These things will not only serve as your guide, they will also help you pick out the best type or brand for your little one.
The size of your house, as well as the distance of the nursery from your bedroom – or other vital parts of your home – need to be taken into consideration. If you live in a small apartment or if your baby’s room is only a couple of rooms away, then virtually any type of baby monitor will suffice.
On the other hand, parents who own bigger houses or live in multi-story residences require a device that has a longer range. In this way, they will know for certain that the transmitter and receiver will not falter even in extended distances.
Every now and then, people may share a similar opinion when it comes to size. Some consider smaller devices to be more excellent than larger ones. Because of this trend, as well as the necessity for better portability, a good number of modern baby monitors are currently equipped with ultra-small receivers.
Most baby monitors these days also come with receivers that have belt clips. This feature allows parents to carry the device around without much effort. If you intend to take the receiver anywhere in the house for extended periods of time, test out the attachment method just to be sure that it’s durable enough to endure daily usage.
In addition, you also need to check the battery life and power source. You should at least get a hold of answers for questions such as: “Will I need to recharge it frequently?”
Since a baby monitor is basically a wireless device, it is highly possible to experience interference with the signal. You and your next-door neighbors may utilize similar channels and wind up hearing noises from each other’s homes. Cordless telephones may also interfere with your signal. In case interference is a big issue for you, you can always look for something that utilizes the so-called no-interference technology or has additional security features.
Video Monitoring Options
A basic baby monitor allows you to hear whatever’s happening in the baby’s bedroom. Then again, technological innovations have made it possible to combine sound and visual monitoring. Although the video option seems like a brilliant idea, you still won’t be able to stare at the screen all the time. For that reason, you definitely shouldn’t sacrifice an excellent sound quality over supplementary features.
Keep in mind that the best baby monitors are not always the most costly ones. What matters most is the fact that it is suitable for your situation and hardwearing enough to survive every day use.