There are two powerful words that define parenthood: multitasking and safety. When you have a child at home you need to be able to keep your eyes and ears alert as much as you can, and also to be able to share your attention with other chores, so the perfect solution is having a baby monitor. Today in the market you can find different types of baby monitors that provide different ranges of technology, extra features, and prices. And we have a selection of the best baby monitors you can find to help you meet your needs.
Enjoy a peaceful environment and dedicate time to the activities you have always enjoyed doing by ensuring your baby is safely guarded. A good baby monitor will help you carry with the other areas of life during your child’s day naps and night sleeps by enabling you to be there every time your baby needs you.
What is a baby monitor?
First of all, a baby monitor is an equipment designed to catch sounds and/or images of a child. With this device, parents are able to watch and hear whenever the baby moves or cries, for example. Some models allow this monitoring from shorter distances and others from up to miles away. This is a solution for parents that are anxious or worried about their baby’s safety when not around. There are two units on a baby monitor: one for the parent and one for the baby. The first one can be moved around and the second one stays where the baby is located. The equipment is quite simple to use and has more or less features added to it.
How to use a baby monitor?
There are many ways to use a baby monitor. You can use them simply when you are moving around the house and the baby is in another room or when you are travelling or away and the baby is been taken care by another person. According to the use, you will need a specific type of device. The parent unit can be moved around easily to be always close to the parents. Also, some models provide parents with the comfort of having more than one unit per parent or baby, which is especially convenient for families that have two or more children or have one of the parents usually on the go.
Do you need a baby monitor?
Technology is your best friend, but only if it makes your life easier. You need to feel completely secure with your baby monitor choice, as it will be your eyes and ears when you are in the other room or even away from home. If the baby sleeps in another room, or if you spend a certain amount of time away from the baby and you want to make sure you can keep 24/7 attention on him/her, you should have a baby monitor. It will be a solution to a problem by making your life more practical and less stressful. With a baby monitor, you will have more freedom to be away from your baby, but with eyes and ears close. It's a must item for first-time parents. Your life will be definitely easier with this product.
How do you choose a baby monitor?
Now that you know you need a baby monitor, how to choose it? You need to think about four main points: type, technology, extra features, and price. You need to keep in mind that it is always better to invest in one of the best baby monitors as you want to provide the best safety for your baby. You don't need to buy the most expensive one but the most suitable for you, your baby and your family.
Types of baby monitors
There are two main types of baby monitors: the ones that bring only the baby’s audio and the ones that provide you with both audio and image of the baby. See the differences below:
Audio baby monitor
This type of monitor just gives you the sounds of your baby. You can find them in digital or analogue technology. Nowadays, it’s better to go for the digital one even though they are more expensive, as sometimes the analogue can suffer interference from other devices. The audio type is more practical in cases that you just want to make sure you can listen to the baby when in distance from another room, for example.
Video baby monitor
This type of monitor gives both sound and image of the baby. It works via Wi-Fi connection and encoded signal. Depending on the model, you can have the image and the sound streaming on your TV, cell phone, tablet and even computer. In the case of twins, there is the option to add extra cameras. This type of monitor is more popular and preferred by parents.
The technology of baby monitors
As for technology of baby monitors you need to look for the best sound quality, the best image quality during day and night times (with different lights for each time of the day), longer and stronger range signals, clear reception, minimal interference, general easiness of usage, portability of the parent unit and the baby unit and longer batteries. You need to make sure you are going to receive the signal with clarity wherever you are and if something is wrong, the device will alert you. This need to be your main concern: the best quality of technology.
Extra features of baby monitors
As said before, a baby monitor can have many extra features:
- crying alert
- movement alert
- temperature monitoring
- two-way communication (talkback function)
- built-in songs
- extra handsets for dad and mom
- data collection to track infant’s patterns
- pictures and videos recording
- light shows and nightlights
- smart monitor with an app compatible with mobile (whether Android or IOS)
- feeding timer (super extra feature)
If you are looking for more than just watching and hearing the baby, you need baby monitors with extra features. You can add a crying and movement alert to track the baby’s patterns. Every time the baby cries an alarm is activated as well as when the baby stops moving for a certain period of time (for this a pad is added under the mattress). There is also a feature for temperature monitoring, an alarm goes off when the room is too hot or too cold. You can have two-way communication (also known as talk back) allowing you to talk with the baby from distance. More options are built-in songs and extra handsets for parents. Some parents are also looking for monitors that have an app allowing to share the images through it. You can find many others as listed above.
Price of baby monitors
The price of baby monitor goes from a range of 20 pounds to 250 pounds more or less and it depends on the three points described above. If you want more from your baby monitor, you will need to invest more. Keep in mind this is something you are going to use for many years (it's always good to keep extra attention to the kids if possible, especially when they start walking around the house) so calculate costs and benefits.
Important points about a baby monitor safety
A baby monitor can provide a vital communication link between you and your baby giving the peace of mind you much need and deserve. It's important to stress that there is no scientific proof that a baby monitor can prevent the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Also, you need to always keep the baby unit at least one meter from the baby’s head for safety and avoid having any electrical cords in the baby’s room.
General usage tips about the best baby monitors
If you are using a video monitor, the localization of the baby unit is very important, so make sure you can have a wide vision of your baby or babies, always check the batteries and keep a daily schedule to recharge the units, be careful with the other devices interference, try to locate the units in a very strong signal position, be aware of all the different types of baby monitor’s alarms, they will be your security that everything is running accordingly.
The Top 3 Best Baby Monitors
Every year Mother & Baby reviews the best baby monitors together with moms from all around the UK to bring real life savers products. On the review and shop page for baby monitors, you can select different baby monitors by filters like winners, brands, and prices. The big winners for 2018 in the UK are:
The Best Baby Monitor 1: BT Audio Baby Monitor 450
If you are opting for an audio baby monitor this is by far the best choice since its very easy and simple to use and has the best songs to entertain and to calm your baby. Another great feature is the talkback that allows parents to talk to the baby. See the full review for BT Audio Baby Monitor 450.
Baby Monitor Name: BT Audio Baby Monitor 450
Monitor Type: audio baby monitor
Signal type: digital
Range: Long range of up to 50m indoors and 300m outdoors |good range signal
Battery life: 2 AA batteries required | good battery life
- simple, easy, fast set up
- clear menus
- good quality monitor
- mute option with alarm
- calming light show
- good sound quality (HD interference free feature)
- lightweight to transport (small and compact design)
- temperature feature
- talkback function
- good selection of lullabies
- Some parents don't find the battery long enough
- Requires a wire to charge the units what some parents can find inconvenient
- Some parents don't like the built-in light during night time
The Best Baby Monitor 2: Angelcare AC417 Video, Wireless Movement, and Sound Monitor*
*Unfortunately the model Angelcare AC417 is not available in most e-commerces, the new model is AC517 that has all the same features and other extras.
The second one is the most complete baby monitor you can find in the market as it brings all the extra features of a baby monitor. This one is recommended for first-time parents when everything is new and a bit scary. Angelcare can bring back the peace of mind. See the full review for Angelcare AC417 Video, Wireless Movement, and Sound Monitor.
Baby Monitor Name: Angelcare AC417 Video, Wireless Movement, and Sound Monitor
Monitor Type: audio and video baby monitor
Signal type: digital
Range: range up to 820ft
Battery life: good battery life (up to 8 hours with screen on)
- good images - larger, brighter, cleaner screen
- the best for twins with rotate and zoom camera
- colour touchscreen
- easy setup
- night light
- temperature display
- longer battery life
- very reliable sensitive pad movements
- easily portable
- chargeable with USB cable
- data collection with baby patterns
- it's expensive (more costly than market average)
- Some parents find it lacking instructions
- the sound gets cracker at higher level volume
- interference noise when baby and parents units are too close
The Best Baby Monitor 3: Motorola MBP50 Digital Video Baby Monitor
The third one is the favourite not only in the UK but in many other countries with parents all around the world using it to monitor their babies. This baby monitor has a wide zoom camera along with other features. One of the points of preference is the price for both audio and video baby monitor. See the full review for Motorola MBP50 Digital Video Baby Monitor.
Baby Monitor Name: Motorola MBP50 Digital Video Baby Monitor
Monitor Type: audio and video baby monitor
Signal type: digital
Range: range of up to 300 meters with an out-of-range warning
Battery life: 1 LR44 batteries
- zoom and wide camera
- movement-oriented camera
- it’s possible to connect up to 4 cameras - very good for twins or more babies
- talkback function
- temperature sensor
- clear images
- easy to charge
- easily portable (small and compact design)
- good selection of lullabies
- more affordable but still pricey
- battery life is not long enough for some parents
More Best Baby Monitors
Yep, you read that right – Summer Infant are the first brand on the market to offer a wearable baby monitor. The adjustable silicone strap is suitable for both mums and dads and has the battery power to cope with eight hours of continuous use. There’s three different monitoring modes to choose from; audio allows you to hear your baby in the nursery, vibration mode allows you to ‘feel’ your baby when there is sound in the nursery, but the audio is turned off, and sound light mode, where sound activated LED lights provide a visual cue when there is noise in the nursery, and audio is turned off.
The downsides are that eight hours isn’t that long before the band needs recharging, and a few mums struggled with the range, yet it’s still and innovative idea.
This sleek looking baby monitor is a dream to connect to your mobile phone, allowing you to keep an eye on your baby, even when you’re not in the house. We love this aspect of the baby monitor – allowing parents to see their baby throughout the day after returning to work.
If you’re into tech, this is a good choice as the clever app allows you to download your baby’s sleeping data, as well as letting you play soothing lullabies to your baby.
If you’ve got more than one little one in the house, you’ll know just how tricky it can be to keep an eye on both of them at once. That said, this is one gadget that really does make bedtime easier, with the ability to link more than one camera to the huge screen on the parent portal. With night-vision, a temperature display and a two-way talkback, it’s a clever little gadget.
That said, the Summer Infant Panorama Digital Video Monitor does not have the in-built lullabies and white noise options offered on similar products on the market.
A great affordable video baby monitor, the BT Video Baby Monitor 6000 has everything you need, without the price tag. With a temperature indicator, five in-built lullabies, a remote pan and tilt mechanism, this is a good piece of kit from a brand you can trust.
It doesn’t have the 360-degree camera views you’ll find on other monitors, but for such an affordable piece of kit, it really is brilliant.
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