If you bought a big house with a growing family in mind, you may have discovered it can be both a blessing and a curse. While all that space is wonderful, it can be a hassle to have to carry your baby into every room. Wouldn’t it be great if you could leave your baby in the nursery to nap in peace while you go about your household chores and work on preparing dinner? That is what a baby monitor is for. With a video baby monitor, keeping a watchful eye on your little one has never been easier!
Thinking about buying a video baby monitor? Check out the comparison chart below to compare prices and features for top-selling, highly rated video baby monitors on Amazon.com.
|Infant Optics DXR-8|
|Infant Optics DXR-5|
|Summer Infant In View|
|Philips Avent SCD630|
Still not sure which features are most important in a video baby monitor? Read on to learn everything you need to know to make the right purchase decision.
What is a Video Baby Monitor?
Traditional baby monitors are typically audio-only. While audio monitors are certainly helpful, a video monitor is the next level of sophistication. You can set up the monitor in any room in your house and listen to and watch your baby in his or her crib. Some monitors also allow you to track other information such as your baby’s heart rate and oxygen level.
Why purchase a video monitor and not an audio-only model? Consider that the data provided by an audio monitor is very limited. Let’s say there is no noise coming out of an audio-only monitor. That might mean your baby is sleeping peacefully—or it could mean your baby isn’t breathing. The only way to know is to go check. With a video monitor, you can look and see what is going on without rushing to the nursery. Ultimately this means both your baby and you will get more sleep, and your little one will stay a lot safer!
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Video Baby Monitor
What range do you need?
Range is an important consideration with video baby monitors, which actually have worse range on average than their audio-only counterparts. Note that the range you see listed for most monitors is somewhat inflated as well; it is what you would get if the signal wasn’t traversing through walls. So you need to do your research here. Measure the distance between the nursery and the farthest room where you would place your monitor, and then count how many walls are in the way. Read customer reviews to try and get a feel for how a monitor really performs in terms of range, and then make a decision based on the distance and obstructions in your home.
What frequency do you need?
If you happen to have some cordless phones in your home, it is important to know that they may interfere with some baby monitors, specifically those which use the 900 MHz frequency. You might also encounter this problem at 2.4 GHz. If in doubt, try 1.9 GHz.
Features and Add-Ons to Look For When Shopping for a Video Baby Monitor
Audio and video quality
The quality of the audio and video is key, whether extra monitoring features are included or not. If the audio is low in quality or you still cannot see your baby clearly, you will constantly be questioning whether you really heard that odd noise coming from the monitor. There is no point in a monitor that raises more questions than answers and sends you constantly back to the nursery to check on your little one. So make sure you invest in a baby monitor with crystal clear audio and video.
These days it is not uncommon for WiFi baby monitors to be targeted by hackers, so security is a concern. For this reason, you should shop for a video baby monitor which utilizes FHSS (another form of wireless) instead of WiFi. You can also look for DECT technology, which provides for encryption of your signal.
Extra monitoring features
Along with audio and video, many baby monitors these days include extra monitoring features. They may be able to track your baby’s movements, position, breathing, heart rate, temperature, and more. They can also sound alerts if the baby has been immobile for a long time period, and over time can make predictions about when your baby will fall asleep or wake up.
With this feature, you can not only hear your baby, but also talk to your baby directly through the monitor. This can be very helpful if you need to soothe your child but do not necessarily want to get up to go the nursery—or cannot straight away because you are in the middle of something (like a cooking task).
One very useful feature is a set of LEDs which will light up if your baby is crying. If you or someone else in your household is hard of hearing, this feature may be vital. Even with video, you cannot always tell exactly what is going on with your baby. Even if no one in your home has hearing difficulties however, you may still find this feature useful while doing loud chores like vacuuming.
Extra transmitters and receivers
In a large house, the ability to hook up extra transmitters and receivers can be very handy. It allows you to monitor multiple rooms from multiple locations without lugging around a single transmitter and receiver everywhere.
High-quality night vision
Think about it; one of the main purposes of a video baby monitor is to watch your baby during the night. So high-quality night vision is an absolute must.
Now you know everything that you need to in order to make a smart video baby monitor purchase. Ready to shop? Scroll back up to the top of this page to take another look at our product comparison chart. We have made it easy for you to compare features and prices for all the best video baby monitors!
Infant Optics DXR-8: 3 Swappable Lenses
The most interesting thing about the DXR-8 by Infant Optics is its imaging system. With this device, you get 3 unique lenses to choose from. The different lenses let you see close ups and far away views of your child. Other notable features include a built-in thermometer and the ability to pan and tilt the camera via the Infant Optics app.
- High quality close-ups. Standard digital cameras look grainy when you zoom in, but the DXR-8 allows you to get high definition close-ups.
- Night vision. Use infrared mode to check on your your baby at night.
- Check the temperature. The camera’s built-in thermometer lets you find out if it’s getting too hot or too cold.
- Choose from 3 lenses. The DXR-8’s wide angle lense is great for monitoring an entire room, but you can switch to the normal lense or zoom lense if you want a closer view.
- Camera control. If your baby moves or if the camera gets nudged aside, you can readjust your view from afar via the remote software.
- Efficient batteries. A single charge lasts up to 10 hours.
- Sound activation. The camera activates and the LCD screen turns on the moment your child starts making noise.
- Though the LCD screen is quite colorful and vivid, it’s also a bit small compared to video baby monitors.
Infant Optics DXR-5: Performs Well, Great Value
The DXR-5 is a high quality, affordable video monitoring system designed for parents on a budget. It has all the features you’d expect to find on a quality baby monitor– VOX mode, night vision and long range capability are just a few examples. However, the DXR-5 costs much less than what other manufacturers of baby monitoring systems are charging.
- VOX mode. If you want to save power, switch to VOX mode so the DXR-5 will only wake up when your child makes noise.
- Smart sound filter. Traffic, birds, TV static and other ambient sounds won’t activate this device.
- Extra smooth video. This baby monitor’s camera delivers high quality 30 frames per second video footage.
- Infrared capable. Switch to IR mode at night to keep track of your kids while they are asleep.
- Super portable. The DXR-5’s diminutive size and light weight makes it one of the most portable baby monitors on the market.
- Long range reception. View a live video feed of your baby from 150 feet away indoors and from 800 feet when outside.
- Affordable price. The DXR-5 is quite good overall, but costs much less compared to many competing baby monitors.
- The DXR-5 is quite energy efficient, but when it does die you may not realize it because it doesn’t have a low battery light.
HelloBaby HB24: an Expandable Baby Monitor System
If you have twins, triplets or quadruplets to care for, you need a baby camera system that can watch and observe multiple infants. The HelloBaby HB24 does exactly that. It can observe up to 4 different babies simultaneously, making it the perfect choice for large families. Also, its built in speaker/mic system allows for two-way audio communication.
- Expandable. The HB24 is one of the only baby monitors out there that can support up to 4 different cameras at once.
- Sound activated. In VOX mode, the HB24 only switches the camera on when your baby makes noise.
- 1 year warranty. If you’re covered by the warranty, Hello Baby will issue you a refund or replacement if the HB24 breaks.
- Sees in the dark. The HB24’s super sensitive camera works transmits clear videos even when a night light is the only source of illumination in the room.
- Two-way audio. The embedded microphone makes long distance lullabyes possible.
- Alert lights. The row of LED lights on the top of the device give you a visual clue that your baby is crying.
- Checks the temperature. The built-in electronic thermometer allows you to see if your child is too hot or cold.
- Because the HB24 doesn’t come with a wall mount, you should make sure you have a flat surface near your baby’s crib before you buy.