A video baby monitor has crossed your baby shopping list at some point, for sure. Deciding on which type of baby monitor you will get has led you to a decision to opt-out for a video one.
Video baby monitors are convenient since they can provide extra reassurance to the parents in the form of video and audio transmission of the conditions in the baby’s room. However, they are not an absolute necessity, if you are in the room with the baby or feel a regular monitor is sufficient.
Before you decide for sure that you want a video baby monitor, check our article where you will find the differences between different types of baby monitors explained and a table where you can see the most popular models compared.
What Are Video Baby Monitors?
Video baby monitors are basically cameras that you use for surveillance of your baby. What you usually get is two units. One is the camera unit that is supposed to be mounted to the baby crib, and the other unit is a monitor you are supposed to take with you to see what the baby is doing.
Baby monitors are very convenient if you are alone with the baby at home, and you need to finish some extra activities while the baby is asleep or resting in its bed. Video monitors are also adjusted to monitor the baby even at night.
This means that you can watch what the baby is doing even when it is dark in the room where the baby is staying. Besides transmitting the video, they can also transmit the sound, so you can be alerted at any time if the baby is crying or it just woke up.
More advanced video baby monitors have an option of connecting with your smartphone by an app, so you don’t have to carry the extra unit with you – you can see the baby on your phone. In this case, the signal is being transmitted via wifi, so your camera and phone both need to be connected to the internet.
This type of video baby monitor often comes only with a camera and instructions on how to install and use their app – there is no second device in the package. Some parents prefer the traditional two-unit product.
The later baby monitors that work with internet connectivity are convenient if you have to leave your baby with a nanny for example. No matter where you are, you can connect to the internet and via the app, you can check on your baby.
Are They Different from Other Baby Monitors?
There are two types of baby monitors – the ones that transmit only sound and the other ones that can transmit video as well. Video baby monitors have become popular lately, while audio monitors are still widely spread.
Audio baby monitors are less complex than video monitors, but they have some flaws you need to consider before deciding which one to buy. For instance, some audio baby monitors still use the analogue technique to transmit the signal.
This means that the signal can be easily interrupted by heavy obstacles. Also, the range you see on the box (e.g., 300m) is the range audio baby monitor can achieve in open space, without any objects and obstacles between two units (like walls, for example).
On the other hand, digital monitors and those working via wifi don’t suffer from this type of issue, and that is the main reason why they are preferred over analog monitors.
Video baby monitors are more technologically advanced, meaning they often offer several features other monitors don’t have. Some baby monitors have a light installed or can play your baby’s favourite lullaby.
Also, mostly this type of monitor has a talk-back function, meaning that there is a microphone on your unit, so you can speak to the baby and reassure it until you reach the baby’s room.
These monitors can also tell you the temperature in the baby’s room, so you can act accordingly if the room is too hot or too cold for the baby.
Several new models can also work with multiple cameras, meaning that you can have two or more cameras installed in different rooms so you can track more than one kid. This is useful because audio monitors only transfer sound, so sometimes, you don’t know which kid requires your immediate attention.
With video monitors, you can see, not only hear, so you can easily recognize which kid is having what type of issue.
Are Video Baby Monitors Expensive?
Video baby monitors are considerably more expensive than regular audio monitors, simply because they offer more features. First of all, the biggest advantage of a video baby monitor is the fact that you can actually see your baby.
Besides this, video baby monitors are in general more expensive because they represent far complicated technology. Aside from transmitting sound, they are also able to record temperature in the room, let you speak to the baby, play songs and lullabies, transmit the video to the smartphone, have an integrated light, and others.
Baby video monitors are also able to monitor the baby even in the dark, and this feature adds up to all the aforementioned factors that are significant for the production price. Because of all those factors, the production cost is very high, meaning that the monitor costs more by default at the start when compared to other, simpler models.
Down below, you can find a table with some of the most popular models of video baby monitors, with their pros and cons.
|BT Smart Baby Monitor||Angelcare AC327 Monitor||BabyMoov Yoo Moov||Arlo baby||Hello Baby HB32||Owlet Baby Monitor Duo|
|Field of view (in degrees)||135||N/A||360||140||360||130|
|Notification||push||none||none||E-mail, push, text, call||None||Yes|
|Price on Amazon||££||££||££||£||£||£££|
Are There Any Alternatives to Video Baby Monitors?
The issue with video baby monitors is that they can be very costly sometimes, so the parents are often looking for alternatives. Usually, the cheapest solution is buying regular audio baby monitors.
This product is simpler than the video baby monitor, and it will allow you to hear what is happening in the baby’s room. Usually, audio baby monitors have a highly sensitive microphone and can pick up even the slightest noise in the baby’s room.
This is convenient because you can hear if the baby is having trouble sleeping, not only that she’s awake and crying. However, this type of monitor cannot provide other information like room temperature or video look, simply due to design. Some audio baby monitors don’t have the talk-back function, and while some parents don’t mind that, others find it unacceptable.
There is no cheaper solution than this, other than organizing your home and life so that you have the baby at your sight at all times. Sometimes this can be very tricky, that is why the use of baby monitors is required in the first place.
One alternative to the audio baby monitor can be the use of walkie-talkies or two-way radios. Sometimes this may not be the cheapest solution, but it is definitely a more durable one. Walkie-talkies are more durable and less prone to water damage than the regular audio monitor is.
Another very attractive alternative to the video baby monitor may be using a webcam and an app connected to that camera. Almost every home nowadays has a laptop or tablet device which can be easily connected to a webcam.
Installing a webcam in your baby’s room and connecting it to a laptop you will be carrying around with you can be the perfect alternative to a regular video baby monitor (and a cheaper one).
Are Video Baby Monitors Worth Buying?
Baby monitors are not a substitute for parental supervision. Sometimes, the parents can easily fall into the trap of relying too much on the video baby monitor and reduce the time with the baby by checking it through the screen.
Babies are humans that need attention, just like any of us, so the use of video baby monitors should not be taken for granted. It is necessary for some situations, but should not become a habit.
The good thing about video baby monitors is that they will provide you with some time to finish activities you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. If you live alone and have no help around the baby, doing even regular activities like showering can be a troubling task.
This is when the video baby monitor can come in handy because it will allow you to finish showering, do the dishes, or iron, without being physically present in the same room with the baby. By checking that the baby is okay, you can be effective and finish everything easily.
To some parents, investing in a video baby monitor is a cost that is too big, and that is completely okay. For those who cannot afford to buy one, getting an audio baby monitor will also do the work. Video baby monitor is not a cost that you should take by all means.
A video baby monitor is definitely a step up from an audio monitor but is mostly an advantage for those who notice baby sleeps face down, likes to wriggle often which can make you think baby is awake through audio or those looking for an extra level of safety. A video monitor may not be worth it for you if you don’t have the means to buy one, you feel the audio is sufficient or if you feel video is too invasive.