Babies require constant monitoring; therefore, not having a baby monitor is not an option. However, finding the right baby monitor can be a daunting task, especially if you want to get one that has the most coverage for your money.
Here we'll show you how to sort through all the noise and find just the right baby monitor for your particular situation.
What Is a Baby Monitor?
A baby monitor is a device that allows you to see and/or hear a child that is in another room. A baby monitor listens for sounds your child is making. They also have an audio monitor and a transmitter that's equipped with a microphone that is then placed in the child's room.
How Much Do Baby Monitors Cost?
The cost of a baby monitor will depend on the type of monitor you want. There are two types of baby monitors. Those that have an audio-only feature, and those that have a combination of audio and video. A typical audio baby monitor will usually range between $15-$100 and a typical audio/video baby monitor could range anywhere from $50 to $200 or more.
There could be other costs involved as well such as additional receivers, night vision capabilities, extra cameras, vibrate mode setting, low-battery indicators, as well as extended range and out-of-range options. All of which seem to be necessary and important features. Therefore, you might plan on adding these option costs as well before you make an actual purchase.
What Features Do the Best Baby Monitors Offer?
As you would expect, baby monitors continue to evolve year over year. Previously a baby monitor was only capable of listening for audible noises coming from your baby's room via a transmitter. Now baby monitors come with a wide range of features. Here are the features the best baby monitors offer.
- Wi-Fi – This connects the baby monitor to your existing internet connection and can be accessed, monitored, and controlled remotely using a mobile device.
- Video – This feature has a built-in microphone with a two-way talk feature so you can see and talk with your baby remotely.
- Night Vision, Digital Zoom, and Video Storage – Most high-quality video baby monitors come with all these features.
- Battery Life – Shop for a baby monitor that has rechargeable batteries to eliminate the cost of buying batteries.
- Zoom Capabilities – This feature enables you to zoom in so you can see a close-up of your baby from another room. Most quality cameras also have a pan and tilt feature as well.
- High-Quality Camera – A high-quality camera will give you the clearest picture using 1080p HD video.
- Range – The range feature is important because the higher the range, the further away you can be from the monitor and still be able to hear your child without losing the connection to the base station. The ranges vary greatly between the various baby monitors. Therefore, if this is something that's important to you, make sure you look for one with the longest range.
- Room Temperature Monitor – This feature consists of a built-in temperature sensor that tells you the temperature in your baby's room at any given time. Most experts recommend a temperature range between 68 and 72°F for a baby's room. Overheating is a common cause of sudden infant death syndrome in babies making this feature extremely important.
The Disadvantages of a Baby Monitor
There are only a few disadvantages to having and using a baby monitor. Just like anything else, devices can and will fail from time to time and a baby monitor is no exception. While they work probably 99.9% of the time, there are times when the app, your internet connection, or the device will fail.
The other big disadvantage of buying a baby monitor is the expense for what you get. With most baby monitor's all you get is the monitor and a transmitter. Some baby monitors might even come with a camera, but if you want additional cameras, transmitters, or other necessary features, you have to pay extra for them.
Therefore, instead of buying a baby monitor, why not consider buying an entire home security system? In many cases, you will pay about the same, if not less for an entire home security system than you will a baby monitor.
Here are our top three alternatives to baby monitors.
The Top 3 Alternatives to Baby Monitors
Frontpoint is our highest rated home security system. It's available as either wired or wireless and it's easy to install. With a Frontpoint home security system, you will get door and window sensors, glass break sensors, wireless cameras and a remote control feature using the companion mobile app. Additionally, a Frontpoint home security system comes with environmental sensors that monitor smoke, heat, carbon monoxide and water intrusion. So what you would pay for a single baby monitor, you could be getting an entire high-quality home security system that has a temperature monitor along with other features that will protect your entire home and family.
With a Vivint home security system, you not only get security features, but you have the option of adding a multitude of home automation features as well. The Vivint home security system is 100% wireless and is professionally installed so you don't have to worry about getting it wrong. Additionally, Vivint offers a same-day installation so you won't have to wait for your new home security system to be installed.
Another thing that makes a Vivint home security system so attractive is that it comes with a smart thermostat called Element that you can ask Alexa to adjust the temperature at any time without ever having to leave the couch. The Vivint system will also enable you to set up custom mobile notifications when the Element self-adjusts so you will always have complete control of the temperature in your baby's room. The Element also has humidity and indoor air quality controls as well. So you will have the peace of mind that your baby is comfortable and able to breathe without worrying about the inhalation of dangerous toxins.
Additionally, aside from all the smart home features and voice controls, Vivint also offers environmental disaster protections such as smoke, heat, carbon monoxide, water, flood, and freeze sensors as well. All of which will protect your home and your entire family versus just the baby's room as would be the case if you purchased a baby monitor.
ADT offers either a wired or wireless home security system, home automation, high-quality video cameras and the ability to control your system remotely using their companion mobile app. ADT also has other features such as window and door sensors, glass break sensors, and motion detectors. Additionally, you also have the option of choosing a package that has ADT's environmental sensors which include carbon monoxide, fire, smoke, heat, and flood sensors. Additionally, the ADT home security system will send you activity alerts, provide you with professional 24/7 monitoring, and live streaming video via the mobile app. Therefore, it just makes sense to opt for an entire home security system to protect your whole home and family for just slightly more than you would pay for one baby monitor that only protects one room.