The Best Baby Monitor Reviews Every Parent Reads before Buying
3 Basic Baby Monitor Types You Need to Know
A baby monitor is a device that allows remote monitoring of a young child. There are three common types: video, audio and abdominal.
The Basic: Audio Infant Monitor
In the past, parents often relied on hearing a baby’s cries through the bedroom wall. That is to ascertain or let them know when a diaper change is needed.
With the first type of baby monitor – audio baby monitor – parents can trust that they will hear a child in distress. This regardless of where they may be in the home.
The ease with which modern video cameras can capture and wirelessly transmit data has reduced the demand for audio-only monitors. If you look at the more recent baby monitor reviews, the trend is shifting towards more advanced baby monitoring systems.
Compared to audio-only baby monitoring system, video baby monitors are seen as the best baby monitor type today.
The State-of-the-Art: Video Infant Monitor
If you are looking at the best baby monitors, more often than not, your top list will be dominated by products that is equipped with video streaming capability.
A camera is focused on the crib, the image is transmitted to the monitor elsewhere in the home. Today’s cameras typically offer excellent resolution and added capabilities. Such monitors include audio capability as well.
For parents who choose to let their kids sleep in different room will find such feature very helpful. This is because they no longer have to walk in and out of the room just to check the sleeping position of their infants. Something that is not only dreadful to parents (especially since we are talking about waking up in the night) but may also disturb the peaceful sleep of the baby.
The Latest Innovation: Abdominal Monitoring
One of the latest innovation in baby monitor technology is the introduction of abdominal movement sensor. I have no record as to who was the first to patent such technology. But Snuza Go is among the early pioneer in this space.
How it works is rather simple. An infant abdominal monitor is clipped to the diaper at the navel. The soft sensor tracks the movement of the child’s abdomen. Why abdomen? This is because it is one of the best and most easily accessible part to detect the breathing pattern of your infant.
An audible alarm goes off if no motion is detected for a pre-determined amount of time. This is usually in the range of 15 seconds. Some units like the Snuza Hero will automatically vibrate to induce movement after 15 seconds.
But parents are cautioned not to take things for granted and let their guards down when using this type of assistive device. Remember that such device is supposed to provide assistance and virtually no man-made product can be expected to work 100% reliably and take over human’s role.
Why use a baby monitor?
Freedom of Movement
A parent with a portable baby monitor will invariably feel more free to move about the home to get things done.
As you can constantly have visual access to your little angel, it reduces or eliminates the anxiety that arises when there’s uncertainty about how baby is doing.
To put it simply, it lets you focus on getting the chores done and meals prepared. This is while still making sure that you will be there when a potentially threatening situation arises.
Early Acute Warning
Baby monitors can be particularly helpful when an infant has a fever or an illness. A parent’s ability to watch for changes in the child during the night can offer peace-of-mind.
Innovation such as the abdominal monitors offer parents even greater peace-of-mind. These devices are designed to assist parents in detecting early sign that might lead to possibility of Suddent Infant Death Syndrom (SIDS).
But again, parents are advised to adopt this latest innovation with caution. As it is still considered to be in infancy stage, parents should not expect the device to work without fail all the time. This is even when they have bought themselves the best baby monitor.
Features of Best Baby Monitors
So, what features are to be considered during the search for a good baby monitor?
The best baby monitor reviews will address the features included for the price. As is the case with most products, baby monitors with numerous features may be more expensive. Therefore, it is important to go through the following list of common features in order to prioritize them. Consideration of additional baby monitor reviews can also be helpful.
Privacy and Security
Privacy sounds like a basic requirement but yet, believe it or not, not every infant monitor product is equipped with it.
“I was shocked when it was not my baby that I saw in the video. It turned out that my receiver unit is picking up images from someone else’s camera.”
It sounds hard to believe, but that actually happens to not one but a number of parents whose baby monitors have not been encrypted.
One encryption technique that has been used in a number of products is the Frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS). Foscam FBM3501 is one product that uses this technique.
A baby monitor with infrared capability can produce a video image in complete darkness. Monitors with this feature typically have a switch that allows one to use this capability only when it is needed.
White Noise Elimination
Some baby monitors will shut off automatically when only static or “white noise” is detected for a period of time.
The system then re-activates when a noise is picked up. This feature allows the parent or other caregiver to enjoy activities without the distraction of constant, low-level static emanating from the monitor.
Infant Optics DXR-5 is one of the best-selling baby monitor that is packed with this feature.
The steady improvement in battery technology means that battery-operated monitors are more practical than ever. One can freely move about the house throughout the day while using a battery-operated unit.
The Levana Jena claims to offer the longest battery operation among all the baby monitors. It can work up to 8 hours after full recharge and if that is not enough, there is the power saving mode – referred to as PEEP – that extends the battery life up to 12 hours.
A monitor with better audio and video transmission capability will give one more freedom to enjoy portable monitoring, indoors or out.
Keep in mind that the signal will travel through open air with far greater ease than it can travel though thick floors or walls.
Still, a range of 150-ft or more may be possible under such conditions, depending upon the monitor. Microwave ovens that are in-use and metal frame buildings can both impede signal transmission.
In the case of the higher end models like Samsung SEW-3037W, it is common for the technical specification to include the interference-free range of between 800-1000 feet. There is nothing wrong with these figures except they are virtually impossible to be achieved under typical home environment.
Some baby monitors will send an alert if the temperature in the child’s room falls below a pre-determined level.
But if the reviews shared by parents can be used as any indicator of a feature’s usefulness, it seems to me that the temperature indicator offered in some of the baby monitors turn out to be a feature that parents find least useful.
Other than the image resolution, the number of frames that are transmitted each second also determines the video streaming quality.
The more expensive models come with higher frame transmission. For comparison, the Dropcam Pro lets you enjoy 1920×1080 resolution at 30 frames per second while the lower priced VTech Communications Video Monitor is only capable of delivering 22 frames per second.
Some video cameras have a “pan, tilt and zoom” capability. Parents can remotely move the camera lens up and down or side-to-side.
The lens can also be directed to zoom in on activity when one wants to take a closer look. These units are particularly helpful when a child is playing on the floor, for example.
Room for Expansion
Those that anticipate a growing family may want a baby monitor with extra camera capability. Some units can support as many as four different video cameras.
Let Baby Monitor Reviews Show You the Way
A baby product it may be, but I consider baby monitor to be a kind of tech gadget. As with any tech gadget, the level of user experience depends on the tech savviness of the user.
I’m not saying every parent is non-tech savvy but in general, when you have so many tasks to juggle, adapting to a new technology might be a slow process.
Therefore, it is important that you go through the various baby monitor reviews as it will definitely help in your hunt for the best baby monitor without necessarily getting lost in a sea of confusion.
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