When determining what monitor(s) to get for your baby, we think it’s important to consider three factors: your home, what stresses you out, and your budget.
First, assess your home and think about it’s layout, how far you’ll be from baby, and other considerations such as if you’ll have access to wifi. For example, we live in a two story house where our kids sleep upstairs and my husband and I sleep downstairs. A significant factor for us is the distance between us and crying babies, so we need a monitor that gives us great visibility on our kids.
The second factor to consider is what stresses you out. As a pediatric nurse for five years, I was really used to seeing babies constantly monitored, so a low-level of constant monitoring on my baby gives me some comfort.
So I’m all about over-monitoring and visibility. And I’m cheap. I want a monitor that will last from the time my children are babies to when they’re tweens. With that in mind, below is my ranked list of preferred baby monitors:
Pros: Dropcam provides an excellent camera with exceptional audio that can all be accessed through a first class mobile app. You’re going to be carrying your smart phone around with you already, you might as well be monitoring your baby with it. You can have multiple Dropcams linked to your single mobile app, and the app throws alerts anytime the camera picks up movement. The mobile app also provides two-way comms, so we can hollar at our munchkins to stay in bed. The beauty of the mobile app is that it gives you virtually unlimited range to monitor your kids– we’ve snooped on our kids in Seattle from Europe while traveling. We also chose this monitor because we’re playing the long game– it’s not just a baby monitor, but it will let us surveil our kids well into their teenage years! Also, when we all go out of town, we repurpose one of our two Dropcams as a security camera and point it to living rooms or entry way.
Cons: Admittedly, Dropcam is expensive compared to cheaper alternatives (such as the impressive YI Home Camera). Dropcam relies upon a wifi connection, so it’s not helpful if you’re traveling to places with your kids that have no internet. We’ve also had friends not choose the Dropcam due to privacy concerns since the camera requires wifi and could potentially be hackable.
Pros: I love Angelcare because it senses your baby’s breathing and movement in bed, so it will alert you if your child hasn’t breathed in twenty seconds. Angelcare does this through a sensor pad that goes under the baby’s mattress. The new Deluxe Plus model has two sensor pads to decrease false alarms (con!). If someone was to pickup your baby from their bed, it would also alarm within twenty seconds– more peace of mind! For a monitoring device, Angelcare is great because you don’t have to affix anything to your baby while they are sleeping.
Cons: This model doesn’t have a camera, but Angelcare does have other models with cameras. We’ve never been really impressed with the image quality and settings, however. Angelcare can also be cumbersome to travel with since the sensor pads require cords connecting back to the receiver which requires a power cord, etc.
$249.99 from Owlet.com
Pros: Owlet is new on the scene and it brings hospital-level monitoring into your home using a pulse oximeter, and Expecting Joy currently offers as a rental for $22/month. Owlet provides a high-level of accuracy in baby’s status, making it ideal for babies that are premies or have had other respiratory issues at birth. Gives exceptional piece of mind to know your baby is sleeping safely. Owlet also has a mobile app, and it has a base station for anyone without access to the mobile app such as babysitters and grandparents.
Cons: You have to put the Owlet on your baby every time you want to use it. Sometimes this can even wake the baby up if they’re already asleep. If the baby is active while sleeping, it can disrupt the ability for Owlet to accurately monitor the baby, even though your baby is fine. Also, it’s hard to teach others how to use Owlet such as babysitters or grandparents.