As with almost all baby products, there are a ton of choices for parents when it comes to a baby monitor. Most of the big box stores have a whole aisle dedicated to baby monitors alone, so how do you know which one is right for you and your family? In this blog I will go over the three different monitor types and list a few of my personal favorites.
Audio monitors are certainly among the lowest cost monitors available on the market today. They typically range from $20-50 and are very widely available online and most big box stores. While many families these days are opting to use a video monitor, an audio only monitor may be a good option for your family if you are planning to share a bedroom with the baby long term or if don’t particularly care to see baby while they are in their cribs.
Personal favorite: Graco Secure Coverage
Video monitors have come a very long way and are a great choice for families. I, along with many colleagues, would recommend a video monitor for most families. For some, just being able to see their little one at night is a great comfort to them, for other families a video monitor will become a vital part of teaching healthy sleep habits and sleep conditioning. Video monitors are highly convenient for parents and caregivers to check on the noises that baby may be making and to see if they are actually awake or if they sound like they are awake but are still sleeping. Having a video monitor will afford you the ability to stay in your own bed longer and prevent you from having to go in and check on every noise. If you are having twins, most cameras can be placed high enough to capture both cribs or if you would prefer a camera on each crib, some monitors will switch between cameras automatically.
Personal favorite (non-wifi): Motorola MPB36S
Personal favorite (wifi): Nest Cam
A movement monitor, such as the Owlet, monitors the baby’s vitals to ensure they continue breathing. Some movement monitors, like the AngelCare Monitor, go under the baby’s mattress, while the Owlet goes directly on baby’s foot. Movement monitors will alert parents or caregivers if a baby stops breathing for a set amount of seconds. These monitors are particularly great for moms or dads who may be worried about SIDS, have a preemie, or a baby who had a stay in the NICU. For some parents, this may be the only way they get a solid night’s sleep without being anxious about their baby’s breathing; for other parents, having a movement monitor may produce additional, unwanted anxiety. If you do choose a monitor that is placed under the mattress, ensure that the power cord is not placed within reach of your little one as this presents a potential choking hazard for your child.
Personal favorite: The Owlet
Think of your monitor as an investment as it will be used for the first two to three years of your child’s life. Regardless of what you choose, be sure you are happy with it. If it’s not the right monitor for you, or it doesn’t meet your expectations, take it back and get one that you like. For my family, we will be using a combination of a Nest Cam and Owlet monitor for our little one.
P.S.: Video monitors are a great way to see if your future toddler is in their bed or playing on the floor at nap time.
Make sure you check out week one and two of our registry series
Week One: Where Should I Register?
Week Two: How to Choose the Perfect Car Seat
Check out our review of the Owlet here.