Eight years ago, I bought my first baby monitor. It was a heavy little black and white TV thing that sat on my nightstand with a clunky walkie-talkie that let me move around the house and still be able to hear my little guy but not see him. That’s right, less than ten years ago, baby monitors were total crap. Heavy, colorless, one function, bad reception, crap.
Today, baby monitors have so many functions, it’s mind-blowing, and so is the price for some. It’s safe to say, over the years, I’ve reviewed loads of baby monitors. I’ve watched the baby monitor market evolve from clunky boxes to hundreds of brands offering monitors with so many bells and whistles, it can be intimidating. So how do you choose the right monitor in the sea of four-hundred choices of brands and functions? You make sure you get WHAT YOU NEED. I get it, it’s hard to ignore the crazy bells and whistles, but don’t lose sight of the most important thing, your child’s safety and your sanity. Here’s how to choose the best baby monitor to get the most bang for your buck.
Smartphone Enabled Baby Monitors are a Thing
A few years ago, I was given a monitor to review that boasted having the longest range of any baby monitor, 1500 feet. It was a major advancement in the market, a monitor that allowed you to garden in the backyard and still be able to see and hear your napping baby from a handheld device.
Today, there are baby monitors that allow you to be anywhere in the world and still see your baby. GET ONE OF THESE! These monitors connect to your smartphone instead of a handheld device you keep tethered to your body, in addition to your phone. You can keep an eye on your prized possession from anywhere. No more wondering how your baby is doing while your away or with the babysitter… And here’s the best part, and why this feature should be at the top of your list, you can use the camera as a security camera too- Point the camera at your front door when no one is home and instantly get an alert when there’s movement or sound. How’s that for the gift that keeps on giving?
High-quality Camera Images Day + Night
Just because your smartphone offers high-quality images doesn’t mean the monitor will. You want a camera that offers wide-angle 1080p HD with full range of motion, offering crystal clear images day and night! Many monitors will say they have HD video, but only offer a small slice of the baby’s room or crappy night vision. Your baby monitor should allow you to see the whole picture beautifully, even when you zoom in for a nighttime close-up
A Microphone With All the Bells and Whistles. Literally.
The only feature as important as camera quality is microphone quality. Some monitors fail when it comes to microphone placement. Make sure this is a feature you check out thoroughly before purchase. Depending on microphone placement, the sound can be muffled. I LOVE Invidyo’s external microphone. I’ve never seen it before on a baby monitor, and it’s about damn time! The microphone extends out from the camera. This means your voice sounds perfect, and so do the lullabies. WHICH, Lullabies on the monitor are EVERYTHING YOU NEED! Even my ancient monitor had lullabies and it was terrific! I could start and stop the songs without going into my baby’s room and risk waking the little guy.
What Do YOU Need?
As I mentioned above, the three most important features of a baby monitor are the ability to use your smartphone instead of an external handheld device that stops working when you leave the house, high-quality HD vision and static-free clean sound.
Now’s where things can get interesting and confusing.
Today, there are so many extra features offered with smart baby monitors you have to decide what is important to YOU?
I cannot stress enough choosing a baby monitor that utilizes your smartphone. There is absolutely no reason you should have to keep up with a handheld monitor and your phone… There’s an App for that!
Plus, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of turning your baby monitor into a home security camera when it’s no longer needed in the nursery. I also love the idea of being able to buy two or three cameras for multiple rooms, all linked in the app. Imagine being able to call out the babysitter from dinner! #Winning.