A mother’s instinct is an innate part of you. Whether you are a first-time mom or a seasoned mom, having a newborn makes you a little worried more often than not.
Keeping an eye on your newborn is what you want to do, but what if you needed to go back to work? What if you need to go out to do some unavoidable errands, or you simply want to enjoy a quick dinner with your family while the baby is asleep? What if you’re probably not co-sleeping in the first place?
Most families nowadays have a baby monitor at home. This can somehow ease the anxiousness because you can easily check on your baby or get a heads-up once your baby is awake and needed to be fed or changed. But do you really need a baby monitor? Or is it just one of those baby gadgets that you will only use for a couple of months, and then off they go to storage?
What is a baby monitor?
A baby monitor is a device that can help you check on your baby at any given time. A baby monitor is very similar to a walkie talkie that comes in handy and can provide you with information about your baby’s activity. It also is a must-have gadget if you are in the process of sleep-training your little one.
Technology has made it possible for you to check on your little even through your laptops or mobile phones through a live feed. With just a click of your finger, you can see and check what your baby is up to when you are not with them. Wireless baby monitors have gained more popularity because of the convenience and accessibility they can provide while working or while you are out of the house to do some errands.
Baby monitors have also played a vital role for working moms to easily look into their little ones who are left home with a nanny or a babysitter. Although most nannies and babysitters know the ins and outs of caring for your child, having a baby monitor can provide the assurance and comfort that your baby is getting the utmost care and attention they need while you are not around. A baby monitor can also be considered a tool that can help prevent neglect or abuse on the part of the carer. During the massive explosion in Beirut, a baby monitor even captured the heroics of one nanny toward the child in her care.
Benefits of a baby monitor
Typically, a baby monitor is always included in every new parent’s wishlist before and even after giving birth. You probably know by now how helpful a baby monitor is when checking your baby at any given time. But here are some other advantages of having a baby monitor as part of your baby essentials for newborn and beyond:
- A baby monitor can give you all the assurance you need when your baby’s safety is concerned. You can check on your baby without having to go to his room, thus minimizing the risk of waking up your baby in the middle of his sleep. A baby monitor also helps you keep track of your baby’s sleep.
- One of the benefits of a video baby monitor is that it gives you an instant and accurate picture of what your baby is up to. Sometimes, you will find yourself running towards your baby because you “thought” your baby is crying, only to find out that they’re still in deep slumber. Mommy brain woes.
- Having a new baby can be a little overwhelming for you. Having a baby monitor also provides a little stretch of rest for you on those sleepless nights.
- Suppose your baby has some health issues such as congenital disabilities, allergies, asthma, or even the risk of seizure. In that case, you can easily monitor them without giving up time for work or even house chores. A baby monitor can provide a clear signal through video or audio that your baby is at risk. This will give you the time needed to deal with the situation and provide the care your child needs as quickly as possible.
- If your baby is sharing a room with an older child, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on them. Accidents can always happen, even when children play in the comforts of your home. Having a baby monitor in place can keep you a step ahead when it comes to your children’s safety.
- A baby monitor can help assess your baby’s situation and give you the privilege to look after your older kids when you’ve traveled. Some baby monitors have two-way audio recordings similar to the good old walkie talkie, allowing you to maintain a stable and healthy relationship with your children.
- If you have a sentimental part in you, a baby monitor camera can help you record those priceless moments of your baby from day one. You can even share these “mementos” with your family and friends who are just as excited as you are to see your baby’s milestones.
What are the different features of a baby monitor?
A baby monitor can either be an audio or a video device. If you are planning to buy a baby monitor, Amazon has a wide range of baby monitors to choose from. Aside from the display screen size, maximum range, and camera/audio connectivity, among the other features of a baby monitor you need to consider are:
- App availability-Want to see your little one during your busy day at work? If you’re a working mom who is always in front of your monitor or someone who goes out most of the time with a smartphone, this could be your number one consideration.
- Movement sensor-Baby monitors with movement sensors have a pad or sensor that monitors your baby’s movement and breathing. The baby monitor will alert you once no motion is detected. This gives comfort to parents who are worried about the risk of SIDS.
- Audio sensor-An audio baby monitor works with a transmitter unit and a microphone placed near your child. The sound is transmitted to the receiver through a speaker near you. It can detect even the slightest sound, thus giving you the prompt that your baby is awake after an afternoon nap.
- Night vision-If you are not into co-sleeping and chose to let your child sleep through the night in his own room, this feature could be an important part of the deal when buying a baby monitor. Most baby monitors already come with a night vision which is very similar to a CCTV camera. It will enable you to check on your little one even while his lights are off in the wee hours of the night without having to get up from your bed.
- Low battery alert-What else is best but a warning that your baby monitor will soon run out of battery power? For safety reasons, especially if you leave your baby in a room, a baby monitor with a low battery alert can prompt you immediately. You should not set ignore this feature, especially if you are out of the house very often.
- Out-of-range alert-The out-of-range alert will give you a heads-up if your baby monitor cannot function well because of proximity issues. Even if you are using a wireless baby monitor, the out-of-range alert is an important factor to consider. It will prompt you if you are in a location where your connectivity is limited to none. This feature can also refer to the maximum range your traditional baby monitor can be placed from your baby’s current position.
- Room temperature sensor-As a parent, one of your priorities is keeping your baby safe and comfortable at the same time. Your baby is very sensitive to temperature, and of course, they are unable to tell you if they feel too cold or too warm. A baby monitor with a temperature sensor can help you and your baby address this issue. Although a room thermometer can be an option, choosing a baby monitor with a room temperature sensor can definitely kill two birds with one stone.
The best baby monitor available
If you’re already convinced about having a baby monitor in your home, there are so many baby monitors available in the market today. You can check on baby monitor reviews from your fellow parents for a first-hand account of not only the benefits of having a baby monitor but also its features.
Here are the 5 top-rated baby monitors on Amazon according to parents like you:
1. Owlet Smart Sock 3 Baby Monitor with Oxygen & Heart Rate
The Owlet Smart Sock 3 Baby Monitor comes in a “sock” that can track your baby’s heart and oxygen levels. You can readily have this information via its app to notify you if your baby needs your immediate attention.
2. Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor with Interchangeable Optical Lens
The award-winning long-range video baby monitor is value for money. Besides having all the best features, including night vision, room-temperature sensor, and talk back function, the Infant Optics Video Baby Monitor has an excellent security feature. You can be guaranteed your baby’s security because no data is shared through the internet and the camera unit access will not be available to other devices.
3. Motorola Video Baby Monitor
This baby monitor comes with 2 portable cameras that can give you a better view of your baby’s room. Motorola Video Baby Monitor also comes with a highly sensitive microphone that can alert you when your baby starts to cry or create the slightest sound,
4. VTech VM919HD Video Monitor with HD Night Vision
The VTech Video monitor consists of a 7-inch display monitor in high definition and a wide-angle lens, giving you a picture-perfect view of your baby. It also has a power-saving mode that automatically turns off once no sound has been detected and will activate once your baby makes any sound.
5. VAVA Baby Monitor Split View
The split-screen feature of the VAVA Baby Monitor is perfect if you have a newborn and a toddler in separate rooms. You can also remotely control the cameras to zoom in to provide a better view of your children and everything inside their room. It also has a 900-feet range between the 2 cameras and long battery life making it convenient for families with 2 or more children.
Keeping your baby monitors secured
A baby monitor is considered a safety gadget rather than a security tool. However, the technology makes it so accessible that even hackers can go into your system if you use a baby monitor through an app. Nothing seems to be impossible with these intruders; hence you should go the extra mile to keep your baby monitor secured at all times. I guess this is the downside of technological advancement when it comes to baby monitors.
Fortunately, Wi-Fi baby monitors today already have security features. This step is a proactive approach from the manufacturers of the high-tech baby monitors available in the market. Perhaps they anticipated that parents would raise the concern in the long run. Also, an important factor is that broadband providers also made an effort to make Wi-Fi security a priority for the services they offer.
You can also do the following to ensure that you make the most of Wi-Fi security when using your baby monitor:
- Do some research before buying a baby monitor. Read some reviews from those who have purchased it, particularly on its security features.
- Use a strong password and frequently change it. Also, make sure that you will only give access to people you trust.
- Constantly update your software. It will be much easier for hackers to get into your system if the software is not updated. You can install some other security applications too.
- When you are not using your baby monitor, turn it off. Having your baby monitor running even when not in use makes it more prone to hacking.
Keeping an eye on your child is a good thing. But it is much better to keep a more secure way of checking your child. As a parent, you have nothing to lose but everything to gain when it comes to being over the top when security is the topic.
Final thoughts on having a baby monitor
A baby monitor will help you monitor your baby while doing other “mom tasks” and provide extra assistance when everything seems overwhelming as a new mother. But of course, it cannot replace you in ensuring the safety of your baby 24/7.
Having a newborn is a wonderful part of motherhood, but this should not compromise our own health physically and mentally. A baby monitor can surely give you even an extra minute to breathe and happily go back to your mommy/daddy mode.