If you’re looking to buy the best baby video monitor that will give you something like an extra pair of effective and tireless eyes with which to watch your sleeping baby, then you’ve come to the right place.
Using baby monitors with camera helps you see if your baby is sleeping comfortably and alert you to possible situations that may arise, which may cause discomfort to your little angel.
Read our buying guide for baby monitors in order to learn about the important product features you need to consider before making your purchase. We’ll also be presenting you with the three best baby monitor models that have the highest ratings and the most positive baby monitor reviews.
Kinds of Baby Monitors
There are basically two types of electronic baby monitors: audio monitors and audio/video monitors. As the name implies, an audio baby monitor lets you hear when your baby cries or when an unusual sound or noise occurs in the nursery. Some audio monitors have a sound lights feature, where the lights on the receiver grow brighter according to the level of sound the monitor detects in the baby’s room.
An audio/video baby monitor not only alerts you to sounds in your baby’s room, but also provides real-time video or images of your baby as he or she sleeps in the room. It comes with a video camera that you can put on a table or mount on the room’s wall; it then sends images to the handheld receiver that you have with you. Some models allow you to connect the unit to a television set so you can monitor your baby on a big screen.
Analog vs. Digital
Both analog and digital baby video monitors operate on specific frequencies, similar to how a radio works. The major difference is that digital monitors encode the signal that travels between the monitor and receiver. In this manner, the sounds and images from your unit are not heard and seen by other parties.
This is particularly useful if you have neighbors who also use a baby monitor. With an analog monitor, you run the risk of having your neighbors pick up your unit’s signal and see and hear what is happening in your baby’s room. Using a digital baby monitor significantly reduces or even eliminates this concern.
What to Consider
There are several brands from which you can choose, including Summer Infant, Motorola and Lorex. Prices can range from $120 to $200, depending on the bells and whistles included. Keep in mind, though, that the more expensive models aren’t necessarily the best ones. Some of the more basic models are just the right products for many parents.
Here are some features that several baby video monitor brands carry, which you might find desirable:
*Out of range alert. This is especially helpful if you have a large house or if you plan to step outside your home for a few minutes while your baby is asleep. Instead of just static, an alarm lets you know that you’re out of range of the monitor’s signal.
*Temperature and motion sensor. Some monitors keep track of the temperature in your baby’s room, so you can adjust it accordingly if it becomes too hot or too cold. Any unusual motion your baby makes or occurs in the room can also be picked up by some models.
*Extra receiver. Some wireless video baby monitor brands offer an extra receiver or parent unit. This will allow you and your partner to monitor your baby even when you are in different parts of the house.
*Night vision. Some video monitor models give you a clear visual image of your baby and his or her surroundings even if the room is dimly lit. This is a nice feature to have, since bright lights at night in your baby’s room may cause him or her some discomfort.
Now let’s see which video baby monitors get the highest ratings and the most thumbs-ups from consumers. We’ve culled three of the bestselling models according to user reviews and ratings on Amazon.com.
1. Summer Infant Day & Night Handheld Color Video Monitor 1.8″ Screen
This Summer Infant baby monitor has the highest number of 5-star reviews on Amazon.com as of the time of this writing: more than 230. What I like about this particular model is that the night vision function lets you see your baby within a distance of six feet, even in total darkness. Here’s what you get in the box: a rechargeable battery pack, video camera with transmitter, camera-mounting bracket and hardware, monitor belt clip and stand, two AC adapters, handheld monitor with receiver, and a user’s manual. Here are the highlights of some reviews written by buyers:
– A couple said they were able to use the receiver about 20 feet around the perimeter of their house with no interference
– It is very durable; a reviewer said the product was still working perfectly two years after purchasing it
– It can easily be hooked up to a TV using a plug-in cord
– You can adjust the image’s brightness to your liking
– The rechargeable batteries make it an environmentally-friendly device
– Some reviewers complained about the size of the monitor, though several of them say it isn’t really a big negative since the image it provides is very clear
– There was a complaint that the picture is black & white at night, but another explained that color is not always possible if the camera is in a dark room
2. Summer Infant Best View Handheld Color Video Monitor with 2.5″ Screen
Another Summer Infant video monitor makes it to the top 3, and this one comes with a larger screen than the one described above. One of the best things about this digital baby monitor is that the camera can be remotely panned and zoomed. It also has a rechargeable battery and comes with a belt clip and flip stand. Here is some of what the reviews say:
– You can add up to three additional cameras to use with it
– A reviewer said there was no interference, even in the presence of other wireless or cordless devices
– The camera’s flexibility when rotating and zooming is excellent
– Distances do not seem to negatively affect sound quality
– The power save feature extends battery life even more
– Some customers complained about flashing IR LED lights, though some others said they did not experience this problem
– The power cords are only six feet long
– A buyer said the battery doesn’t charge as well after a year and a half of use
3. Lorex LW2003 LIVE snap Video Baby Monitor (White)
One of the things I like about this Lorex digital baby monitor is that it comes with a microSD card that can store about 4,000 pictures. You can take photos of your baby while he or she is asleep or if he or she just woke up. What a nice idea for a baby album! Here are what else you get in the box in addition to the video monitor, camera and microSD memory card and SD card adapter: two power adapters, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery for the video monitor, and a charging cradle. Now here is some feedback on the product from reviewers:
– You can communicate with your baby because of the two-way audio function between the camera and the handheld monitor
– The digital signal works well against interference
– It’s very portable since you can remove the monitor from its base and carry it around with you
– The video quality and range are more than adequate
– The night vision feature works well
– The plastic is not so good for the device’s appearance
– The volume control on the handheld monitor is located low
– Several customers complained about sales and customer service from Lorex
As you can see from the customer feedback, not every product is perfect, not even the bestselling ones. But for hundreds of consumers, the pros far outweigh the cons and a lot of them feel they got excellent value for their money.
We recommend you take a closer look at the baby video monitors described above, whether to give as a gift to parents of newborns or for your own use at home. You just might find one of them to be the best baby video monitor for you and your little angel.