- Family and Parenting
Best Baby Video Monitor 2014 Review
Baby Video Monitor Reviews 2013
Why get a video monitor instead of just an audio one? Well, it really boils down to cost and personal preference. I have found that having a video monitor with my colicky babies has been invaluable.
Many babies have issues when they are little and will spit up their milk. Some babies spit up a lot and it can become not only a mess, but a potential for them to choke on it. If you have the ability to see your baby and make sure that they are clean and safe, you will rest much better.
Features to Look For in a Video Monitor
As mentioned, they are a bit more costly than just plain audio monitors, so you will want to budget for them. Average video monitors will run you around $150. You might be able to find some cheaper than that, but it will be a pretty basic unit with fewer options.
Some monitors offer larger ranges so you can be further away in your home, or yard, and still see baby clearly.
The screen size is also going to be different from product to product. You might want one with night vision if you are really concerned about seeing your baby in the dark.
Some units have the capacity to work with additional cameras so you get a view from every angle you want. Check the frequency band. If you have a 2.4 GHz cordless phone, don't get a baby monitor with a 2.4 GHz frequency. This will help reduce interference.
An additional feature that many offer is a temperature sensor. You can then tell if it has become too warm, or too cold, in your baby's room for comfort.
Some also come with motion sensors which is nice, this cuts down on power usage.
Motorola MBP36 Wireless Video Monitor
On the high end of the price scale is the Motorola MBP36 Wireless Video Monitor. For those worried about privacy, this comes with data encryption built in for added security and privacy.
It will go up to 630 feet in your home, so you have lots of room to move around. If you find you have gone too far, it has a warning sound built-in so you know. It also features a 3.5" LCD color display with sound, but also infrared night vision.
It uses 2.4 GHz FHSS technology with two0-way communication. This way, you can talk, or sing, to your baby while you are in the other room. Sometimes, just hearing mom's voice can soothe them without the need of going into their room. Playback is at 25 fps so the picture is pretty good.
The camera can be moved any which way to accommodate the view you like best. The best feature to the camera? You can actually move it remotely. There are five sound activated lights so you know that your baby is awake, even if you have the sound down.
This unit does feature a temperature sensor and can use an additional cameras if you need them; up to four! The sound quality is great with no static or interference at all. There is no mute feature which can sometimes be an issue and the battery life is not very long at all. It does come with an AC adapter, so that is a plus.
The unit itself is small and compact so carrying it around is quite easy. For the price, I wish it came with a clip. However, with how light it is, I don't mind moving it from room to room when needed. If you are looking for a top of the line monitor, then you should be pretty happy with this one.
Summer Baby Touch Monitor
Another popular and highly rated monitor is the Summer Baby Touch Monitor. It features a 3.5" LCD screen which has very good image quality and has a range of 400 feet. I love that the screen is not only color, but it features touch technology!
The only drawback to this is that you can accidentally activate the screen options while just carrying the unit. But as with anything, given time, you get used to how to handle it.
You can use it to control the camera zoom, pan, scan, video volume, and brightness. The design is kind of like a cell phone being small and thin in your hand. It has a magnetic docking station for when you aren't carrying it around.
The wireless camera can be set on a flat surface, or it can be mounted to the wall with the included hardware. As with the other one we reviewed, it has a talk back feature which allows you to communicate to your baby while she goes to sleep.
The unit can be used with up to three additional cameras as well. You get AC adapters if you don't want a wireless monitor or cameras, and the battery life is quite good around 8-10 hours on a full charge. This monitor does feature night vision but it is strictly black and white.
I love that it has an automatic time-out feature which will save power while you use just the sound activated lights instead of the the video and sound options. It does come with a belt clip for convenience which is very nice while doing housework, or yard work. As an added feature, it has USB and A/V jacks so you can display the image on your television.
Graco True Focus Digital Video Monitor
The Graco True Focus Digital Video Monitor is a bit more affordable than the others and still is highly rated by parents. This is one of the best Graco monitors I've found thus far.
It operates on 2.4 GHz frequency; I did notice that the image seems a bit choppy at times, but the image is still clear enough to monitor your baby well.
The best feature to this unit is that it gives you such a large range of around 1,000 feet! This is quite the bonus for people who have large homes and yards but still want to stay in touch with their baby during naptime.
It features a battery back-up so you can still use it during power outages. The screen is a bit smaller than some of the others we've discussed at only 2.4 inches, but it is more than enough to adequately see your little one. I think, even though this monitor is cheaper than others, the night vision is actually just as clear as the day vision.
I love that the camera doesn't make any noise while zooming. It also features a belt clip for convenience. This is a unit that sits on a surface only and does not come with the option for wall mounting. So, although this unit does not offer as many features as some others, it is still a great unit that should be useful for your home.
Philips AVENT Monitor
Check out the Philips AVENT Monitor which features a 492 foot range and a 2.4 inch digital quality color screen. The camera swivels up, down and to each side for the best view of your baby.
For added night convenience, it gives you a night vision image in black and white. The image is actually quite clear and I've had no problems with it.
I like the power saving option it has by going dark until it detects a noise in your baby's room and then will light up the parental unit and initiate sound as well. This unit features a handy belt clip as well.
It runs on 2.4 GHz and automatically selects the channel with the least interference. Something that this unit features that the others don't, is a choice of three lullabies that can help your baby fall asleep. The nightlight on the camera can also be activated to provide a calming glow as well.
I will advise parents to make sure to put the camera low enough on a shelf that they can get a good birds eye view of the crib; if it is too high, the camera doesn't tilt low enough to get a good view. The battery life is about 5-6 hours which is good for the daytime; at night however, I use the AC adapter so it doesn't lost power in the middle of the night.
Infant Optics DXR
For parents on a budget, this Infant Optics DXR is a good choice. This unit is just a bit bulkier than the others but is still easy to carry around. It runs on 2.4 GHz and gives good images of 30 fps on the 2.4 inch TFT screen.
This one has a range of only 150 feet indoors and 800 feet outdoors. The night vision is adequate and gives you vision for up to 15 feet in the dark. Audio is detected and the system activates to alert you.
It can use up to 4 cameras at the same time and has many video channels to choose from. Set up is very easy and it has worked well with no issues.
This unit would be best for families that live in small apartments, or homes, since the indoor range is quite low. Overall though, it has been a good unit for our family and is much more affordable.