Baby monitors have become very popular additions to baby rooms over the years. Not every parent will choose to purchase a baby monitor, but they bring a lot of benefits into the home and offer parents peace of mind. There are a number of different kinds of baby monitors and they each have their own benefits and disadvantages. Since your little one is now the most important thing in your life, we bet you’ll find all of the information valuable as you decide whether or not to purchase a new baby monitor.
Why Would A Parent Want A Baby Monitor?
Many parents feel that their baby monitor is an absolutely necessary component of the way they raise their child. Being able to keep an eye on a baby or toddler without being in the same room offers parents a lot of freedom and peace of mind. Plus, they allow you to perform overnight checks while your baby sleeps without needing to enter the room and potentially disturb the child. First time parents especially will take a lot of comfort from their ability to check on their child all the time, even while they are being watched by a babysitter.
Many baby monitors allow multiple people to connect, so it is a great way to share special moments with other family members that can’t be around very often in person. Plus, it gives parents their life back piece by piece; parents who work during the day can keep an eye on their child while they are with a sitter and date nights can be worry-free.
One of the many reasons a parent will choose to buy a baby monitor is the hope to avoid sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). This is an extremely unpredictable and anxiety-inducing conditions, and baby monitors can help parents feel better by being able to check on the status of their child at any time throughout the day.
Cons of Baby Monitors
Baby monitors have become pretty sophisticated gadgets as the years have gone on, but their capabilities also introduce some safety concerns with cyber security. As scary and disturbing as it is, all types of baby monitors are hackable, and there are actually people out there that will spend their time gaining access to a baby monitoring system. While video feeds and WiFi connectivity are excellent features that parents love, they also make the system more vulnerable. These security concerns are one of the main drawbacks that parents need to consider before adding a baby monitor to their home, especially if they are looking for the additional functionality that comes with a smart baby monitor and an internet connection.
Another one of the more generalised disadvantages that comes with a baby monitor won’t apply to every parent, but it is related to an inability to disconnect. Many parents find that the option to check on their child any time they wish actually becomes a pretty insistent distraction that can end up ruining date night or interrupting focus. Parents need to be able to take a break, and the pressure to check on a child just because you have the ability to can become overwhelming for some parents.
Pros and Cons of Audio Baby Monitors
Audio baby monitors are the simplest form of baby monitor. They use radio or digital frequencies to transmit audio signals from the child’s room to the portable parent unit. They are mostly used as a way to know when a baby wakes up and are not as popular for baby’s rooms as other types of monitors.
- Highly Affordable: Due to their simplicity, audio baby monitors are the most affordable models on the market. Every parent will be able to afford one, so they are great as backups for more sophisticated monitors or for parents that are on a pretty tight budget.
- Long Battery Life: Since audio baby monitors don’t need to stream video or track any variables such as baby’s heart rate or room temperature, the parent/receiver unit will hold its charge very well. This is a major convenience for parents since they are always busy, and it makes the monitoring system more reliable too.
- Most Secure Option: Audio baby monitors are the most secure type of baby monitoring system you can get. Since they don’t require a WiFi signal or transmit video, you are drastically limiting the ways a potential hacker can access the communication. Unless they are nearby in the vicinity, know the channel you are using, and can bypass the encryption, there is no way for them to invade your privacy.
- Audio-Only Feeds: Since radio baby monitors are so simple in design, they are not capable of transmitting video. Some parents rely on a visual check up to actually get any peace of mind, so these monitors aren’t for everyone. During sleep training, the lack of video feed means you won’t have a way of knowing the reason your baby is crying and it may set you back a bit.
- Lacking In Features: Audio baby monitors have a pretty limited functionality. They transmit any sound form your baby’s room and will also light up when the baby cries, so you can be aware of your baby fussing even if the volume is turned down. That’s pretty much all there is to these monitors, and for most parents, that isn’t enough.
- Prone to False Alarms: Since audio monitors don’t give you any way to see what is going in the baby’s room, you may find yourself heading to the nursery more often than you really need to just to investigate the reason for a noise. You may accidentally wake up your baby and you’ll just tire yourself out.
Pros and Cons of Video Baby Monitors
Video monitoring systems for infants are significantly more popular than audio models. Parents like to keep an eye on their child as well as an ear, and video baby monitors can allow you to do both. They also offer some additional functionality depending on the model you choose.
- Dual Monitoring: Video monitors offer the ability to both see and hear your baby while they are in a separate room. Not only does this offer an additional level of comfort and security, but you are also better able to identify what your baby needs when they cry. You’ll also be able to tell if they really need something from you or if they are going to self soothe and settle on their own.
- Can Monitor Different Rooms: Most video baby monitors allow you the option to install multiple cameras around your house. This way, you’ll be able to check on your child whether they are in their nursery sleeping or playing in a playpen elsewhere in the home. If you have multiple children sleeping in separate rooms, this system will allow you to see them all at once.
- More Susceptible to Hackers: Since video baby monitors have a more complex streaming system than audio models, there are more doors open to hackers that wish to invade your home remotely. This is one of the biggest concerns for new parents, but there are ways to make these systems more secure as well. They will also have some security features built in already when you purchase them.
- Shorter Range: Baby video monitors do not have the same range as audio monitors, so you will need to be inside your home, or maybe just outside in your backyard, to be able to check in on your sleeping baby. This is something to keep in mind if you want to run over to the neighbour’s house or briefly down the street to a mailbox; you likely won’t have access to the monitor.
Pros and Cons of WiFi Baby Monitors
WiFi baby monitors are by far the most popular, especially for new parents. Infant optics, Nanit, and Eufy are some of the most popular brands that sell WiFi monitors, but they are certainly not the only ones. As a result, there is a lot of variety on the market. The competition between the manufacturers only serves to improve the products and increase their versatility, making them the best baby monitors for functionality.
- Exceptional Versatility: In addition to the increased versatility provided by the WiFi connection, these monitors also have some of the best technology built in to improve their usefulness to parents. Features such as two-way audio, night vision cameras, noise machines for white noise and lullabies, nightlights, and heart rate and breathing monitors are all common additions to WiFi baby monitors.
- Unlimited Range: While WiFi baby monitors can be isolated to access only your home router and devices connected to it, they do have the potential to broaden their horizons to anywhere in the world. This would allow you to check on your child using the smart phone app while you are at work, out on a date night, or even halfway around the world for a business meeting.
- Expensive: Due to the technical sophistication and additional features, WiFi baby monitors will be the most expensive type you will find on the market. While most parents will find that the cost is pretty reasonable for the functionality and completely worth it, it is still a pretty hefty investment that won’t be all that affordable for every parent.
- Least Secure Type: WiFi baby monitors are the least secure since they connect to a network that can theoretically be accessed by anyone. While limiting the range to your home network only will help limit the risks, hackers will target this type of monitor more than any other kind. While this is obviously a concern, don’t let it deter you completely; many security features are in place to prevent hackers from gaining access, and there are a number of additional things you can do to improve the security of your monitoring system.