Your baby is finally here and you're going to spend every moment glued to them, but there will come a time when you need to put them to down to sleep and get on with other things, like sleep. This, friends, is why the baby monitor was invented.
Like everything else pertaining to babies, there's a sea options out there with a whole differet sea of features. Many round ups feature the top 20! So if you felt entirely overwhelmed after one Google search we wouldn't be surprised. The good news is, we've done all the deep diving, and stock just four. They are all, top choice for price, design and quality, but which is best for you depend on your set up. So here we take you through the questions you need to ask yourself to decide what monitor is right for you.
Question 1. Do I need a baby monitor?
First things first, do you actually need one? This comes down to your own peace of mind. If your baby will be sleeping upstairs or away from you during the day and you’re worried you’ll miss their cry, then a baby monitor is called for. If you and your baby will be sleeping in the same room at night and you trust your ears during day naps (you know your house), you can get away without one. It might be something that comes in handy later when sleep training and self soothing enter the repertoire, and you want to keep an eye on them without going into the room.
Question 2. Do I just need audio?
Audio-only monitors are your extendable ears, and work like a walkie-talkie. Oricom Secure530 Dect Digital Audio Monitor has crystal clear sound, a nursery room temperature sensor, a soft comforting night light and easy to read blue backlit display and a parent talk-back function (so you can let baby know you're on your way or "ssshhh" them from the kitchen). It's also a music box and white noise machine with 18 lullabies: classical music, nursery rhymes, nature sounds and white noise vacuum, womb and hair dryer. If you're not familiar with white noise, that might sound horrendous but trust us, babies love it. Babies are weird. Audio-only monitors are also cheaper than their video counterpart, so if that's all you need, you save.
Question 3. Do I need good wi-fi for this?
If you’ve got a good internet connection at home through Wi-Fi, then it’s a great option to opt for a baby monitor that can run via wi-fi. Some, like the Oricom Secure875 5" Digital Baby Monitor uses radio waves, and if you're concerned about wi-fi privacy, this might be the way to go. It has an easy, high-quality five inch touchscreen display (with 6-hours battery life), night-vision, 2x zoom and motorised pan-tilt camera so you can fully check on the room from outside it. It has a room temperature sensor, soft night light. It plays lullabies and white noise and parent talk back.
Question 4. Does it connect to my phone?
Looking for a smartphone baby monitor? Download the app, plug in the camera and you're good to go! And it's one less thing to charge. One of the great beauties of an app-compatible monitor is you can check it from anywhere - comforting for the parent at work. Note: it can be a drain on your battery and data if you're going to live-stream your kid's two-hour lunch nap. Both the Owlet baby monitors and Lollipop monitor all work via wifi and connect to your smartphone through an app.
Question 5. What else can it tell me?
The latest monitors to the market give you eyes, ears and data. We stock two. Owlet Monitors pair with a Smart Sock which measure your baby’s heart rate and breathing. Able to monitor both oxygen levels and your baby’s heart rate while they sleep, it is really the ultimate device for peace of mind. Keep in mind though that you’ll have to buy an audio/video monitor separately or the whole pack from Owlet if you want to enjoy the other traditional features of a baby monitor, but if you do, it's totally baby surveillance: audio, visual and internal. The Owlet Camera also has night vision, two-way audio (so you can play something from your phone into the room) and sound and movement notifications to let you know when your baby is restless.
Lollipop monitors get their edge from being streamline and visually appealing. Designed like an eyeball with a bendy tail, it wraps around crib rails (meaning you're guaranteed to get the best angle without putting holes in the wall). It's wireless, has a speaker and sound machine to play white noise, night vision and gets a 128 degree view. Impressive. It also detects your baby’s activity and sends notifications when they cry, climb around the crib or make loud noises. The Lollipop collects data, so the more you use it the more you'll learn about your baby's sleep habits. Do they fuss at the same time every day? Does something specific make them upset? It also comes with sharing functionality, where you can invite friends and family to take a peek at your baby with a link to the Lollipop's live camera view, or send them a link to a pre-recorded video of a specific event. It's super easy to set these up and add additional cameras, so it's ideal for parents of multiples.
Question 6. So which is for me?
You know the options now, so consider your parenting style, budget and space, to decide which is going to work best for you, now and with future children (because this is one baby item that lasts and lasts).
If you liked this guide, we’ve got some handy how to choose articles on our blog. Read how to choose a highchair, how to choose a baby bassinet, choosing a travel pram, and how to choose a breast pump.