How to choose the best baby monitor

Hooray, your new arrival is finally here! While you’re likely going to spend all your waking hours glued to them initially, there’ll come a time when you need to put them to sleep and get on with doing other things (hello over piling laundry basket). Enter: the baby monitor.
Considering buying a baby monitor but don’t know where to start? We get it. There’s so much information out there and best baby monitor lists of 20+ models that it can start to get pretty overwhelming. Here’s our no-nonsense guide to help you work out what’s really important in your search to choose a baby monitor- we promise, no long lists of 20 suggestions in sight!

Do I need a baby monitor? 

First things first, do you actually need one? First and foremost, it comes down to whether or not you feel the need to invest in something that will give you peace of mind. If you’re going to have your baby napping 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 your baby will be sleeping in the same room as you during the evening or you won’t leave their side whilst they’re napping, you can get away without one. However, once you move them into their own bedroom or you simply want to be able to move around your home and garden freely whilst keeping an ear on them, you can’t beat having a baby monitor. 

How to choose a baby monitor?

Without further ado, here’s our top tips for how to buy a baby monitor:

Audio vs video monitors

When you begin your hunt for the best baby monitor, you’ll see options for audio or video monitors. Audio monitors have been around for longer and are like a walkie talkie between you and your baby. You can hear their breathing and cries, and some may even have a talkback option. They’re a more low-key way of keeping an eye on your little one and generally are more affordable than their video counterpart. Conversely, video monitors are the whole kit and caboodle. You get both sound and video to keep an eye on your little one. They’re generally more expensive since they’re more sophisticated. So, your starting point for buying a baby monitor should be working out whether you want the option to have both audio & video or prefer something a little more simple with just audio monitoring. 

Does it use wi-fi or radio signals?

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. Many also come with a battery back-up in case your internet connection is lost. If your bandwidth at home isn’t great or you’ve got many devices connected to the wi-fi, then opting for a monitor that uses radio frequency could be better. Keep in mind that the Owlet baby monitors all rely on Wi-Fi .

Does it connect to your smartphone? 

Looking for a smartphone baby monitor? Many baby monitors now come with an app that you can download on your phone to keep an eye on your baby. Whilst not essential, it can be more convenient for parents since your smartphone is normally within hands reach at all times. Many also offer the ability to check the app even when you’re not home, so it’s great if one parent is at work and wants to check in on bub whilst the other is at home with them. Just keep in mind that it can seriously drain your battery (and data!). Our Owlet baby monitors all connect to your Smartphone with an app. 

Talkback feature 

Most baby monitors will come with the option to talk back to your baby’s cries and try to soothe them before you rush to their beds. Investing in a monitor with this feature is really advantageous as you can try to settle them from afar at first. All of our monitors at the memo come with the two-way talk feature.

Lullaby music/ white noise feature

Whilst it’s not an essential, this is a great added feature you can find on many baby monitors. The ability to play soothing music or white noise if your baby has trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep adds even more value to these powerful monitors. Again, all of our monitors at the memo come with this great feature so you’re really getting extra value in your device.

Baby room temperature monitor

Keeping your child at an optimal temperature while they sleep is one of the biggest concerns new parents have. Many baby monitors now have the ability to measure the temperature of your baby’s room and alert you if it reaches an ‘unsafe’ level. The Oricom Audio monitor has this feature if you’re looking for the ability to keep track of your child’s room temperature with ease.

Night vision

There’s not much point in having a video monitor if it doesn’t include night vision or else you won’t be able to see a thing! Rest assured, all of our baby monitor video cameras come with night vision so you can keep a close eye on them as they sleep with ease. 

Baby breathing monitor

The latest kind of baby monitor to hit the market in recent times are ones that specifically measure your baby’s heart rate and breathing. At the memo, we stock the Smart Sock from Owlet and it’s the most advanced monitor we offer. 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.

What is the best baby monitor?

What works for your friend, might not be what’s best for you. It’s important to choose a baby monitor that has the most important features to you, since at the end of the day it’s your peace of mind and your child’s safety we’re talking about. Once you’ve gone through our tips above for choosing a baby monitor you should have a good idea of everything you definitely want in your monitor and the things you’re willing to pass on. At the memo, we stock two of the very best baby monitor brands; Oricom and Owlet. Here’s our round-up on each to help you work out the differences and choose the best one for you. 

Owlet baby monitor

Owlet offers both video and/or heart rate/oxygen level monitors. The key features of their monitors include: 

  • WiFi connected only
  • Smartphone app instead of a receiver 
  • Parent talk back
  • Night vision 
  • Background audio option
  • Ability to track your baby’s oxygen level and heart rate (with the baby sock only)

Oricom baby monitor

Conversely, Oricom offers both audio and video baby monitor options. Their key features include: 

  • Don’t require a WiFi connection 
  • Parent talk back
  • Night vision
  • Lullabies and white noise feature
  • Room temperature monitoring 
  • No app- you use a receiver instead 

And there you have it- our no-nonsense guide to help you buy a baby monitor. 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.