I have a real love/hate relationship with baby monitors. As in, I love that technology allows us to watch our babies not sleeping from the other room, but I have tried a bunch and I have mostly hated them all. Mind you (this will come as a HUGE surprise I’m sure) – I do a lot of research before I purchase almost everything. Baby monitors are no exception, and yet they continued to let me down.
Until, as fate would have it, we were traveling (again) and I realized I had forgotten one of these expensive, highly reviewed baby monitors that I truly hated and was a complete POS (cough, Samsung). We were going to be on this trip for 2 weeks and I needed something fast – Amazon Prime to the rescue! I was simply DONE buying expensive monitors that didn’t work and instead chose a super cheap video monitor with good reviews. Months later I maintain I AM OBSESSED WITH IT. After that, I decided to do the same thing when it was time to buy a wifi/smartphone monitor. Depending on which type of product you’re looking for – there is a cheap, amazing option that actually works better than the pricey ones.
Now let me be clear: These are both relatively basic monitors – if you want one where you can record and view your baby sleeping 10 days later, or want one that monitors how many arm motions they make per minute, or breastfeeds your baby for you (jk), etc – you will have to invest more $. If you chose to go that route – I highly suggest Nanit Smart Baby Monitor
Traditional Video Monitor: Baby Monitor 3.2inch LCD Display Video Baby Monitor
How It Works: This is your classic video monitor – meaning it has two parts, the camera part, which you set up near your baby, and the video monitor part, which you can view from another room in the house.
Why I Love It: Compared to the much more expensive ones I’ve tried, this video monitor had decent range (can use in a relatively large house), MUCH better battery life, and a wider screen. It also has night vision and the standard screen capabilities like date, time, temperature etc – none of which I bothered to set up because I guess I am lazy (and honestly, who is looking at their baby monitor to check the time anyway?)
Wifi/Smartphone Monitor: YI 1080p Home Camera
How It Works: This is the type of monitor you’d use if you’re leaving the house and want to view your baby on your phone. There is only one part, the camera that you set up in the room, and then an app you download. We only turn it on when we have a babysitter at home with Teddy. If you’re heard of the Nest Cam, this is your high quality, low cost alternative.
Why I Love It: I love it because it’s basically the same as the Nest Cam but so much cheaper. It’s so much cheaper it’s actually funny. I’m pretty sure it’s just the knockoff from China and I could not be more fine with that. It was super easy to set up and easy to view on my smartphone. Really good picture quality, and use can use your finger to pan across the room. The monitor has two way audio, motion detection, and can be shared with up to 5 phones.
*A note on monitors marketed to reduce SIDS: I humbly (and without professional credentials) urge you not to buy these products (The Owlet Monitor, The Angelcare Monitor, etc). I really hate when companies market products like this that prey on every parents worst nightmare. There is simply no evidence to suggest that they work and all they do is give a false sense of security. The APA and National Institute of Health have both issues formal statements essentially saying exactly this.