Life with a newborn is sleepless nights, dirty clothes and dreams of hot showers. It’s knowing you should sleep when baby sleeps, but instead staying awake to stare at their sweet little features and watch as their chest rises up and down.
Why Choose an Infant Monitor with Video Capabilities
Any parent with the intention of stepping away from their safely sleeping baby should consider purchasing a video baby monitor. Even with plans to room share, there will be times baby is sleeping and parents are busy in the other room. Or, you know, do frivolous things such as take a shower or switch laundry in the other room. As much as we would love to, it isn’t realistic to dote over our sleeping beauties every second.
A video baby monitor gives you the opportunity to still keep an eye on your baby, even from a different spot in the house, offering parents peace of mind as well as convenience. If you hear a slight sound, you may run into the question of if you really want to risk going in to investigate and waking up the baby that took two hours to settle? With a video monitor, all you have to do is take a quick peak to see if baby is still sleeping soundly.
Track Your Baby Quietly: What to Look for in a Monitor
When shopping for a video baby monitor, there are basic criteria that should be considered. These little pieces of tech can be pricey and are not something you want to buy more than once. A good monitor is an investment.
Ask yourself: How many extra features do I really need? The answer depends on your family’s lifestyle and how you intend to use the monitor. Some features may not be important to you, like the ability for two-way communication. Do you want to sing your baby lullabies through the monitor or are you OK to just go in and calm your little one in person? Before ruling out the two-way communication option, remember it may come in handy for parents to talk back and forth. One could be changing a diaper, while the other is doing the dishes. Additionally, you could continue using a video monitor long after the baby stage, so the two-way system might come in handy later as your child grows.
Ask yourself: How important is screen size and resolution? Do you want to see every dimple and drool drop that falls down baby’s cheek or are you OK with just getting a general idea of where baby is in the crib? Is a touch screen important to you or are you okay using the buttons on the side of the screen? Some video baby monitors also come with the option to add an additional camera or cameras.
One of Truly Mama’s moms shares her experience: “Personally, this is one of my deepest regrets with purchasing an infant monitor. We did not expect we would require a second camera just 15 months after our first child was born. If you’re considering having multiple children, definitely find a monitor with at least the option to add additional cameras.”
Bells, Whistles, Wi-Fi, and Battery Life
Many video monitors come standard with a room temperature reading. Newborns haven’t quite mastered regulating their body temperature yet, so it’s important to be able to quickly check the temperature of the room. Night vision is also standard on most monitors.
Battery life and range are two features that you should absolutely not compromise on. What good is having a portable device if the battery doesn’t last longer than 20 minutes? Baby monitor cords are annoying and difficult to move around. A monitor that is required to be plugged in constantly is only going to lead to headaches. Chances are, there will be a time when baby is sleeping and you need to walk the dog out or take out the trash. Does your monitor have the range to still connect when completing these tasks? We’re not suggesting you go to the neighbors to watch the game, but you will appreciate the flexibility of being able to venture into your yard.
Video baby monitors with Wi-Fi capabilities can be a great option, but do come with some considerations. Some parents love this feature and the ability to connect with their baby directly through their smartphone. (This may be especially handy if you work outside of the home and want to keep an eye on your baby with a caregiver.) A Wi-Fi monitor will also give you the option to play back footage. This is useful if your intention is to set up a nanny cam. Other parents may prefer to steer away from a Wi-Fi option because there have been reports of some baby monitors being accessed outside of the network. Do your research and determine what you’re comfortable with. If this is the route you choose, verify that you have a secure connection.
If you’re considering purchasing a baby video monitor secondhand, keep in mind that battery life may not be optimal. Most rechargeable batteries, like those used in video baby monitors, start to lose battery life with age and usage. This is a baby item worth buying new to ensure optimal performance, warranty, and battery lifespan.
Now that you know what features to look for, it’s time to start shopping! What video monitor you ultimately choose is based on individual family needs, but to help you get started, we recommend the following two video baby monitors:
BEST VIDEO BABY MONITOR WITH WIFI:
Best Smart Monitor
Best Video Baby Monitor with Wifi
Best Video Baby Monitor without Wifi
Connect Up-To 4 Cameras
Placement: Keep Those Cords Concealed
Once you’ve found the best video baby monitor for your newborn, think about finding the optimal camera placement. It’s important that cords aren’t within reach. Safe sleep practices recommend baby be alone on their back in a separate sleeping area, like a crib, with all cords and cameras out of reach.
From a Truly Mama mom: “To mount our camera, I found double sided 3M tape on Amazon. The camera is safely mounted in a high corner at the foot of baby’s crib. The cord is safely tucked away behind a shelf and cannot be accessed by little ones.”