Baby monitoring technology has come a long way from being simple radio devices. Now, there are tools with videos, Wi-Fi connectivity, and other smart features that allow parents to track their baby’s movement and, in some programs, sleep patterns.
Because of their ingenuity, these devices have become increasingly necessary to modern parenting. Thanks to different functionalities, parents can balance their time between work or household chores while keeping a watchful eye and attentive ear on their infants.
That’s why we believe baby monitors are among the best gifts you can give your friends or family members who are now parents. To help you out, here’s a comprehensive guide on baby monitors.
Read below as we explore the types of baby monitors, the best options available today, and other helpful information.
Types of Baby Monitors To Consider
Before we explore the best monitoring devices available today, we will first discuss the different types of monitors to help you understand them better.
Audio baby monitors are the classic types of these devices. They’re also the most affordable among the bunch. As the name suggests, these devices are limited to sound output, allowing parents to hear their babies from their rooms but not see them entirely.
Generally, these devices have an audio sensor and built-in signals designed to transmit sounds from the baby’s environment to a parent monitoring device. These include crying, babbling, and other sudden noises in the room. The primary purpose of this feature is to alert parents, guardians, or sitters if the baby is awake or needs attention based on the sounds they make.
Video baby monitors are equipped with cameras that also have audio input to capture videos and sounds in the baby’s room. These devices often have a camera, an audio sensor, and a parent unit with a screen. There may also be an app where parents can monitor the baby on their smartphones.
Generally, these devices are more expensive than audio-only models. They also have built-in signals, but many have Wi-Fi connectivity to transmit video and audio feeds.
Also known as baby movement monitors, these devices help detect a baby’s movement during sleep. They typically come with a thin mat under the child’s mattress to notify parents if the baby is awake or unsettled based on their movement in the cot or crib, including rolling over, sitting, or standing up. This device also provides alerts if it doesn’t detect a movement after a short period.
These devices often have a screen where parents can track their child’s movements. They may also come with a mobile app where parents can access the same information on their smartphones.
Wearable baby monitors use technologies similar to fitness or heart rate trackers to help users observe a baby’s state in their sleep. Often, these tools come with a piece of clothing or a clip-on item that will serve as a tracking device.
They may also have a separate camera to capture key visuals and audio in the infant’s environment. Some of the information this device may give includes breathing, temperature, and sleeping positions to keep parents at ease while the baby rests.
Top Baby Monitor Picks
Now that we’ve covered the types of baby monitoring devices that first-time buyers must know, let’s look at the best options available. The following are some of the best parent-approved monitors you can buy as gifts.
Best audio baby monitor: BT Audio Baby Monitor 450
The BT Audio Baby Monitor 450 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something classic yet competitive. This device provides an incredible high-definition sound and a fantastic outdoor range. It also features a smart two-way talkback, enabling parents and guardians to soothe their children to sleep.
Moreover, this monitoring device offers a wide range of lullabies to help comfort babies while they sleep, complemented by a star and moonlight show. Users also have the option to modify their alerts to sound or light.
The best part is that this device also features a temperature sensor, helping parents to determine if the room is too hot or cold for the infant.
Best video baby monitor: LeapFrog LF930HD Remote Access Smart Baby Monitor
The LeapFrog Remote Access Smart Baby Monitor offers high-definition videos in 1080p resolution. That means parents or guardians can see their little ones on their unit that comes in a 7-inch LCD screen with accurate colour.
Its remote viewing capabilities are among the many unique features that make this baby monitor stand out. With the free LeapFrog Baby Monitor app, parents can view their child wherever they are as long as the unit is connected to the Wi-Fi.
Another notable function of this LeapFrog baby monitor is its dynamic camera movement. Users can achieve a 360-degree panoramic viewing. They can tilt up and down and cover as much as 130 degrees. They can also zoom in up to eight times the average monitoring camera.
Other outstanding features this device offers include a color night vision camera, dimmable night light, and a two-way local and remote intercom, allowing parents to comfort infants from any room with their voices.
Best movement tracking baby monitor: Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor
This Angelcare baby movement monitor is a multipurpose device that offers parents and guardians more assurance of their baby’s well-being. It features a high-definition screen and a movement sensor that users can use to slip under their child’s mattress.
Through this device, parents can track a baby’s movement, big or small, associated with the child’s breathing. It also features sound alerts that trigger when the baby monitor doesn’t detect any movement for 15 seconds.
What many love about this device is that it’s easy to assemble, complete with clear setup instructions. Aside from that, it features a quality night vision and a talkback function.
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Best wearable device: Owlet Smart Sock
The Owlet is an innovative smart monitoring device. It is a wearable sock that utilizes infrared light, among other innovative technologies, to measure a child’s pulse. This information is relayed to a smartphone through a Wi-Fi connection, allowing parents and guardians to see their baby’s condition wherever they are.
The standard Owlet setup doesn’t have a camera feature. However, the device will generate app alerts to a smartphone whenever the baby moves. On the other hand, you can buy a separate HD camera that parents can connect to the Owlet app and sensor.
The best part about the Owlet device is that it provides seamless wear for infants. That means the baby can rest soundly even with the item on them.
If you’re worried about safety, Owlet has been tested in numerous home and hospital environments. It’s compliant with various performance and safety standards by independent laboratories.
What To Look For In A Baby Monitor
If you want to explore other options besides those mentioned above, we recommend prioritizing certain factors to ensure better monitoring or tracking.
For one, the ideal unit must have quality and insightful audio or video output. It must allow users to capture all elements within the baby’s environment through functions like motion sensors and camera movements. This output must also be transmitted to a parent unit with high-definition capabilities.
Another excellent feature to prioritize is range. Most devices have signals built into the units. You must determine how far the parents can take the unit from the crib before it loses the signal. The farther the capacity, the better. However, obstacles like thick walls or floors may interfere with the transmission.
With that in mind, having a device with Wi-Fi connectivity is best for added range and the ability to view the baby on the parent’s smartphone. The latter is crucial to help parents monitor their babies even if they’re away from the house.
Opting for devices with a mount or stand is also better than placing the item on a shelf or hooking it on the wall.
This will allow the parents to place the unit where they can see or hear the child. If your desired item doesn’t have one, you can purchase separate holders to fasten on the cot or crib.
Other notable features include crying or movement alerts, and two-way audio or light shows to lull the babies.
Choose The Best Option for The Parents
A baby monitoring device is an excellent gift option for modern parents. As mentioned, if you want to deviate from the products featured, there are certain functionalities you must prioritize, like quality, range, and other helpful features. Otherwise, the best ones to consider are mentioned above.
We hope this list helps you search for the best baby monitoring gift.