With our outdated audio baby monitor becoming increasingly unreliable, I recently began researching the world of video baby monitors. I must admit that sometimes I find electronics a bit overwhelming, especially when there are so many options to choose from. I suppose I'm a bit technology-challenged! Options are great, but only when you know what you're looking for.
Knowing that buybuy BABY has not let me down in the past, I knew they could help me sort through all the video monitors. Product expert Desiree at my local buybuy BABY was amazing! She walked me through all the important features to look for and helped me understand each one so I could narrow down all my options. Ultimately I walked out feeling confident that I chose the best video monitor for my family.
Buying a video baby monitor has been on my to-do list for a while now. The added security of real-time video is certainly comforting and definitely an overdue upgrade from our previous audio-only monitor. Although baby girl sleeps in our room, there are times each day that I'm not in there with her. And keeping the bedroom door open while she sleeps is just not very practical when big brother is busy playing and I have chores to tend to! I needed a simple video monitor that is practical for use during naps and at night for a couple hours before I go to bed.
What features should you look for in a video monitor? I've gotta say that their are pros and cons to each of them, so it's important to consider your sleeping situation and decide what features you need before you buy. I'd recommend reading online reviews and asking your mommy friends about their monitors too. While all video monitors include pretty standard features, these are the features I found most important to consider.
WiFi & HD - These are the two biggest things in the world of video monitors right now. With WiFi you can access the monitors feed through your smartphone via an app like Hubble for Motorola. This allows parents to use their smartphones as the parent unit from anywhere you get a WiFi signal. This might be a useful feature for parents who want to check in on baby while they're at work. If you have an unreliable WiFi connection at home you may not want to select a WiFi monitor. WiFi monitors also have HD, but there are HD options that do not utilize WiFi. Both WiFi and HD are more costly too.
Infrared Night Vision - This ensures a clear view of your baby at night, without any lights. In a dark room, this is a super important feature.
Pan, Tilt & Zoom - While zoom is pretty standard, pan and tilt are nice to have. At this point I have only used the pan and tilt to set up our monitor in the right spot, but it will be awesome for scanning the room when my daughter's a toddler and sneaking out of bed to play during nap time.
Room Temperature Display - Keeping baby at a comfortable temperature is important for safety reasons but also to ensure restful sleep. I know in my home there are hot spots and cold spots depending on the time of day and also the time of year. This feature gives parents important information without having to go into baby's room.
Two-way Audio Communication - Although I don't quite see the absolute need for this feature, some parents might like being able to talk or sing to baby without going into the room.
Movement Detection & Sound Activation - Video monitors with these features will turn off the live video and/or audio after a designated period of time unless motion or sound are detected. This conserves the battery life of the parent unit, and also
Screen Size & Clarity - Some screens on these video monitors are pretty tiny. I personally prefer a monitor with a 3-inch minimum screen size. Seeing video monitors in person at your local buybuy BABY is really your best bet to ensure you get a monitor with a good clear picture, although none that I saw were less than average.
Additional Cameras - Some monitors allow you to add extra cameras if needed, and still view and control them with one parent unit.
I received complimentary product for review purposes as part of the babyhood Influencer Network. All opinions are 100% my own.
After weighing all the great options at buybuy BABY, we chose the Motorola MBP36S digital video baby monitor. It features a decent 3.5-Inch Color LCD Screen, pan, tilt, 2X zoom, infrared night vision, room temperature display and two-way audio communication. The baby unit even has five lullabies to soothe baby (controlled by the parent unit), and has a large range of up to 600 feet. This monitor has the option of adding additional cameras if we need to add any in the future, and has a power-saving mode that can be set to turn off the live video portion after 5, 30, or 60 minutes so you don't drain the battery if not plugged in. There are alerts if you are out-of-range from the baby unit, and also if you have a low battery on the parent unit.
This particular video monitor does not have are movement detection and sound activation. When the live video on the parent unit is in power-saving mode (audio will still be on), it will not automatically turn back on if movement or sound are detected. This could be a major drawback for some, but you have to just press the video button to turn it back on.
The Motorola MBP36S has more features than I probably need for the little use I require, but I like the large screen size and the pan/tilt capability in particular. The video is really clear during the day and night. One thing that I don't like about this monitor is that the parent unit will beep when you turn it on if the baby unit is off. Ummm, that's no good. So we just keep the baby unit on all the time now to avoid waking up baby girl if we turn off the baby unit. Overall I do like this monitor though and I feel like this monitor is pretty intuitive, even for a technology-challenged mom like me. The price is also pretty reasonable for a video monitor.
You can buy the Motorola MBP36S for $199.99 at buybuyBABY.com or shop at one of their 100+ locations nationwide. Find your nearest store location here.