Baby monitors are a wonderful tool for parents and caregivers, especially if they know where to best place a baby monitor. The monitor can provide additional peace of mind for caregivers by keeping an extra set of eyes and ears on little ones.
However, their placement in the nursery is crucial to ensure safety and effectiveness. This article will guide you through the best practices for positioning a baby monitor, considering factors such as radiation safety, cord management, and camera viewing angles.
QUICK GUIDE: IN THIS ARTICLE
- How to Safely Use a Baby Monitor ↓
- Where Should I Place My Video Baby Monitor? ↓
- Where You Should Absolutely NOT Place a Baby Monitor ↓
- How To Fix Or Attach A Baby Monitor To Your Wall ↓
- Frequently Asked Questions: Baby Monitor Placement Safety ↓
How to Safely Use a Baby Monitor in Your Child’s Room
Just like anything else that you place in your baby’s bedroom, you need to be very careful about how and where you place a baby monitor. All the best baby monitors on our list use a baby unit (usually a camera with a microphone) and a parent unit (could be a smartphone). It’s installing the baby unit that you need to be especially careful with.
When setting up the baby unit in your nursery, there are 2 important elements to consider when choosing the best placement for your baby monitor:
- Health and Safety
- Proper Viewing Angle
1. Baby Camera Placement: Health and Safety
The most critical aspect to consider when you install or place a baby monitor is its proximity to the crib. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that no cords, wires, or other potential choking hazards should be within 3 feet of the crib.
Although it’s advised that one should install and place a baby monitor and all it’s pieces and parts at least 3 feet away from the baby’s crib we recommend a total of six feet when considering the radiation exposure (for more information you can read the full article on baby safety and electromagnetic exposure).
Choking Hazards & Cord Management
Cords pose a potential hazard to babies and toddlers, who might find them interesting enough to pull or chew on. To mitigate this risk, make sure all cords are well out of reach. If one chooses to mount or place a baby monitor on the wall, the cords should be secured along the wall, preferably with cord covers, and kept as neat as possible to avoid tangling.
All electronic devices, including baby monitors, emit a certain level of electromagnetic radiation. Although research is ongoing, some studies suggest that long-term exposure to high levels of this radiation may have harmful effects.
Baby monitors, radio video cameras in particular, need to be placed at least 6 feet / 1.8 meters away from your child. This is the minimum safety distance recommended to limit exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
Research on digital cordless baby monitors shows that baby monitors placed less than 3.2 feet / 1 meter away from a baby’s crib emit almost the same level of radiation as a cell phone tower 500 feet / 150 meters away.
2. Baby Camera Location: Proper Viewing Angle
The height and angle of the monitor also play a significant role in its effectiveness. Ideally, one should place a baby monitor at a height and at an angle that gives a clear view of the baby in the crib.
There are several different mounting options for many of our recommended baby monitors, including: ceiling, wall, shelves, or tall furniture pieces can serve as good spots. Always make sure that the monitor is securely fastened to prevent it from falling and that it is always at a safe recommended distance.
Lastly, ensure that the monitor’s line of sight covers the areas of interest. This usually means having a clear view of the crib and other areas where the baby might be, such as a changing table or play area. The Eufy SpaceView Pro and the Nanit Pro have the widest viewing angle in our tests and thus cover more inside your baby’s bedroom.
Some monitors offer pan and tilt features, which can be handy for monitoring larger areas, or be helpful once or little one begins moving around more. The zoom feature is also handy if you have a wide-angle camera and need to clearly see your baby in the crib.
Where should I Place A Baby Monitor?
In a nutshell, you want to place a baby monitor in your baby’s room where you can put the camera at least 6 feet / 1.8 meters away from your child, while still being close enough to give you a clear view of your baby. Make sure that the microphone on the baby unit is able to clearly pick up sounds from your child.
You also need to pay close attention to the power cable on the camera unit to avoid safety hazards. Tuck in the cord or attach it to your wall to make sure your child won’t be able to touch it. It’s very important that the power cable remains out of reach of your baby at all times to avoid risks of strangulation.
From our experience, the best place a baby monitor can be installed is:
- Ceiling or wall-mounted in a corner near the ceiling: this is our preferred location. It gives the camera a wide coverage of your baby’s bedroom and is high enough to be out of reach. Just make sure to clip the power cable to the wall as well.
This is usually best for baby monitors that have a remote pan, tilt and zoom feature. It might also be a necessary installation for the last generation of smart monitors that track your baby through the night (such as the Nanit Pro and the Cubo AI).
- Placed high on a shelf: if ceiling or wall-mounting is not an option in your baby’s bedroom, place a baby monitor on a tall shelf or wardrobe. Add an extra box or two underneath the camera if your shelf isn’t tall enough to give you a good viewing angle. This is best if your monitor doesn’t offer remote pan, tilt and zoom as you’ll be able to easily move the camera around when needed.
Keep in mind that as your child grows, the safety distance and location of your video monitor might change. We recommend you pick to place a baby monitor somewhere in the bedroom that will allow for some flexibility if you want to move the camera at a later stage.
Where you should absolutely NOT place a baby Monitor
It might look nice on the manufacturer’s commercials when a baby monitor is attached to the baby’s crib, but that’s an absolute no-go. Several cases of infant strangulation have unfortunately been reported in the past when babies would entangle themselves in the baby monitor’s cords.
In general, you shouldn’t put anything with a cord inside, on the edges or within reaching distance from your baby’s crib. Read more about five places you should avoid installing your baby monitor.
How to fix or attach a baby monitor to your wall
Most of the baby monitors that we’ve tested come with the necessary wall-mounting elements, just check the bottom of our reviews to see what’s included in the box. If your video monitor doesn’t come with its own wall-mounting screws, the manufacturers will indicate in the manual which screws it uses.
There are 5 steps to wall-mount a baby monitor:
- Test the viewing angle and sound: ask someone to hand-hold the baby monitor where you would like to wall-mount it to make sure that you can correctly see and hear your baby from that location.
- Mark the screws placement: most baby monitors will come with a handy sheet with the location of the holes that you’ll need to drill.
- Drill the necessary holes in your wall: in a corner close to your ceiling is usually best.
- Screw the baby monitor base to the wall: use the base that was provided by the manufacturer in the box.
- Attach the baby monitor the base: this is usually just a clipping mechanism.
Baby monitor placement: Differences between newborn and toddlers
One last thing to keep in mind when deciding where to put your baby camera is the age of your child and how you typically use their bedroom.
For a newborn, it’s best to have the camera placed as much as possible in a vertical position to their crib in order to give you a good view of your child sleeping.
Once your baby is able to sit and stand in their bed, a slightly lower angle will be best so you can see better once they are awake. It will also be better if your baby tends to play alone in their bedroom.
Frequently Asked Questions: Baby Monitor Placement Safety
You want to find a place in your baby’s room where you can put the camera at least 6 feet / 1.8 meters away from your child, while still being close enough to give you a clear view of your baby.
In our experience, the best place to put a baby monitor is in the corner mounted on a wall or ceiling. This provides the widest amount of coverage while maintaining a safe distance.
Depending on what you are looking for, we have a variety of baby monitors that we recommend based on our hands-on reviews and tests.
Yes, there is a possibility that your baby monitor can be hacked.
Samantha is a busy mother of four, who loves finding the best products to help in raising children. She graduated from BYU in Marriage and Family Studies. When she isn’t writing or testing new products, you can find her playing board games with her kids and teaching them creative strategies.