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Which Type of Baby Monitor is Best?

A baby monitor is an important piece of technology for parents with young children. It allows you to keep an eye on your child while they are sleeping, and often provides more peace of mind. There are a variety of baby monitors on the market, so it can be difficult to decide which type is right for your family. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of baby monitors and help you choose the best one for your needs!

Four Types of Baby Monitors

Finding the right baby monitor depends on your budget and the features you are looking for. Each type of baby monitor varies in the features it provides and how it provides you with those features. There are four main types of baby monitors

  1. Audio-Only Baby Monitor
  2. Non-WiFi Audio and Video Baby Monitor
  3. WiFi Audio and Video Baby Monitor
  4. Wearable Device Baby Monitor

When testing baby monitors we look at the Health & Safety, Privacy, Range, Audio Quality, Video Quality and Battery of the baby monitor. In addition, we look for a variety of features. Here is a summary of the top features to look for and which features are included with the different types of baby monitors:

Baby monitor features comparison by types of baby monitor
Baby monitor features compared by type.

Audio-Only Baby Monitor

Audio baby monitors are the most basic baby monitor type and they typically just include a microphone and speaker. You can place the microphone near your baby’s crib and it will transmit their noises to the speaker, which you can carry around with you. 

Vtech-DM221 audio-only type of baby monitor
The VTech DM221: our pick for the Best Audio-Only Monitor.

This type of monitor is simple to use and relatively inexpensive, but it does have some downsides. First, the range is usually limited, so you need to be close to the baby in order to hear them. Additionally, audio monitors can pick up other noises in your home, so it can be difficult to distinguish your baby’s cry from other sounds.

Non-WiFi Audio and Video Baby Monitor

Non-WiFi audio and video baby monitors are more advanced than audio-only monitors and they include a camera that transmits a live video feed to a receiver. They often have a larger range than audio-only monitors, but sadly not an unlimited range like Non-WiFi audio and video baby monitors.

Non-WiFi audio and video baby monitors are easy to set up and include a handheld unit. No need to download apps or worry about storage space on your phone, security breaches or internet connection (as is the case with WiFi audio and video baby monitors). 

Eufy SpaceView monitor one of the best non-WiFi baby monitors
The Eufy SpaceView Pro is one of the best Non-WiFi monitors on the market.

Non-WiFi audio and video baby monitors can feature everything from remote pan and tilt capabilities to night-vision. However, video baby monitors can be more expensive than audio-only monitors and they also require more power, so you will need to make sure the battery is charged frequently or stays plugged in.

WiFi Audio and Video Baby Monitor

A WiFi audio and video baby monitor is typically accessed via an app installed on your smart device and does not typically come with a separate parent unit. A WiFi audio and video baby monitor tends to have many bells and whistles that make checking up on your baby incredibly easy, even when you’re not at home (the range is unlimited). Many WiFi audio and video baby monitors also have integration capabilities with Alexa or Google.

Nanit Plus WiFi smart type of baby monitor
We found the Nanit Pro to be an excellent pick for a WiFi smart camera.

However, WiFi monitors must always be connected to the internet, requiring a strong signal. They tend to have more security concerns than non-WiFi monitors due to potential hacking.  WiFi audio and video baby monitors are also typically more expensive and may require a monthly subscription fee to access all the added tracking features within the app.

Wearable Device Baby Monitor

Many higher-end baby monitors are looking to continually add features such as the addition of wearable devices, like a sock or band you place on your sleeping baby. This allows parents to monitor their baby’s vitals like their breathing, heart-rate, movement and more. These monitors usually come with a price tag that reflects their high-tech capabilities, so we recommend these types of monitors for parents with additional concerns. 

Owlet Smart Sock + Cam wearable device type of baby monitor
Our top pick for the Best Wearable Device Baby Monitor is the Owlet Sock, an easy-to-attach sock.

When considering a wearable device, it’s best to choose one that’s bundled with an audiovisual monitor as well so you can see or hear your baby in real time. These devices take a little more effort to set-up and configure, but once done their systems provide a lot of data to help you monitor and track your baby’s sleep.

Conclusion

To sum up, there are four main baby monitor types: Audio-Only Baby Monitors, Non-WiFi Audio and Video Baby Monitor, WiFi Audio and Video Baby Monitor and Wearable Device Baby Monitors.

Audio-only baby monitors are the most basic type of monitor and they typically just include a microphone and speaker. Non-WiFi audio and video baby monitors are more advanced than audio-only monitors and they include additional features and a camera that transmits a live video feed to a receiver via radio frequency. WiFi audio and video baby monitors also include a variety of features and a video feed but transmit via WiFi to an app on your smart device. Wearable device baby monitors are the most expensive, but provide additional monitoring and tracking of your baby’s vitals to give you additional peace of mind.

When choosing a baby monitor, you should consider your needs and budget. If you just want to hear your baby crying, an audio-only monitor may be sufficient. However, if you want to be able to see your baby at all times, a WiFi or Non-WiFi video monitor may be a better option. And if you want additional tracking or have additional concerns, a wearable device baby monitor may be just what you are looking for. Whichever type of baby monitor you choose, it can help you feel more connected to your baby and give you additional peace of mind.

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