With my first baby I remember being quite an anxious little mumma! I imagine a lot of first time parents are the same. Which is why, having been there and done that, I can’t recommend buying a good baby monitor highly enough!
The technology that goes into them now is like something straight from MI5 – night vision digital camera, 2-way audio, remote access, sensor pads, temperature sensor… the list goes on. All that to watch a baby sleep! But let me tell you, it’s better than being in and out of baby’s room because that little voice in your head, fuelled by hormones and fear, has you at defcon 1 every time your baby is out of sight!
Like anything when it comes to babies though, the choice is endless – and often overwhelming. But never fear! We’re here to guide you through! We’ve spent the time looking into the best options so you don’t have to, and here’s our top five!
1. Motorola MBP 36S Digital Video Baby Monitor
This award-winning little beauty comes out on top for me! It comes with a baby monitor and a 3.5-inch colour LCD parent unit. There are no movement / breathing sensor pads with this one, but there is no actual evidence that they prevent SIDS – and the cost difference between monitors that have them, and those that don’t felt a little excessive to me.
The MBP36S also comes with soothing lullabies to help baby drift off to sleep. It has a fantastic range of 300 metres, and there’s a very handy warning when you’re out of range.
I know that there is a little concern among some that remote access leaves you open to hacking – but with this monitor data encryption is integrated as standard for added security. I imagine most, if not all, remote access monitors will be the same to be honest, so I wouldn’t worry too much.
2. Angelcare Video with Movement and Sound Monitor AC1100
Angelcare have been at the top of their game for as long as I can remember. They specialise in full-feature baby monitors, which include sensor pads that you place under baby’s mattress that alert you when there’s been no movement for a while.
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t place too much stock in the sensor pads – but if they give you added peace of mind, then it’s better to have them than not. There are mixed reviews about the quality of the video, but if you feel that you really need a sensor mat, this is the best value one that I’ve found.
The range is 200 metres, which is very decent – I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be more than 200 metres away from their sleeping baby. All in all, a good buy – with sensor pads – that won’t set you back too much.
3. Motorola MBP18 Digital Video Monitor
Easy to use, great quality video and audio quality, a maximum range of 300 metres – and the fact that it’s less than £50, fire this one into my top 5! There’s no two-way audio, but you’ll be able to see and hear your baby, which is enough to put most parents’ minds at ease. This is a popular choice, as it strikes a perfect balance between quality and price.
4. Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitor AC401
Another entry for Angelcare! There’s no video on this one – which is ideal for those of you that just know you’d spend your evenings obsessively glued to the screen! It has crystal clear audio with the unique combination of 8 channels and 2 frequencies. The range is a respectable 250 metres, and there’s an out of range indicator too. Just pop the sensor pad under baby’s mattress and adjust the sensitivity according to your requirements. You’ll be alerted if there’s no movement detected for 20 seconds!
Other features include temperature display and control – with an alarm if the temperature is too high or too low. That was one of my biggest obsessions when I had my first! The thing I really like about this one, is the option between continuous or voice-activated sound monitoring. Personally, I love the voice activated setting. The microphone sensitivity is adjustable so you can hear all sounds in baby’s room or just when baby cries! Magic!
5. BT Digital Baby Monitor
This is among the more basic monitors on the market in terms of functionality, but it’s excellent for the price! The sound quality is exceptional (HD), the range is not too shabby at up to 300 metres, and other features include two-way audio and a built-in nightlight which has three levels of brightness. For the £35-ish price, it’s a very good buy.