The Ideal Baby Monitor for You and Your Child

  • By Mark Bickmore

Baby monitors Vs. indoor security camera Vs. wireless webcam-you decide.

Every new parent deserves a little peace of mind-a break from constant nursing and worry. It's not selfish for moms and dads to enjoy a little "me-time" when their baby is sleeping. If anything, it does them the world of good. That doesn't mean they can forget about their child of course, and nor would they want to. A couple of generations ago things were quite different. Parents would have to keep checking in on the newborn periodically. Today, there is less need for the constant up-and-down, thanks in part to the new range of audiovisual baby monitors. As with all these gadgets, parents know that not all monitors are equal, hence this article. So what makes the best?

They come in three basic guises:

  1. Purpose made baby monitor
  2. Indoor Wi-Fi security camera
  3. Computer webcam (wireless)

All these devices perform in a similar way, but prices vary and each offers different features-so which is best? Well, it's fair to say that the majority of parents these days prefer the video (visual) monitors over audio-only. There is a warning though, and that is watching your baby can become an obsession- highly addictive even. The whole idea is to let you relax and take a little time out. You can hardly do that if you're unable to take your eyes off the screen, so try not to form bad habits from the outset.

Security Camera, Baby Monitor or Webcam 

One thing's for sure, and that is today's monitors for kids have grown up. Not so many parents use the old two-way radios anymore, and why would they bother. Now we have Wi-Fi connectivity and live video feeds to name two of many high-tech features. Monitors for babies, home security cameras and webcams can all do the job, and you will base which one you use on personal preference. Let's look at each of these in more detail.

Home Wi-Fi Security Camera as a Monitor 

You can hook your home Wi-Fi security camera up to any device that has a connection to the Internet. Because IP cameras operate via an online connection, it means there is no range limit. This allows you to keep an eye on your baby from just about anywhere. Another beneficial feature of the home Wi-Fi camera setup is that you can view your baby on multiple devices. This includes desktop computers, notebooks, smartphones and tablets, etc.

Security cameras can cost less than other high end monitoring systems too. Best of all is that you don't have to buy extra units for viewing, if you want more than one display. I suppose the only real downside to IP cameras is that they're vulnerable to hijacking because they connect to the Internet. Although this is unlikely, it's still a possibility all the same and something to think about.

The Purpose-Made Baby Monitor 

These come with just two units, at least most of them do. One is for the baby's room or nursery, and the other is for the parent. If you need more parent units it will cost extra, that's if you have the option to add more to your model. These monitors, unlike security cameras, have a range limit too. This limit is probably fine for most homes, but you may want to check it prior to purchase. A lot of the baby monitors are available with up to four cameras, though most come with just the one parent unit. In general, a purpose made monitor is a lot user-friendlier out of the box compared to a Wi-Fi Home security Camera.

The Wireless Webcam Baby Monitor 

When using a wireless webcam as a monitor, it needs to be free standing. If it's not, you'll have to have one computer connected device in the nursery at all times, and another device (the parent viewer) at your side. So you really need a quality wireless webcam if you want to use it as a monitor. By the time it takes to setup and run your wireless webcam, you may as well just buy a purpose made monitor. Note that even the best monitoring app will drain smartphone batteries pretty quick if you use that as the parent monitor, which most folks do. Video quality can be a bit hit and miss with a lot of webcams as well. And if you want night vision, the cost goes up again.

I think the wireless webcam is okay if you already have one. But I wouldn't go out purposely to buy one instead of a baby monitor. Which of the three options you use will depend on a few things. Budget, personal preferences, features and functionality will all play a part in your final decision.