If you often have to put down your baby to other household tasks, then a baby monitor is an excellent investment.
You can easily tend to other household tasks while the baby sleeps in the room. Then you can drop what you’re doing when the baby monitor alerts you of any movement or crying.
But for some people, a baby monitor can be overdoing it, especially if you’re a few steps away from the room.
Here’s If It’s Okay Not To Have A Baby Monitor:
It is okay to not have a baby monitor, but only if you have a plan. If you have a strong relationship with your partner, then there’s no need for an audio monitor. Instead, consider using a video camera or simply talking to your child when you leave the room.
Do I Need a Baby Monitor If I Live in a Small Apartment?
Having a baby monitor depends on the layout of your house, even if it’s a small apartment.
A studio apartment where everything is open may not need a baby monitor since almost everything is within reach of a few meters. But once your small home is partitioned into individual rooms, you may need a baby monitor to help you keep track of your baby’s movements.
How Far Away Can You Hear a Baby Without a Baby Monitor?
Babies make different movements, which you may or not hear. In the early stages of a baby’s life, more often, it’s going to be crying.
A baby’s cry can reach 130 decibels, decreasing the volume as you go farther. At that level, a baby is likely in pain or extremely cranky.
Meanwhile, the human ear can hear volumes as low as 0 – 20 decibels and varies per person.
Now, not all babies can cry at 130 decibels. Some babies would be crying at lower levels, while other movements can be even lower. If there are no obstructions, such as walls, you will hear your baby cry even if you are 10 meters away, but you won’t hear much movement.
When Should You Get a Baby Monitor?
A baby monitor is best used when your child is in a room and you know that you may not hear their cries easily. Remember that as sound travels, you get to listen to it at lower volumes when you are at a distance. Add to the fact that walls can also muffle the sound.
Families living in houses with more than one floor will benefit from having a baby monitor. Even homes with only one floor but several walls between the baby’s room and where you stand can benefit from baby monitors.
Baby monitors amplify the sound from your child’s room so that you can hear any activity through the receiver.
In some cases, you can even use the baby monitor as your set of eyes to check on your child. Overall, they provide you with peace of mind to take care of other household tasks while keeping an eye on your baby.
How Much Should I Spend on a Baby Monitor?
A modern baby monitor can cost around $50 – 100, which will includes a camera and monitor. But if you are looking for something that you can use while in the office, you can opt for smart baby monitors, which cost around $200 – 400 a set. The advantage of smart baby monitors is that you don’t need to be close to your baby’s room, as you can connect through the Internet to monitor.
There are also basic baby monitors that cost around $20 but only provide audio.
This baby monitor should suffice if you don’t feel like spending extra but only want the essential function of hearing your child cry.
You need not spend too much on a baby monitor, especially if you have an extra smartphone at home. Plenty of smartphone apps let you turn your old smartphone into a baby monitor. Then you only need to pair the smartphones together through the app so that you can monitor them even when far from your house.
Read our blog about how do wi-fi baby monitors work?
What Are the Other Uses of Baby Monitors?
Once your child becomes more independent, you can repurpose your baby monitor for other uses.
You can turn it into a hide and seek tool, wherein your kids can try finding each other through the screen’s monitor.
You can also use a baby monitor to monitor your child’s sleeping habits. Use the monitor to see how fast your kids fall asleep or see if any unusual behaviors may be a cause for concern.
If the baby monitor you have has a camera, you can also set it up at your step to help you check for anyone knocking at your door.
You can also turn the baby monitor into a back camera for your car. Instead of looking back to check on your child, you can use the camera to see if your child needs anything or how they are doing during a trip.
Can You Use a Security Camera as a Baby Monitor?
Some people who have integrated a security camera system in their houses might wonder if a security camera can work as a baby monitor.
And the answer is: yes.
Security cameras have more advanced features, such as motion detectors, which aren’t often found in baby monitors. You can use this feature to check if your baby is making any movements while you’re away.
However, the motion detectors can be a problem, too, as you can get too many alerts on your device, many of which are false alarms. While some baby monitors have motion sensors, they aren’t as sensitive as those found on security cameras. You can think of security cameras as beefed-up baby monitors.
If you’re planning to use a security camera for a baby monitor, you should consider the camera’s sensitivity.
Can You Turn a Smartphone into a Baby Monitor?
If you have an old smartphone lying around or need a quick solution to monitor your baby, you can use a smartphone as a baby monitor.
There are plenty of baby monitor apps in the market, many of which are free to use. Many of these apps are compatible with Android and iOS devices, giving you options for your devices.
Now there are disadvantages to using a smartphone as a baby monitor. These include the lack of a proper night vision system, motion and temperature sensors, and the risk of your phone getting hacked. Particularly for the risk of getting hacked, as your phone connects to the Internet to function, you also expose your devices to security risks.
If you’re over the fence about buying a dedicated baby monitor, you can try using your smartphone at first to help you decide on the features you need.
Since a smartphone won’t have the standard features of a baby monitor, you can then identify what you need to look for in your planned purchase.
For those who want to take this route, the following apps are recommended:
Baby Monitor 3G
The Baby Monitor 3G app is a one-time purchase app ($5.99) that works on Wi-Fi and mobile data. It features a nightlight that illuminates the screen but can wake up your baby if too bright or close.
One strong point of the Baby Monitor 3G is how easy it is to set up. You only need to follow the prompts in the app, which shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds to do.
Another exciting feature of the Baby Monitor 3G is its activity log, which allows you to track your child’s sleeping habits and playback sounds from his sleep. There’s also a talkback and a lullaby feature that lets you soothe your baby.
A bonus: You can also install Baby Monitor 3G on macOS computers and Apple TVs.
Annie Baby Monitor
The Annie Baby Monitor has one of the most features among the baby monitor apps. Like many baby monitor apps in the market, you can use the Annie Baby Monitor with Wi-Fi or your mobile data to check on the kids while you’re away.
Many users have observed that the video feed is exceptional, with clear resolution delivered to your device. There’s also a talkback option that lets you talk or soothe your baby. Alternatively, you can also remotely play lullabies with the parent device to calm or put them to sleep.
Another exciting feature of the Annie Baby Monitor is that it allows you to setup up to four devices for monitoring and have an unlimited number of parent units. And if you’re worried about security, the Annie Baby Monitor uses industry-standard encryption.
While free to download and use, you need to pay a one-time fee of $149 to unlock all the features, or opt for the monthly, weekly or annual plans.
This app is also compatible with Android and iOS.
Dormi Baby Monitor
The Dormi Baby Monitor is a good option for those using exclusively Android, as it is available for Wi-Fi and mobile data. It also has a good secure connection, which makes it worth considering.
The Dormi Baby Monitor lets you connect multiple parent units so that almost anyone who needs to watch your baby closely can do so without disconnecting other units. It also allows you to set the sensitivity level of sound to alert you as needed.
There’s also a listen-to function that helps you hear your child. You can also use the talkback function to interact with your child.
Dormi also vibrates when your child starts crying and gives off a beep to alert you while in the middle of a call. This app also works in the background, which allows you to save on battery.
If you’re looking to repurpose that old Android phone, the app works with phones running Android 2.3.
The free version of Dormi lets you use the app for four hours a month, but you get unlimited use when going for a paid subscription. A lifetime subscription costs a one-time payment of $17.
A baby monitor is optional if you are sure of being able to hear what your child is doing, but any household can benefit from it, even when living in small houses.
The good thing about it is that you can get one for a few dollars, which goes a long way in ensuring your child’s safety and needs. And if you don’t feel like spending, you can opt to repurpose old smartphones through free baby monitoring apps.
Read this blog here about do baby monitors need wi-fi to work?
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