Product Review Sunday
I have used many different baby monitors working as a full-time nanny and also as a babysitter on the weekends. I prefer using wireless video monitors, to just audio monitors. But, the biggest pet peeve I have with wireless baby monitors is interference from other wireless products cordless phones, game consoles, laptops, Bluetooth devices, other baby monitors, and even microwave ovens. There are steps to take to minimize interference. One is to look for a baby monitor that uses Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology, or DECT. Digital monitors are more private; unlike analog systems, their transmission is encoded so data can't be intercepted. Models that use wireless analog transmission don't provide privacy.
My favorite baby monitor, the Lorex Live Snap, can take snap shots and stream live through Skype to the parents' personal computer or iPad. Obviously, if the parents are using a video baby monitor to watch their kids, they are watching you too.
So, if you're like me and concerned about interference, simply buy a digital or DECT model that's not on the same frequency band as the other wireless products in the home.
Here are my three favorite video baby monitors:
1. Lorex LW2003 LIVE Snap Video Baby Monitor
What I like about this color monitor is you can use up to four additional cameras, so I can monitor not only the nursery, but the playroom, and even if the older siblings are playing video games or not. The monitor can be used like an intercom and I can tell kids playing in the third floor playroom to come down to dinner from the kitchen on the first floor. I absolutely love that I can choose to use the split screen monitor to see up to four rooms all at the same time. I can even snap digital photos so that I can capture those precious moments when not in the same room with the infant. Another cool feature is the muted audio feature where the monitor is silent only until the sound of the child is heard. Secured video feed, so no unwanted viewers can hack into the network. Other systems won't interfere with WiFi signals. It also has remote viewing via Skype™ compatible devices like a personal computer or iPad.
2. Summer Infant Baby Touch Digital Color Video Monitor
The innovation of the Summer Infant's Baby Touch Color Video Monitor is that the screen works like a smartphone. I like the simplicity of using my fingers to pan the room or zoom in and out. I like using the handheld monitor as an intercom. One of the best features of this monitor is that you can buy an additional camera that allows for second room and second child monitoring. The video can scan between the cameras and you can see and hear what is happening in both rooms.
3. Philips AVENT Digital Video Baby Monitor
This digital, color video monitor automatically searches for the most secure connection with the least interference. I like that I can be rest assured that this monitor's transmissions are 100% private and that I am the only one who can hear and see the baby. For those times when the baby is restless and agitated at bedtime, I can select one of three soothing lullabies that will invite sleep in no time. There is also a night light that can be activated from the baby unit. I like that I can also read the humidity and temperature in the nursery and talk to the baby through the intercom system.