Which budget baby monitor is best?
Choosing the right baby monitor to keep an eye on your baby is a big decision. Choosing one that’s affordable but effective can provide parents a lot of peace of mind.
If you want a great baby monitor on a budget, check out the Vtech VM819 Video Baby Monitor. It offers the benefits of a video monitor without breaking the bank.
What to know before you buy a budget baby monitor
Your baby’s sleep is crucial to their healthy development. Your sleep is important, too. Current sleep recommendations say to share a room with your baby for the first 6 months. The transition to keeping your baby in another room is a big change for many parents. It’s important because it provides more structure to your baby’s sleep routine and can actually lead to you getting more much-needed sleep at night.
To ease the transition, most parents decide to use a baby monitor. However, there are hundreds of options on the market and many can be cost prohibitive. The more bells and whistles, the higher the price tag. While you don’t want to sacrifice quality, buying a baby monitor on a budget is important so you can still afford all those diapers and wipes.
Keep the following in mind as you shop around for your baby monitor:
Baby monitor security
An increasing number of baby monitors connect to Wi-Fi. This lets you monitor your baby from anywhere using an app, but with the possibility of hacking or interference, the issue of security has become a hot topic.
Always follow the instructions on the product you choose. If you have the option to connect your baby monitor to Wi-Fi, use an especially strong password that has a mix of letters — both capitalized and lowercase — numbers and symbols. Also, make it a habit to update your baby monitor’s software regularly.
Baby monitor range
When choosing a budget baby monitor, pay attention to its range. While this won’t be a big concern for those living in apartments or smaller houses, you could find yourself out of range even in a mid-sized house if your baby is on the opposite side from you.
Any closed system has a range. Those connected to Wi-Fi and an app eliminate that limit. Check each product you consider to make sure it will work for the distance in your house.
Not a replacement for you
The biggest downfall of any baby monitor is that it can lull you into a false sense of security. It’s not a replacement for your active attention, for example, when your child is playing in the other room. While there will be times you have to leave your baby on their own in another room and a baby monitor can help, it’s never going to be as good as a caregiver’s real attention.
What to look for in a quality budget baby monitor
The best budget baby monitors offer video monitoring. This combines hearing the baby with a look at them, which can be especially helpful during the transition from room sharing to their own room. If you check on your baby using a video monitor, you can make sure they don’t have anything over their face and aren’t in an unsafe sleeping position.
Having a baby monitor that connects to an app has the huge benefit of eliminating any issues with range. It’s a great way both to keep an eye on your baby and to easily update your baby monitor’s software regularly. These types of baby monitors do open up security issues but by using a strong password and keeping the software updated, you can safely monitor your baby right from your phone.
Many of the best baby monitors today come with accessories such as additional monitors or other sensors. These can help you more closely monitor your baby’s temperature and even the room’s humidity. Some have sensors that alert you to movement or sounds. And with additional monitor units, you can split the burden of nighttime caregiving with a partner.
Depending on which baby monitor you choose, you will either have one with rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries. The best ones have rechargeable batteries and these are the ones to search for. Those that rely on traditional batteries will keep you tethered to the wall or have you spending a fortune on replacement batteries.
Night vision clarity
Much of the time you spend using your baby monitor will be at night or during nap time, when the visibility is limited in your baby’s room. Make sure you choose a baby monitor with clear night vision. Without it, your monitor will be virtually useless.
How much you can expect to spend on a budget baby monitor
If you only want audio monitoring, you can find one in the $20-$50 range. For additional features, like video monitoring, the budget options land between $50-$100.
Budget baby monitor FAQ
Do you leave the baby monitor on all night?
A. You can definitely leave the baby monitor on all night, and some parents choose to do that in case their baby wakes up or has a nightmare. But if you are able to turn off the baby monitor during the middle of the night, it could mean better sleep for you, something most parents desperately need.
When can you leave a baby with a monitor?
A. The recommendation is to room share with your baby for the first 6 months. After that, it’s safe to move them to their own space and use a baby monitor. Plan to use your baby monitor until your child is about 4 years old.
Is it OK to not use a baby monitor?
A. If you live in a small-enough space to always hear your baby crying, you don’t necessarily need a baby monitor, though video monitoring still has its advantages. If you wouldn’t be able to hear your baby without a monitor, use one until your child is about 4 years old.
What are the best budget baby monitors to buy?
Top budget baby monitor
What you need to know: The Vtech VM819 Video Baby Monitor provides all the peace of mind that comes with a video monitor, but at half the price of some other video monitors.
What you’ll love: On a single charge, you can enjoy 19 hours of video monitoring. It also can play lullabies for your baby and offers two-way communication, so you can talk to your baby if you need to.
What you should consider: This is a non-expandable option, meaning you can’t purchase additional monitors for your system. And there’s no Wi-Fi and app pairing.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top budget baby monitor for the money
What you need to know: The Wyze Cam Pan 1080P is the app-enabled video baby monitor just about everyone can afford.
What you’ll love: It’s extremely maneuverable. You can pan, zoom and even tilt it to see any part of the room. It also provides you with video monitoring at a very accessible price.
What you should consider: It runs on an app, so you will need to be sure your Wi-Fi is secure.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: With a 2.4-inch video monitor, you can keep an eye on your baby and still have mobility to roam around your house.
What you’ll love: A zoom feature, lets you get a twice-as-close look while your baby is sleeping. It also features voice activation, alarm and timer settings, 360-degree pan and tilt. And it can be mounted to the wall.
What you should consider: It only has a 900-foot range, so make sure it will work in your home.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Kasey Van Dyke writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.