Below is a jumping off point for families looking for baby monitors but not quite knowing where to begin!
The good—you can see your baby from anywhere, as long as you have a WiFi connection. There are so many additional features you can get with a WiFi monitor, like heat sensors, a microphone, and more.
The bad- Other people have been supposedly known to hack into networks. Does this actually happen? I don't know of anyone this has actually happened to, but it seems to be what the circulating chain email everyone got said.
This monitor is made by Kodak (remember those disposable cameras you brought to school dances, vacations, and Bar mitzvahs? I DO!). It was voted top monitor by Wired. It has all the bells and whistles!
Video Monitors, not connected to WiFi
The good- You can see baby when you need to and all the other great features, like monitoring room temp and a mic to talk to baby, are easy to come by. What’s even better?
The bad-If you are traveling on work, you cannot connect to the monitor via WiFi. (In some ways this is a blessing. You can trust your childcare to make sure your baby is safe, so you don’t have to.)
My spouse and I swear by this monitor. It gives us exactly what we need for peace of mind and the signal is strong enough to see our little girl from our back deck!
The good- Less is more here. These monitors are reasonably priced, and if you’re someone who lives an “out of sight, out of mind” mindset, this might be a good route. You can hear when baby is crying and if baby isn’t crying, he or she is ok.
The bad- For parents who need an extra piece of security to sleep at night, actually seeing baby can help relieve anxiety. It’s comforting to watch as your baby’s chest rises and falls. I get that.
This monitor is reasonably prices and still has some excellent features, like talk-back, a great range, and battery or plug-in choice.
But what about the Owlet?
Many times our fears dictate what we buy in the postpartum fog (ask any mom or dad that awakes to several Amazon packages but forgets why they bought what they did!). I always ask new parents, “why do you want the Owlet over other monitors?”
Typically what I uncover is that parents are worried that baby will stop breathing overnight. Is this irrational? Maybe a little. Have we all been there? YES. To be clear, an Owlet is not going to save a baby that stops breathing. It will simply alert you. Sometimes that alert does more harm than good because it’s set off by an overactive baby foot! (the Owlet is a monitor, if you didn’t know, that goes on the foot. It CAN be kicked loose). False alarms stoke the fear, and we don’t need that. For others, paying $299 gives us peace of mind when we need it. I was this person—only I was lucky to borrow my Owlet from a very kind cousin that understood my fear (thanks, Rachel!)
So overall, think about what you want from a monitor. The basics—to be able to hear your baby cry? A middle-of-the-road video monitor? A monitor that you can watch while you travel for work? Or the peace-of-mind knowing you can monitor baby’s heart rate and oxygen intake? If you’re still having trouble deciding, you are probably a libra. Just kidding. You’re a normal person. Schedule an hour consult with a postpartum doula you trust. We can help mitigate some of those fears and help you settle on a monitor you’ll be happy with.