A Guide To Choosing The Best Baby Monitor

Posted by Megan Petchel & Julie Monson on

A guide to choosing the best baby monitor

Although they are not recommended to be used as a sole way of supervising your infant, monitors go a far way in making it easier to keep an eye on them and provide you with extra assurance that your baby’s sleep space is still safe. As mentioned in our “Are baby monitors safe to use” blog, there are a variety of different types of monitors available on the market, each with a slightly different purpose. They vary from audio only, to audio and visual as well as movement monitors and baby vital monitors.    

Compared to the international market, South Africa’s choice of monitors is fairly limited. At Precious Cargo, we have 3 different brands available for sale, namely Angelcare, BabyWombWorld and Snuza with the latter being locally manufactured. 

Snuza

WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER WHEN LOOKING FOR A MONITOR?

The choice regarding the type of monitor you select is a personal one and should be made based on what will suit your needs best. There are however some things to take into consideration: ·         

  1. How much do you plan to spend on a monitor?   
    Monitors range from R699-R3899        
  2. What type of visual and sound clarity would you require? 
    The choice of signal (i.e. analogue, digital or Wi-Fi monitor) as well as the resolution of the camera can impact the clarity of the picture and sound you receive on your parental unit. ·         
  3. What type of setting do you stay in?     
    Some houses have thicker walls which may result in signal difficulties.     
    If your house is large, the signal may not extend to both ends. ·        
  4. If you are wanting to use a Wi-Fi based monitor, is the speed and stability of connection consistent?   
    A stable and secure Wi-Fi network is needed to make sure you are able to access the camera at all times and reduce the chance of someone hacking your monitor. For more information on this, read our “Can my Wi-Fi monitor be hacked?” blog.         
  5. Will you be travelling frequently and need a monitor which is more portable and does not rely on electricity?    
    Certain monitors only use batteries and therefore do not require electricity which is helpful when travelling or during power cuts.  
  6. How long do you want to monitor your baby for?     
    Are you planning on using it only for the first few months or the first few years?         
  7. Where will they be sleeping and napping?    
    If they are going to be with you, you may not need an audio or visual monitor but rather want to be able to track their breathing motion.          
  8. Are there specific features you would like on the monitor?
    Extra features such as night vision, room temperature or infant skin temperature are not necessarily standard features of all monitors.

what to consider when buying a monitor

WHAT ANGELCARE MONITORS ARE AVAILABLE?

Angelcare offer a variety of monitoring options to best suit your needs.

At Precious Cargo three models are available with all of them including a SensAsure Movement Sensor Pad. 

angel care movement

1. ANGELCARE SENSASURE MOVEMENT MONITOR AC017 

The SensAsure movement monitor is a cordless monitor which detects the smallest of movements across the whole mattress. It is an ideal device for parents to use alongside any other monitor with the purpose of adding extra peace of mind by tracking movement. In addition to being used on its own, it is also effective when adding it to an existing breathing motion monitor which would be required should you have twins.     

angelcare movement monitor

How does it work? 

The SensAsure movement pad is fitted underneath your baby’s mattress on a solid surface. If the sensor does not detect movement for 15 seconds, a single beep tone will sound which is intended to rouse your baby. Should this not be effective, the main alarm consisting of continuous beeps will alert you at 20 seconds.    

Advantages of the SensAsure Movement Pad:         

  • The movement pad comes with 3 sensitivity settings: low, medium and high and can be adjusted to match your needs. ·         
  • Both the movement pad as well as the nursery unit are battery operated making it convenient to use during power outages.      
Disadvantages of the SensAsure Movement Pad: 

  • The SensAsure movement monitor has the potential for false alarms which can unsettle you.          
  • The SensAsure movement pad cannot be used if there is any external movement or vibration. For example, if your Moses basket was on a rocking stand. 
  • angelcare movement monitor

2. ANGELCARE SENSASURE MOVEMENT AND SOUND MONITOR AC127 

Along with a SensAsure movement pad, this monitoring system comes with a sound monitor consisting of a nursery unit and a parent unit. This monitor allows two-way communication with your infant when you are in a different room. It also provides additional features such as room temperature indication on both the nursery and parent units. The parent unit operates on a lithium rechargeable battery which makes it convenient when moving from room to room as no electrical cables are needed.   

angelcare movement and sound monitor

How does it work? 

By adding a sound monitor, you are able to hear any alarms through the parent unit wherever you are in the house. This also allows you to hear when your baby is fussing, crying or awake instead of having to quietly check without waking them. There is also the option of activating audio and visual indications using a tick sound and flashing light which alerts you to each breathing movement. This monitor makes use of the latest digital telecommunication technology known as DECT and transmits at 1.8GHz which assists in reducing the amount of interference.    

The nursery unit has a colour-changing light indicator to let you know if the room is too hot, too cold or at an appropriate temperature. The parent unit further adds to this by displaying the temperature of the room on the device.      

Advantages of the sound monitor:       

  •  The sound monitors come with a VOX (voice operated exchange) function which you can enable or disable.     
  • If the VOX setting is activated, the device will only transmit sound to the parent unit when it is detected. This helps save power as the transmission will stop if no sound has been picked up for 10 seconds. You are also able to adjust the sensitivity of the microphone by selecting one of four levels to determine what works best for you.  o    
  • If the VOX setting is deactivated, the device will pick up all sounds and continuously transmit them to the parent unit.  
Disadvantages of the sound monitor:         

  • The audio unit requires electricity and is unable to operate on batteries. ·        
  • The layout of your house can negatively affect the range of the monitors.    
  • angelcare sound and movement monitor

3. ANGELCARE DIGITAL BABY MOVEMENT MONITOR WITH VIDEO AC327 

The digital baby movement monitor combines the SensAsure movement monitor with video monitoring. Along with the benefits from the SensAsure movement pad and audio monitor, this system also allows you to view your baby on a 10cm colour LCD screen. Choosing this monitor also allows you the option of adding an additional nursery unit and sensor pad (AC017) should there be more than one child in the nursery.    

angelcare video monitor

How does it work? 

A camera included in the nursery unit makes use of infrared-night vision to provide you with a clear video picture of your baby on the portable parent unit. In order to do this, it uses a secure 2.4GHz digital transmission which also assists in reducing the amount of interference.    

Advantages of the video monitor: 

  • Being able to turn on a video monitor and have a clear picture of your baby saves you the effort of getting out of bed to check on them with every noise.  ·         
  • The monitor allows you to zoom in and out with the camera as well as pan up and down and side to side. ·        
  • You are able to view things that you would not necessarily be able to see in the dark. For example, if your baby’s eyes are open or if they have vomited.    
Disadvantages of the video monitor:         

  • The video unit requires electricity and is unable to operate on batteries.          
  • The layout of your house can negatively affect the range of the monitors. 

angelcare video monitor

What babywombworld monitors are available at precious cargo?

BabyWombWorld offers two types of monitors, both which are stocked at Precious Cargo. These monitors offer audio and video capabilities with the choice of using a parent unit or your smart device to view. The BabyWombWorld monitors differ in that they do not have a movement monitor component to them.

1. BABYWOMBWORLD VIDEO BABY MONITOR BWW603

The BabyWombWorld video monitor allows you to clearly see and hear your baby on an 8cm colour LCD screen. This monitor allows two-way communication with your baby when you are in a different room. as well as. It also provides additional features such as room temperature indication on the parent unit and the ability to play 8 different lullabies. The parent unit operates using a rechargeable battery which makes it convenient when moving from room to room.   

Babywombworld monitor

How does it work? 

A camera mounted to a wall in the nursery makes use of infrared-night vision to provide you with a clear video of your baby on the portable parent unit. This is achieved using 2.4GHz digital transmission which also assists in reducing the amount of interference. The camera can be manually tilted 60° or rotated 360° to help you find the best view of your infant.

Advantages of The BabyWombWorld Video Monitor:

  • The video baby monitor comes with a VOX function which you can enable or disable.     
  • If the VOX setting is activated, the device will only transmit sound to the parent unit when it is detected. This helps your parent unit last longer as it saves power.   
  • If the VOX setting is deactivated, the device will pick up all sounds and continuously transmit them to the parent unit.  
Disadvantages of The BabyWombWorld Video Monitor:        

  • The camera requires you to manually move it and therefore may make it difficult to see your infant if they have moved out of range.  

babywombworld monitor


2. BABYWOMBWORLD VIDEO BABY MONITOR AND NANNY CAMERA WITH CALLBACK BWW288

The BabyWombWorld nanny camera and video baby monitor allows you to hear and see your infant wherever you are by using your phone, tablet or computer. This monitoring system also allows two-way communication in addition to numerous other features.    

babywombworld nanny cam

How does it work? 

The Nanny camera requires a Wi-Fi network with internet in order for you to access videos remotely. After downloading the app onto your smart device, a “smartlink” is used to link the camera and your device. The camera must be within 18m of the Wi-Fi router to work.   

Advantages of The BabyWombWorld Nanny Camera:

  • A notification is sent to the app on your phone whenever motion is detected. ·         
  • The app installed on your device supports viewing from both mobile (both IOS and Android) and browser (Chrome, Firefox and Safari) platforms.  ·        
  •  You are able to remotely reposition the camera which can pan 355° and tilt 90°. ·        
  • Video footage can be recorded on an SD card (not included) or using cloud storage (additional cost). ·        
  • There is a “call back” function using a button on the front of the unit. This is a new function that allows someone to get your attention if they need to talk to you by pressing the button. The app will then notify you that someone is calling. You are then able to answer the call and talk to them via the camera.         
  • There is no limit on the number of cameras you can add to the app.    

Disadvantages of The BabyWombWorld Nanny Camera:       

  • The camera requires a stable Wi-Fi and internet connection in order to work. 
  • Have a look at our “Can a Wi-Fi Monitor be Hacked blog?” to ensure your monitor is safe.
  • babywombworld nanny cam

what snuza monitors are available at precious cargo?

This proudly South-African company has 3 types of monitors on the market, namely the HeroMD, Go and Pico 2, all of which are available at Precious Cargo. These compact and portable devices measure your baby’s abdominal movements and alert you should it detect a problem.   

Snuza pico 2
snuza hero md
Snuza go

How do they work?

This small device attaches to your baby’s nappy with an ultra-sensitive, soft and flexible tip which rests on their tummy. The delicate medical grade silicon tip tracks your baby’s breathing motion. Should the monitor not detect movement for more than 15-20 seconds or if it notes less than 8 movements in a minute, the device will alert you

1. THE SNUZA HERO MD: 

The Snuza Hero MD is the first medically certified breathing monitor in Europe and has been proven to detect periods of apnoea. This device needs to be calibrated by placing it on a flat surface before use each time. Should your baby stop breathing for 15 seconds, the device will vibrate in an attempt to wake your baby up. If this does not work and breathing has not resumed, an alarm will sound at 20 seconds. You will also be alerted if your baby has 3 episodes of not breathing for 15 seconds. A dual-tone warning is sounded if your baby’s breathing rate drops below 8 times a minute.   

2. THE SNUZA PICO 2: 

The Snuza Pico 2 has the added benefit of sharing information to an app on your phone. In addition to tracking abdominal movements and alerting you should breathing not be detected after 15 seconds, this device also allows you to monitor your baby’s breathing rate, skin temperature, the position they are in, battery level and notify you of any falls. As with the HeroMD, the Pico 2 will first vibrate to rouse your baby before sounding an alarm at 20 seconds.   

3. THE SNUZA GO!: 

The Go! is Snuza’s basic and most affordable movement monitoring device. Unlike the other 2 monitors, the Go! does not vibrate to awaken your baby. Instead an alarm is sounded immediately at either 15, 18 or 20 seconds as selected by you. The Go! will also warn you if less than 8 abdominal movements are picked up in a minute.    

Advantages of the Snuza monitors:         

  • Snuza devices are ideal for traveling and using when there is load shedding as they are completely wireless and operate using a battery.         
  • They are compact and light which makes them comfortable for your baby to wear.  ·         
  • There are no small or removable parts which minimizes any choking hazards.    
Disadvantages of the Snuza monitors:          

  • The device is less accurate and more prone to false alarms when your baby starts moving and rolling as the tip may lose contact with their tummy.        
  • The Pico 2 requires a secure and continuous bluetooth connection to your phone. Difficulties with maintaining this connection have been reported.

Read our article on Snuza monitors here

Snuza pico 2

References


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