All parents know that having a baby is a miracle and the most enjoyable period of their lives. With this blessing comes a large amount of responsibilities, so while a caring for a newborn child is the best time of a couple’s life, it demands a lot of hard work. Thus, it can be extremely tiring, with one word permanently on the mind of parents – sleep. At least for the few first months, a full night’s sleep is a thing of the past, not only because you need to wake up every couple of hours to attend to your child, but also because of the constant concern that he or she is alright. Some couples simply resort to sleeping in the same room as their child in order to hear any cries.
You may be wondering what is the best baby monitor to buy? Where do you start? Your budget will obviously play a part in your decision. Do you need a video baby monitor or an audio only version? What is the difference between analogue or digital monitors? What type of signal range do you need, do you need two-way talk back facility? There are so many types available. The choice can be over-whelming.
Baby monitors play a significant role in easing nerves. They provide an efficient way for you to constantly observe and listen to your child. Most importantly, you’ll sleep easier and feel more relaxed. With that said, here is a list of the best baby monitors in the UK of 2016 – 2017 and a review of each one.
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Our Best Baby Monitor in The UK Reviews of 2016 – 2107
BW New 2.0 inch Wireless Digital Camera
Apart from the efficient monitoring of your child, the BW digital baby monitor also keeps track of temperature. This is particularly important, as an environment too cold or too warm can cause a new-born distress and discomfort. Therefore, it’s a very useful addition.
Coupling its audio features is a night-vision camera and 2.0″ inch LCD monitor, so you can watch and hear everything perfectly. Moreover, you can adjust the volume and set the date and time accordingly. It can also be attached to tables.
An impressive feature which must be mentioned, is the innovative, built-in lullaby player which plays beautiful tunes while your child falls asleep which saves you your vocal chords.
- Has a two-way talk function
- Comes with multiple language support
- Its signal is long-range with no interference.
- A redundant feedback sound may be heard at times
SUNLUXY 3.5 inch Color LCD Wireless
In terms of video baby monitors, the SUNLUXY digital has to be one of the best on the market. High-functioning and fitted with cutting-edge features, as well as improvements on others, with this SUNLUXY entry, you simply can’t go wrong.
Its visual capabilities are unmatched. This monitor has a 3.5 inch, colour LCD screen with incredible resolution. The advantages of this are obvious, but moreover, you are able to watch your baby from any angle thanks to the highly-flexible pedestal which can be rotated a full 360 degree and adjusted up and down up to 90 degrees. Not only can you keep an eye on your child, you can constantly inspect the entire room. Maybe it’s cold and you happened to leave the windows open. This way, you’ll know.
Feel free to carry on with chores and other errands around the house, as this monitor has an impressive 200 metres of range. Technically, you could be outside your house and still hear everything. At the same time, two-way commination and a built-in microphone provide you with the ability to be close to your child all the time, even when far away.
- VOX mode reduces any unwanted interference
- Has extended battery life when unplugged
- Comes equipped with a security camera
- Does not include batteries
Angelcare AC401 Movement and Sound
As the name implies, the Angelcare AC401 will allow you to take care of your child like an angel.
Beautiful white and turquoise colours make it ideal for both boys and girls, perfectly suiting and harmonizing their cots. The monitor is also highly durable, so there’s no need to worry if you happen to drop it here and there. The audio is jointly top-notch and unblemished, and the tic feature confirms that your baby is sound asleep and snug.
The sensor pad, which is placed under your child’s mattress, makes for a striking extra feature as it is monitors your child’s movements during the day and at night.
- Two AC adaptors are provided
- Built-in out of range alarm
- Has a useful low battery indicator
- A hardboard for the sensor pad is required, but not included
BT Digital Audio 400
The BT Audio monitor is a top-class and conveniently portable baby monitor with superior range and flawless audio quality. Boasting 50 and 300 meters of range, for indoors and outdoors respectively, you won’t miss the slightest peep your precious one makes.
It also sports digital high-definition-sound, so all those peeps are exceptionally clear, as well as sound-sensitive LED’s keeping you visually aware as well. The full-colour LCD screen is superb and incorporates night vision, guaranteeing your watchful eyes are as good as a hawk’s during the day and sharp as an owl’s at night.
The BT 400 is perfect for both boys and girls and its robust coating keeps all intricate components intact. Not to mention its lightweight – it’s only 354 grams.
- Batteries are included
- Long range of up to 300 meters
- Pricier than most audio monitors
ARAS 2.4GHz Portable Digital
The ARAS portable digital monitor encompasses all the vital features needed for insuring your baby’s wellbeing while sleeping. Sound is crystal clear thanks to its 2.4GHz digital transmission which happens to be wireless as well. Be rest assured that any sound your child makes will undoubtedly be heard.
The useful talk back function allows you to comfort your child without entering his or her room. Sing them a song or talk to them from anywhere in the house. Also, it continues to work in temperatures as low as -10 and as high as 60 degrees.
Just in case you are too far away, the ARAS is outfitted with a handy alarm which goes off to notify you when you are out of range. Furthermore, it can be powered with or without batteries which makes for a very versatile monitor.
Neatly included is a power adapter and easy-to-read user manual which eliminates the need to purchase anything extra and ensures you are up and monitoring in no time.
- Includes low battery display
- Temperature storage range of -40°C to +70°C
- Lightweight at only 75 grams
- Using the power chord limits mobility
A Little More About These Monitors
A baby monitor is a device that allows you to hear, or see, your child when you are not in the same room. There are normally two parts; a transmitter and a receiver unit. The transmitter is located in the room where the infant sleeps. The transmitter sends images and/or audio to the receiving unit.
These monitors transmit using an analogue or digital signal. These days, most baby monitors use digital signals. An analogue signal can receive interference from other devices, such as radios or microwave ovens. Digital monitors encrypt the audio or video signal and are less likely to have interference problems.
Child monitors may appear to be recent inventions. Although, unbelievably, they are nearly 80 years old! The first baby monitor, called the Radio Nurse, was introduced in 1937.
Advantages Of A Baby Monitor
There are a number of advantages to using these for your child, we have summarized the main benefits below.
Peace of mind. The most obvious benefit. But, it cannot be understated how a toddler monitor can give you reassurance that your baby is safe and secure when in a different part of your home. Babies will soon let you know if they need your attention. The right monitor will be worth its weight in diamond encrusted gold!
They give you time. You can carry on with jobs around the house, for example making dinner, or clearing up those toys in your front room. Knowing your little one is perfectly fine and safely asleep in their room will allow you to get job done or possibly even relax! If your child is in another room, on a different floor in your house or flat, monitors can save you checking on them every ten to fifteen minutes. When you have a child you need to make the most of your baby free time.
Can help sleep train a child. Babies have different noises and cries. Especially when they are settling down to sleep. Knowing what type of cry will help you decide if you need you to attend to them or not. This helps avoid disturbing them unnecessarily. Particularly when they have naps during the day.
How To Find The Best Baby Monitor
Child monitors come with a quite a few options. These are the important ones to consider:
Audio or video baby monitor. Do you want to listen to your baby or watch and listen? An audio monitor will be less expensive than a monitor with a camera and viewing screen. An audio baby monitor will be a little easier to set up. However, the prices of video baby monitors have reduced in the past couple of years. The coverage a video monitor can give you, could be worth the extra expense. Additions such as extra cameras, night vision capability add to the qualities of a video baby monitor.
Video and sound quality. The best baby monitor to buy should be able to display a good quality picture. It’s no use having one that shows fuzzy or distorted images. Luckily most do have pin sharp Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screens. These help make the picture quality as good as possible. The average size of a screen is 3.5 inches (9cm). Smaller screens are ok, if the size of the monitor needs it. Obviously, the bigger the screen, the easier it is to see your little one.
During the day you will be able to see pictures in colour. At night you will be able to see pictures of your cherished one. Almost all baby monitors with LCD screens have a night vision mode. This allows you to see your baby at night. The monitor will automatically switch to this mode. Night vision pictures will be in black and white.
Decent baby monitors will have good picture quality, day and night. Watch out for the ones where the day time picture is good, but the night time picture is poor. This normally means the night vision LEDs are not up to the job. Avoid these ones.
Analogue or digital. Baby monitors work using either analogue or digital signals. Analogue monitors are few and far between these days. Analogue signals are open to interference and to others being able to listen in. Digital signals have clearer sound and are less prone to interference. Some monitors use DECT (Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications). DECT ensures a secure connection as the signal is encrypted. It uses a different frequency to these monitors without this feature.
Signal range. All good monitors should work fine in a normal sized house or apartment. Some have a range up to 350 metres. This can be handy if you have a mansion, or more realistically, you want to work in your garden. Be aware that the range specified by most manufacturers normally refers to the maximum range with no obstacles. Realistically, a maximum range of 300 metres would mean 50 metres inside a house.
The signal range is affected by things like thick brick or concrete walls, and how many floors you have in your home etc. Be wary of manufacturers who claim 100 per cent guaranteed signal range and reliability. The majority of child monitors will have an out of range alert. This also tells you if there is no link between the parent and sending unit. Knowing you have a constant connection is very important.
Most digital monitors use 2.4 GHz Frequency Hopping Sound Spectrum (FHSS) technology these days. Digital monitors send their FHSS signals encrypted, and are these are decrypted by the parent unit. It virtually eliminates the signal from being intercepted. This also keeps the signal secure, and less vulnerable to interference from other electronic items such as wireless broadband routers or other baby monitors.
Battery life. The receiving unit normally has rechargeable batteries. This allows you to pick it up and walk around your home. The time between charges is an important consideration. Nobody wants to keep charging a unit every couple of hours. Most decent baby monitors last around 6 to 8 hours before needing to be recharged.
If the baby monitor you are considering uses re-chargeable batteries, it should have a low battery alert built in. It kind of does what it says on the tin. It alerts you when the batteries are low. It seems a simple feature, but you should expect this as standard. You should get around three to five hours use before having to recharge.
Temperature display. A very handy feature, especially if your child’s room is cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Most units have this as a feature. The optimum temperature for a baby to sleep is about 18°C (65°F). A room that is too hot or cold will keep your little one, and you, awake at night.
Soothing sounds, lights or lullabies. Some units come with built in lullabies to help soothe your baby to sleep. Some let you plug in an MP3 player for your child’s favourite tunes. A few even have a light show that will calm down an unsettled baby. These are normally controlled by the parent unit. These additional features are not ‘deal breakers’. But, they are handy options that you could consider.
As long as the baby monitor can send and receive video and / or sound signals with no interference, that’s the main thing you need to worry about. Additional features that good to have, include built in night light, two way talk back, lullabies and temperature sensor. These are a bonus if included, but not deal brokers, if not.
Audio vs Video Baby Monitors
Both audio and video baby monitors have their advantages and disadvantages to them. Read our guide to the pros and cons of each so you can select the best monitor for your baby’s needs.
Audio only monitors generally cost less. Mainly because less electronic wizardry is needed. There are other differences as well. For example, audio monitors generally use analogue signals. Video monitors use digital signals.
We’ll start off with video baby monitor, then move onto audio only monitor pros and cons.
- Provides video images. The most obvious advantage – a video baby monitor allows you to see your child. Seeing, as well as hearing your baby allows you to decide whether or not they need your attention.
- Saves unnecessary visits. You can always check on your baby in person. However, a video monitor does the legwork for you. Although, the real benefit is not disturbing your baby unnecessarily.
- You can see more than one child. Most video baby monitors can be used to view one or more camera unit. This is beneficial when looking after more than one child or toddler. This is helpful if children are in two or more rooms. You can scan between the rooms to see who needs your attention.
- Can help sleep train your little one. At some point, you will need to move your baby into their own room. A video monitor can help your child, and you, make the transition into their own room.
- Useful when introducing your child to their first proper bed. Some babies / toddlers acclimatise well to a new bed. Others love the freedom their new bed gives them. A video monitor can be a big help during this transition period.
- Higher cost. Compared to audio baby monitors, a video monitor can cost two to three times as much. However, this depends on the model and additional built-in features. However, prices of video monitors are decreasing. Some lower end models only cost a fraction more than middle to high end audio monitors.
- Hassle to set up. Setting up a video baby monitor with camera, can be fiddly. Most video monitors will work out of the box. But, some will need tinkering to make sure you get a good video and audio signal.
- Security issues. Digital video monitors are relatively safe from signal interference and invasion. However they are not 100 per cent secure. Especially if you have a Wi-Fi enabled video baby monitor and do not change the default password.
- Obsessive viewing. Some parents prefer to listen to their child. That’s all they need. Some worry that if they own a video child monitor they would be checking it every five minutes. Note sure I would be obsessive like that. But, I can understand the need to check more often than not.
- Lower cost. The simplicity of an audio monitor means it is cheaper to produce. And obviously cheaper to buy. Some basic audio monitors can be purchased for as little as £20. For a decent audio only version, expect to pay around £35 to £50.
- Better portability. Less electronic circuitry, and no LCD screen, means a more compact parent unit. The smaller the parent unit, the easier it is to carry around the home. Baby monitors that don’t have a portable parent unit are best avoided.
- Longer battery usage. Linked to the above point about smaller parent unit. No LCD screen and less circuitry means an audio monitor needs less battery power. This means longer times between battery charges. It also means re-chargeable batteries will last longer.
- Less things to go wrong. Audio only monitors do not generally have the amount of (sometimes unnecessary) features video baby monitors have. And, with no screen, there is less things to go wrong. So less chance you may have to return a faulty unit and start your baby monitor hunt again.
- Digital Enhanced Cordless Communications (DECT). To send and receive signals, most digital monitors use the 2.4GHZ frequency band. DECT uses the 1.9 GHZ frequency band. Audio only digital monitors with DECT are much less prone to interference and signal drop out.
- Sound only. The most obvious point – you can only hear your baby. You cannot see them. For most parents, or carers, this is their personal choice. Others may choose an audio only baby monitor because of lower cost.
- Signal interference. Quite a few audio monitors use analogue signals. These signals are prone to interference, can produce poor quality sound and are much easier to be intercepted.
- Monitoring more than one child. An audio only monitor can cause confusion when monitoring more than one child in the same room. You won’t know who needs your attention, so you could go in and wake up or unsettle the child who doesn’t need you.
Summary of The Best UK Monitors For A Baby Reviews of 2016 – 2017
There you have it mom and dad! A comprehensive choice of the best baby monitors in the uk to look into. Whether you are a couple expecting your first child or are seasoned parents expecting a new member to your family, there’s no doubt that any assistance is always well-received. These specific baby monitors are by far the best out there and will provide you with that extra piece of mind.
Make your lives a little easier and get yourselves one. Remember, the less exhausted and stressed out you are, the more confident and happy your child will be. Thanks for reading and cherish these beautiful moments. Take care!