How to Select the Right Baby Monitor Camera

Watch me on a baby monitor!Many home security cameras can be used as a baby monitor.  However, not all will provide features that are important for monitoring a sleeping baby.  We look at features we believe to be important when selecting a baby monitor so that you can build a list of what’s important.  This will help you to select the best home security camera for your baby monitor needs.

Event Detection

In my opinion, this is the most vital of home security cameras that are required for a baby cam.  Even detection refers to the ability to send an alert based upon something that just happened.  That something is typically motion or sound.

When it comes to a baby monitor, sound is likely the most important so be sure to select a camera that can detect sound and send an alert to your phone based upon that event taking place.  Some cameras such as the Samsung SNH-V6414BN have a sound alert sensitivity setting that can be tuned to make it more or less sensitive to sound.  So if you want to be alerted to even the slightest sound, set it to the most sensitive.

Motion detection may not be overly useful as every little move while sleeping can set it off.  Practically all decent home security cameras have motion event detection features.  Some have a sensitivity setting that can be set to eliminate trivial movements.

Image Quality

You are likely going to have this camera pointed over or near the crib.  I recommend selecting a camera that has 1080p HD capabilities.  I personally have 720p and 1080p cameras.  The difference in image quality is very detectable and makes a significant difference in seeing what’s going on.  While you will save money with the lower quality 720p lens, it worth the extra cost for higher quality image.

Be aware that most good cameras allow image quality settings to be changed and by default might be using a lower quality image.  Be sure to set the higher quality HD image in the camera’s settings.

Night Vision

Infrared night vision is an important feature for a camera that will be used as a baby monitor with the lights off at night.  Select a camera that has a quality night vision feature.

Status Light

Most cameras have a status light.  Some of those lights are really bright that could become bothersome.  I recommend selecting a home security camera that has the option of turning that status light on and off.  Most have this feature, not all, so be certain to check.

Smartphone Support

The ability to integrate with a smartphone or tablet with your home security camera is commonplace these days.  There are some baby monitors available that come with a monitor.  I have found these wireless connections between the monitor and camera to work unreliably, especially at far distances between them.

Connectivity

Select a camera that attaches to your router.  Easier said than done.  Check if your router supports dual or single band.  Many do not.  A 2.4 GHz connection is common and is most reliable for longer distances between the camera and router.  Many higher end current routers also support 5 GHz which works best at closer distances.  Ideally, you want the router to be close to the camera.  If using an HD setting, you will find that 5 GHz at close distances will give the best connection.

Camera Placement

I have heard of people mounting their camera to the crib.  Don’t do that as it can present a strangulation or choking hazard to your baby.  Most cameras will come with a stand for tabletop use.  Some like the Nest Cam come with hardware for mounting to a wall or ceiling.  Put some thought as to where you want to put this camera and select a camera that will support this location.

Summary

This article provides some guidance on features that I feel are important when selecting a home security camera as a baby monitor.  There might be some other features that are important to a buyer that aren’t included.  Make a checklist before shopping.  Features and specifications are normally found on the box or on the manufacturer website.

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