Baby monitors please!
August 15, 2012 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend a baby monitor.

I am looking for current recommendations for a baby monitor. Video is OK but seems to place units out of the desired price range which is less than 75$. Needs at least 2 receivers, needs to have an adjustable pickup, don't want one with a motion/movement mat. I definitely don't want to mess with computers, webcams, or smartphones.

So far the leading contender is this vizio one and if anyone has any specific experience with it I'd love to hear it.
posted by bq to Technology (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: That's not vizio, it's VTech. sorry.
posted by bq at 5:59 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

We used the Sony ones and they were fine. We picked them because they were supposed to not interfere with wifi.
posted by k8t at 6:06 PM on August 15, 2012

We have the Sony Babycall and have had zero problems with it. Caveat: We only have one receiver, but you can buy a set with two (Amazon link). It has a voice activation mode, but I've never used it, so I can't speak to that. We have a house full of electronics and live in a relatively dense suburb, and usually have the receiver in the basement (where we watch TV after she goes to sleep in her crib on the second floor) and have had zero interference issues except when we tried to put the receiver right next to my iPhone.

I know you said you don't want to mess with computers/webcams/smartphones, but I will note that we bought an inexpensive IP camera when our daughter was about 7 months old to use as a video monitor and it's been really invaluable. We got it right about the time she was starting to pull to standing in her crib at night, and it's been really useful to know when she's fussing but still lying down and when she's actually gotten up. And using an IP camera means we can monitor her from a computer screen/iPad/smartphone instead of from a tiny video monitor screen. We use the camera in conjunction with the Babycall, and it all works very well for us. If you are interested in a video monitor but don't want to shell out the cash for it now, consider it later -- I don't think it would have been any more useful than the Babycall while our daughter was very small, but once she started getting mobile, I was really glad to be saved the trip up to the second floor from the basement every time I heard her cry.
posted by devinemissk at 6:08 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had a monitor that had a visual component (though was not a video monitor) that I loved until we left part of it at our beach rental. In addition to hearing the sounds from the baby's room, there were bands of light that lit up when noises were being made in the room. Very helpful for times when you're not quite sure what you've heard (was that the baby or the radio?) or you want to know if baby's crying but don't want to listen to it. (that sounds heartless, but really, there are times that comes in handy!). I don't remember the brand but I did love that feature.
posted by kirst27 at 6:15 PM on August 15, 2012

We have the linked Sony one and it was fine, but if you don't have a baby yet, you might want to wait and see if you really need it. Unless you have a particularly large house or weak crier, you very well might not.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:22 PM on August 15, 2012

We had the Sony Babycall and unlike the people above, we had an awful time with it. It cut out constantly, even after many attempts at relocating the receiver, transmitter, and changing channels. Getting the out-of-range beep or crackling randomly in the middle of the night was unnerving.

Conversely, we have had absolutely zero problems with this Motorola monitor. It uses the DECT band so it also doesn't interfere with WiFi. So I'd look for something that uses DECT.
posted by zsazsa at 6:32 PM on August 15, 2012

Just dropping in to point out that baby monitors, as a type of baby gear that (1) is really only useful for ~2-3 years of the kid's life, tops, (2) doesn't get any "hard" or damaging use, and (3) never comes in any physical contact with the baby, are pretty much an ideal thing to acquire used. If you're seeing some attractive options that unfortunately come in over $75 new, it might be worth compiling a shortlist of your preferred models and checking Craigslist/ Ebay/neighborhood consignment shops to see if there are any deals to be found.
posted by Bardolph at 7:17 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

We went crazy with a few, and I finally bought this one, and I LOVED it. Zero static, amazing range, visual indicator. For the price, can't recommend it enough.
posted by hypersloth at 7:29 PM on August 15, 2012

Oh, video. Sorry, like I said, was excited with our purchase.
...carry on, nothing to see here...
posted by hypersloth at 7:35 PM on August 15, 2012

I hate that Sony Babycall monitor and I antirecommend it. It clicks -- audibly -- all the time. It drove me crazy until I abandoned it.

Seconding the rec to wait. We also switched to a webcam setup when BabyClover was a little older. I was very, very hesitant because it seemed like such a hassle, but it's actually awesome.
posted by purpleclover at 8:17 PM on August 15, 2012

Gah I fail at reading. Anyway we considered video but never regretted not having it. It was usually dark in the room when we used it, and night-vision just added to the cost (at the time anyway).
posted by hypersloth at 8:42 PM on August 15, 2012

I have the VTech one you linked to, and I came in here to recommend it. (Although I think it was around $60ish when I bought it from Amazon two months ago, plus free shipping, so that doesn't look like the best deal. Maybe shop around?) Like I said, I've only had it for a few months, but we've been very happy with it. Crystal clear sound, lots of ways to customize it (just lights flashing, just buzzing, just audio alerts, or all of the above). I like that it comes with rechargable batteries, and I like that there's never any static or other noise except when the babe's crying. It has a very dim nightlight you can use that's sometimes useful when we want to sneak around the nursery without waking the kid.

My one complaint would be that it loses signal on a regular basis--not every day, maybe every 2-3 days--and beeps for a minute or two until a) it finds the signal again or b) I get sick of the beeping and turn it off and then back on. I'm in a 2-bedroom apartment and we don't move the monitors, so it's not like it's searching for a signal in a mansion. It's an annoyance, but I'm still happy with them overall and would definitely recommend.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 9:57 PM on August 15, 2012

Response by poster: We bought the VTech monitor I linked in my original question and so forth so good. A distinct lack of static.
posted by bq at 5:35 PM on October 22, 2012

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