Welcome to the future. Are you ready? Because if you didn’t know that your screaming baby is unhappy, there’s an app for that! All kidding aside, there are actually some amazing technological advancements in baby monitors that can help you decide when your baby requires immediate attention or when you can go back to sleep and much more. Welcome to the future of baby monitors! Here are a few of the hottest ones on the market (or coming soon to a crib near you…):
Cloud Baby Monitor turns an iOs device into a remote transceiver: an iPhone, perched at the corner of the crib, sends an audio and video stream, via WiFi, to you at the other end on a phone or computer. Whether you’re in the room on the other side of the wall, or a room on the other side of the world, you can hear and see your little ball of joy. You can say good-night and play soft music. There are already native programs, like Facetime, for active video chatting, Cloud Baby Monitor tweaks the format of the app, enhancing it to allow you to keep an eye on her sleeping while eating lunch or off on the job. Baby Monitor is the current equivalent Android favorite.
Withing’s video camera monitoring station, Google’s Nest Cam and WiFi Baby are among the best video-focused monitoring tools. These WiFi enabled cameras have better capabilities than most smartphones, offering infrared detection, letting you see baby in the dark. The software can detect movement and forward alerts to any of your mobile devices.
For the MacGyver-DIYer parents out there, the IR camera enhanced Raspberry Pi is a great project to learn computer building basics as you construct yourself a night-vision capable WiFi-ready homemade baby-cam. Using infrared lighting, like the night-shots on the Nature Channel, you can watch every tiny mid-dream kick.
Monbaby wireless sensor is a small plastic snap that clips on to pajamas, monitoring breathing and rolling over.
Mimo offers baby kimonos with sensors, to monitor breathing, and a sleeping mat, which tries to help predict how long her nap might last. The sensors pair with apps to notify of any abnormalities, or to reassure parents who are just checking in.
Sproutling, which was just recently purchased by Mattel, is still in its testing phase of development (you can pre-order, but there is no set release date). It boasts the ability to track your baby’s heart rate, skin temperature, motion and the position. The monitor also integrates with your phone to track sleep and estimate when your baby wakes.
A rather thorough evaluation of baby monitors last year by BabyGearLab found sound monitoring to be the most important to help understanding how your baby is doing, without being next to her. They prefer a stand-alone two-way radio rather than a smartphone based solution. And with any monitor more advanced than the first short-range baby radios from not-so-long-ago, we need to be aware of what we are sharing, and with whom. Don’t forget to turn off tracking features you don’t use and make sure you know how to keep your video private.
We have yet to find a baby monitor that guarantees you’ll get a good night’s sleep. Have you? With any luck though, these new advances can help relieve some of the stress of being away from your baby and help you get at least a little more shut-eye. Every little bit counts!