I get asked about the best high-tech baby monitor a lot. I guess I'm a good person to ask since I'm a technology reporter and a mom of baby(s). These days we are using the Luvion Grand Elite, which is great for monitoring more than one child.
I am (impatiently) awaiting Baby #2's arrival. The nursery is ready and now I have the camera set up at a safe distance from the crib ready to send video to the same monitor I use to watch Mo at night. Here is a video of the monitor scanning from Mo's empty crib to Baby M's empty crib.
The Luvion has a lot of neat features, similar to another of my favorites, the Lorex Live Sense, which I gave to my sister to use for her little one. Among them:
- A high resolution color screen;
- A chat-back feature that allows you to speak into the baby's room from the monitor to sooth your little one to sleep;
- The ability to record video to an SD card;
- Soothing music that plays to the camera
It also has the ability to pair up to four cameras to one monitor. This means that when Baby #2-4 comes along, you don't need an entire new system! We just paid $99 for an extra camera and paired to to the monitor we already use for Mo.
There are a few drawbacks to this system. Pairing is not the easiest task, I have to admit. It should be. There is a simple setting that asks you to choose the camera and then press the Pair button on the camera. I had to try it several times and turn the camera off and on before it finally worked. And you can't split the screen to see more than one camera at once the way you can with the Lorex, you can only scan full-screen between cameras, which I have to imagine will drain the battery a bit quicker when I am actively watching two sleeping angels. But I like this solution a whole lot better than having two separate monitors to carry around the house.
The Luvion Grande Elite costs around $249, which is roughly the cost of a good monitor these days but if you consider that extra cameras are only $99, it is a much better deal.
We also use Wi-Fi cameras in our babies' rooms, for redundancy I guess. Our favorite is the Dropcam. I've tried a few others and did not like them at all. I don't want to say negative things about other products but if you're considering a Wi-Fi camera that I haven't mentioned, ask in the comments and I'll steer you clear of the ones you don't want.
A Wi-Fi camera sends video footage to any Web-enabled device and can see as many rooms as you have cameras. Although, a friend who specializes in security points out that this footage has to go through the Dropcam servers so if that makes you uncomfortable, you may not love this system. Still, I like being able to see the babies' rooms from my phone or computer, even when I'm not home. Not that I don't trust that they're just fine even when Mommy isn't hovering! Still, what is the point of a baby monitor if not a little peace of mind!