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Once you’ve set up your baby’s room properly, you might want to consider purchasing a baby monitor. This can be a worthwhile purchase if you live in a large house so you can hear your infant cry out if they need your attention during the night. Many baby monitors come with a whole host of features, such as two-way talk audio, live video feeds and even a thermometer.
Having the right room temperature is essential to making sure your baby is comfortable when they’re sleeping, but how accurate are baby monitor temperatures? Can you totally rely on them? In this article, let’s answer this question in detail.
What should the temperature be in a baby’s room?
As a rough guide, it should be between 16-20 °C (60-68°F). If anything, the room should be slightly on the cooler side to avoid any risk of your baby overheating as this can lead to SIDS.
Are baby monitor temperatures accurate?
It really depends on the model, but on average most seem to have a range of +/- 2 degrees. This means it might actually be slightly cooler or warmer in a room than what the baby monitor is displaying.
What factors can affect the temperature reading?
The sensors on a baby monitor are rather sensitive which is why you can get discrepancies in the temperature reading. Here are some reasons why the temperature reading might not be totally accurate.
- The baby monitor is too close to an open window.
If there is a draught coming through a window, or if it’s particularly cool outside, this can cause the temperature reading to drop quite a bit.
- Too close to a radiator
If you place the baby monitor too close to a radiator, it can cause the temperature reading to be higher than the actual overall room temperature.
- Too close to an AC vent.
We all love cranking up the air conditioning in the summer months if it’s particularly hot. However, if a baby monitor is placed too close to the vent it can give a false temperature reading.
- Placing the baby monitor too high or too low in the room
Hot air rises, so if you have the baby monitor on top of a wardrobe or shelf near the ceiling, it’s going to give you a higher temperature than if it’s nearer the floor.
In short, if you want to get an accurate temperature reading, you probably need to take the temperature in 2 or 3 different locations at a similar height, but away from any heat source, open window or AC.
How else can you monitor the temperature in a baby’s room?
One way to get a more accurate reading is to take the temperature using something other than a baby monitor. Here are a couple of options.
Download a room temperature app for your phone
There are a number of different apps for Android or iOS that show the temperature on your phone. You should find it fairly easy to find one you can download for free. However, when you choose an app, just check that you can switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius (depending on what system you use) and that it clearly tells you the indoor temperature.
The drawback of using a room temperature app on your phone is that it isn’t really that accurate either. They work by using an internal thermometer inside our phones to give a reading. However, as our phones are constantly heating up when we use them regularly, and a lot cooler when we put them to one side, the temperature reading will vary wildly.
Buy a thermometer
For a more accurate reading, you’re probably just best off buying a separate thermometer. Here you can have confidence that it is specifically designed to tell you how warm or cold a room is, and there are no other components inside that can affect the accuracy of the reading.
Here is a top rated option which looks great in any nursery. It can change colour reminding you if the room is too cold or warm for your baby. The only downside is that it doesn’t display Fahrenheit, only Celsius.
What are the best baby monitors with a temperature alarm?
If you still decide that a baby monitor with a temperature sensor is all you need, here are three options, all with a temperature alarm letting you know if the room is too cold or hot.
These cute pair of penguins function as an audio baby monitor with two way talk, and it comes with a night light. It also features an internal thermometer and a warning sound will initiate if the temperature moves outside the 60.8-80F range.
If you want a video option, you can buy the VTech VM919HD Video Monitor which uses a non-wifi signal (more secure), a tilt and zoom camera, night vision and a temperature sensor so you know if your baby is too hot or cold.
This is one of the best options on the market for monitoring your baby. The Owlet Smart Sock 3 runs on your wifi network and allows you to check your baby’s heart rate, temperature and breathing. Via your smartphone, you’ll receive a notification if anything is outside the safe zone. You simply attach the device to your baby’s foot and that’s it.
Graham is a father of two who founded Dadometer to share his parenting journey with other moms and dads.