Baby monitors can give parents peace of mind that there baby is safe and sleeping soundly in their bassinet or cot. There are three main types; audio, video and movement based. For video baby monitors you can get some which are self contained using a direct link between the monitor and the parent unit. However, you can also get wifi baby monitors which you can connect to your smartphone.
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In this article, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of wifi baby monitors.
Should you get a wifi or a non-wifi baby monitor?
It depends on what you’re looking for in a baby monitor. A non-wifi baby monitor will be more secure and a lot harder to hack as they use a non-static frequency channel. However, they are not as convenient as wifi baby monitors, because you can view images and live feeds from anywhere where there is a wifi connection, all via your smartphone. It’s basically a security vs convenience issue, and you need to decide what is right for you and your family.
Is it safe to use a wifi baby monitor? Can they be hacked?
- Make sure you have a strong, long Wifi password with a mixture of upper case/lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
- Once you have the app installed on your phone, make sure you complete all the necessary updates as soon as they come out.
- Also, make sure you have a firewall on your home wifi network, or get someone to set one up for you if you don’t know how to do it.
- Finally, just turn the monitor off when you’re not using it. You only really need it when your baby is sleeping, so only use it for naps during the day and throughout the night. Keep it off when you’re not using it.
Pros and cons of wifi baby monitors
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using wifi baby monitors.
- Unlimited range for monitoring providing you have an internet connection
Most standard audio and video baby monitors work with a range of up to 1000 ft (300 metres). However, with a wifi baby monitor you can check on your baby from anywhere. All you need is a wifi connection. This may suit you if you are away from home a lot through work, and you want to just check on your baby from time to time.
- Convenient if you have a smart phone
While you can only see or hear your baby via the parent unit on a standard video or audio baby monitor, if you opt for one which operates via wifi, you can download an app and see everything from your smart phone. This is great if you live in a large house, if you need to pop outside for a while, or even if you are away from home out at a friend’s house or restaurant. As long as there is a wifi signal, you can monitor your baby very easily and conveniently.
- More peace of mind
If you and your partner want to go out for the evening and you’re leaving your baby at home with a babysitter or another family member, you can check on your little one on your smartphone very easily.
Here’s a recommended option for a wifi baby monitor with very good customer feedback.
- Slight delay in audio and video transmissions
Although a wifi baby monitor is more convenient for most parents than a non-wifi option, one of the drawbacks is there is a slight delay in receiving the signal. A wifi baby monitor will send the data to the cloud before sending it to your router and then your mobile device. This delay can be as much as 10 seconds.
- Can be hacked if you don’t have the right security settings
We’re always told to have strong passwords for our wifi settings, but if someone is determined enough, they can hack into your wifi and tap into the live feed of your baby in their room. Of course, this is very unlikely, but if this makes you uncomfortable, you’re better off with an ordinary audio or video baby monitor as they use non-static channels which are a lot more secure. If you opt for a wifi baby monitor, make sure you choose one which has advanced encryption.
At what age should you stop using a baby monitor?
It really depends on what you are like as a parent. One drawback with any type of baby monitor is that it can make some mums and dads a little paranoid. If you feel you are checking up on your baby all the time when you hear the slightest noise, or checking the video feed every 5 minutes, you probably want to think about ditching it earlier for your own sanity! You don’t want to rush to your baby’s side every time you hear a noise as it stops them learning how to self soothe and go back to sleep themselves during the night.
For most parents, you can probably get rid of the baby monitor once your little one starts to sleep a little more consistently at night and they are no longer at the greatest risk of SIDS. In most situations, this is around 6 months.
Are Wifi baby monitors worth it?
A wifi baby monitor really suits families who live in a large house, as it’s harder to check on your baby with a standard video monitor if you many different rooms. Furthermore, if you and your partner have busy work schedules and you’re often away from home, a wifi baby monitor makes sense as you can check on your baby at any time via your smartphone.
Having said that, if you’re slightly anxious as a person, you might feel the need to check your phone often just to see if your baby is ok. This can be a bad habit and it does you and your baby no favours!
If you’re interested in a non-wifi baby monitor, Infant Optics have a great option here:
If you feel a baby monitor might not be the right for you and your baby, here are some other options to consider.