So. You’re looking for a baby monitor. Do you have multiple children of different ages, or twins? Do you want to be able to use the monitor throughout your house for play time? Do you know if you want an audio only, or video monitor?
This article will take a look at some common questions people have about baby monitors and offer some solutions that may work well for your family!
Can you have two baby monitors in one house? Will two baby monitors interfere with each other?
Yes, you can have two (or more!) baby monitors in one house. This can be particularly useful if you have more than one child and want to monitor them each in different parts of your home.
Consider which of these scenarios applies to you:
- You plan on using the monitors simultaneously. (i.e., two parents watching one baby’s camera) Take note that there could be a delay between what is shown on each monitor. This can make it difficult to determine which camera provides the best view of an incident or if something has happened nearby that needs immediate attention.
- You plan to use one monitor, but two or more cameras. (so multiple camera outputs side by side on one monitor) This is called ‘split screen’. If this is a feature that interests you, take note when you’re trying out cameras before buying them as they usually show this type of setup when demonstrating how many simultaneous views they are capable of.
The possibility of interference with multiple monitors will depend on whether you are using the same brand and model to expand your monitor system, or whether you wish to use different systems. This will ultimately come down to what you want to use each of the monitors for; the most common path would be to extend a single system, but using two completely different systems may be your only choice if you need a large number of cameras.
Why would you need multiple baby monitors?
- You may want to use monitors for different purposes (i.e., one as an intercom, another for viewing the nursery).
- With two cameras set up side by side, it’s easier to pan from one end of the room or crib than if they’re across from one another on either side of your desk.
- You might have two children, so you’ll have one to a monitor. Parents of twins often use two monitors so that each twin can have an individual screen.
- You have an active child who moves around frequently
How do I monitor two babies in different rooms?
If you need to keep an eye on both of your children, but don’t want to have two cameras in the nursery and another camera in each room, there are a few options. You can either purchase separate video monitors for each child’s room or use one monitor with dual viewing via split-screen mode.
Some companies offer this type of setup by default; others may require that you buy a special receiver (which will then allow up to four simultaneous views). Another option is purchasing two cameras, which would give you more control over the direction of view – without having any dead spots between rooms where they’re set up side-by-side.
Can baby monitors pick up other houses?
A common concern is that baby monitors can easily view the camera feeds of cameras in other people’s houses, or that interference is a regular problem. Any device that is transmitting audio or video could be hacked into, but how hard this would be to do is determined by what type of monitor you are using, and how the the camera or microphone feed is sent to the monitor itself.
Radio monitors are audio only, and traditionally have a small overall range; that is where the microphone in baby’s room and the monitor that of parent or caregiver would carry with them need to be in relatively close proximity to each other. To hack this kind of monitor system a hacker would need to not only be close enough to be in range, but would also need to know what radio frequency is being used. Modern radio monitors also use encrypted channels to send the audio to the monitor, which adds an extra layer of complexity to intercept.
Wi-Fi monitors connected via the Wi-Fi of your home network. More than likely you have one Wi-Fi network for your entire home, which is also connected to the Internet. In this instance, adding the baby monitor to your Wi-Fi network at home means that hackers do not need to be in close proximity of your home.
How to reduce a Wi-Fi baby monitor’s hacking risk
- Check your Wi-Fi router uses Network Address Translation (NAT) and disable port forwarding – this goes a long way to filter out traffic that shouldn’t be on your network
- Disable remote access on your router (check the “Allow Setup over WAN” or “remote setup” settings)
- Make sure your Wi-Fi has a password, and that you use a strong one
- Don’t use baby monitor features that enable viewing remotely – while this may seem like a great option for parents who are away from their child who is at home, consider the risks that opening up this line of communication comes with. If you absolutely must use this feature, look for monitors which enable you to change the default access port (generally this is 80) and change it to something at least above 8200.
Can baby monitors detect outside sounds?
Another common concern is that a baby monitor will incorrectly confuse baby crying with other noises such as leaf blowers or car alarms, Especially for baby monitors which have a specific alert for when noises are detected. You may also want to check reviews for your particular model before purchase since different models vary in sensitivity and noise levels they’re able to filter out. A good strategy to help mask environmental noises from elsewhere in the home or from outside is to play some white noise or other gentle music in baby’s room. You can then adjust the sensitivity settings of your monitor accordingly, that you will only hear when there is a sound from within baby’s room.
When should I stop using a baby monitor?
You can use a baby monitor for as long as you want – it is effectively a security camera after all. Some parents use baby monitors for toddlers who are still in a crib, and others use them as they transition their children into big kid beds.
Some parents choose to stop using the monitor when baby begins sleeping through the night consistently – at about 12 months of age or so. Other parents may keep it plugged in for school-aged children (or even teens) who might not be able to get themselves up from bed – If your baby monitor has an intercom system, you can use it to send a little wake-up call!
Are baby monitors worth it?
The monitors have lots of benefits, but that doesn’t mean that they necessarily apply to you and your family. This decision is up to you.
Some of the benefits include:
- Knowing that your baby is safe and sound while sleeping or playing in another room (or even outside)
- Communicating with a napping child without having to climb the stairs, walk through dangerous areas, or disturbing someone else in your home
- Being able to share the provision of a child with another responsible person easily by giving them the monitor unit
- Being able to use the baby monitor as a simple security system for other possible sounds within your home, around your children, including broken windows or fallen items etc.
- The ability to connect other monitor accessories such as increased sleep sensor mats, and baby vital monitors.
There are so many different baby monitors out there to choose from, and it may feel like it’s easier to just buy the first one you come across in your price range. When making a decision always come back to what concern you believe the baby monitor will address for you and your family; any other features above this are a bonus.