Momtrends Must-Have: Baby Monitors

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Favorite Video Monitor: VTech Safe & Sound Pan & Tilt Full Color Video Monitor

The benefit of a video monitor is that since you can see your little one without going in the room, you are better able to judge if your little guy is crying because his swaddle has come undone, he's lost his paci or is just throwing a fit about nap time. Our top pick is the VTech Safe & Sound® Pan & Tilt Full Color Video Monitor. The title is almost as long as the list of features we love. This monitor has great audio and video performance with nearly no delay. You can control the camera's pan, tilt and zoom from the parent unit that also includes a two-way communication button and temperature display. It would be nice if the 2.8" color screen was a tad bigger, but the picture quality and ease of use makes it one of our favorite monitors. We also love the sleek, modern and gender neutral design and that you can buy this monitor with a single or dual camera. Plus, our award-winner will cost you just $150 making it practical and a high performer. BUY: V-Tech

Vtech HD Safe and Sound Video Monitor

** Click through to the end of the slideshow to enter to win one for yourself! **

Best Value Video Monitor: Infant Optics DXR-5

Infant optics

It can be a fine line to walk for a video monitor to provide quality performance at an affordable price, but the Infant Optics DXR-5 succeeds. For under $100, this video monitor has full color 2.4" screen that provides a good picture during the day and uses invisible infrared light to see up to 15 feet in complete darkness. Parents will also love the
"White Noise Eliminator" feature that will prevent your white noise machine or fan from keeping your monitor running all night while still picking up the noises and cries of your baby. The DXR-5 uses 2.4 GHz digital wireless transmission which is static-free and uses data encryption to ensure your video and audio is secure. Not a lot of bells and whistles, but a quality video monitor for under $100. BUY: Amazon

Favorite Audio Monitor: Philips Avent DECT Audio Baby Monitor 570/10

PhilipAventAudio

We love the Philips Avent DECT Audio Baby Monitor for its crystal clear sound and long range. As more and more gadgets in your house go wireless, they can start to interfere - a definite problem if you're trying to keep an ear on your little one. Philips Avent relies on DECT technology that guarantees zero interference from any other transmitting product like cordless phones, wireless routers and cell phones. The parent handset has sound activated lights to see when your baby is crying, even when the volume is off, and a sleep mode that will activate the monitor when it senses sound. The monitor can also sense the nursery's temperature, has two-way communication, plays five lullabies and has a built-in nightlight - though we wish you could turn on the lullabies and light from the parent unit. An added bonus? You can put batteries in the baby unit to ensure that it will stayed powered even if the power goes off or your baby is napping somewhere without outlets. BUY: Amazon

Best Value Audio Monitor: VTech Safe & Sounds

VTech Safe and Sound Audio Monitor

If you gasp at the idea of paying over $200 for a baby monitor, then rest assured that you can get a quality monitor with a surprising number of extra features for under $40 with the VTech Safe & Sounds audio monitor. Like the Philip Avent monitor, this VTech uses DECT 6.0 digital technology that helps eliminate background noise and interference. Parents will also love the two-way communication, sound activation, vibration alerts, and nightlight feature. The parent handset has a great battery life, is easy to clip on for hands-free carrying, and did we mention it's under $40? BUY: Amazon

Best Wi-Fi Video Monitor: My D-Link WiFi Baby Camera

DLink WiFi

The latest addition to the baby cam market are WiFi-enabled cameras that allow you to view the camera feed on your tablet or or smartphone and also give the option to view remotely. Our top pick is the D-Link WiFi Baby Camera which offers a nice blend of features, options and price points. All of the D-Link baby cameras come with sound and motion detection, two-way communication, 4x zoom, built-in lullabies and the ability to capture snapshots and video. If desired, you can then upgrade to one of D-Link's three other models that offer the ability to pan and tilt, a high-def camera or both features together. With prices from under $100 to almost $250, you can find a D-Link WiFi monitor that fits your budget and needs. We love the easy set-up, minimal sound and audio delay, and the ability to upload your own songs, stories or recorded messages with the microSD card slot. The video quality is good, the app is intuitive to use, and a key feature - the app works outside of the U.S.A. - a must-have for military families who want to be able to sneak a peek of their kids across the globe. BUY: Amazon

 *Note: This baby monitor requires the use of a smart phone or tablet to view the video feed. All WiFi-enable monitors do eat up bandwidth and require both fast upload and download speeds.

Favorite New Feature Monitor: babymoov 0 Emission Camera

Traditional baby monitors transmit the audio or video signal via electromagnetic waves. Between cells phones and microwaves, wireless routers to FM radio signals, we are constantly being bombarded with these waves. While some limits have been set on the amount of EMFs a product can release, there still have not been many long term studies looking at the impact of the regular and increasing amounts of EMFs on our bodies. Babymoov is the first brand to take into consideration the potential health impacts of electromagnetic waves by eliminating it from the nursery with their O Emission Baby Camera.

babymoov 0 emission

Instead of relying on traditional transmission methods, the 0 Emission Baby Camera uses Power Line Communication technology. You plug the camera’s adapter into a regular electrical outlet in the baby’s room and connect a second adapter to your home’s modem. The waves are carried from the baby's room through the home's electrical wiring to another room in the house. The camera sends the signal to the modem, which then connects the camera via WiFi to your tablet or smartphone.

In addition to having zero emission in the baby room, the camera also has a walkie talk function, hi-res image, lullabies, temperature monitoring and a nightlight. BUY: Amazon

 *Note: This baby monitor requires the use of a smart phone or tablet to view the video feed.

Best Movement Monitor: Snuza Hero

Peace of mind is priceless. If you're a parent of a preemie, a child who has RSV or are just worried about SIDS, the Snuza Hero will help you sleep a little sounder. Unlike other under-the-mattress movement monitors, this little gadget clips directly onto your baby's diaper which, unlike many mat-style movement monitors, lets it work with crib wedges and on-the-go. The Snuza Hero works by detecting your baby's slightest abdominal movements. If no abdominal movement is detected at all for a period of 15 seconds, Hero will vibrate gently - which is often enough to rouse a baby. After 5 more seconds without movement, the Snuza will emit an audible alarm. One read through the comment sections on any Snuza shopping site will let you see just how valuable this device is. Even better, without any wires, cords, or use of radio frequency, the Snuza Hero is safe and convenient to take and use wherever your baby is sleeping. Peace of mind in a portable package. BUY: Amazon

Snuza Hero

Best Monitor for Monitoring Multiple Children: Summer Infant Dual View™ Digital Color Video Monitor

If you want to keep your eyes and ears on two different rooms or kids, you'll want a dual monitor system like this one from Summer Infant. You'll love the large 3.5" color screen and the ability to either toggle back and forth between full screen views of each room or see both at the same time in split-screen function (up to 4 rooms at once). This monitor also offers the ability to pan, scan and zoom with each camera and two-way communication. Best of all, the picture is ridiculously clear. BUY: Amazon

Summer Infant Dual Screen

Best Bells N Whistles: Angelcare AC1200

If you want the Rolls Royce of baby monitors, then choose the new Angelcare AC1200. This full-featured monitor comes with an under-the-mattress movement sensor, an adjustable hi-def camera with night vision, a built-in nightlight, two-way communication, the ability to play lullabies, AND is WiFi-enabled so you can view the feed on your smartphone or tablet. The AC1200 allows you to keep your eyes and ears on your baby and her movements with a single device. BUY: Amazon

Angelcare AC1200

We want you to win a Momtrends Must-Have Monitor! One lucky Momtrends reader will receive our favorite video monitor - a VTech Safe & Sound Pan & Tilt Full Color Video Monitor.

Win a Must-Have

Enter the contest here. Full Disclosure: Winner must be 18 years or older and a US Resident. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email with the specifics on how to claim the prize. Contest ends May 30, 2015 at 11:59PM EST. One winner per email. Winners will be picked by random.org. By entering this contest, you will automatically be signing up for the Momtrends newsletter. Good luck!

Vtech HD Safe and Sound Video Monitor
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