Long gone are the days when mom and dad had to lie sleepless wondering whether they heard a cry or whimper from baby’s room down the hall. Today’s parents have a variety of technologies to keep an eye — and an ear — on baby from the next room or even from the office across town. Here is a look at several Internet-enabled monitors, most of which work on private WiFi networks so there’s no fear of broadcasting your lives around the neighborhood to parents with similar devices. These monitors aren’t cheap, but you’ll be able to get your money’s worth by using them as security monitors or nannycams after your baby gets older.
Peek Plus Internet Baby Monitor System
The Peek Plus has all the features you want. You can carry the included video monitor on your belt and watch it all over the home. Or you can access video on your phone or Internet while grandpa and grandma (up to three viewers) see the same thing on a password-protected network. The only drawback here is the required bridge unit (included) that connects to your Ethernet network to make the WiFi work. This means another set of wires to deal with, though the bridge unit can be kept away from the camera. $225 at Babies R Us. www.summerinfant.com.
Withings Smart Baby Monitor
A screenless monitor with a simple, clean design. The monitor itself looks like a white jewelry box that unfolds to reveal a simple 3MP lens. On the back, you’ll find just two plugs, Ethernet and mini-USB for recharging the battery. This is one of the few monitors that includes a bracket to attach the monitor on the side of a crib. It also plays lullabies and has a night light, two features that can both be controlled using the app from anywhere in the world. You can even take photos with the monitor with a 4X zoom and 90 degree pan that works with just a pinch or swipe of the finger. $250 at www.withings.com/en/babymonitor.
Samsung SNH 1010 Smart Cam Monitor
This is the monitor of choice for the social media-connected. It will send a tweet or e-mail when there’s movement or sound from the baby’s room. It will also post motion- or sound-activated video and stills directly to YouTube and Picasa so you can quickly share with friends. It runs on AC power and connects to the Internet via Ethernet or wirelessly. Up to 10 users can access the camera at the same time and an unlimited number of cameras can be added to the network. The SmartCam has night vision and even includes small speakers for two-way talk. $150 at amazon.com. www.samsung.com/us.
IZON 2.0 WIFI Video Monitor
The sleek look of the IZON, which has the look and feel of an Apple product, sets it apart from the rest of the crowd. This is a monitor for design lovers. It is easy to set up: a simple QR code collects information on your local network. It’s simple to use on your iPad and iPhone, and allows you to add multiple IZON cameras and view them at the same time. The IZON has motion and sound alerts, and can record up to 100 events for free to a designated cloud storage. Sound and video are crisp, though not HD. However, we can recommend the IZON only if your baby’s room always has a light on, since the monitor has neither LED nor infrared technology. $130 at www.steminnovation.com.