7 Alternatives to Baby Monitor – ONE You Won’t Guess!

7 monitor comparison

Not all parents feel that baby monitors are a necessary nursery item. In fact, many families manage just fine without the added expense of a baby monitor that won’t really have a use once the baby starts growing. However, the odd occasion might warrant a check on the baby if you’re not in the same room. The question you might be considering then is, are there alternatives to baby monitors?

Surprisingly, with a little out-of-the-box thinking, several products you already own might be perfect to convert into temporary baby monitors. Keep reading as I highlight some of the best alternatives to baby monitors that will give you the same peace of mind. 

Comparing the top 3 alternatives to a baby monitor

Here’s a side-by-side comparison between the top three alternatives to consider.

FeaturesSmartphoneWebcam Tablet
Top reasons for considering itMany people already own a smartphone and secondary device such as a tablet, laptop or additional phone – sound and image quality are goodIf you own a laptop or a PC, you’ll already have a built-in webcamCheap option if you already own a tablet and a smartphone
Audio qualityExcellentGoodGreat
Two-way communicationYes, two devices allow 2-way communicationNo two-way communicationYes, since there are two devices one of which is likely a smartphone
Image qualityGood – depends on the type of deviceGood – depends on the type of deviceDepends on brand quality, but generally great
Specific app to downloadCan work without an app, but many options to downloadCheck for a compatible appWorks simply with Skype or Google Hangouts
Requires 2 devicesYes & 2 accountsYesYes & 2 accounts
Charge durationDepends on the device, but both will require charging at least once in 24hrsIf attached to a laptop or PC, the unit will require chargingWill require charging at least once in 24hrs
Zoom functionNot from a remote phoneDepends on the modelDepends on the tablet and type of app being used
PriceAffordable – no cost if you already have 2 devicesIf you own a device, there’s no real cost involvedAffordable, can easily connect with a phone as a secondary device

7 ingenious alternatives to a baby monitor

My article covers a few of the more common baby monitor alternatives that some out-of-the-box thinking parents are using.

  1. Smartphone
  2. Webcam
  3. Tablet
  4. Walkie-Talkie
  5. Security Camera
  6. Smart Speaker
  7. No monitor

1. Smartphone

Not surprisingly, the number one baby monitor alternative is a smartphone. Since most people already own at least 1, it’s the simplest method of keeping an eye on your baby.

To use your mobile phone, follow these easy-to-follow steps. 

  • You’ll need 2 phones, or one phone and a tablet
  • Use phone #1 to make a call to the other phone, laptop or even tablet
  • Leave one phone in the nursery and keep it connected for as long as you need
  • To use the video call option, activate features like Skype or Facetime
  • Specialized baby monitor apps such as Faebir or Cloud Baby Monitor provide vibration alerts and activity logs

Pros

  • If you already have two devices, no additional cost
  • Easy to set up
  • Many apps to choose from 
  • Only requires a Wi-Fi connection
  • Many apps allow two-way communication

Cons

  • Might need to buy a 2nd handset or device
  • Using Wi-Fi leaves your device vulnerable
  • Mobile data can be costly

2. Webcam

Another option that’s already in most homes is a webcam. Simply connect the unit up in your baby’s nursery and watch as the feed is live-streamed to a separate laptop or PC.

Pros

  • Images are clear
  • Most PCs and laptops already have an onboard webcam
  • Video and images can be recorded

Cons

  • Might need to purchase a second device
  • Using a wi-fi network makes your network susceptible to hacking

3. Tablet

An advantage to using a tablet is that there’ll be minimal to no cost if you already own one. Using a tablet as a baby monitor alternative works relatively similarly to using a phone. 

Keep these steps in mind.

  • As with a phone, you’ll need two devices as well as two accounts 
  • You’ll need to utilize a specialized baby monitoring app or by activating the call features
  • Options such as Skype and Google Hangouts are great for video monitoring and you’ll need Wi-Fi as well

Pros

  • Great if you already own one
  • Excellent picture & sound quality
  • Easy to do video monitoring

Cons

  • Wi-fi signal can drop, causing the call to cut as well
  • Requires a second device

4. Walkie-Talkie (Two-way radio)

If you’re looking for an alternative that’s considerably cheaper than a baby monitor, then a walkie-talkie is a great idea. To use it effectively, you’ll need to opt for one that has a VOX or voice activation feature. Here’s an article I wrote about VOX baby monitors which should at least give you an intro to the world of VOX.

Using a walkie-talkie is as simple as following these few steps:

  • Place one handset near your baby’s crib and keep the other one with you
  • With VOX, the walkie-talkie in the nursery will activate every time your baby makes a sound
  • You’ll then be able to say something back to soothe your little one

For a list of cheaper baby monitor options, check out my article on great baby monitors for under 100 bucks.

Pros

  • Cheaper than a baby monitor
  • Easy to use
  • Can be used as a toy after when the baby gets older

Cons

  • Lacks baby monitor features
  • Can have poor audio quality

5. Security camera

Since most homes already contain at least one security camera, this is an option that’s gaining a lot of popularity with new parents. Another reason they’re so popular is that they are very similar to baby monitors.

Pros

  • Many cameras also have a two-way radio option
  • Works over a considerably huge range
  • Can be used as a security camera after use
  • Excellent image and video quality
  • Features infra-red night vision

Cons

  • Some security cameras require a Wi-Fi connection
  • Audio might not that good
  • Lacks features that measure heart rate and breathing

6. Smart Speakers

Smart speakers are becoming popular gadgets in many homes around the world. If you already own a smart speaker you can use it to check on your baby. Here’s how. 

  • If you’re using Alexa, simply activate the “drop-in” feature 
  • Use the speaker to call your laptop or phone
  • You’ll be able to hear if the baby is fussing

Pros

  • No cost if you already own one
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Superior audio 

Cons

  • Need Wi-Fi to function
  • Calls drop after a few hours

7. No monitor

Depending on your space and schedule, it might not be necessary to buy a baby monitor at all. Being close to your little one’s room all the time means you can easily check up on them.

Pros

  • No cost – Many parents survive just mine without one
  • No risk of hovering too much and unintentionally distracting your little one

Cons

  • Might not hear baby fussing from across the house
  • No monitor increases the risk of SIDS since you might not always be near your baby 

Here’s a nifty clip that shows you how to turn an Android device into a baby monitor. 

If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, then this next clip is for you!

Conclusion

If you’re going to opt for a tech device as an alternative to a baby monitor, always be sure to test it before settling on it. Test it from different rooms and with different levels of noise, your baby makes. If you have a big house, you should make sure you have a good reception – no wonder there are specially-made long-range baby monitors.

If you’re on a tight budget, opt for using devices you already own. Test a few of the apps to find the one with the best features.

Another informative article that I wrote which will provide additional baby monitor info is on the top baby monitors for travel purposes.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.