Finding the right baby monitor can be a bit overwhelming: there are plenty of models, brands, and features to choose from. You don’t want to be cheap with something like a baby monitor, but how to know what you really need. On the other hand, baby is going to grow up and what are you going to do with your expensive baby monitor then? You may as well try to be creative and come up with an alternative idea, like using a Nest Cam as a baby monitor.
In any case, be prepared to invest some time in browsing online and reading reviews, so you can make an informed decision. Before you do so, try to make a list of baby monitor features that you value the most and why (this seems like a waste of time, but believe me, it will actually save you a lot of it).
After that exercise, we evaluated buying a Nest Cam to use as a baby monitor. Below are some pros and cons, followed by our final decision and reasoning. Hope it’s useful for you!
You can give it other uses when baby is older (e.g. security camera)
App allows you to get the video anywhere you have internet access (vs. only at home where the baby monitor is)
Easy to move around
It takes a while to connect
It often disconnects from the wifi, so it’s not 100% reliable.
There’s occasional lag because it’s operating over wifi, again, not 100% reliable
To be honest, babies don’t move much so all you need is good sound in order to notice if your baby is crying or vomiting or something.
Do I prefer video or hearing my baby crying the moment she starts crying (without lag)? Baby crying. Do I prefer video or knowing that my baby is breathing? Baby breathing.
For that purpose, we ended up discarding the Nest Cam as a baby monitor and got the Angelcare monitor. It turns out to be a bit more affordable, sound is good, reviews were good, and its movement sensor gave us absolute peace of mind (ultimately, that is the reason why we went with this monitor).
Do you really need a camera?
When we first started researching about baby monitors we were definitely looking for one that had a camera. After looking at different models, we realized that maybe we didn’t need a camera after all. At least at the beginning. Are we going to be looking at our baby while she sleeps? Probably not… instead, we wanted to know:
That she’s breathing
If she wakes up and needs attention
So we decided to remove the camera from our “must have” list and mark it as a nice-to-have. We figured we had time to buy a camera if we ever needed one (spoiler alert: we haven’t yet). And if we were going to get one, we may as well spend the money in a good camera, like the Nest Cam, instead of in a baby monitor with a camera that it’s most likely be of less quality.
With time, I don’t regret that decision at all. While she was a baby, we never really needed a camera. But our daughter has always been such a good sleeper so it may be different for you. There was one phase though, when she figured out she could stand up in the crib, where it would have been useful to have one. Mostly to able to tell if she was standing or not. If not, no need to go in the room (which also meant more playing, and her thinking by standing up she could get our attention and avoid having to go to sleep). In two years, that’s about the only use case where I would’ve considered the use of the camera worth it. And anyway, that phase only lasted 2 or 3 months.
To summarize, while I recommend the Nest Cam as a product (we have two and are very happy with them), as a baby monitor, I don’t think it’s the best option for the reasons mentioned in this blog post.