The standard, single room monitor consists of one nursery unit or base, which sits in the nursery to broadcast the audio and video. This signal is then picked up by a receiver, often referred to as the parent unit. Some single room baby monitors come with two parent units, but most only include one. Additional features may allow the parent to push a button and speak to the baby, similar to a walkie-talkie, or play music to soothe a fussy baby.
Image used under Creative Commons from Donnie Ray Jones
A multi-room monitor has all of the features of a standard baby monitor but has the additional benefit of having more than one nursery unit. This allows parents to set up transmitters in all of the rooms the baby may sleep or play in. All of these transmissions can be received simultaneously by the parent unit.
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Best Multi Room Baby Monitor
You want the best in monitoring equipment for the safety of your baby. But with so many products on the market how do you know which is the best? We have outlined a few high-quality baby monitor systems for your convenience:
Summer Infant Wide View Digital Color Video Baby Monitor
- Large flat-screen color display
- Wide-angle lens
- Two-way communication feature
- Excellent audio and video quality
- Sound activated LED lights
- Night vision
- Short battery life
This system is unique in more than one way. It has the largest viewing screen, at a full 5″ color LCD. It also has a wide-angle capture allowing you to view more of the room at once.Summer has released this system with one camera and a handheld unit, with the option to buy and integrate up to three more cameras on the same system. This gives you flexibility and the option to add more later. Its 2.4 GHz system gives great signal strength and a range of 600 feet. It is also fully equipped with night vision and two-way communication, a well and range, battery and sound alert lights.
Some users found that this unit produced a light white noise while using it and a few mentioned accidental button pressing due to the design of the handheld unit. Others said they found the components sturdy and spoke of its great night vision and range. The most common complaint about this unit is poor battery life, with many citing at least some dissatisfaction with the battery. Some expressed a desire for remote camera panning, but most said that they loved the wide angle and large screen, saying this made up for any faults.
The cost of the Summer Infant Wide View Monitor ranges around $150. It’s a very affordable baby monitor and the large screen is a godsend for anxious parents. This reviewer loved her baby monitor and recommends it to other parents:
I really love it and think it’s a great product. Picture is clear and you can zoom in for a closer view as well. I can hear him as well as talk to him through the camera. Highly recommend!
Motorola MBP25-2 Wireless Video Baby Monitor
- Set includes 2 cameras
- Monitors multiple rooms from 1 parent unit
- Highly sensitive microphone
- Two-way communication feature
- Prone to white noise
- Short battery life
This monitoring system has two cameras and one handheld unit with a 2.4″ color LCD screen. It is equipped with infrared night vision and two-way voice communication, for your remote soothing needs. Its 2.4 GHz gives its wireless signal strength and reliability, even at a range. LED light alerts activate with sounds as well as telling you when the battery is low or you are out of range.Reviewers of this system mentioned the presence of mild white noise from the unit and a few experienced an interference with their home Wi-Fi. Comments about the battery were mixed, with some saying they thought it had a strong life and others saying the opposite.
Users wished for remote panning and a larger field of view but praised strong night vision and good picture quality. One well-loved bonus is that this system comes ready to use, with no need to sync first.
The Motorola MBP25-2 can be found in stores for less than $150. At that price point, you get a complete set of baby monitors capable of monitoring different areas of the home. One buyer loved this baby monitor for its affordability and flexibility:
I highly recommend this monitor system for anyone who would prefer TWO cameras in different rooms (or in different locations in one room). I’ve seen the same system at Target and here on Amazon with only one camera, with the options to add a second camera, but it most affordable to buy as this set. Very happy with this purchase!
Summer Infant Clear Sight Duo Digital Color Video Baby Monitor Set
- Portable video monitor
- Night vision
- Two-way audio communication feature
- Set comes with 2 sets of zoom cameras
- Solid built
- Prone to white noise
The Clear Sight Duo is a two camera system that allows the addition of up to 2 more cameras, all controlled through one handheld unit. It has the smallest viewing screen on our list at a compact 2″ color LCD. It has the same 2.4 GHz wireless technology and 600-foot range. LED lights will alert you if you venture out of range or the battery reserve is low, as well and indicating sound within the room. Digital zoom and night vision, along with two-way communication, make this a well-balanced system.Users found this product overall high quality and enjoyed the ability to add cameras as their family grew. Many found the screen on the small side for the unit size, wishing for larger, but clarified that the picture is still clear and viewable. There were general wishes for a wide view and autorotation, and the common question of white noise was raised. However, this unit was solidly praised for good battery life.
The Summer Infant Clear Sight Duo retails for approximately $180. While this product is pricier than some baby monitors, it is quite hardy and made it last. This Amazon reviewer gave rave reviews to the Clear Sight Duo for its durability and video quality:
This Summer Infant Clear Sight Digital Color Monitor Set has definitely exceeded my expectations and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone in the market for a quality video monitor that will last. (Especially if you are like me and constantly dropping things!)
Benefits of Multi-Room Baby Monitors
There are many benefits to choosing a baby monitor with multiple transmitters, including:
- Multi-room baby monitors allow parents to monitor their baby when they sleep in a room other than their nursery without the hassle of moving the base.
- Parents can also monitor multiple children sleeping or playing in different rooms at the same time.
- It allows parents to install multiple transmitters in the same room for different views. This is extremely practical for parents of twins, triplets, or more who may have multiple babies in the same nursery. This set-up also works well in a playroom, where a child frequently moves around to play with different toys.
- Additional transmitters can be purchased later, allowing the parents to add to the system as the needs or size of their family changes. This can save a lot of money over purchasing an entirely new baby monitor set.
Baby monitors only function on a limited number of frequencies. Some models allow the parents to select between channels, but the options are usually quite limited. Multiple baby monitors are highly likely to cause interference with one another. Even if all of the monitors can function at the same time, you would need to carry around a parent unit for each transmitter. This is extremely inconvenient if you are moving between rooms cleaning, for instance.
Even if all of the monitors can function at the same time, you would need to carry around a parent unit for each transmitter. This is extremely inconvenient if you are moving between rooms cleaning, for instance.
As for the disadvantage of using a multi-room baby monitoring system, they are more expensive than their single room counterparts. However, this is a small investment for something that will be used for many years, making multi-room baby monitor is a wise investment for many expecting parents.
Types of Baby Monitor
Baby monitors come in an array of models and each one offers various features. Some monitoring systems transmit sound, others transmit videos and sound. The construction of your home, as well as the distance between the parents’ room and the nursery, will affect how a baby monitor works so keep this in mind when shopping around for a baby monitor. To help you determine which products are best for your needs, get to know the different types of baby monitor:
Baby Sound Monitors
This is a basic baby monitor that comes in analog and digital models and a set may come with more than one receiver. It works by picking any sound that emanates from the nursery and transmitting the audio to the receiver so parents can hear when the baby wakes up or if the baby is crying in the middle of the night.
Baby Video Monitors
A baby video monitor is a step up from the basic sound monitor. The set comes with a camera, a screen, and a microphone that transmit videos and sounds to the display on the receiver. The receiver is a handheld device with either a black and white or a full-color screen. Some sets come with a separate portable screen that can works on Wi-Fi so parents can keep an eye on their babies using a computer with wireless connection.
Because this baby monitor comes with extra features, it is one of the most expensive types of baby monitors on the market. Other features may include multiple cameras, night vision and automatic camera scanning.
These baby monitors work differently than a traditional baby monitor. Motion activated sensors are fitted under the baby’s crib or mattress to track the infant’s movements. If the baby does not move for more than 20 seconds, the sensor will activate the alarm and the receiver will emit a sound.
Some models can transmit audio so parents can check if the baby is crying, needs feeding, etc. Motion activated monitors are best for premature babies or infants suffering from some type of health problem or complications.
Wired Baby Monitor
This model is similar to a surveillance system and will require hardwiring the camera and video monitor device into the home. Because installation is complicated, installing this system is best left to the professionals. Apart from being expensive, wired baby monitors are not as portable because the receiver must stay in one place and this restricts movement and monitoring to a single room.
Wireless Baby Monitors
Wireless baby monitors come with a wireless receiver, which you can clip on clothing. Some models come with rechargeable batteries, others are powered by alkaline batteries. Some wireless baby monitors require being plugged into a wall with an A/C adapter. Unlike wired baby monitor, wireless baby monitors are easy to install and are perfectly portable. However, the range can be limited and interference is common, depending on the frequency.