With a baby monitor, you can feel secure knowing that you can easily keep an eye on baby while you wash cloth diapers or bask in a little me-time. But which is the best baby monitor? Do you need a video monitor or is an audio-only monitor okay?
Best Baby Monitor
There are tons of amazing baby monitors out there with video screens that not only provide you with a clear picture of your sleeping baby, but also have added functionality like movement sensors, breathing rate, and more. The problem? These baby monitors—though, admittedly, tempting—emit harmful EMFs.
But like me, you probably wonder if there any any viable options out there to give you the peace of mind you’re looking for. Truth be told, the best baby monitor is something that’s been used for centuries: your own ears.
Of course, in today’s modern society, most parents won’t accept that as a valid solution. If you really want to use a baby monitor (no judgement—most of us do!), an analog monitor emits the least amount of EMFs.
The best low-EMF analog monitors
Many companies are wising up to the dangers of too much EMF exposure and creating low emission monitors. Admittedly, these aren’t the most tech-savvy monitors; in fact, they’re very basic. Still, they will amplify baby’s sounds, helping you to rest a little easier.
Some good, low EMF options include:
The First Years Crisp and Clear Audio Monitor – The Best Baby Monitor (Plus 4 Ways to Reduce EMF Exposure)
This audio monitor is analog so you won’t be gazing at your little one’s slumbering face, but you will be able to hear her clearly. Both the baby and the parent monitor come with AC adapters, which means no Wi-Fi and no Bluetooth are necessary. The only downside? You might get interference (picking up someone else’s signal)—especially if you live in a big city.
Safety 1st Sure Glow Audio Monitor – The Best Baby Monitor (Plus 4 Ways to Reduce EMF Exposure)
At $36, this audio-only monitor is hands-down one of the most affordable options out there! Both the receiver and the transmitter can be plugged into the wall. Unlike the First Years monitor, the Sure Glow has four channels, which means you can switch channels if you’re picking up interference.
Angelcare Baby Sound Monitor – The Best Baby Monitor (Plus 4 Ways to Reduce EMF Exposure)
This monitor is not as low emission as the previous two monitors, but the Angelcare makes a compromise: It only turns on if it detects noise. As a plus, this monitor records temperature, has a range of 1000 feet, and has less “noisy” static than other options.
This monitor boasts ultra-low radiation thanks to DSR radio technology. This means it reduces wireless emissions by up to 90%! This Bebcare monitor doesn’t stop there — it also does double duty. It’s a starry nightlight that plays up to six relaxing lullabies. Oh, and did we mention it’s good for up to 2000 feet? Pretty awesome!
What About Video Baby Monitors?
Seriously, what can’t video baby monitors do? When it comes to video monitors, the best baby monitor can:
- Display video
- Offer two-way communication
- Provide live-streaming to apps and monitors
- Be remotely controlled to tilt the angle of camera
- Play lullabies
- Monitor the temperature of the nursery
- Alert you to potential problems (such as a nursery that is too chilly)
With a list of features like that, it’s almost too tempting to pass video monitors up. There’s no doubt that baby monitors (especially video monitors) have come a long way since the first baby monitors were invented.
But Video Baby Monitors Emit High Levels of EMFs
Unfortunately, these devices next to your child’s provide more EMF exposure than being 150m away from a cell tower. (source) We’ll get into the health implications below, but for now, let’s just say that’s reason enough to say goodbye to the lullaby-singing, temperature-recording video baby monitor.
The following video measures the EMFs given off by the most commonly recommended video baby monitor, Infant Optics. You’ll see that the video baby monitor receiver (the part in the parents’ room) emits up to 5000 uW/m2 of radiation, while the part of the monitor that stays in the baby’s room (the transmitter) emits 30,000 uW/m2. Yikes! (source)
If you really want the piece of mind a video baby monitor offers, the Philips Avent Video Baby Monitor is a decent option. While it does emit EMFs, it is sound-activated, so the monitor isn’t always on. Plus, you also have the option to use an audio only mode.
Get free updates on baby’s first year! – Free Updates on First Year [In-article]
Sign me up!
What About Wearable Monitors?
If you’re looking for the best baby monitor, a wearable monitor definitely isn’t it. Unfortunately, these seem like the safest choice (for monitoring purposes), but they are actually the worst choice. There is no space between baby and the monitor; baby is literally attached to the monitor for hours at a time.
Even the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions against using all wearable monitors, including sleep socks like the Owlet monitor. These devices not only expose babies to radiation, but they also have high incidences of false alerts due to the natural (yet irregular) breathing patterns of newborns. (source)
Unfortunately, these baby monitors are marketed to nervous parents who are bombarded with information about sleep safety, SIDS, and newborn breathing issues.
How to Safely Monitor Baby
So what’s a mama to do?
- Wearing baby in a wrap or sling for naps can help you feel relaxed knowing baby is safely snoozing.
- Plan ahead for baby’s nap.If you know you’ll be folding laundry, lay baby down for a nap in the same room.
- Get a bedside bassinet, like Guava, or a co-sleeping pillow, like SnuggleMe Organic, so that you can stay close and let your mama instincts alert you if your baby needs some assistance.
How to Reduce EMF Exposure From Baby Monitors
When all is said and done, the best baby monitor is the one that makes you feel most comfortable. So regardless of which monitor you use, you can limit EMF exposure with these tips:
Consider the crib location
Place baby monitors 10 feet or more from the crib. The further you are from EMF-emitting devices, the better. (source, source)
Use voice activation
If you use digital monitors, using the voice activation feature can reduce your EMF exposure. (source) Voice activation refers to a setting on the monitor; when the monitor picks up voices (or cries), it will turn on. This keeps EMF low, because the monitor isn’t always on.
Turn it off when not in use
Studies show that electronic devices emit microwave radiation even when not in active use. Turn the baby monitor off when not in use; standby mode is still considered on. (source)
Consider a Greenwave Dirty Electricity Home Kit
Greenwave Dirty Electricity plug-ins reduce dirty electricity, or surges of electricity that come through the electric wires in your home. They are easy to use—simply plug them into your outlets and then plug your baby monitor into them. You can use these in your whole house, not just the nursery.
How About You?
What do you think is the best baby monitor? How do you reduce EMF exposure in your house?