I recently was reminded when someone asked me about what we used for a baby monitor for Max and would I still buy one?
I purchased an IP Camera (it’s name is a mouthful - LTS Wireless+RJ45 640x480 IP Camera with 30 IR LEDs and MicroSD Card Recording) at the end of summer before Max was born (Aug 2010).
The idea was using our home network, we could look at the crib without the baby monitor, closed-network restrictions. Like being able to look at the screen with any IP device that can surf the web – your phone in your backyard, the kitchen on your laptop, your living room on your TV, your bedroom on your TV, etc. It has worked flawlessly and we still use it to this day every day.
It’s mounted just above his crib pointed right down at it.
We use it right when he goes to bed to see, “Is he falling asleep?”, “Is he standing in his crib because he just pooped his pants?” to when we get up in the morning to see if he is awake yet and during naps to know when he’s done sleeping.
Here’s our view from the couch in our living room.
For a non-technical user I’d say this specific device itself would be moderate to difficult to setup – you’d need to know how to enter an IP address, find it on your network, play with a few settings, etc.
At the time, we got it for $180 and now I see it’s down to $157. It has both wireless and wired. We ended up sticking with wired because I was having issues with the unit staying connected via wireless.
We’ve thought about getting another one. Would I buy it again? If I had to go back in time, yes. But are there better options 2 years later?
I found this guy after a bit of research on Amazon - 900+ 4.5 star reviews, $90 price tag, and some great photo’s from users implementations. It has a mouthful of a name as well - Foscam FI8910W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with IR-Cut Filter for True Color Images - 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle) - Black.
I like that you can pan and tilt remotely. With ours you have to do it manually – although we only needed to move it during initial setup since we have it focused on his bed. Although as he gets older, it might be nice to see, “What’s he doing in his room?”
One additional suggestion; turn off the audio – we had it on to start with but found it annoying because you’d wake up ever time your child sighs or mumbles in their sleep and Max seemed to make a lot of noise.
In any case, I can’t recommend getting an IP Camera enough.