Baby monitors provide anxious new parents with peace of mind, but traditional audio alerts do little to help those with hearing impairments.
We’ve spent hours researching baby monitors with the intention of helping deaf and hearing-impaired expectant parents navigate the often unaccommodating baby gear marketplace.
If you’re hearing impaired or deaf and looking for a suitable baby monitor, you’ll probably find it here — so let’s dive in!
In this article:
How to choose the best baby monitor for deaf parents
For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, finding a suitable baby monitor can sometimes prove challenging. After all, babies cry to communicate that they’re hungry, uncomfortable, soiled, or just in need of comfort.
Baby “codas,” or the children of deaf adults, are too young to understand why their parent(s) can’t ‘hear’ them.
Those who are deaf (or hard of hearing), have little use for traditional auditory devices; which is where alternative functions like video, vibration, and lights, come into play.
- Video: Videobaby monitors enable deaf parents to keep an eye on their little ones when not in the same room. A high-quality camera and high-definition video monitor allow parents to see their baby in real-time. Wide-angle and fish-eye cameras provide you with a broad perspective of your child’s bedroom. It’s also useful to be able to pan, zoom, or tilt the camera to hone in on them. Added to this, some units can be connected to multiple cameras, enabling parents to keep track of more than one child or room.
- Light indicator: Many monitors are equipped with light-up signals which activate when detecting sound or motion in the baby’s room.
- Sound indicator: If your spouse or caregiver is not hearing-impaired, or you just occasionally use a hearing aid yourself, you could choose a monitor that features audio alerts.
- Vibration: Vibrating alerts are excellent for those who don’t want to be weighed down by visual or audio alert systems. These systems vibrate when the baby makes a sound, much in the way that cell phones vibrate while on silent mode.
- Battery: The average baby monitor lasts from 8 to 10 hours before needing recharged. Your device must hold enough juice to carry parents through the night. Keep in mind that most modern monitors feature rechargeable batteries, though these tend to lose power over time.
- Ergonomics: If you’re performing chores or watching Netflix after your baby falls asleep, you’ll want a parent unit that’s small enough to take on the go. If your monitor can be paired with a smartphone, then this shouldn’t be a problem. For the most part, your parent unit should be small enough to slip into your back pocket.
- Extras: Many contemporary baby monitors enable parents to track their little one’s vitals, including their heart rate, oxygen level, and, occasionally, the actual temperature of the nursey.
- Two-way communications: Moms and dads can also benefit from talk-back two-way communication and lullaby/white noise features on their baby monitors. These will enable caregivers to calm an upset baby without having to get out of bed.
Why do I need to track my baby while they sleep?
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) most recent sleep guidelines suggest that babies sleep in the same room as their caregivers until they are 6 months old. 2How to Keep Your Sleeping Baby Safe: AAP Policy Explained How to Keep Your Sleeping Baby Safe: AAP Policy Explained – healthychildren.org
Many of today’s caregivers begin sleep training even before this. Studies support the idea that successful sleep training results in better parental sleep and less parental depression. 3Babies and sleep: a matter of choice Douglas, P. S. (2017). Babies and sleep: a matter of choice. MJA Insight, 34.
There are several benefits to having babies sleep in their own beds. You can eliminate loose bedding, roll-overs, falls, and other risks associated with bed-sharing. However, when babies are in their cribs, parents often have no way of knowing when they need to be fed, comforted, or rescued.
Our top picks for the best baby monitors for deaf parents
Looking for the top baby monitors for deaf parents? We’ve collated expert reviews and opinions to bring you five of the best baby monitors for hearing-impaired parents and caregivers.
Best visual baby monitor
What we love
- You can remotely pan, tilt, or zoom the camera.
- You can connect up to four cameras to keep an eye on multiple rooms.
- The compact parent unit can be carried around with ease.
- Doesn't feature any dynamic visual or vibration indicators.
Best vibrating baby monitor
What we love
- A five-bar light-up sound indicator bar lets you know when baby is making noise.
- Battery lasts for over 18 hours on a single charge.
- Reliable vibration alert lets deaf mothers and fathers know when baby is crying.
- There’s no visual indicator for quiet, yet mischievous, toddlers.
Baby monitor with best video quality
What we love
- This monitor system can be safely paired with a smartphone or other Bluetooth-compatible device.
- Ensures that your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels are always within the preset “safe” zones.
- High-definition video lets you watch your little one without having to get up.
- The smart sock is not suitable for babies over the age of 18 months.
Our fourth choice
What we love
- The 15-hour battery life enables you to keep an eye on your baby all day and night.
- Features a 720p HD monitoring screen with a 5-inch display.
- Parents can pan, tilt, and zoom to see their baby’s entire room.
- The white noise feature only functions for 30 minutes, which may not be enough for your little one.
How do baby monitors work for deaf people?
Deaf parents utilize baby monitors to pick up movement and sound in their baby’s room. They may also use a camera to stream video to a wireless monitor or smartphone.
In this case, the camera must be able to pick up images in low light. Other devices light up or vibrate when a baby moves, cries, or simply makes a sound.
Do I need a baby monitor?
Baby monitors enable parents to observe their baby while in a different room. For many parents, baby monitors ease anxieties, enabling both parents and children to enjoy a peaceful sleep.
While these devices are incapable of preventing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), many parents use them to track their babies’ heart and oxygen rates. 4Do Baby Monitors Help Prevent SIDS? – Nationwide Childrens
Are WiFi-enabled baby monitors safe?
In recent years, hacked baby monitors have made headlines although the connections on these devices are generally very secure. Choose a monitor with at least a 2.4-GHz frequency.
What’s more, make sure to set a password on your baby monitor and Wifi. And keep an eye out for monitors with frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) technology.
These types of devices should offer plenty of security because the signal is scrambled and comes in at different frequencies at random.
How far do baby monitors reach?
The range of your baby monitor will depend on the model and unit you use. However, be wary of the manufacturer’s often exaggerated range claims.
Concrete walls and insulation can have an unfavorable effect on your monitor while your device may struggle to compete with other electronic devices in your house.
If you live in a small house or apartment, 100 feet of reach should be adequate, and consider something stronger if you’re baby’s room is on a different floor than yours.
For how long should I use my baby monitor?
Every situation is different. Some parents may stop using their baby monitors as soon as their little one is capable of sleeping through the night, which is usually around the 6-month mark.
Others may keep their monitors rolling as their babies enter the notoriously mischievous toddler stage. Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer — simply do what feels right for you and your family.
My baby is a noisy sleeper, how can I be sure the baby monitor won’t keep me up all night?
Some baby monitors enable parents to tone down the sensitivity of the base unit, ideal for parents who don’t want to be alerted whenever their child sneezes, coughs, or snores.
The bottom line
Hearing-impaired parents have their fair share of challenges to face. A reliable baby monitor makes it easier (and safer) for deaf parents to set their children down to sleep.
In our humble opinion, the best baby monitor for deaf parents is the Infant Optics DXR-8, which offers high-quality video monitoring, an impressively wide frequency range, and a long-lasting rechargeable battery.
The Summer Infant Babble Band is also a great option for parents who don’t want to be bogged down by yet another screen.
Meanwhile, the Owlet Duo is an excellent package for anxious first-time parents for whom cost isn’t a major concern.