Are you pregnant and wishing you could clone yourself so there would always be one of you to keep watch over your baby? Are you expecting your second or third baby and wondering how you can keep tabs on them all?
A baby monitor with a long-distance range can help you feel close, no matter where you are in your home. Some may even let you dash to the garage or the backyard for a minute.
My monitor was my best friend when my babies were small. I could still carry on with daily life — when I had the energy — and know I could keep an eye on my little treasures. Being able to hear every sound, and see them on the monitor, gave me the freedom to move around while they slept.
Let’s look at some of the features of the best long range baby monitors plus our top choices.
Quick ComparisonOur Top Long Range Baby Monitor Picks of 2020 Read Full Reviews
Why Choose Long Range Baby Monitors?
When your little angel is napping, you don’t want to be restricted to only those areas of the house where you can hear them. Have more than one bundle of joy? We all know we can’t be in two places at once.
Having a baby monitor with a reliable long range will let you see and hear your little one when you’re at the other end of the house. On a nice day, you can take your toddler out in the garden and play while your second baby sleeps.
You could even entertain friends outside in the evening, safe in the knowledge you can see or hear baby if they need you.
What is Long Range?
Many manufacturers measure the range of monitors in what they call an open field range. This means literally what it says: in an open area with no obstructions.
This is not something we face in the real world. There are walls, doors, and pieces of furniture that get between the monitor and the transmission unit in the nursery, which means it’s likely the actual range will be less than the stated open field range. A good source of information for the actual range on a unit is to read customer reviews.
Keep In Mind
Features to Consider
There are a few things to think about when choosing a long range baby monitor:
- Audio or video: In general, an audio signal will travel better than a video feed. However, this depends entirely on obstructions between the unit in the nursery and the parent monitor, so what works for one home might not work for another. If you don’t want to be glued to a video monitor all day an audio option might suit you better.
- Frequency: Most baby monitors work on designated frequencies, such as a 2.4 MHz frequency. Other home electricals working on the same frequency as the baby monitor can interfere with the signal.
- Digital or analog: Digital systems use DECT (digital enhanced cordless telecommunications) and are generally resistant to interference. Analog systems are less secure.
- Privacy: Analog systems can be intercepted, either accidentally by nearby baby monitors on the same frequency, or deliberately by a scanner receiver (2). That means a video monitor could be intercepted and used to watch your baby, although it’s unlikely (3). Audio monitors can also be intercepted. This means that somebody could possibly hear what is happening in your babies room and can also speak through the monitor.
- Alarms: Most baby monitors have an alarm to alert you if you move out of range.
- Size of your home: If you live on a smaller property, then a longer range might not matter much. However, if you have a larger home, or need to go outside at times, then obviously a bigger range is better.
- Lights: Sleep is rare and precious when you have a little one, so think about how the blinking lights on some units might affect your sleep.
- Battery life: A long battery life means you won’t be charging it every five minutes, or be restricted to sitting next to a power outlet. Make sure your monitor is fully charged or plugged in before you go to bed, so you won’t have noisy alarms waking you up of the battery goes flat.
- Safety: A monitor should never be placed on the baby’s crib or cot. The cord should always be kept at least 3 feet away to ensure the baby cannot reach it. Make sure the leads are long enough for positioning your camera where you need it to watch baby (4).
The Best Long Range Baby Monitor Reviews of 2020
While it may seem like just one more thing you have to think about, technology can make so many of your parenting niggles disappear — so it’s worth spending the time shopping around when it comes to new gadgets. Let’s take a closer look at our top picks for 2020.
1. VTech VM321 Video Baby Monitor
When you opt for a monitor with sound and video, the audio and picture quality matters. It doesn’t have to look like a high definition movie, but you should expect more than a grainy image in a dark room that doesn’t tell you anything.
VTech makes a video monitor with excellent audio and impressive field range of around 1,000 feet. It can work up to 150 feet in the home, with no outages. So if you need to run to the basement to do some laundry, you’ll have no worries with this monitor by your side.
The audio on the monitor uses DECT technology, which cuts out background noise, such as music, and prevents interference.
Other great features include automatic built-in night vision, talk-back function, and a powerful zoom. This lets you observe and listen to your little ones at all times, even in a dark nursery.
You have the option to add up to four cameras, which is great for watching little ones in a playpen as well the nursery or even out in the garden.
Privacy and security are protected with a 2.4 GHz frequency and the ample 2.8-inch LCD screen lets you view your little one in living color. Moving around a lot? Don’t worry; an alert will simply tell you when you’ve gone out of range.
These monitors even let you know if the room temperature is too high or low.
- Split screen viewing.
- Crystal clear DECT sound, with the elimination of background noise.
- Out-of-range and temperature alarms.
- Five built-in lullabies.
- Some find the rechargeable battery does not last through the night.
- Adding a second camera can sometimes disrupt the audio of the first.
2. Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor
You may be more interested in actually seeing your baby than hearing every hiccup and sigh. A video-only monitor is great for this, and many can be controlled remotely or switched to an audio-only mode if necessary.
This video monitor has an excellent range of 700 feet. With crisp sound quality, little interference and a clear 3.5-inch color LCD display, you can watch your baby from anywhere in your home.
The monitor has an alarm system to let you know when you’re out of range, so you won’t accidentally go too far and miss something important.
The high-quality camera can be controlled from the monitor, so you can zoom, pan, and tilt through 170 degrees, to give you a total view of the nursery. For even better coverage, you can add up to four cameras to suit your needs.
This unit comes with a normal and zoom lens — but an additional wide angle lens can be added quickly and easily. The wireless transmission between the camera and monitor is 2.4 GHz to protect your privacy.
Other handy features are the two-way talkback and temperature monitor. It has a lithium-ion battery and even includes a spare, which you can keep charged and ready when you need to switch out batteries. The battery life maxes out at 12 hours, but could potentially be 24-hour cover when cycling both batteries.
This monitor has infrared night vision and LED light alerts to noises, such as your baby’s cries.
- 150 feet obstructed range.
- Good battery life.
- Changeable camera lenses.
- Audio-only setting, if required or when the screen is off.
- Some users experience interference from other devices in the same wireless frequency.
3. Babysense Video Baby Monitor
Long range monitors can be a substantial investment. Having an affordable option saves your cash for other necessities, which you’ll have no shortage of as a new mom.
This video baby monitor from Babysense has a 900 feet open coverage and 160 feet range indoors. This allows plenty of scope for movement indoors and out while still keeping an eye on your mini human.
It has a 2.4 GHz wireless digital connection for privacy and uninterrupted signal, and a built-in alarm to notify you when you move out of range or when the battery is low — so your little one is always covered.
The clear picture measures 2.4 inches. A zoom and pan function can be easily controlled from the monitor, giving you a bird’s-eye view of your precious bundle.
Other cool features are a temperature sensor, two-way talkback function, infrared night vision and built-in lullabies. When on silent, an LED light display indicates when your baby makes a noise or cries.
The battery life only lasts for up to eight hours, which may not be enough for your baby to get a full night’s sleep, if you’re lucky and yours was a better sleeper than mine was. Fortunately, the unit has an eco mode that lets you save power. Once activated, it will turn the unit on only when sound is detected.
- Decent picture quality at an affordable price.
- Power saving mode to extend battery life.
- Can be extended to take four cameras.
- Some find the power cord too short.
- The unit can beep when searching for a connection, which could disturb you at night.
4. Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor
Don’t feel like being attached to a video screen all day watching your baby? A good audio-only option will still let you know when your baby needs attention, and save money at the same time.
This long range monitor is an audio-only unit, and its sound quality is excellent. Transmitted via DECT technology, there’s no interference, even over long distances. This also ensures transmissions are safe and secure, meaning only you can hear your baby.
The monitor has a talkback function, enabling you to talk to and soothe your little one. The nursery unit monitors the room temperature, has five relaxing lullabies, and a soft nightlight — so you can get up for a middle of the night feeding without bumping into things
The wireless parent unit has warning alarms when you go out of range. It’s powered by rechargeable batteries (up to 18 hours of life) and has a docking station for charging. There’s an LED light alert to noise, which operates even when the unit is muted.
- Range up to 900 feet in the open and up to 50 feet at home.
- Crystal clear sound and 100 percent secure, with DECT technology.
- Long-lasting batteries.
- Lullaby and night-light functions cannot be controlled from the parent unit.
- Some would like a belt clip on the parent unit.
5. VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor
Some parents love getting carried away buying expensive, sophisticated gadgets for their babies. But there’s no reason you can’t get the same benefits with a more budget-friendly monitor with audio only.
If you’re on a budget and want an audio-only unit, this one from VTech has an excellent open range of up to 1,000 feet and up to 160 feet indoors. That gives you plenty of room to do laundry, prepare dinner or just take five minutes for yourself in the garden.
The DECT 6.0 technology eliminates white noise, allowing uninterrupted, crystal-clear audio. You won’t be wondering whether it’s your baby or some other noise you can hear.
There is a five-level sound indicator on the parent monitor, indicating the volume of sound in the nursery. You can mute the sound but still see when your baby is crying or making a noise.
Two-way talkback lets you communicate with your little one when you’re not in the room with them. You might even be able to soothe them back to sleep.
Supplied with rechargeable batteries, the parent unit can also be powered by AAA batteries, which are not included. It does come with a belt clip, making it easy to carry around.
An alarm sounds should you move out of range, or if the battery runs low — although the battery life on the monitor is up to 18 hours. There’s also a vibrate alert function to detect noise from the nursery.
- Excellent range indoors and out.
- Superb audio with DECT 6.0 technology.
- Talkback feature.
- Nightlight on the nursery unit.
- No battery option on nursery unit.
- The screen on the parent unit has no illumination, making it hard to see at night.
Closing Thoughts for Peace of Mind
Of all the products we’ve reviewed, our we think the best long range video monitor is the VTech VM321.
It has the best of both worlds: excellent sound with DECT technology and good video. The range is also quite stable, allowing up to 1,000 feet outdoors and 150 feet indoors, plus there are loads of handy features that make it feel like you really do have that second pair of eyes to keep on your baby.
Anything that gives you the freedom to move around your home and garden, but still keep tabs on your baby, is a godsend in my book!
Can you recommend any great long range baby monitors, or do you have advice or questions for the moms out there who are pros at the baby surveillance game? Feel free to share or comment below!