VTech DM221-2 Sound Sensitive LED Baby Monitor
Last updated: January 5, 2022
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This baby monitor lacks a video monitor, but it still features excellent sound quality, battery life and affordability. We like that you get two parent units for dual-monitoring with visual cues for sound level and a two-way talk option for comforting your baby. The parent units are cordless (with rechargeable batteries) and can also be programmed to beep if they lose touch with the baby unit or need to be recharged. We found them to be handy for attaching to your belt or keeping with you as you move around the house.In our analysis of 38 expert reviews, the VTech Sound Sensitive LED Baby Monitor placed 8th when we looked at the top 15 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
This configuration includes two parent units (monitor) and one baby unit (audio monitor). DECT 6.0 provides crystal clear transmission, eliminating the annoying white noise you hear from analog monitors. 5-level sound indicator – graphic bars on the parent unit indicate the level of sound in your baby’s room so you can visually monitor the noise level with the unit muted. Sometimes all your baby needs is to hear the sound of your voice – comfort your infant with the 2-way talk-back intercom. Rechargeable batteries provide parent unit with up to 18 hours of monitoring time on a single charge, or use two AAA batteries (not included). Go hands free with the belt clip on the parent unit – carry the parent unit everywhere you go without the hassle of holding it. The operating range of the parent unit is up to 1,000 feet outdoors or 160 feet indoors. Parent unit can be set to beep if: (1) link between the parent unit and the baby unit is lost, and/or (2) rechargeable battery is low.
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Baby Monitor Rankings
As a parent or caregiver, your child’s safety is a No. 1 priority. When you can’t be in the room or are drifting off to sleep yourself, a baby monitor offers wonderful peace of mind. It allows you to be alerted as soon as your baby moves or makes a peep so you can decide if they’re just having a dream or you’re needed right away. Baby monitors today come with a variety of features and functions, but this guide will help you focus on what’s most important to you.
Baby monitors are available in three basic types: audio-only monitors, video and audio monitors and Wi-Fi-enabled video and audio monitors. There are also movement monitors, but they are usually used in addition to a video or audio monitor, not in place of one.
From a cost perspective, the more features you add, the more the price goes up. You will also usually pay more for a larger video screen or additional cameras or parent monitors. Digital monitors typically cost more but it may be worth it to you because they are also more secure as your signal is encrypted. Analog monitors can cross frequencies with nearby monitors. If you’re getting an audio-only digital monitor, look for monitors with DECT technology, which uses a lower frequency bandwidth that will give you clearer sound and a more secure connection.
Audio-only monitors will pick up any sounds or noises your baby makes and alert you through a speaker. Some also have a sound-level indicator to let you know how much noise is coming from your baby’s room. There are even monitors that have an option that allows for two-way talk, so you can comfort your little one with your voice or call for help. Many times, audio monitors are more compact, have longer battery life, great range and are the most affordable. You are probably more likely to find analog options in this category so be sure to look for monitors that mention “secure transmission” or digital technology.
Audio and video monitors provide you with both a sound and visual view of what your baby is up to. No more sneaking into the room to check on noises that may be nothing! The parent monitor screen can range from small all the way up to 5 inches. To transmit the video, you’ll set up a small camera near the baby’s crib. Some may offer mounting hardware as well. The Infant Optics Video Baby Monitor gives you the ability to zoom, tilt or pan the camera for a better view of your slumbering little one.
Most audio and video monitors also provide the two-way talk feature so you can communicate with your baby when you’re out of the room. They will also typically automatically switch from day to night mode. Some models have an ECO mode that switches the video monitoring off until it picks up sounds. This may also be a good option for anxious parents or those who find themselves woken up unnecessarily by the video screen.
Wi-Fi-enabled video monitors are digital cameras that use your existing Wi-Fi network to send a high-quality video signal to your phone, tablet or other connected devices. You will likely get the highest quality video, such as a model that boasts 1080p HD, with a Wi-Fi baby monitor. Some baby monitors can also send alerts to your device when sound, movement or other environmental changes have occurred. This way, you don’t have to have video streaming constantly if you need to use your device for other things.
Arlo also lets you tap into other smart devices or technology you have in your house, such as Alexa or Google Home. You are usually also able to control the camera and any air or temperature sensors or features that it has from your phone or other devices. There is a slightly higher security risk with Wi-Fi-enabled video monitors, but as long as you take steps to secure your monitor and home network and don’t access the video feed remotely too often, you should be relatively safe.
Overall, the key areas you’ll want to focus on are: security, battery life, range, video and audio clarity, ease of use and set up and then decide what extras are important to you. You may want to look for monitors that give you lullaby options or even models that let you play your own music as well. Other added functions include things like night lights and room temperature monitoring. These features don’t make or break the usefulness of a monitor, so you’ll have to decide what you ultimately need and prefer.
- Even though recent recommendations suggest that infants should sleep in their parents’ room for at least six months and ideally one year, you will still need a baby monitor if you want to have your own bedtime or monitor during naps.
- Other studies suggest that babies actually sleep better and longer in their own rooms after four months. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide what is best for you and your family, but a monitor will be helpful no matter the sleep situation.
- Always make sure your camera or speaker unit is safely placed where it will not fall into the crib or bassinet, preferably at least three feet away. Also be mindful of cords so they do not get tangled with the crib, blankets or baby. Once your child is old enough, make sure he or she knows the monitor isn’t a toy to be played with.
- Never place your monitor near a spot where it could get wet to prevent electrocution.
- A monitor does provide more peace of mind. However, it does not directly protect against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). You still need to follow the accepted medical community guidelines, which recommend precautions such as always putting the baby to sleep on his or her back, keeping the crib free of pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals and using a one-piece sleeper.
- When considering monitors, opt for models that include rechargeable batteries so the parent unit works when plugged in or not. There are monitors that last for up to 18 hours. While you may not need quite that long, you’ll need at least 8 hours so the monitor can last through the night without being plugged in if need be.
- In cases where you might need to have the volume low or muted, it’s a good idea to look for monitors that have a visual indicator that lights up when it detects sound. Some models let you know if your baby is just sighing happily or crying.
- Test your new monitor before the baby comes home to make sure it functions the way you expect it to. Your wireless network and the setup of your house may affect how it works in real life.
- After you buy or receive a new baby monitor, be sure you register it, so you will be notified of any recalls. It will also receive any necessary updates for safety and security purposes.
- If you plan to have more children or would like monitors in more than one room, you may want to choose a monitor that can easily expand to multiple cameras that all feed into one parent unit. With some monitors, you can add up to four cameras to monitor with one parent unit using scan mode.