For parents with two young children or one child in a very big house, two-room baby monitors can bring peace of mind during all those hours of the day and night when young children are sleeping.
Types of Two Room Baby Monitors
A standard baby monitor comes with a base unit that is placed near the baby's bed and a receiver unit that the parents can place virtually anywhere in the house in order to hear what is going on in the area of the house where the child is sleeping. Double baby monitors come in two sorts: systems that have two base units (to monitor two children sleeping in separate rooms), and systems that have two receivers (for two parents to monitor one child simultaneously).
Double Receiver Baby Monitors
Double receiver monitors enable you to place the receivers in the two rooms frequently occupied throughout the evening (e.g. living room and kitchen), without having to move the receivers around as you change rooms. The other possibility is that the two receivers are each handled by a different person, so even if you are both in different rooms of the house, you and your partner can have the peace of mind that your baby is fast asleep.
- The VTechDM221-2 Digital Audio Baby Monitor (about $60.00) even lets you talk back to your baby and a night light on the camera helps you see your baby when he or she is sleeping in a dark room. This set offers a maximum range of 1000 feet and uses rechargeable batteries that last seven to nine hours when fully charged, so it's easy to keep a receiver on you at all times. It can also be plugged in, so you won't have to worry about charging it every several hours. The parent display is backlit and there's a vibrating sound alert. You can adjust the noise sensitivity of the unit, choosing to hear all the sounds from the baby's room or just certain noise volumes.
- The Angelcare Deluxe Movement and Sound Baby Monitor with Two Rechargeable Parent Units (under $150.00) comes with two rechargeable parent units, a sound monitor, and a motion sensor that goes under the mattress. If movement stops for 20 seconds, you'll get an alert either with an alarm (loud enough to wake you up from a deep sleep) or, if you prefer, a vibration. This model offers a range of 820 feet and it will let you know when you're out of range. Changing the sensitivity of the motion-detecting mat is an option and the parent units are portable so you can take them from room to room without worrying about finding spots to plug them in. You can even monitor the temperature of the baby's room.
Monitoring Two Babies in Separate Rooms
Many parents decide to stop monitoring an older baby (toddler) when a new baby arrives. Some parents get quickly discouraged by two separate monitor systems constantly interfering with one another, rendering both systems useless. A few products have come on the market that allow parents to monitor two separate children's rooms in the same house effectively.
- The VTech Owl Digital Video Baby Monitor is adorable. The owl-shaped cameras will look cute and right at home perched in a baby's bedroom or playroom. The set can handle up to four cameras total but it only comes with two. The screen on the parents' end is a high-resolution LED and you'll even be able to see your little one in the dark. Its max range is 1000 feet and your baby will be able to hear you when you talk to him or her since it has a two-way talk feature. Unfortunately, this model needs to stay plugged in at all times so it's less portable than other monitors. Noise will only come through one camera when in split-screen mode. This model is usually a little over $250.00.
- The Levana® Willow™ 5-Inch Baby Video Monitor with 2 Cameras (about $250.00) offers an LCD touch screen, LED night vision up to 12 feet, a built-in microphone so you can talk to your baby, temperature monitoring, lullabies, white noise, nature sounds, USB charging (with a 12-hour battery life), and an intuitive design. It can take up to four cameras and comes with two. The camera allows you to pan the room up to 300 degrees, tilt up to 110 degrees, and even zoom in. It's quiet, private, allows for a split screen, and even lets you set up alerts for naptimes and feedings. One of the downsides to this model, as with most others, is that you can only hear the audio from the active camera in split-screen mode.
- The Motorola® MBP845CONNECT-2 5" Portable WiFi Video Monitor with 2 Cameras in White (just under $300.00) offers something most other models do not: the ability to view your baby even while you're away, from your phone, tablet, or computer via WiFi and a free app. It also allows you to zoom in digitally, talk to your baby or babies, and use infrared night vision to see them without turning on a light. With this model, you can get sound, motion, and temperature notifications. The camera pans and tilts remotely and hear sounds from each camera as it switches back and forth between them (split-screen mode still only allows you to hear from one camera). You can add two more cameras to this system if you have four children or want one camera in a play area.
- The VTech Safe&Sound® VM343-2 Expandable Digital Video Baby Monitor with 2 Pan & Tilt Cameras and Automatic Night Vision is one of the more expensive models at just over $200.00. However, you get the ability to pan the room, tilt the camera, see your baby in a dark room, and even add up to two additional cameras if needed. It filters out background noise and offers technology that keeps your videos private. It comes with two cameras, a handheld video monitor, and more. Plug it in or use the rechargeable battery. You can talk back, do a temperature check, split the screen, see when you're out of range, and more. Motion detection isn't offered with this model, unfortunately. One of the other downfalls of this model is the inability to see video and hear audio from all cameras at all times if you're monitoring more than one room. If you split the screen, you'll only be able to hear sounds in one room; if you go into patrol mode, it will cycle through the camera feeds one at a time.
Necessity of Baby Monitors
All of these modern monitoring options, especially the video baby monitors, offer parents the chance to have a relaxed evening (or nap), knowing that the monitor will alert them if their baby or child needs something. While double receiver and double transmitter systems can be expensive, many parents swear by baby monitors as one of the truly necessary baby items that should find its way into every new nursery. There aren't many substitutes for monitors that give you peace of mind and help keep your baby or multiple children safe.