Babies come with so much equipment much of it unnecessary and not needed. But that is not the case when it comes to baby monitors, especially as they are now so advanced and offer additional features besides just a camera and audio.
We’ve looked at two of these next-generation baby monitors along with a detailed breakdown of their features, pros, and cons so that you can make the right choice for you and your family.
In this article
- Do You Need A Baby Monitor?
- Nanit Monitoring System
- Owlet Monitoring System
- Owlet vs Nanit – Which Is Best?
- The Final Thought
Do You Need A Baby Monitor?
Baby monitors have developed hugely in the last few years with the introduction of video, health monitoring, and a range of other features.
But do you really need a baby monitor is something that you have no doubt asked yourself?
Here are a few reasons why you may decide to not only have a baby monitor but also decide on the more advanced systems over the more traditional ones.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS
This is something that every single parent in the world worries about as a parent. Newborns are delicate and are unable to tell us if they feel unwell or if something is wrong. This is the reason that SIDS is such a huge concern at this early stage of life.
While baby monitors can not prevent SIDS, these smart baby monitors can offer parents at least a little peace of mind by constantly scanning their baby’s vitals. They can also alert you to any abnormalities that are detected.
Your Baby Has Special Health Needs
If your little one has any special health needs they may have been constantly monitored while in hospital. Now that you are home you are now on your own to assess and track your baby’s vital signs.
Smart baby monitors offer this option to concerned parents and are a great help for those with babies that have complicated health needs.
You Want To Have More Detailed Information About Your Baby While They Sleep
If you are looking to keep more detailed information with regard to your baby’s sleep pattern then these smart monitors can also accommodate you.
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Many of the smart monitors offer features that provide accurate readings of a baby’s sleep length, patterns, and quality of sleep.
This kind of feature will allow you to work out if your baby is having enough sleep and can also be helpful when it comes to sleep training.
Nanit vs Owlet Comparison
|Nanit vs Owlet||Nanit||Owlet|
|What is Included||Nanit Plus Camera
Free 1 year Nanit insights
|The Smart Sock
The Owlet Cam
|Mounting system||Wall-mounted or freestanding||Wall-mounted or freestanding|
|Receiver||Nanit app on smartphone||Owlet app on smartphone|
|What health signals do they monitor?||Breathing, motion, and heart rate using the breathing band.
Sleep quality and duration
Sleep quality and duration using Owlet’s Smart sock
|What do the camera’s monitor?||Video
|Any additional features||Heat signature map
|Price/refunds/warranty||Full bundle: $360.99
45-day happiness guarantee
1 year limited warranty
|Full bundle: $399.00
45-night peace of mind guarantee
2 year limited warranty
|Time to set up/ connectivity||Less than 10 minutes to set up
|Less than 10 minutes
Only works with 2.5 GHz WIFI
|Picture/ sound quality||HD, 960p with 130-degree wide-angle lens.
Good audio quality
|HD, 1080p video quality with 130-degree wide-angle lens.
Good audio quality.
The Owlet Duo Smart Baby Monitor offers two parts to its monitoring system, the smart sock, and the Owlet Camera.
The Smart Sock tracks your baby’s heart rate and oxygen level sending those readings to an app on your phone that you can view in real-time.
The Owlet camera is a baby monitor that streams secure HD video anytime anywhere with 2-way audio. It has sound and motion notifications and a wide-angle view.
The Nanit Plus offers a complete monitoring system that comprises of two main parts the Nanit Plus Camera and the Breathing wear. It also comes with a multi stand which is great for travel.
The camera streams HD video straight to the app on your smartphone with 2-way audio. The breathing wear helps the camera to assess your baby’s breathing motions and will alert you if there are any abnormalities.
Nanit was founded by Assaf Glazer after the birth of his eldest son. Assaf learned that sleep was vitally important to the health and development of his son and searched for a monitor that could provide him with more detailed insights.
But instead what he found were monitors with limited capabilities and none that provided any kind of insight into his son’s sleeping pattern or requirements.
He set out to reinvent the baby monitor and this is where Nanit was born. Assaf teamed up with some great minds to create a system that provided parents with real insights into their children and provided a fully comprehensive monitoring system.
The Nanit Camera System
The baby video monitor can be set up as a wall-mounted, floor stand, or portable stand camera. You can have a bird’s eye view of your baby due to the multi-angle feature.
The camera also provides HD quality video streamed straight to an app on your phone, so there is no need to carry any extra screens or monitors.
It also has a 2-way audio function that lets you hear everything that is going on in the nursery, and you can also talk to your baby.
The Nanit also has sensors that determine the temperature and humidity of the room to ensure that you have the ideal conditions for your baby.
There are also sensors that monitor your baby’s sleep and it can tell you how many times your baby woke to the total number of hours they have slept.
It does have some super useful additional features such as a night light and white noise functions which all help to soothe a fussy baby.
The Nanit breathing wear is a swaddle or a fabric band which is usually used for older babies. Both of these have specially designed patterns that allow the Nanit camera to assess your little ones breathing.
It does this by cleverly analyzing the movement of the patterns on the swaddle to understand your baby’s breathing. If any abnormalities are detected in your baby’s breathing motion, it will send an alert through the app.
Nanit Insights are part of the complete monitoring system which you access through the app.
These insights allow parents and other caregivers access to detailed tracking information about their baby’s sleep simply by using the data that has been collected from baby’s breathing wear.
Nanit Insights offer you personalized sleep tips that are based on your baby’s age and all the data that has been gathered.
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Key Features of Nanit Camera
The camera comes with a stand that is called a multi-stand. This stand is really useful for traveling. You just unclip the camera from its usual wall mount or floor stand in your home and pop it on to the multi-stand. This is also a great option if your baby sleeps out at grandparents, aunt, or uncle’s home.
Memory book Feature
This is a neat little feature that works through the app. The app captures when your baby reaches a certain sleep milestone. It also offers you the option to manually save video clips that you love to create a personalized digital scrapbook.
We mentioned the Nanit Insights briefly above but they really are where this system goes above and beyond the majority of other systems currently available.
It tracks your baby’s sleep through the advanced sensors that provide information for when your baby is awake, sleeping, or in a different sleep cycle.
The Insights then continue to excel by providing you with summaries showing how our baby did through the night. It shows you the periods of different sleep phases, sleep quality, and even gives you tips on how to help your baby sleep better.
If when your baby is older you are considering sleep training then the insights can also be used there.
Safety and security have been high on the list of must-haves for the Nanit system and the safety features that they have in place show that they have done their research and listened to parents’ concerns.
Any information that is transmitted is encrypted using 256- bit encryption standard, making it very difficult for your system to be hacked.
The Nanit design also has taken into account that parents have concerns with regard to cables that are hanging. So the camera system comes with an adhesive wire casing that sticks to the wall to keep all those cables hidden and away from the baby.
Depending on which set up to choose, dictates how long it takes. If you go for the floor stand set up then it literally takes seconds as all you need to do is attach the camera to the stand and connect the power source. The wall mount system does take a little more preparation in that you will need to drill 3 holes in order to install the mounting plate that the camera attaches to.
Set up takes less than 10 minutes and then you just have to link the app. This is also super straightforward and takes just a few minutes to download and pair with the camera.
Pros of Nanit System
- It is a complete system that can monitor a baby’s sleep breathing and environmental conditions.
- Image quality is really good even while using night vision mode
- The breathing wear helped to reassure anxious parents that their baby is ok.
- The detailed sleep tracking takes the guesswork out of tracking sleep.
- Parents were able to check on their baby even while they were away from home.
- Great additional features such as night light and white noise.
- Data safety features give users peace of mind that their system will not be hacked.
- Super easy to set up.
Cons of Nanit System
- The price is going to be a sticking point for some families
- Some users experienced connectivity issues.
Co-Founder Kurt Workman had serious concerns about the potential of a hereditary heart condition that could impact his children.
This was not irrational fear but one brought on by the fact that his wife had nearly died as a baby from this exact health concern. His wife was saved by her mother’s intuition but Kurt did not want to rely on his own intuition.
He wanted to use the huge technological advances that had been achieved to provide parents with the peace of mind that their babies were safe even when they were not in the same room as them and this where the idea for Owlet was conceived.
The Owlet System
The Owlet is a complete monitoring system to help you see and hear your baby so you know they are safe. It consists of two components the Owlet Cam and the Owlet Smart Sock.
The Owlet Camera
The Owlet camera streams live HD quality video of your baby straight to the app on your smartphone. The camera also features night vision and a 130-degree wide-angle lens for crystal clear views.
You can hear everything going on in the nursery and talk to your baby thanks to the 2-way audio.
The camera also comes with a built-in room temperature sensor so you can ensure that your baby’s room is consistently the perfect temperature for them. All of this is then transferred by encrypted wifi, ensuring that you don’t have to worry about anyone accessing images of your little one.
The camera can either be free-standing or wall-mounted and everything needed for either option comes with the camera. The kit includes a magnetic base and a wall mounting kit and it also comes with cable guards to ensure that the device is child-safe.
The Owlet Smart Sock
The second part of this system is the Smart Sock which is suitable for babies 0 to 18 months old. The sock is a fabric wrap with a sensor attached that goes over your baby’s foot. The sensor measures your baby’s heart rate, oxygen levels, and sleep using pulse oximetry technology.
All this collected data is sent to the app on your phone and a base station. The base station uses different colors and sounds to notify you if your baby needs attention or is all good. All alerts come up on the base station and on the app.
The Smart Sock sensor uses Bluetooth to connect to the base station and then to the phone app through wifi. The sensor does require charging at the base station and a full charge takes around 90 minutes.
The Owlet App
The Owlet camera and Smart Sock can both be linked to the Owlet app. This app provides you with all the information about your little one such as oxygen levels and heart rate.
The app is available on multiple devices such as smartphones, iPad, and others. This allows multiply caregivers to have access to the same account.
An additional helpful feature is that it tracks your baby’s sleep trends including total hours slept, the number of times they woke, and sleep quality.
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Key Features Of The Owlet System
The Owlet system is more than just a baby camera it also provides detailed health information such as oxygen levels and heart rate. Helping to give parents the peace of mind that they need.
The monitoring system means no guessing if your baby is breathing fine, no endlessly watching to see if their chest is rising and falling, just check the app and feel reassured.
Owlet is a complete system with no need for a separate monitor. The camera image is sent directly to your smart device and you can pair more than one device to the same account, great for babysitting.
Low Energy Radio Wave Transmissions
The device emits low energy radio wave transmissions which are completely safe for your baby.
The Smart Sock uses Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE to transmit the data to the base station. This BLE is 20 times lower than the radio waves generated by our phones.
All your child’s data that is collected is stored on the Owlet secure server. All the information is encrypted while in transit and storage meaning it is all safe from third parties.
The Owlet system comes with all you need to either use it freestanding or wall-mounted. It also comes with cable guards to ensure the device is child safe.
If you choose to use the Owlet freestanding you just plug it in, connect to the app, and away to go. If you opt for the wall-mounted option it is quick and easy and takes less than 10 minutes.
You need to screw 1 screw into the wall to mount the base plate on, plugin and connect to the app and you are ready to go.
The Smart Sock is easy to use too you just slide the sensor into the sock and then wrap it around your baby’s foot. Plug the base station in and the rest of the setup is done by the app.
Pros of Owlet System
- Provides great peace of mind for first-time parents.
- A helpful aid to replicate the vital sign monitoring for premature and NICU babies.
- The Owlet sock measures specific oxygen levels and heart rate.
- As Owlet constantly monitors the baby’s vitals parents are able to rest better
- The monitoring sock comes in three different sizes.
- It records sleep information so there is no more guesswork.
- The camera has good picture quality and is equally good in night vision mode.
- Easy set up which is always good for parents.
- The app can be used with multiple devices and is intuitive
Cons of Owlet System
- Price may be a pain point for some families
- Some users experienced an image lag but did feel that this may be more a result of their internet connection than the product.
- Some reports of technical difficulties and false alarms.
Owlet vs Nanit – Which Is Best?
Both the Owlet and Nanit products offer advanced monitoring systems for your baby, the difference is that they monitor different things which makes them the best option for different parents.
If you are a parent that is looking for your baby’s breathing to be monitored and for the app to give you tips to improve their sleep and general well-being then the Nanit system is the one for you.
Nanit provides all this through the Nanit Insights which is unique to Nanit. But if you are a parent that wants to track more health data such as baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels then the Owlet system will be a better choice for you.
The Owlet system may be a better fit for parents of preemie babies or those home from the NICU.
Both systems have certainly raised the bar in the baby monitoring market with the use of apps and technology. Both will certainly help provide parents with some peace of mind and this is one of the greatest achievements for any piece of baby equipment.
The Final Thought
As we have said both the Nanit and the Owlet are fantastic pieces of equipment that have really set the standards for future baby monitoring systems.
You will not be disappointed in either one but before you go out and purchase either system just make sure that it is the right one for you and your family!