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There is an old-fashioned image of what a baby monitor should do. Parents leave their little portable devices out on the counter or by their laptops as they work and wait until they hear a cry. This will either prompt them to check the footage on the camera feed or simply check on the child. But, what if you are hard of hearing or completely deaf and can’t hear the baby cries through the device? What can deaf parents do instead?
Thankfully, modern technology has made it even easier to create a wider range of devices with various features and alerts. This diversity means that there are some helpful baby monitors for parents that are deaf. You just need to be sure that the features are suitable for your needs.
Why is it so important for companies to cater to deaf parents?
There are lots of great baby monitors on the market that offer a wide range of audio features. The problem is that these devices work on the assumption that those using the system have good hearing.
Those that are deaf or have trouble distinguishing certain sounds won’t be able to hear the audible alerts or make use of the same audio features as those with good hearing. They aren’t going to be listening out for indications of a baby’s distress on a monitor. Instead, they are reliant on other senses to help them care for their child.
Finding The Best Monitor For Deaf Parents
In this guide, you will find advice on baby monitors for the hearing impaired. Perhaps you are a parent-to-be in this situation that is worried about how to provide the best monitoring system for your nursery. Or, perhaps you have friends or relatives that would benefit from this alternative device as a gift for a baby shower.
Either way, you need to be sure that the monitor you buy has the right features without compromising on performance or ease of use. Below are 10 of the best baby monitors for deaf parents. Before that, let’s talk about how they work and some of the best features to look out for.
The best baby monitors for the hearing impaired focus on sight and/or touch instead of hearing.
Baby monitoring devices for deaf parents use the following,
a) a greater reliance on touch through vibration as an effective alert
b) a greater focus on the size and clarity of any visual displays and indicators, or,
c) a combination of both
You will find some models below that have connectivity to mobile devices and large displays to provide more visual information on the well-being of the child. This means that deaf parents can watch their children and see their status in greater detail, leading to better peace of mind.
Others have no visual display at all and rely more on vibration through wearable tech. This can be a great alternative for those with a strong sensitivity to these notifications. Then there are some high-tech systems that employ a range of features.
This doesn’t mean that these monitors don’t use any audio functions. Many will keep a lot of the standard alerts and talk-back features. One benefit here is that it makes the system more accessible for other family members or babysitters used to that sort of approach.
There is also the fact that those with mild hearing loss can still make use of some features if there are volume controls. Finally, some of these audio features are tailored to the needs of the child more than the parent. It wouldn’t be fair to exclude babies from hearing their parent’s voice on a two-way talk-back system, or from the lullabies and other sounds on the nursery units.
What else should you look out for when searching for the perfect baby monitor for deaf parents?
The priorities here are those alternative alerts and visual cues that make up for any problems with audio features. However, the best devices need a lot more than that to be practical and easy to use. They still need to have the same helpful tech as any other baby monitor. So, be sure to look out for the following.
1) The range on the distance between devices.
2) The features available on the nursery unit
3) The battery life and charging time
4) The design of the nursery unit
5) The use of any Bluetooth or Wi-fi connections
10 of the best baby monitors for the hearing impaired.
The following products are split into a few subcategories to help you out further. The first set is those without visual displays that rely on vibrations and indicators as alerts. These baby monitors that vibrate are generally easy to use and some have fun designs for the nursery.
Then there are those that lean the other way with big displays for clear feeds from cameras. These should provide easy viewing and great information at a glance. Finally, there are some wearable items that could prove to be a helpful alternative to a more traditional monitor.
My top pick for vibrating baby monitors.
My preference for baby monitors that vibrate is the VTech DM221-2 Audio Baby Monitor. While it has “audio” in the name, this relates to the detection mode. The alerts on the parent unit are a nice combination of vibrations and LED indicators for sound levels. This leads to a simple, portable system that is also adaptable in sensitivity and easy to use.
My top pick for video baby monitors.
If you prefer the idea of relying on video feeds for all your information, you can’t do much better than the KOPUO Video Baby Monitor. This system does just about everything you would want in terms of monitoring kids from all angles and providing a clear image. The 5-inch screen is perfect and still looks great when you switch to night vision mode. This is also one of the best models for multiple cameras and those cameras have plenty of controls for the best view.
The best vibrating baby monitors for deaf parents
Let’s start with some of the models with vibration alerts. What I like here is that this vibrating baby monitor does a bit of everything for complete inclusivity. This device uses a dual-notification system where each sound alert is paired with a vibration.
This means that no matter what the issue is, you should be able to feel the response of the parent unit and not have to worry about missing alerts. It also helps that there is a three-level volume control so those that are just hard of hearing may be able to increase the audio alerts to a suitable level.
The sound activation also means that the system should preserve battery life a little longer. There is the option to shut off the video feed too, but deaf parents may appreciate having this clear image as a backup for monitoring their child. One thing to be aware of here is that there is a 2.7-inch model as well as a 3.5 inch.
This larger screen is a better choice for a clearer view. Other great features that parents can benefit from including the secure Wifi-free connection, 985ft range, and the modes for night vision and temperature readings. Babies can also enjoy the two-way talk-back system and the choice of 5 lullabies.
Some parents may not be so keen on this device because it doesn’t have a video function. That is fair, but it does have some other great features that I am sure deaf parents will appreciate. The first is the use of vibration on the pair of parent devices. It should be easy to set this up and carry it around within the 1,000ft range and get noticeable alerts when baby starts to cry.
An added bonus here is the use of the sound indicator lights. This is a great visual representation of the level of distress a child is in. the lowest level means they are active but there is no cause for concern. The highest is a call to go straight to the nursery.
The additional adaptable sensitivity levels also mean parents can enhance the sensitivity for greater peace of mind. While this set-up is perfect for those with partial or no hearing, there are still audio features on the baby unit for the nursery. There is a 2-way talkback system to reassure a child from afar. There is also a built-in night light on the loop.
This TimeFlys Digital Audio Monitor is another one that uses vibration on the parent unit. The device sits nicely on a bedside table or desk ad vibrates with important alerts from the child’s room. The parent unit has no visual feed from a camera, but there is a nice back-lit display that gives information on the temperature of the baby’s room. The device will then alert parents if the room becomes too hot.
While this is the main purpose of this product, rather than providing a standard baby monitor, there are still plenty of the usual features that parents are looking for. These include the long range between the two units of 1000ft and the 2-way talk-back communication system.
Babies can also benefit from the nightlight on the top of their device. It is a simple product that might not have the full functionality that all parents are after. But, it serves its purpose very well. There is also the added benefit of the safe and eco-friendly tech.
There are no radio emissions from the use at night and there is a reliable battery life of 15 hours on the parent unit. The baby unit stays plugged in for that ongoing temperature regulation.
The device above isn’t the only one from the TimeFlys range. This option may be more appealing to parents that want a more traditional baby monitor but are still in need of something with vibration. What I like the most about this one is that it is shaped like a cute penguin complete with a face.
This creates a friendly figure in the child’s nursery on a completely different level from the device with the cat ear below. Just make sure to look at the black and white QQ model and not the blue and white QL. This QQ has vibration alerts that users can set up in place of the less effective audio ones.
Otherwise, the features are very much the same as the unit above. You really are getting this for the design. There is a 1000ft range between the two units, as well as that important 2-way talk-back communication system. The parent unit is portable and effective with the same rechargeable battery.
The baby unit has a nightlight and the option for 8 different lullabies. There is also the same temperature monitoring system with the crisp blue back-lit display showing the temperature and various other aspects of the status of the units.
The best video baby monitors for deaf parents.
This next model is all about providing a great visual feed from a child’s room. Parents should be able to get all the information they need on the well-being and location of the child from the screen and cameras alone. The system uses a combination of motion detection and VOX to provide alerts on the movement and cries of a child. This triggers the clear image on the large 5’’ screen.
This widescreen makes a big difference compared to other models because of the widescreen view and extra definition. There is the opportunity to add additional cameras for a multi-view setup and to use the infrared mode for night vision. Add in the tilt and zoom controls and parents really shouldn’t miss a thing. This is also another Wi-fi-free connection with a maximum range of 1000ft.
There are plenty of similarities between this baby monitor and the one above. There is the same use of a widescreen display for clear images, a reliable 1080 resolution camera, and night vision for 24/7 supervision. The biggest difference here, however, is the connectivity to a smartphone or other device. This is great if parents want a more portable and user-friendly way to see the images.
Another interesting difference here is the SD card slot on the parent unit for recording pieces of video. The quality and the choices in the video streams should be helpful enough for those that are hard of hearing, although it would be nice if there were also some vibration features.
Additional features for kids include the 2-way talk-back system for reassurance and the lullabies. I also really like the cat design, which makes this a more friendly-looking device to mount on a dresser or on the wall. Just be careful to place it in an optimal position to make better use of the VOX, temperature gauge, and other features.
Next, I want to highlight this alternative 3-in-1 baby monitor. There are some issues here for the hearing impaired parents, as there is no apparent volume control for the audio alerts and you can’t set up any sort of vibration alert However, there are some very nice visual features that could appeal to deaf parents. Furthermore, these relate to more than just any sounds made. The device in the baby’s room has a camera that sends a visual feed to the large 5inch display on the parent unit.
This high-quality screen also provides information on the child’s movement. There are visual alerts that pop up when the child stops moving for more than 20 seconds. There is also a temperature reading to help parents maintain a suitable climate in the room. This motion detection comes from the third element of that 3-in-1 system.
There is a sensor pad that parents can place in the crib. This alerts the monitor when it can’t detect any obvious motion for 15 seconds, which then causes the baby unit to send an audible alert to the child. This isn’t the most efficient system around in terms of traditional baby monitoring. But the set-up could prove to be useful for new parents and those with kids with health conditions.
I have included the last of these video-focused baby monitors for deaf parents primarily because of the size. The average screen on these top video baby monitors is 5 inches long. This is more than enough for most parents to get a good view of their child and the surrounding space.
However, this product goes even further with a 7-inch display. These extra inches could make all the difference to those reliant on visual information. The 360 panoramic views from the camera and 110 wide-angle views help too. Other helpful camera settings include the pan, tilt, and zoom functions, as well as the HD night vision.
At the other end of the system, there are plenty of helpful features for kids too. The baby unit has audio features such as lullabies and soothing sounds to help get them off to sleep remotely. There is also the 2-way talk-back communication system to listen to their parent’s voice.
While the best features are visual, there is still the VOX system in place to alert the unit to a baby’s cries. There is also the chance to adjust the volume for those that are just hard of hearing.
5) Nanit Smart Baby Monitor
NANIT is a smart baby monitor that has been designed to offer parents the most advanced monitoring and safety features.
It monitors heart rate, breathing, sleeping patterns, and more in real-time for your peace of mind. It also includes a night vision camera with an infrared LED light that provides complete visibility in dark rooms and environments.
It has an inbuilt microphone that captures your child’s voice and the ability to record your child’s naps and bedtime routine. It’s simple interface lets you switch between cameras, set alarms, and listen to the recorded audio. You can easily access important alerts such as low battery, temperature fluctuations, etc.
However, It uses facial recognition technology to identify the person on the other end of the video feed, which prevents any unauthorized access. You can get notifications on your phone about when the room gets too hot or too cold. It also provides real-time tracking and location history on your smartphone, so you know where your baby is at all times.
6) Summer infant babble band
Summer Infant Babble Band is a baby monitor that has two audio channels. It also has an infrared night vision camera, motion detection, and lullabies to help soothe your baby.
The benefit of this product is that it offers you peace of mind because it will be able to alert you if your child wakes up in the middle of the night or if they have been moving around in their crib for too long. It helps prevent SIDS by monitoring breathing patterns and heart rate during sleep. It’s easy to use with features like volume control, talkback, and mute button.
Babies will be able to hear themselves as they babble, so they’ll be able to practice self-regulation of speech sounds before they learn to talk or read. It can improve your baby’s language skills by providing constant listening opportunities, helping them develop their vocal cords, and encouraging them to use their voice more often. Parents can use it as a teaching tool for explaining words like colors, animals, body parts, numbers, and letters.
Deaf parents may also be interested in some other devices for peace of mind.
Another option in the world of baby monitoring and well-being is the use of wearable tech. This is something that parents are either going to love or hate, and it is worth taking the time to go over the pros and cons.
A lot of parents will dislike the idea of putting any sort of electronic wearable on their infant, and that is fine. However, some that want greater peace of mind will invest in something like a baby monitor vibrating wristband or anklet that connects to their phone.
This could be ideal for deaf parents that are happy to use the visual data on an app on their phone to learn more about the health of their child. It may make them worry less about missing cries if they can see that their child is perfectly healthy and content through other data feeds.
The baby oxygen monitor is one such wearable device that can help a lot of parents learn more about the health of their children. The device sits against the child’s leg or arm and provides readings on blood saturation levels. This figure appears as a clear percentage on the display on the unit itself. However, the system also sends the information to the parent’s phone via Bluetooth. This then sends the appropriate data to the user-friendly app.
The adjustable strap on the device should make it easy to set this up on a child’s arm or leg, wherever seems to be the most comfortable, and makes it appropriate for ages 0-3. The strap also seems soft enough not to cause any discomfort or irritation.
The same is true for the device itself, which only weighs 241 grams. The app is also meant to provide information on other figures, such as the child’s heart rate and movement in the night. There is an alarm that sounds when there is a problem, and the volume of this is adjustable.
So, it might be suitable for those merely hard of hearing on the highest level. Overall, while it isn’t the same as a normal monitor, it could still prove to be useful.
There are also vibrating wearable for babies with hearing impairments
So far, we have talked a lot about the products that are ideal for parents with hearing loss. But, most of these work under the assumption that the child has perfect hearing. All of the alerts in the nursery tend to be audio alerts and there is always that 2-way talk-back communication system.
However, not enough companies seem to provide products for kids that rely more on touch than sound for communication. Vibrating alerts on wearable baby sensors could be just what a deaf child needs to rouse them when they are in trouble.
This wearable device from Levana is one such system. The idea here is that there is a sensor in the system that detects breathing and movement. If the child doesn’t trigger the sensor, they receive an alert to try and wake them and get them moving. What is great about this system is that it uses vibrations, sounds, and lights to get the job done. At least one of these should be effective.
There are other companies with devices that do something similar with a lightweight and portable system. However, this one is different in that there is no skin contact. Parents can clip the device to the child’s clothing and it should be able to provide the same sort of reading.
Also, because there is no connection to any other device, there are no risks from Bluetooth and other frequencies from the baby’s crib. The potential downside here is that there is no way for parents to know what is going on in the room. There is simply the trust that the device will rouse the child and the issue will sort itself out.
It is completely up to you if you are comfortable with this approach. But, it seems to be effective in its alerts and also great for encouraging kids not to fall asleep in the wrong position.
Can I use my Apple Watch as a baby monitor?
The Apple Watch is a great device for so many things and one of them is baby monitoring.
Here are some reasons why the Apple Watch can be used as a baby monitor:
- The watch has a built-in camera that you can use to view your child from another room.
- You can set up “Do Not Disturb” mode on the watch so that it doesn’t disturb you when it detects motion in front of it.
- The watch has an accelerometer, which means it will be able to detect movement and notify you when your child wakes up or moves around while sleeping.
Can analog baby monitors be hacked?
Analog baby monitors are very much susceptible to hacking and can be hacked easily by someone who has access to the device.
Hackers can monitor what is happening in your home or office, so you should consider using a digital video monitor instead of an analog one.
Some ways analog baby monitors can be hacked are:
This type of hack is when someone else listens in on your conversations without you knowing, whether they are an outside party or someone within the home such as a babysitter or nanny.
- Echo Scam:
A third party pretending to be your own child calls you using their own phone, telling you that there is something wrong with them and they need help immediately. This scam can be done by changing the audio coming from the monitor so it sounds like your child’s voice instead of theirs and then waiting for you to call back before asking for money to come get them out of danger.
This type of hack happens when someone jams signals from other people’s phones so that only one person can hear what’s going on around them at any given time and this includes your family members who may have been calling for help because they cannot reach you via phone due to this jamming happening
However, with that said, if you are going to use an analog monitor, you should also be aware of some potential disadvantages such as:
- You may not be able to see your baby’s movements in detail.
- There might be a delay in the sound coming through.
- You will need to make sure that your home’s electrical wiring is in good condition or else the monitor may stop working due to interference from other electrical devices like microwaves or air conditioners.
Finding the best baby monitor for your situation.
There is a lot to consider here. Your choice is going to come down to your personal situation and preferences – or those of the recipient. There is no right or wrong answer if something appears to be the ideal fit or if it doesn’t seem quite right. Every parent has their own approach and personalized needs based on the severity of their condition and related adaptations.
If you aren’t comfortable with the idea of the smart connections and mobile connectivity because of interference risks, that is fine. If you feel that baby monitors that vibrate, without the visual display, aren’t secure enough, that is also fine.
Once you have a better idea of the perfect approach for your needs, you can find a product that matches. The options above are a great starting point or they may guide you in the right direction. Take your time to read specifications and reviews, especially if you can gain feedback from other deaf parents, and give it a test run before the baby arrives. The right option is out there and you can monitor your awake and sleeping baby just as effectively as any parent with full hearing.