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Baby monitors have come a long way from the basic audio devices with the muffled cries and minimal features. Some high-tech devices collect a range of information on your child’s sleep and the atmosphere of the room. A helpful tool here is a temperature sensor. These sensors within the baby units keep an eye on the temperature of the room so you can make sure it isn’t too hot or cold for your child.
This feature is meant to provide greater peace of mind for parents that want as much data as possible on the parent unit. However, there are so many reports of inaccuracies that this leads to concerns over baby safety. If the temperature reading is too low, your child could overheat and become at risk of illness or even SIDS. So, just how accurate are baby monitor temperatures and what can you do to get a more accurate reading from your device?
How accurate are baby monitor temperature readings?
Before we start, it is important to remember that all devices have an acceptable margin of error. This means that the readings are allowed to be off by 2 degrees without being a major cause for concern. You may be fine with this as a good guideline for the status of the room, or you might want to find something with a smaller margin for greater security.
Most of the best baby monitors with temperature sensors should work within this margin as long as they are used correctly. The problem is that a lot of devices don’t sit within this 2-degree range. Others are far more lenient and could be wrong by 6 or maybe even 10 degrees. This is a significant difference that can be dangerous for children.
What can you do to try and improve the accuracy of your baby monitor?
The inaccuracies you see on these baby monitors have a lot to do with their sensitivity, but also their placement within a room and environmental conditions. For example, you need to be careful not to set up a baby monitor too close to the AC or heating system. It is much hotter near a radiator and far cooler by an AC vent and this could mess up the readings. The same is true if you tend to have the monitor near the window and then open that up one evening.
Also, don’t forget that hot air rises and the temperature near the ceiling are different from that near the floor. This is why it is important to place the baby monitor unit on the same level as the crib. The closer it is to your child the better as this will get a more accurate idea of the temperature in the immediate atmosphere. Still, even if you do have a monitor level with the crib and right beside it, there is that margin for error.
Is it time for a new device?
One thing that surprises me about these cases is that parents still continue to use the temperature reading on their monitor when they know it is inaccurate. There are stories on forums where someone will feel their baby’s skin and find that they are much cooler or warmer than expected based on the reading on the monitor. But, they shrug this off and continue to use the device. If you know that a baby monitor sensor is clearly inaccurate and this could put your child at risk, it is time to look for something new with a greater chance of accurate readings.
There are two options here. The first is to get a different baby monitor with a temperature sensor. Perhaps a newer model with better technology will have greater accuracy? There are certainly some great multifunctional baby monitors out there and you could end up with something that offers greater peace of mind in one neat little package. The other option is to get a separate baby room thermometer specifically designed for this function. Let’s start by looking at some of the best baby monitors with temperature sensors.
Three of the best baby monitors with temperature sensors.
First up, we have three baby monitors that have temperature readings as an additional feature. Most of those are pretty accurate and effective with other great tools for monitoring your child.
One of the most important aspects of this monitor is the use of extra sensors for infrared night vision and temperature monitoring. The monitor seems to be accurate enough and probably falls in that acceptable margin of 2 degrees either way. You can get alerts about the current temperature on your parent unit and then make adjustments as needed. It helps that there is a nice clear display on the parent unit and a long range of 960ft, so you can see the temperature from right across the other side of the house.
Another nice feature here is the quality of the two-way communication system. Babies can alert parents with the Vox mode and you can reassure them with the two-way talkback feature. There is also the option to play lullabies to help them get back off to sleep. It is a small, portable device that isn’t the smartest around but seems to do a good job of alerting parents to different issues on cue.
What I like about this device is that there is more than just a good temperature sensor here. There are some great comments about the accuracy of the sensor, with parents saying it matches other readings and is quite responsive. But, there is also the chance to set up alerts if the room gets too cold or warm. This sort of instant notification can make a big difference, especially if there is a sudden rise or drop that could be dangerous.
Other benefits of this video baby monitor include the camera options and the nice display for the video feed. There is the chance to pair up to 4 cameras with this device and switch between feeds. This is great if you want to see the room from a different angle or have a second camera in a playroom. The 3.2-inch screen is great for a clear view on this compact parent unit and the night vision mode looks pretty good too.
My favorite thing about this baby monitor is that there is a wide range of monitors and indicators for parents that need constant real-time information on their child. There are 8 LED indicators in total and this includes one for temperature monitoring. So, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get a good idea of the environment in your baby’s room. The use of a 2.4Ghz Wireless transfer and 960ft range should also mean a great connection between devices.
This connection is vital because this is another model with those great two-way features. You can listen to your child and watch them on the video display, but also talk back to them and play them one of four built-in lullabies. There is a sense that this is a device that does a lot of things pretty well rather than something that does one thing very well. Still, enough parents are happy with the monitor to recommend it.
Do I need a baby room thermometer?
If you don’t want to rely on the temperature sensor on a baby monitor, there is another option. A well-placed room thermometer could provide a more accurate indication of the temperature of the room and help alert you to any changes. You can set them up next to the crib and get a clear reading for real-time information. With the right camera setup, you may even be able to read the display via your baby monitor.
But, it is still a good idea to go in and check for greater accuracy. A lot of parents prefer the idea of these baby room thermometers because they are more specialist tools deliberately designed to show important information. This is more comforting than the idea of having a little sensor on a baby monitor.
The best baby room thermometers can help by providing helpful up-to-date information as well as other benefits. Look out for large displays where you can clearly see the current temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. A lot of the best devices have lights that act as visual indicators and warnings. These should show up clearly on a baby monitor or when walking past a room.
At the same time, a well-designed light with a nice tone can double-up as a night light. Alternatively, you may prefer something that links up to a smart device for instant access to data. These are great for those that love apps but do require a reliable connection.
Three of the best baby room thermometers.
The following three products are great examples of what you can get if you want a thermometer rather than a temperature sensor on a baby monitor.
This is a device that does more than you may think at first. It looks pretty unassuming with its small shape and color-changing light. However, this just leads to a noninvasive device that can make a big difference when monitoring your child. There is both a thermometer and hygrometer to help you get a better understanding of the temperature and the humidity of the nursery.
The light then changes color to show you if you need to come and intervene by adjusting the heating or AC. The warm amber light indicates that everything is just fine, and also provides a nice background light as a nightlight. This then shifts to red if the room gets too hot and blue if it is too cold. The dramatic color shift should be instantly noticeable when watching on a monitor or walking past. It is not the most high-tech option, but you have to love the little face.
This next option is something on the complete opposite end of the scale to the little light-up Hippo model. This is a smarter device that is aimed purely at parents and their needs. To be fair, this is sold as a temperature gauge for a greenhouse or wine cellar. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make good use of the tech by setting this up in a nursery beside the crib.
The device has a high-end Swiss SHT30 sensor that should allow for readings that are accurate within 0.3 degrees Celsius. This is a massive difference from the acceptable 2-degree margin of error in the baby monitors. All the data from the thermometer goes straight to your smartphone for instant access to readings.
It is also possible to set up alerts on the app for when temperatures drop outside of a target range. Therefore, you should get a notification when you aren’t looking at the monitor. This could make a big difference. There is also the option of linking this up to Alexa for voice controls.
Of course, the downside here is that such a smart and grown-up device doesn’t look that great in the child’s room. There aren’t the same nightlight features that are so helpful. Therefore, you need to decide if this lack of visual appeal and kid-friendly features is a deal-breaker or not.
Finally, we have my favorite of these baby room thermometers. I really like this product because there is a nice blend of parent-friendly and child-friendly features. You can set this up to showcase the temperature with a nice bright display and easy-to-read figure in the center. This should show up well on camera feeds and it seems to be pretty accurate.
From there you get a similar color-changing light as the little Hippo device above. This provides a nice soothing nightlight and you can easily watch to see if there is any color change. A big selling point here is that this is more of an attractive nightlight than the smaller Hippo.
The big light is great on its own. But, there is also the option to buy a separate Oona the Owl Groegg Shell. This cute character should go down well with kids without obstructing the display.
Finally, there is the fact that this comes from a very well-known and respected brand. Other sleep-related products relate to this thermometer where you could kit out a room for a better sleep regime.
Should you get a baby monitor with a temperature sensor or a baby room thermometer?
Baby monitors with temperature sensors can seem like the most practical option because everything you need is all in one device. You can set up the baby unit and a camera in a good position and then wait for the alerts on the parent unit. However, the frequent issues with accurate readings and connections mean that this isn’t the most reliable approach. Relying solely on these devices for temperature readings could lead to parents missing vital information and underestimating the true temperature of the room.
That is why it is such a good idea to invest in a baby room thermometer to go alongside a high-quality video monitor. The best thermometers are much more accurate and informative because you get a more detailed reading of the room and easy access to information. If you can get one that has the indicator light that doubles as a nightlight then you will get even more value for money.
Make sure to set up the device in a spot that is visible and where it won’t be affected by the AC, heating, or other variables. With the right device, you should find it much easier to regulate the temperature of the room and find some peace of mind.