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The BEST Video Baby Monitor Ever (and it’s cheap)!

April 4, 2014

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I am about to tell you about the best video baby monitor ON THE PLANET! And it's  cheap, too. Buckle up folks, this is exciting.

diy baby monitor

First, let me tell you why this topic is on my mind.  I was recently reading a post on a blog that I love, Sawdust and Embryos, about Beth's latest addition to her twin girls' adorable “big girl” room.  Beth mentioned she was a bit concerned about her twin girls staying in bed once she moves them into their toddler beds from their cribs.  Yeah, I was right there with her when we made the switch.  I gave her my thoughts on what made our transition a HUGE success.  Below is exactly what I wrote to her:

We had a very easy and successful transition when we moved our twin girls from their cribs to their toddler beds (at 2 1/2 years) and then into their big girl twin beds on their 3rd birthday.

 I was super worried about them getting out of bed to play with each other. I think the key is that we have an awesome camera in their room and pair it with an iPhone app. It allows us to see them so clearly (sooooooooooo much better AND cheaper than the baby video monitors) and we can talk through it. We explained to them that big girls stay in bed and that mommy and daddy can watch them in the camera, so we would know if they got out of bed.

We also gave them each a pillow when they moved into their toddler beds, which they thought was AWESOME. We explained that pillows are for big girls and big girls STAY IN BED until we come to get them. If they got out of bed, we would have to take their pillows for that nap/night time.

Our girls are now 3 years 3 months old and they have only gotten out of bed ONE TIME. It’s seriously amazing. I am not sure what exactly motivates them to stay in bed, since we have not “threatened” taking their pillows away after the first couple of days. Maybe it’s the camera. Maybe they would have stayed in bed no matter what we said. Who knows?! I just know I was super worried about it and it was the easiest transition ever.

If you want info on the camera and app we use, shoot me an email. One of the best parts is that we can also take videos of what the camera is seeing through the app and we have some of the best videos of them singing and talking to each other. So fun!

Beth did email me and ended up ordering a camera of her own.  After that exchange, it occurred to me that lots of my readers have young babies and toddlers, so I want to share this revelation with you all as well!

I will first back up and tell you that we used a video monitor from day 1.  We purchased the Summer Infant Best View® Choice Digital Color Video Monitor for a whopping $190.  We positioned it directly over our twin girls' cribs 9 (which were side by side) and it worked reasonably well, until it broke about a year into using it.  So we bought ANOTHER ONE.  Again, it worked reasonably well, though the screen did crack and made it more difficult to see the picture.

Fast forward to when our girls turned 2 and we moved into our new house.  Their cribs were no longer positioned side-by-side, but were on opposite ends of the room.  We had to position the video camera much further away, and, without beating around the bush, we couldn't see squat out of the video camera.  That thing has to be close to its subject, or it's totally worthless.  But, at that point with them still in their cribs, we were not overly concerned about our inability to see them.  After all, they were in baby jail and had never climbed out.  They were safe.

Now, fast forward again to when our girls turned 2 1/2 and we converted their cribs into toddler beds.  Like Beth, we were TERRIFIED that they would get out of bed to play with each other.  We knew we had to watch them like hawks to prevent any shenanigans, but we did not want to have to sit in the room with them.  So, we needed a better quality video camera, and preferably one that we could talk through (“Get back in bed!  Don't touch your sister!”).  My research began.

You guys, my prayers were answered when we found a wireless video camera that you can pair with an iPhone app to use a baby monitor.  You are probably getting impatient at this point, huh?  You want details!!!!  Okay, okay.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won't cost you a penny more)! 

We ordered an IP camera that connects to your WiFi network (just like a computer, printer, etc.) and does not have to be hardwired to work. Check out exactly what we use below.

UPDATE:

This is the exact camera that we use and ordered from Amazon (we paid $54 when we purchased it in 2014). There are now a newer versions of this same camera, which you can find here.

And this is the iPhone app we use.  If you purchase the app and all of it's optional features, it's $8.00.

Best video baby monitor details by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body {designertrapped.com}

 

The wireless camera + the app = the best video baby monitor on the planet (in my humble opinion).  Period.

Now, I am not going to tell you how to set up your camera and app.  I found a post by Joyful Abode that is amazingly detailed and will tell you all you need to know.  Just check out the Joyful Abode post here for instructions on how to set your camera up.  Emily did an amazing job.  I followed her installation instructions and had NO problems whatsoever.

What I AM going to tell you is why this set up equals the best video baby monitor and the reasons that we love it.

  • The app we use allows us to take photos and videos of what the camera is seeing.  These have captured some of our absolute favorite photos and videos.   It's funny to hear what they say to each other when they are alone :)
  • The image quality you will get from this camera is shocking.  We get a clearer picture with this camera 12 feet away from our girls that we did with the Summer Infant monitor 4 feet away.  I am NOT kidding.  It will blow your mind.  The picture is crystal clear and is full color in the daylight.  Below is a sample photo that I snapped using the app this morning.

best video baby monitor

When it is dark (at night or during the day if you use black out curtains for naps, like we do), the camera uses infrared lights, so the picture will be in black and white but the quality is still fantastic.  Here is a photo I snapped tonight as I put my girls to bed and it was dark outside.

best baby video monitor

Now, to prove I am not kidding about how great the picture is given the distance at issue, here is a photo of where the camera sits on my daughters' bookshelves:

best baby video monitor

And here is a photo to give you some idea of how far away the camera is from my daughter's bed.  I took this photo standing beside Attley's headboard:

best baby video monitor

  • One of our favorite features of the app we use is the two-way communication!  WOW!  We can hear them, and more importantly, they can hear us.  We have said, “It's time to stop monkeying around and go to sleep” through the microphone more than a few times.
  • And here is a sample video for you that explains, with no words, WHY we actually need a video baby monitor.  This was taken this past week.  Ummmm, this is what I would call “shenanigans” during nap time, which required some immediate intervention.  But it was funny enough that Joe took a video through the app first.  This level of monkeying around was unprecedented for us.  Usually, they lay down and sing or talk to each other before they go to bed.   This was a whole new level of experimentation for them.  I will note that they stayed in bed.  I think they thought since they were still “in bed” that they could do whatever they wanted.  We have since cleared that up (we hope).

Have I convinced you that this is the best video baby monitor your money can buy?  You have some questions, don't you?  Well, I have tried to anticipate some of your questions, and will do my best to answer them below.

Q: Can you use the app to watch your baby/toddler while you are at work?

A:  Nope.  You have to be connected to the same WiFi that your camera is connected to to view your kids.  This is for security reasons.  As much as I would love to peek in on the girls from my office, it does give me peace of mind that not just anyone from anywhere can try to hack in and watch our girls.

Q: Is it secure?

A:  I really am not qualified to answer this, but can tell you that you do have to have the password to be able to use the app.  Between that and having to be connected to the same WiFi as the camera, WE feel it is secure to use.  You may feel differently.

Q: Can the app run in the background, so that you can still use your iPhone for other things?

A: YES!

Q: Can you use it as just an audio monitor?

A:  Basically, yes.  At night, you can put it on “night mode,” which turns the video feed off, but you can still hear the audio.

Q: Does the camera allow you to pan/tilt/change the viewing angle?

A: YES!  If your kids share a room and you cannot see one of the beds from one angle, you can use arrows in the app to wirelessly pan the camera to see your other kid!

The bottom line is that for less than $70 we have the best video baby monitor imaginable!  What do you think?  Are you going to try this or recommend it to someone else?  If you think this is a great option for moms, please help spread the word by sharing this post on social media and/or pinning it to Pinterest!

 

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  1. Julie says:

    There actually is a way to set it up so that it can be viewed via Internet without needing your home Wi-Fi connection. I’m not tech savvy enough to figure it out, I’ve tried. But it can be done. Something to do with port forwarding I think

  2. Kayla Walker says:

    Yes, That is kind of very good baby monitor with very good features at very affordable rates as i read about this monitor on severl websites. I also tried 2-3 different baby monitors but finally i was happy with the one named oricom babysense2 which i purchased from the Baby-Direct which is kind of in my budget as well as have all the features that i want to have in it. I will surely gonna try this one in case i need another one.

  3. Jessica says:

    I have this combo and love it, but for awhile now I’ve been having issues with it freezing. I’m pretty sure its the camera because it has done so with another app I tried- Just wondering if you’ve ever had issues like that? Sad because I looovvvee it.

    • Tasha says:

      We have not had this issue but I have heard of other people having it. I am thinking it may internet issue?

  4. […] I figured out why. She was overtired. And from my mistakes, you can glean a lovely lesson. Use a video monitor and check on your quietly “napping” baby to make sure they are asleep. When I finally […]

  5. Kacey says:

    Do you know if the app you use works for android?

  6. […] legit and valid? May we have some courage to allow them to spend a night outside his house without having an eye onto […]

  7. Julie says:

    I am totally going to do this! Thanks so much for this post. However, what were the apps you didn’t like and why? I would love a few other features: play music/white noise, monitor motion, monitor temperature and slightly less important would be measure humidity. Do you know of any apps or cameras that do those things as well? Does what you suggest do any of those things too? Thanks so much again!!

    • Tasha says:

      The app I used doesn’t do any of those things. I am not sure of any that do? Best of luck!

  8. Chris says:

    Just passing by and wanted to say i’ve been using this for almost a year now and it is fantastic!

    For those who are reading – You can indeed view the camera from outside your house. It does not need to be on the same wifi but to do this your house will require a static ip address. Inside the app you can set Home/Away/Auto which will tell it what ip to use depending on your location. For a dad who works away a lot its a lovely treat to be able to speak to my little one just as she goes to bed :)
    The only downside is there is no android release :(

  9. Chelsie says:

    I’m having trouble with finding the camera on this app, not sure what I’m doing wrong, any tips would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!

  10. Julia says:

    The quality is really good! We use Annie Baby monitor app, it streams video (and audio too of course) to my iphone, the quality of video and sound is also pretty good. I didn’t want to buy monitor for like 200$, so I decided to download an app and use my old ipad as a child unit. I am happy with it.

  11. Boris says:

    Hi, I am so happy I found your site I can’t wait to order my new camera and start using it. It seems that there is an option to buy an extra antenna called a 9dbi. Did you buy that and is it necessary? My house is rather small so I’m not sure I need it. Thank you.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Boris! No, we didn’t buy an extra antenna and didn’t have any problems. I have heard that some people have issues with the camera going in and out, but I think that must be more related to their WiFi than to the camera itself. I hope that helps!

  12. Tait says:

    I was curious, when you have the video running on your phone or iPad, do you have to unlock it every time you want to check the monitor or does it run without having to constantly unlock your phone and go into the app?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Tait! The sound runs in the background so you can hear it with the screen locked, but if you want to view the video, you have to unlock the screen. I hope that helps!

  13. Jenna Smith says:

    Will this burn our phone batteries out at night if we have this installed on our iPhones?

  14. pneid says:

    Can I monitor through web browser (chrom, IE .. ) ?
    Thanks

    • Tasha A. says:

      I don’t know, sorry!

    • Lisa says:

      We use a foscam (possibly same model as reviewed here) and you can access it from the web through a browser. It takes a little tech savy know-how but you go directly to the IP address of the camera. You will want to set a secure password to log-in and then you can view it that way.

    • Pete says:

      I am using FosCam for over a year now and it is great. According to my wife I am a “geek” so trust me when I tell you that there is no need for any fancy $200 baby monitor as $70 does the trick and it is much more flexible. You CAN use your browser (IE works the best) and you can view it from ANYWHERE in the world. All you need is simple port forward on your modem and change your user name and password on your IP camera (This is VERY important and easy) to prevent from unauthorized access to your camera.

  15. Stephanie says:

    Does the app have one for android?

  16. Jessica says:

    Can house two apps? Can my husband and i both have the app on our phones?!

  17. matt says:

    Thanks for this write up. I was pulling my hair out looking for a good baby monitor. I thought I was sold on the Dropcam pro or the “Samsung Smartcam HD PRO” but both require an always on internet connection so that your phone can get the video from their site even in your own home. Long story longer I stumbled across a mention of the Foscam and a web search found you. Your review had one thing that every other baby camera review didn’t, sample video especially of night vision.
    Thank you.

  18. Karen says:

    this camera looks amazing! Thanks for the input. If we buy 2 cameras (2 kids, 2 rooms). I wonder if we can use the app to switch between them.

    • Tasha A. says:

      I believe you can, Karen!

      • Pete says:

        I am using FosCam for over a year now and it is great. According to my wife I am a “geek” so trust me when I tell you that there is no need for any fancy $200 baby monitor as $70 does the trick and it is much more flexible. You CAN use your browser (IE works the best) and you can view it from ANYWHERE in the world. All you need is simple port forward on your modem and change your user name and password on your IP camera (This is VERY important and easy) to prevent from unauthorized access to your camera.

  19. Faron says:

    Do you know if you buy a camera for each child’s room (3), if the signals will mix?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Faron! I believe you can switch back and forth between 2 cameras with no problem. A lot of people use these for security cameras, with multiples cameras throughout the house. I hope that helps!

  20. Faron says:

    Do you know if you a camera for each child’s room (3), if the signals will mix?

  21. Laura Taylor says:

    This looks great! Question though my husband has an android and I didn’t see the same app? Any thoughts?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Laura! I don’t have any Android devices, so I really don’t know. I’m so sorry! I think the camera itself has an app, but I don’t remember much about it.

  22. Tara says:

    I read some video monitor reviews that complained about the monitor slowing down the speed of the wireless, have you noticed this at all? We sometimes stream movies through Amazon Prime and our blu-ray player when our son has gone to bed.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Tara! We haven’t noticed that at all. We don’t have cable, so we only stream Amazon and Netflix and have not had any issues. I hope that helps!

  23. Anna says:

    Hi Tasha,

    Nice to see the cheaper Foscam reviewed as an alternative to some of the (much) more expensive WiFi cameras I think a lot of the higher priced models had way too many features that you pay for an will never need :)

    Great to see the excellent picture quality. I have yet to see one of these in action but your photos clearly show the Foscam’s capabilities!

    Anna

  24. Jen says:

    Just wanted to let you know that this post was fantastic! So detailed and helpful!

    We were in the same situation with our current monitor on the fritz and a second child on the way.

    Video monitors with 2 cameras are ridiculously expensive and not overly reliable, not to mention image quality.

    So thanks for the super awesome idea that I was able to share with my techy husband. He was thinking of buying drop cams, but that would have also been way more expensive than this solution. He was able to set up both cameras in no time. :0)

    And one of the best things is that we can both check in without having to carry around another device.

    Thanks again !!

    Jen

  25. Emily says:

    Did you all have to pay to download the app on multiple devices? I’m thinking about if we would need it on each phone, then maybe like my moms when she is babysitting. How have you handled that when someone else is there but you aren’t there with your phone with the app on it?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Emily! Yep, we had to pay for it for each phone {mine, my husband’s, and our nanny’s phones}. We also have it installed on our iPad, which we leave home for the few times we have a babysitter at night. I hope that helps!

  26. Rachel says:

    Does this system work with 2 cameras? We are getting ready for our second and the video monitors with a 2 camera system are soooo expensive!

  27. Janae says:

    I got the camera working last night and now all the sudden the camera feed isn’t working anymore. Have you heard of this happening? Any thoughts on fixing.

  28. Thanks for such a great recommendation, Tasha! After my 2-yo son took off his pajamas and played with his poopy diaper one evening, I caved and ordered this camera. I just set it up this afternoon – super easy! I think watching the twins interact without adult supervision is going to be more entertaining than cable :)

  29. Krista says:

    I loved the post and ordered the camera. Now, when I’ve set it up, the coloring is all off! Everything is washed out, probably due to the WB (white balance) being off in the camera. Other cameras allow for an adjustment; I haven’t found one yet for the FOSCAM. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

  30. Nathaniel says:

    For those that were disappointed that it can’t be viewed unless your on the same wifi network this was incorrect. Below is a guide that will walk you through opening a port on your router that will allow you to view your own cameras while away from home. http://foscam.us/blog/index.php?p=28?

  31. Lauren says:

    Hi there! My husband and I got this camera in the mail and we can’t wait to set it up, only we aren’t sure if we follow the handbook or what? Do we have to use the CD to install if we want to use it from our ipad? should we download the app you recommended and it will prompt us on what to do? please and thank you!!!!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Lauren! You will have to use the CD to install it and have it communicate with your WiFi. Use the instructions by Joyful Abode that I link to in my post–they are great. Then the app is really easy to set up and it will prompt you what to do (as I recall). Hope that helps!

  32. Whitney says:

    I am an expecting Mom and thinking about doing this setup for our new baby. The only thing I am confused on is if I have to leave my iphone “on” all night in order for it to alert me via audio when baby wakes/cries. I know I can buy the audio in-app add-on, but besides an iphone notification will it wake me with the actual audio cries from baby’s room?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Whitney! You do have to leave your phone one all night, but you can set it up so that you hear your baby as soon as he/she starts crying. You can set the level at which the audio starts coming through. I set mine pretty low, so just regular sleep sounds/movement wouldn’t wake me, but even a quiet cry would. I hope that helps!

  33. Paulina says:

    Hi! I love this idea, thanks for sharing! Does anybody know if Android has an app that will work with this camera?

  34. Amanda McQuerrey says:

    Thanks for this post! This was exactly what I was looking for :) I will soon be transitioning my twins to toddler beds and wanted some type of camera for their room.

    So if I’m at work can my babysitter view what they are doing from our computer, not just my cell phone?

    thanks!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Amanda! I believe your babysitter will be able to view it from your computer! Our nanny had an iPhone, so we paid for her to get the app on her phone, but if you leave your computer at home, that should work! I hope that helps!

  35. Aaron Heidorn says:

    You had a Q&A about using the app outside the house and said you can’t do it. I wanted to mention that you ARE able to do this (at least with app mentioned from joyfulabode – I haven’t tried the one mentioned here. If there is a place in the app to put an IP address for the camera, you should be able to put in the external host instead – this would let you view it without being in your home).

    The setup to allow external access to the camera is a bit more involved, but it is explained in detail in the instructions by Foscam. Foscam also provides you a free URL (for 3 years – you can purchase for longer after that period) to use. I can also provide instructions as well if they would help others.

    I’m a web developer and can help address security concerns as well. If the wireless (or wired) router you connect the camera to is also connected to the internet, then the camera technically can be accessed by anyone. However, this is a really really low risk as the attacker would have to find your router remotely, hack in to it, then either guess your password to the camera or hack that as well. If you also decide to make the camera accessible via the web, it is a bit less secure. Now an attacker would only have to find the camera URL and either guess your password or hack the camera. But, unless you are a high profile person, this really is a super low risk. The built in security with a username and password is enough to keep out 99.99% of people – even if your camera is available via the web.

    Thanks for the article! I had found joyfulabode’s article first and purchased this camera for my twins. Super happy with it!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Good to know, thanks Aaron!

      • Brooke M. says:

        I love this article — great idea! I’ve had a foscam for a while now for home security and really love them. The only thing I would caution is that if you do set your camera up to be view-able from anywhere using an IP address, make sure you delete the default username and password. If you don’t change the default username and password, anyone can find the URL pretty easily (all the Foscam ones are the same, with the exception of a few digits) and log-in. Creating your own unique username and password, then deleting the default one, should take care of the problem.

  36. Katie says:

    Hi, do you know if this constantly draws off your wifi or just when you are looking at the app? We live in the country and cannot get ‘unlimited’ wifi. Any help is appreciated, thanks!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Katie! I am not positive, but I think it’s only using your Wifi when the app is open. We only have it open when our girls are sleeping. But, my guess is that if it is open, even if you aren’t looking at the screen, it is using your Wifi. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  37. Amber L says:

    Can you hook up two of these cameras to view two different room?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Amber! I believe the answer is yes, and then in the app you have to switch back and forth between the two cameras depending on what room you want to view. That said, I have only 1 camera so I am not 100% sure.

    • Dave says:

      Yes you can, I have three of them in my house. There are some other apps where you can view all the cameras at once, but it will only allow audio from one at a time.

  38. Kyra Ling says:

    Love Love Love this idea…me and my man have been trying to figure out a solution to our camera needs and I believe this is it. ONE question though……can me and my man both view the same camera on each of our cell phones?. that is the problem we are having. He wants to have a “monitor” as well.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Kyra! The answer is yes, as long as you are both on the same Wi-fi network and have the app installed on both phones. We have the app installed on both of our iPhones and our iPad and can use all 3 if we want. Hope that helps!

  39. Allison says:

    Hi Tasha.

    Do you happen to know the exact name/model of the camera you have? I have visited the Foscam website, but there are so many options on the website, and I wanted to get a better idea of which one you have exactly.

    Thanks so much!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Allison! It is the Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle). The link in the post should take you directly to the exact camera we purchased. It’s is $59.99. Hope that helps!

  40. Carolyn says:

    I saw that there were some questions about whether the camera could be used remotely (i.e. not through your home wifi). I am not tech savy and cannot tell you how it’s done but we also use this camera as our baby monitor and my husband was able to hook it up so we can check on our baby where ever we are. The has to be connected through a separate IP address which took my husband forever to do but now we are able to view through an app on our phone over phone data (eats up data QUICKLY! I learned this the hard way my first week back at work) or through a secure web address.

  41. Wow, great post this is exactly what I was looking for, however I think we would really like something that would allow us to view the kids remotely. Especially when they are being baby sat.

    • Erika says:

      We have had FOSCAM cameras in our home for nearly 3 years. They are actually ‘security’ cameras. You CAN in fact view them remotely. I’m not familiar with the app in this review, but there are others that you can use to view remotely. We have several in our home that are used anywhere from baby monitor, to nanny cam, to spying on the dogs while we are gone to ‘remind’ them to stay off the couches. (Yes, you can speak through the camera remotely too!). When we go on vacation we set them up with motion sensor activation, so if there were a break-in photos are taken and emailed to us! Overal they are awesome cameras!

  42. Emily says:

    Thanks so much for your awesome blog post! I bought one of these cameras, and I love it when it works. However, I’ve had tons of problems with the wireless not picking it up. I have to reboot it constantly, and then it is still iffy. Have you had this problem? Any ideas?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Emily! No, we have not had problems with that, but others have asked me the same question, so I think you aren’t the only one with the problem. My best guess is that it has more to do with the wireless or the distance of the camera from the router, but I honestly don’t know since we just have not had a problem. I’m so sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  43. Blake Anghilante says:

    What mobile device are you using? How long does your battery last in “sleep” and video modes?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Blake! I use an iPhone. I always charge my phone at night while I am sleeping, so I am afraid I don’t know the answer to your question. Sorry!

  44. Kendra says:

    I am liking this!! My only question is if it’s possible to do this with an android phone. Do you know? We have iphones now but are switching away from them in March. I would love to find out if we could use this, it would be a lifesaver!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Kendra! I am sure there is an app for Android phones, but I don’t know what it is called. You would just need to search for apps for IP cameras. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding one! Good luck!

  45. Rebekah says:

    Hey, Question! Does it pick up the wifi or does it have to be connected to your internet source?

  46. Fontenele says:

    Hi Tasha!

    First of all, tks for this review…

    Is this camera able to wake up the device screen (Android, iPhone…) if there is some noise around it?

    It would be useful to have the screen on only when I really need to check my kids and off after some time… I had an Infant Optics DXR-5 baby monitor and it does that, That is why I wonder…

  47. Elizabeth Stewart says:

    Could you use another camera, so you can watch two rooms on the iphone app?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Elizabeth! Yes, I think you can set up multiple cameras and switch back and forth between views. I don’t know if you can view them on a split screen {two at the same time}. I hope that helps!

  48. kristina says:

    Great post! So glad I saw this (I visited your blog from a linky party and not for this post – but LOVE that I saw it). Our third was just born, but our oldest is 8 and in that amount of time the monitors have totally changed! I have been overwhelmed with the video monitor choices – and prices!!! My husband is a bit of a geek squad and he is going to love this. And I love the price and your recommendation. Thanks for the informative post.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Yay, Kristina! Thanks so much for visiting and I am so glad you stumbled upon this post also. This is the most amazing baby monitor solution ever!

  49. Harley says:

    Hi I was just wondering if it has to be an iPhone? Can it work with other smartphones?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Harley! I have heard that there is an app for other smartphones, but I do not know the name(s). Just search for apps that work with IP cameras. Hope that helps!

  50. Melissa says:

    Do you know if you can have more than one of these cameras in the same house? I have wanted to get 3-4 cameras for our home. I have a daughter with Autism and I would like to be able to see what she is doing.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Melissa! I am not positive, but yes, I believe you can set up multiple cameras and switch which one you are viewing. I think many people use these for security cameras and do exactly that. I hope that helps!

  51. Ahou says:

    Thanks Tasha, lots of useful information. When I looked at the reviews for this camera on Amazon, some customers had mentioned that when using the WiFi, the camera will reset itself, making it useless. After reading your blog I was planning to purchase this camera and use it as a baby monitor. Have you tried the WiFi feature and do you know how the resting issue can be resolved? Thanks!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Ahou. We use it exclusively with WiFi and have not had problems with it resetting itself, but a friend of mine that very recently purchased it is having exactly that problem. My best guess is that it has more to do with the WiFi itself than the camera. In other words, if your WiFi is spotty, then it may cause the camera to reset. Fortunately, we don’t have that problem. I hope that helps some!

  52. Andrew says:

    Tasha, great post. I’m a soon to be dad, and a bit of an electronics geek. I just wanted to stress that it is absolutely possible to have a secure remote connection to your home IP cameras, though it does involve a couple of things a previous poster mentioned, a Dynamic DNS and port forwarding. There’s a ton of information available on these topics, so I won’t go into too much detail. Many cameras actually come with the capability of a built-in Dynamic DNS, which makes it even easier. I think the misconception of IP cameras being easy to hack is because many people do not change the default password (typically “password” or “12345”).. Changing the default user name and using a strong password are a great start to making your home’s IP cameras difficult to hack.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Congrats on your baby on the way! And thanks so much for clarifying that for people who are worried about it. I am certainly not an expert, but we DID change our password, so I am glad to know we got that part right. Thanks again for taking the time to comment!

      • Andrew says:

        Tasha, thanks for the reply. I wanted to provide some follow up information for anyone reading this. If you do enable remote access for your camera, please make sure your camera supports password encryption; this ensures that any eavesdropping hackers cannot see the un-encrypted password as it is sent over the internet. The Android equivalent (tinyCam Monitor) to the iPhone app you mention has an option to enable the use of an encrypted password, and I would assume the iPhone app has this setting available as well.

        The Foscam camera model referenced in your post added password encryption in firmware update 11.37.2.54, so for anyone that has this camera, please make sure your firmware is this version or later. If it is not, you may consider updating to the latest firmware to enable this important security feature.

  53. Annie says:

    This looks great!! Thank you for the review.

  54. Laurie says:

    Thank you! Just Thank you!

  55. Vivian says:

    We are looking into getting this monitor. It looks great and the price is just right. :) Since I will be using this with a newborn- I’m just wondering if the monitor alerts you when the baby is crying? or do I have to have the phone on? Does it have motion sensor too?

    I’m hoping that as long as I have the app running in the background that there will be some way of it alerting me- right?!?

    nervous mama,
    ~V

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Vivian :) Yes, the app runs in the background and you can set the noise sensitivity so that you receive “alarms” when the noise reaches a certain level. For a newborn, I probably would have it set on super sensitive {I was a nervous mama, too}, but with toddlers, I don’t want to hear every single thing, just crying. So, your phone has to be powered on, but the app can run in the background. It does drain the battery, so I leave my phone plugged in on my nightstand at night. There is no motion sensor. I hope that helps!

  56. Vanessa says:

    Hi I loved this post it was very helpful. My husband and I are expecting our first in September and I wanted to know if this is compatible with Android phones? Thanks!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Vanessa! Congratulations on your pregnancy! I do not know of a specific Android app, but search for a baby monitor app that works with an IP camera. I am confident you will find something!

  57. pamela says:

    love this review!! we used a great (though expensive) video monitor with my son and LOVED it but it unfortunately got damaged when we moved to a new house. now we’re in the market for a new one (or two) as my 16-month daughter just moved to a toddler bed and we’re going to put a 6-month old in with my almost-3-year old… i’m a ball of nerves on these big moves!!

    my biggest concern is this… we don’t have a way to hide a video camera’s power cord in the room and with these kids running loose, i know it will be a strangulation hazard. short of moving the outlets up to the ceiling, i’m at a loss. it seems every good video monitor i’ve found requires a power cord for the video camera (though the monitor is generally battery-operated). is that the case for this one, too?? i feel like i’m searching for the holy grail of baby monitors and it doesn’t exist!

  58. Maria says:

    Do you know if there is an app for Android? Everyone in my house uses Android phones.

  59. Tiffany says:

    Hi I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog! I’m excited to try this out. My question is… Our router is downstairs and our bedrooms are upstairs. How do you plug the monitor into a router from that far away without having a cord throughout the house? Also, we don’t have a cable jack in the room. Is there an easy way to still be able to use this as a baby monitor?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Tiffany! It is wireless, so after the initial set up, you unplug it from your router and you don’t need any cable connected to it–just the power cord. You can check out the Joyful Abode post that details installation instructions {there’s a link in my post} for more info. I hope that helps!

  60. Farrah says:

    Happy SITS Day! This camera looks amazing ~ thank you so much for sharing! I pinned it before I could even make it down to comment. Can’t wait to read more!

    • Tasha A. says:

      This camera really is amazing, Farrah! Thanks for visiting and for the pin!

      • Kelly says:

        I loved reading about this camera! It sounds really awesome! But I was surprised to see so many negative reviews on amazon. Do you know why that is?

        • Tasha A. says:

          I have no idea why, Kelly! We have had nothing but a fantastic experience with this camera. Perhaps people are unhappy with the app they are pairing the camera with as opposed to the camera itself??? I think much of our happiness is with the app as well. Hope that helps!

  61. Bravo! Man, did you cover all of the bases with this review! And the video of your daughters explains the banging around I hear in my 2.5 yo son’s room when we put him to bed for the night.

    Jeez, sounds like the kid is doing karate in there…

    Stopping by from SITS <3

    • Tasha A. says:

      Thanks so much, Courtney! Your son probably is doing things you would never even imagine. It cracks me up to watch our girls. Thank you for visiting!

  62. Tonya says:

    WOW! I wish they had this when my son was that young! Great job selling this product- if I were going to have another one, I’d definitely look into this!

    Tonya

    • Tasha A. says:

      Isn’t it awesome, Tonya! I wish we had known about it from the start and hadn’t wasted money on other cameras first. Thanks for stopping by!

  63. Seana Turner says:

    What a clever solution. I remember trying to get a video monitory when my daughter was little. It was +$300.00… great that technology is making these tools more accessible. And what adorable little girls:)

    • Tasha A. says:

      Thank you, Seana! I think a lot of people use these for surveillance, but they are perfect as baby monitors with the right app. Thanks for stopping by from SITS!

  64. Nice idea and something that can still be used after they get out of the baby stages.

  65. a says:

    Hi! I’ve been following your web site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead
    and give you a shout out from New Caney Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Oh my goodness, thank you SO MUCH for your sweet comment! I am so glad you took the time to give me a shout out. I love “meeting” my readers! PS- I was born in Texas and much of my family still lives there :)

  66. Stephanie says:

    Just wanted to update those who are looking to purchase this. Using the link about the price is only $49.00. i think its because they have a newer model now but I jumped at this price! My little one is due in October, cant wait to use it :0)

  67. Heidi says:

    Thank you for this post. I recently bought the camera and the app as you suggested. I wanted to see if you have any of the issues I have been having. I have to unplug the camera everyday to get it to show up in the app. Otherwise, my app does not show me a live feed. (Hopefully, that makes sense. Also, with the app did you have to upgrade for audio on both your iPhone and iPad? I bought it using my phone, but can’t get the audio to work on my iPad.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Heidi! It’s been so long since we purchased the app, it’s hard to remember, but I do think we had to purchase the audio upgrade for each device (both of our iPhones and our iPad). We NEVER have to unplug ours. I think the only time we have unplugged it is when we have packed it to take it with us for vacation. Did you follow the setup instructions from Joyful Abode? That is what we followed and it worked great. Every once in a while if our internet is acting up we have to go in the app settings –> click on the gear wheel icon next to name that we gave to the camera –> click configure –> click search –> then click on the camera name when it pops up –> click “yes” when it asks if we want to change the camera name to the unique name we gave it –> then click “ok” when it asks about the camera settings –> then click “save.” That seems to re-sync everything. But again, that happens once in a blue moon. So sorry to hear you are having trouble. I hope this helps!

  68. Lindsey says:

    Hi! I am so excited to try this camera out! Does it have some sort of motion detector on it as well, so that if a little one ventures out of his or her room, an alarm dings? If not- do you happen to know of a camera that does have that feature? Thanks for sharing!! :)

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Lindsey! The camera does not have a motion sensor on it, only a sound sensor. I do not know of a camera that has the feature you are looking for–sorry!

  69. Kim V says:

    Saw this on Pinterest a while back while we were getting ready to transition our almost 2 year old to her big girl bed. We had to reposition our “fancy” (and expensive) video monitor to be further away and the image was so bad we couldn’t tell where she was or even if she was in the bed! We bought this camera and just set it up tonight–WE LOVE IT!!! Not only does it have more features than our old monitor (2-way talk, pan and tilt), but the image is incredible! We’re buying another one for baby #2’s room! Seriously, best tip ever–we saved lots of money and got an even better product. I had to come back and thank you!!!

  70. Kayla says:

    Hi!
    I have a few questions! Would the app work with 2 cameras? I have my 4 year old step son and I am due with my first in July. I would like to be able to watch both of them.
    Also, I’m not sure if someone has already asked this, but does the camera only work with iPhones? I have a Motorola Droid Ultra. I want a camera that has a very clear view like the one you have.
    Thank you in advance for your help!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Kayla! That’s a great question. I believe you can use it with two cameras, but I honestly am not sure how convenient it is to switch back and forth between cameras. I don’t think you can view them both simultaneously. I am confident there is an app that would work with a droid device, but I have never looked for one. Just search for a baby monitor app that works with IP cameras. Good luck!

  71. tara says:

    you are so awesome for providing so much info! thank you! quick question.. someone said on the amazon reviews that you only can do audio through internet explorer web browser on a pc. do you do your audio through your app or do you have to do it through your computer? thank you so much!!

    • Tasha A. says:

      My pleasure, Tara! Our audio and video both come through our app. We don’t use our computer for it at all (other than to get it set up in the very beginning). I hope that helps!

  72. Susan says:

    Hi! We are expecting a little one in July, and we are seriously considering this as an option for the baby monitor. It’s hard to tell from the shot of your camera on the shelf but what, if any, cables have to be attached. What about the power cable, for instance? Also, does it have to be connected via Ethernet or is it WIFI? Our router is downstairs. Plus, I would like to keep from having wires running up the wall. Thanks so much!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Susan! The only thing connected to our is the power cable. It is wifi. Our router is all the way on the opposite side of the house and it works great. As I recall, you do have to connect it to your Ethernet to get it set up, but then you disconnect it and relocate it and it only has to have the power cord attached. I hope that helps!

      • Susan says:

        Great, thanks! One other question: does the app tell you room temp as well? I can’t tell from looking through it without the camera. Thanks again for your help!

  73. Kait says:

    Hi i am a 19 yr old mother and i am wondering is the only way to view it on wifi there is no monitor that comes with it. Like not a screen thats available to set in the room? My daughter has lots of breathing problems so I really need the best and the cheapest..

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Kait! There is no screen that comes with it. As far as I know the only way to view it is via wifi on a phone, tablet or computer. Best wishes to you and your daughter.

  74. danielle m says:

    Does it have to be an Apple product to use this app or can you use it on android as well? If it has to be Apple do you have any suggestions as to what app to use?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Danielle! I don’t know if it can be used with an Android, but my guess is that it can be with any app that works with an IP camera. The app I used for my iPhone is detailed in the post. It is called “Baby Monitor for IP Camera” and there is a screenshot of what the app looks like so you can find the right one. Hope that helps!

  75. Jane says:

    This is the best post ever! I have a one-and-a-half year old and up to this point, we have only used an audio monitor, but as she gets older, I like the idea of having a camera so I can check on her without having to open the door (especially when she’s falling asleep… opening the door would require me to start the bedtime routine all over again once she saw me!). I love that this is such an affordable option too. Camera is ordered – can’t wait to set it up and try it out. Thank you again!!!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Jane! So glad you liked the post and that you ordered the camera! I think you will LOVE it! Let me know what you think once you get it all set up.

  76. Lexi says:

    Wow, I am so excited about this! So, can you run the app on your phone all night long? Or does it drain your battery having it on for that long? Also, you said the app can just run in the background….. So does it just turn the sound on when they make a noise so you can hear them? Sorry for all the questions, and thanks for the post!!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Lexi! Yes, you can run the app on your phone all night {that’s what I do}, but it DOES drain your battery, so I leave my phone plugged in all night. You can have it run in the background and can even set a “squelch level” so that it mutes background noise and you can only hear noise above a certain level. So, we have it set so that we can’t hear every little thing {like their white noise machine}, but can hear if they talk or start crying. It’s AWESOME! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  77. Hanna Mis says:

    Hi, just started reading your blog with interest but have to say this entry left me feeling a bit uneasy. Totally not technical question and perhaps surprisingly – a moral one. Thinking back when I was a kid, I wouldn’t want my parents to watch me at all times, especially when I am playing with my sister, talking to her, etc. Also, some of my best childhood memories are mischievous night adventures with cousins that I am sure my parents wouldn’t have approved but these were so much fun!
    And I know these are your kids but they’re still little people. Isn’t it a bit invasive? What about their privacy rights, however small ones? Full disclosure, I’m expecting my first (and am from Europe), don’t have any plans to buy baby monitor – we decided we’ll just hear when the baby is crying. My sister who lived in a bigger house had an old walkie-talkie set to hear when her babies were crying but now at the age 2 and 4, she’s not using them anymore.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Hanna! Congrats on your pregnancy. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and express your concerns. I don’t know if it will impact your views at all, but we do not watch them on it all the time. We only have it on at nap and nighttime and even then we only open the video part if we hear crying or them playing around when they are supposed to be sleeping. Perhaps more importantly, they are VERY aware of the camera, so we do not even attempt to do it secretly. They love watching the videos of themselves that we take {like the one I included on this post}. They think they are hilarious! Best of luck to you in your adventure of motherhood!

  78. Kara says:

    do you know if this would work with an Android device? seems like there’s a lot of things for Apple devices I don’t cross over to the Android world

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Kara! I don’t know that the exact app we use is available for Android devices, but in doing a quick search it looks like there are a ton of baby monitor apps for Android devices. Just be sure to select one that works with IP cameras! If you have an app and wifi, it should definitely work with an Android device.

  79. Anne says:

    This is absolutely great post. I am planning to get a video monitor and this helped me a lot!

  80. Thanks so much for linking to my tutorial on Joyful Abode! I’m really glad you found it so useful, and that you’re having such great success with your monitor too. We still use these, now in two rooms (playroom and bedroom), and I’ve switched to the Foscam Pro app, which is great.

    Such an awesome thing! And your kiddos (and their room) are adorable.

  81. Kate says:

    Do you know if there is an Android app you can use? I hope so, or we might have to invest in an iPad!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Kate! I feel certain that there must be, but I have never investigated it. Just search for a baby monitor app that works with an IP camera. I bet you will find something!

  82. Asheley says:

    Do you know if you are able to use it on an IPAD? Are you able to connect more than one phone into the camera as long as you have the password?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Ashley! Yes, we have the app on our iPad, my iPhone, my husband’s iPhone AND our nanny’s iPhone. I hope that helps!

  83. Sarah says:

    Hey, thanks for all this! I’m excited to get it set up! I ordered the camera and am getting the app now. I went to the link you have though and all it’s said was “Sorry!” It didn’t have a blog post. Do you know what happened to the installation instructions?
    Thanks!

  84. Meagan says:

    I have been using foscam cameras for 2 years now and I love them! I have 4 cameras stashed around the house. My husband was able to set it up to allow us to view the cameras when we are not at home and also allow Grandma’s to access the ones for our two babies and they love watching them go to bed. It’s especially nice since we have family living far away.
    I asked my husband to explain to me how he did it so I could share- but my brain literally turned to mush as he did. He said words like “dynamic DNS” and “port forwarding”. If you have a computer pro around- I’m sure they could figure it out too!

  85. This is SO awesome!!! I can’t believe it can do all that for the price. I had no idea this was out there. We’re considering having another and the SECOND I find out (if we’re successful), my first move, after telling my husband, will be to scramble onto Amazon and nab that sucker!
    Oh, and can we just take a second to laugh hysterically at the girls’ video? That’s gotta be hard to discipline them back to bed when they’re being so dang cute in their “rebellion”. Love it!
    -Sandra

    • Tasha A. says:

      Sandra, it really is an awesome option! It is hard to get mad at them when they are enjoying themselves that much. Especially when they are technically staying in bed. Ahhhh, the dilemmas of parenthood!

  86. Brooke says:

    Do you know if you can use two video cam on one iPhone app?? I have two kids that I would like to have two monitors?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Brooke! I am not positive, but I am fairly certain you can have two cameras with two different names and toggle between them. I do not, however, think you can have both “running” on your phone at the same time. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  87. This is such a great posts! I literally LOL’d at the video of your girls. My day is coming SOON! Nick finally got ours set up, and tonight is the first time I’m spying on the girls! It’s SO creapy and fun at the same time! It’s really not necessary for us to watch them now when they’re confined, but when we move them to their toddler room, it’s going to be a whole other ballgame. THANKS so much for this suggestion! If I speak of it in a blog post, I’ll definitely link to this post!

    • Tasha A. says:

      My pleasure, Beth! So glad you got your camera set up. It is a little creepy to see their eyes open, isn’t it? It’s totally like National Geographic night photography :) Glad you enjoyed the video of my monkeys playing around. Just WAIT until you see all of the funny videos you will get of your sweet girls with this camera!

  88. Oh I needed this when Tootsie came along and we had to put out boys into bunk beds {nightmare!}. I so wish we would have had a camera to spy on them.

    Thanks so much for the info! Passing this along to my cousin who just had twin girls!

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