Baby Monitors Guides

Baby Monitor Vs Security Camera and Security Cam as Baby Monitor

Ashley Davis

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What’s the difference between a baby monitor and a security camera? Can you use a security camera as a baby monitor? If those are some of your questions, you’ve come to the right page.

I’ve been in the security business for a long time, and I’ve picked up a lot of information before there were Nest or Arlo security cameras. To me, part of the learning process is to share knowledge so that someone else’s mistake does not end up being yours.

You can actually use a security camera as a baby monitor, but it’s important to make sure that the camera has features that are baby nursery-friendly. Look for things like invisible infrared LED light, night lights, continuous recording, lullabies/white noise, and the ability to keep the app running even when it’s in the background.

I remember being against using security cameras as baby monitors before I got into writing about home and baby safety. A friend of mine had one, and let me tell you, it was a classic example of why you shouldn’t get a security camera for your baby’s nursery. It had this super bright infrared LED light that was just as uncomfortable as a baby monitor. But don’t worry, I’m here to dive deeper into when to use and which models of security cameras you should avoid and never mount in your baby’s nursery. I’m really excited to share my expertise in comparing security cameras and baby monitors, which I’ve gained over the years.

Can You Use a Security Camera as a Baby Monitor?

Yes, you can use a security camera as a baby monitor, but it’s important to choose the right one with features specifically designed for your baby’s nursery. Not all security cameras are created equal and some may not be suitable for monitoring your little one.

One of the key factors to consider when using a security camera as a baby monitor is the type of LED light used. Infrared LED lights are ideal for night vision, but they can be too bright and disruptive for a baby’s sleep. Look for cameras that have invisible infrared LED lights or the ability to adjust the brightness of the lights.

Another important feature to look for is continuous recording. This allows you to keep an eye on your baby’s nursery at all times, even when you’re not actively using the camera. It can also help review any incidents or accidents that may have occurred.

A few Security camera brands such as Aqara, Alfred Camera and Kasa Smart Camera make great baby monitors because of their invisible infrared LED light. Other security cameras such as Ring Stick Up cam are not great as baby monitors because of their bright infrared LED light that may keep your baby up at night.

Baby Monitors vs Security cameras: 11 Key Differences:

  1. Recording: Baby monitors typically only record when there is movement or sound, while security cameras can continuously record.
  2. Night vision: Security cameras usually have brighter LED infrared night vision lights while baby monitors come with invisible or dimmer lights.
  3. Soothing functions: Baby monitors often have white noise or lullaby options to help soothe babies, while security cameras do not.
  4. Enhanced baby caring functions: Some baby monitors come with additional features such as temperature and humidity sensors, feeding timers, and diaper change reminders.
  5. Batteries: Battery hazard testing is crucial to ensure the safety of devices. In particular, baby monitor batteries must meet the stringent safety standards set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. However, the testing requirements for cameras are comparatively less rigorous. It is essential to prioritize battery safety to prevent overheating and potential explosions.
  6. Continous live streaming: While most baby monitors allow for real-time viewing, security cameras often come with the ability to livestream footage remotely through an app or website.
  7. Night vision IR Range: Most security cameras especially outdoor IP cameras have a much longer infrared night vision range compared to baby monitors, making them more suitable for monitoring larger and outdoor areas.
  8. Customization options: Baby monitors typically have limited customization options such as adjusting the camera angle or volume of alerts, while security cameras offer a wider range of customizable settings.
  9. Field of view: Security cameras offer a significantly broader field of view compared to most baby monitor cameras. As a result, they are specifically designed to cover a larger area effectively.
  10. Cameras it supports: While it is possible to pair several security cameras with one hub, typically up to 12 or more, most baby monitor cameras have a limit of only 4 cameras that can be paired.
  11. Dedicated display: Unlike baby monitors that use a dedicated display unit, these surveillance cameras use a phone App or a web application (on a computer) to view the video feeds.

It is also important that video baby monitors are comparable to cameras such as Nest but the equivalent of audio baby monitors are walkie-talkies. When baby monitors are compared with smart cameras, smart cameras may win but as listed below, baby monitors have features such as lullabies or night lights that enhance the look and feel of your baby’s nursery.

Table Comparison: Security Cameras vs. baby Monitors

It is, however, better that we present the following differences that we have confirmed:

FeatureSecurity Cameras Baby Monitors
Two-way talk featureMost don’t have two-way talk feature or audio recording but recent models – from 2017 have two-way talk Allow you to speak and to hear from your baby
Network with several camerasBe wired into your monitoring network with multiple other cameras Just one video baby monitor.
Continuous recording They do not record continuously but record events such as motionsThey stream continuously.
RangeUnlimited network capabilities as it works over wifi and can receive notifications wherever there is the internet. Limited networking capability. Except for long-range baby monitors that have up to 1500 to 2000 ft range, baby monitors have a limited range of around 700 ft.

ScreenNo display unit/screenDedicated screen with display ranging from 2.4 inches to 7 inches.
Local storage Most of them do not have high-definition video quality. 240p to 720p quality. Both local and cloud storage
Video resolution Most of them come with 1080p HDMost of them do not have high-definition video quality. 240p to 720p quality. A few Wi-Fi monitors now feature 1080p HD resolution
Batteries Most are powered by electricity Most baby monitor cameras are powered by AC with the parent unit being powered by either AC or DC batteries.
Examples Nest, Logi Circle 2, Arlo, Aqara, Kasa Cam, Logitech, Zmodo, AlfredInfant Optics DXR 8 Pro, Motorola MBP36XL, Campark, Eufy Spaceview, Hellobaby etc.

Security cameras may have great video quality and large cloud storage space but most baby monitors also have the following specialized features that make them great for monitoring a baby:

  • Heat and humidity sensors
  • Two-way audio
  • Remote light displays intended to help distract and soothe baby
  • High-resolution feed for a narrow range of vision
  • Snapshot capabilities when the baby turns in the night
  • Limited networking capability for improved privacy

Baby Monitor Vs. Walkie Talkie

Walkie talkies are a popular choice for many families as baby monitors. They offer versatility and convenience, with some models even having a dedicated ‘baby listener’ mode. This mode turns the walkie talkie into a voice-activated audio baby monitor, providing the same functionality as a traditional baby monitor. To help you understand the differences between a baby monitor and a walkie-talkie, refer to the comprehensive table below.

The voice-activated feature of walkie talkies is advantageous, as it eliminates the need for continuous streaming and emitting bursts of potentially harmful radiation to your baby.

Baby Monitor Walkie Talkie
Travel Some are very portable Very Portable. You leave one radio in one room and you’re able to listen in on the using another
Voice Activated Some baby monitors are sound-activated (VOX)Walkie talkies do not have continuous streaming and are activated when the noise level surpasses a set threshold
Number of units Some baby monitors have up to 2 baby units or up to 4 cameras. We have a list of twins baby monitors 3, 4, or more walkie-talkies can be networked and are ideal if you want to monitor twins or several kids.
Range of transmission Shorter Range (non-wifi)Longer Range
Tech FHSS, non-wifiDECT, non-wifi

Can I use a baby monitor as a security camera?

You may use a baby monitor as a security camera but most of them do not have features designed to ensure quality surveillance. For example, some baby monitors’ infrared range is less than that of security cameras and do not have advanced security features such as motion detectors and activation.

Best Security Cameras as Baby Monitors:

AlfredCamera Indoor Security Bullet Camera 

One of my favorite security cameras that can also be transformed into a baby monitor is the AlfredCamera Indoor Security Bullet Camera. What’s great about this brand is that they have adjusted the infrared LED lights to be super dim and invisible on their bullet security cam, making it perfect for mounting in a baby nursery. So, you can trust it not to disrupt your baby’s sleep.

This camera offers continuous streaming, unlike traditional security cameras that only stream and record short events. By utilizing the SD card local storage, we have discovered significant cost savings compared to relying on the $2.49/month premium plan. The premium plan is considerably cheaper though and unlocks additional features that are particularly relevant for security cameras, such as person detection and detection zones. Plus, with SD card storage, you can still set up siren mode!

AlfredCamera Indoor Security Bullet Camera as Baby Monitor

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The field of view for this amazing bullet camera-cum-baby-monitor is super wide, ensuring that you can capture most of the room in a single glance! Plus, if you need more detail, their app allows for digital zooming, giving you a closer look at your little one. The zoom feature does require you to pay the premium plan though.

I was disappointed that this camera only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi which is often crowded. What’s great, however, is that they have introduced a new feature called “Low-Bandwidth Mode”, which allows for better connectivity in areas with poor Wi-Fi signals or a large number of devices connected to the same network. This means you can still keep an eye on your baby even if your Wi-Fi isn’t the best.

This monitor is suitable for you if you have a baby or toddler, but it is also great for keeping an eye on your pets while you are away. You can even use it as a basic home security camera when you are not using it as a baby monitor.

The Alfred Home Security Camera offers more than just standard surveillance features. With its continuous streaming and local SD card storage option, it provides cost-effective monitoring without any subscription fees.

Aqara G2H Pro:

If you prefer a security camera that can double as a baby monitor and intergrates with smart home ecosystems such as Google Home and Homekit, Aqara is your best choice. While it has a slightly visible night vision, many parents have reported not to cause significant disruption to baby sleep.

This camera is separate from Aqara above as it was specifically designed to leverage the capabilities of different smart homes, such as IFTTT, Google Home, Alexa Home, Clova, Alice, Homeconnect Plus, and more. It’s all about creating a friendly and seamless smart home experience utilizing Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri to enhance your monitoring experience.

Aqara 2K Indoor Security Camera E1(Supports HomeKit, Alexa and IFTTT)

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Here’s another important difference between Aqara G2H Pro and Alfred Camera: Aqara gives you the convenience of remote pan and tilt control. With Aqara, you can easily adjust the camera angles to get the perfect view. It’s like having your own personal cameraperson! If you want a brand that can offer you both baby monitoring and smart home integration, then Aqara G2H Pro is the one for you.

Aqara supports MicroSD of up to 512GB compared to the much smaller one 64GB that Alfred Camera supports. If you want to be able to record and store videos continuously without worrying about storage space, Aqara is definitely the better option.

In addition to its advanced features, the Aqara G2H Pro also boasts a sleek and modern design that seamlessly blends into any home decor. Its compact size makes it easy to place in any room, without taking up too much space. Plus, with its wireless connection, you won’t have to worry about messy cords and wires taking over your home.

Unfortunately, Aqara also doesn’t support 5GHz Wi-Fi, so if your home network only supports 5GHz, you won’t be able to use this camera. However, if you have a dual-band router, you can easily switch to the 2.4GHz band for Aqara’s compatibility.

In terms of price point, the Aqara G2H Pro may be slightly more expensive than Alfred Camera. But with its added features and compatibility with smart home systems, it’s definitely worth the investment. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have a reliable and high-quality camera keeping an eye on your home.

Kasa Smart Home Security Camera:

If you’re looking for a surveillance camera that offers cry and sound detection as a baby monitor along with continuous recording to either local or cloud storage, the Kasa Smart Home Security Camera is an excellent choice. It provides the perfect blend of functionality and convenience to ensure the safety and well-being of your little one.

Not only does the Kasa Smart Home Security Camera offer live streaming and two-way audio, but it also has advanced features such as motion detection and activity zones. You can set specific areas in your home to be monitored more closely, so you’ll receive alerts if there is any movement in those designated areas.

Kasa Smart Indoor 1080p HD Security Camera as Video Monitor for Baby

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Similar to Aqara above, Kasa Smart Camera works with Alexa and with Google Home making it easier to integrate into your smart home system. You can also set up custom voice commands for hands-free control of your camera.

With its sleek and compact design, the Kasa Smart Home Security Camera is perfect for any room in your home. It’s easy to set up and comes with a magnetic base for flexible placement options. Plus, its built-in night vision allows you to monitor your baby even in the dark.

Kasa Cam is more suitable for parents looking for a dedicated baby monitor with additional features such as cry and sound detection. While its local storage of up to 256GB isn’t as big as Aqara’s 512 GB storage, it still offers a decent amount of space for continuous recording without the need for a monthly subscription.

Plus, with its affordable price point and reliable performance, the Kasa Smart Home Security Camera is a top contender in the realm of baby monitors. It cost almost half the price of Aqara and a few dollars cheaper than the Alfred Camera.

The key benefit Kasa has over Alfred Camera is that the camera allows you to remotely pan and tilt making it easy to check every corner of the room without physically being there. This is especially useful for parents who need to keep an eye on their little ones while they are away or busy with household chores.

Check out our list of 7 best home security cameras to consider.