Baby Monitors: Video or Audio?

I'll cut to the chase - we have both. We already had a Nest cam and thought maybe that would be enough. However, the downfall to having an app-reliant monitor is that you have to have the app open all the time and that's not happening.

So we got an audio monitor to go with it. I thought "Since we have video, we'd keep things simple, be frugal and get this VTech monitor that's compact and super affordable. Pairing that with the Nest helped because we'd just check the video to see how badly he's crying or if he's just whining but still asleep.

This is as basic as monitors get. It picks up when your baby's crying, it has a nightlight but that's it. I personally did not like it much because the battery life on the VTech is short. Like, can't make it overnight short and when we were sleep training we would sleep upstairs in the guest room next to the nursery or try to come back to the bedroom and bring the monitor back and forth with us and not always remember to plug it back in. I panicked one night because I realized that it had died while I was on duty. Thank god the walls in my house are paper thin!

Anyway, we've put that away and now use the Philips Avent SCD560.

18 hours battery life on a full charge, it plays a lullaby (you can choose from five) for about 15 minutes, has a nightlight plus will give you the temperature of the room. You can set alerts for feeding times, and adjust the mic pick-up sensitivity so you can either choose to hear everything or only the important noises like actual crying.

You're probably wondering, "Wouldn't I want to hear whenever my baby is crying?" Yes, yes you do especially in the beginning. However, as you get to know your baby's cries and sleep habits, you'll know when she's stirring and just getting comfortable again, or if she truly is in distress. The lower sensitivity setting picks up higher pitch cries and not much of the whimpers and occasional coos. The Baby is now 10 months old and while I haven't set the sensitivity down to 1 (out of 4) it's where I can hear him whine a bit but I can't hear him move around (the highest setting will pick that sheets sounds right up).

I do wish I'd just paid a bit more and gotten the next model up because you can start the lullaby over remotely but that's not a huge issue.

As for the Nest cam, we went ahead and got a second unit for our living room. We also have the thermostat in the house so everything is accessible via our phones and we can also watch over him on our Apple TVs so that's a nice function. The Nest cam doesn't archive any video, and we only recently started subscribing because I love saving clips of fun things The Baby's done that I didn't have time to whip my phone out to capture. Plus The Husband and I love gadgets so we will take any excuse for more in the house. However if you can't be bothered, you can go just audio or get a video AND audio monitor in one!

Do you have any recommendations for other monitors? I'd love for you to share it in comments so the new parents following along have even more options!