Taking care of your newborn is an expensive business. You need to buy a lot of accessories – from new clothes to diapers, to troller, and, of course, a baby monitor. Thankfully, you can save some money, by turning your old iPhone or iPad into a baby monitor. I have made a list of apps which lets you do so.
However, before we begin, if your child is between 0 to 3 months then I would recommend you get a good quality baby monitor, like this one from Infant Optics DXR-8. It cost a bit high coming at $165 but offers 2.4 GHz FHSS for better security and no interference. During my testing, apps we are going to see did lose the connection sometimes. And you shouldn’t take that risk with your newborn, especially if you are away from home. With that out of the way, let’s begin.
Baby Monitor for iPhone
1. Use AirPods and iPhone to get the audio transmission
There are few audio-only baby monitors you can buy from Amazon, but if you already own a pair of iPhone and Airpods (or even Powerbeats Pro), well, that you can use that as a baby monitor as well. It works on the new Live Listen feature that allows you to use the iPhone’s mic to transmit the audio to the AirPods in real-time using Bluetooth.
To get started, make sure the Live listen feature is activated on your iPhone. Go to Settings on your iPhone, Scroll down in the Settings page and tap ‘Control Centre’.
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We’re going to add the live listen button to the Control Centre, so tap the option Customize Controls. All the options listed in red are already on the Control Centre menu, if you don’t see the ‘hearing‘ option there, add it from More Controls.
Now simply connect your AirPods to your iPhone or iPad by opening the AirPods case next to the phone and put those in your ears. Open the Control Centre and tap the ear-shaped button.
If the AirPods are connected and are in your ears then you will see the Live Listen feature turned Off. Tap it to turn it on.
You can now hear the sound picked up by the iPhone through your AirPods. You can increase the volume using the volume buttons on the iPhone until you can clearly hear the surroundings in your child’s bedroom. Make sure you stay in the range to get a decent audio output, as AirPods are based on Bluetooth their range is limited to around 30 feet, but you could lose some range if you’re device is in another room.
2. Use an App to get the audio transmission
If you don’t have AirPods, you can still make a makeshift baby monitor with two iOS devices. Baby Monitor Teddy is a free app that you can install on two iPhones or iPads and use one device as a receiver and the other as a transmitter, just like the original baby monitors. The only difference is that it works on WiFi.
Install the Baby Monitor Teddy app on your iPhone or iPad from the App Store. After the app is downloaded on both the devices, open the app and select one device as a Parent Unit and the other as the Baby Unit.
Make sure both the devices are on the same network and the internet connection is working. For some strange reason, the apps require an internet connection to authenticate each other but if the internet connectivity is lost after the devices are connected, the app continues to work as usual.
Now put the baby unit in your child’s room and keep the other device with you. As both of these apps work on Wifi you get a better range than AirPods and you can walk around the house without worrying about the connection dropping.
3. Use an app to get audio and video feed
The previous two methods are great for monitoring your child with just the audio. However, there are plenty of apps both free and paid which can give you a live feed of your child’s room. The following app lets you transmit video and audio through an iPhone to another iPhone, however, if you want to get the video feed on your Mac computer, you can install Baby monitor 3G for your iPhone and Mac. The app costs $4.99 on the App Store.
Whichever app you choose, the setup process is going to be identical, I chose Baby Cam app because it’s free and works with WiFi as well. There are other apps which work just as fine such as Baby Monitor 3G/4G/5G/WiFi which comes with a 7-day free trial and Cloud Baby Monitor which costs $3.99.
Install Baby Cam app on both the devices, now open the app on one phone and create an account. You can create one using Facebook credentials or doing it manually. After that log in on both the devices.
Assign the Baby station to one app and Parent Device on the other. The baby station would continuously monitor which means it would consume a significant amount of power, just make sure you plug the power cable in so that it doesn’t run out of juice.
When you use the app for the first time, it would prompt you to enter a security code before authenticating the device. You’ll see the code on the baby station, enter the code on the Parent device and wait for it to confirm.
After you enter the code, the live feed starts and it transmits with almost no latency. However, It requires an internet connection to establish a connection but continues to work on Wifi even after internet connectivity is lost. It would also notify you of any connection drops and activities via notifications.
The app has a smart sound detection system built in which doesn’t require you to constantly look at your phone. Whenever the baby station detects a loud sound such as crying, it sends a notification on your iPhone so that you can check the baby. You can choose to keep the continuous audio or video transmission ON by tapping the button on the bottom.
These were three distinct ways with which you can create a temporary baby monitor for your child. The apps I’ve listed are free and don’t have any secret hidden costs. They do require an internet connection but work fine even if the internet is unavailable temporarily. What do you think of these methods, do you have a better app that does this, let me know in the comments below?