Video Baby Monitors and SlumberPod ... which brands work best?
So you have your SlumberPod or you are interested in purchasing one — and want to know how a baby monitor works with it. It’s relatively simple, as our team member, Lindsey, demonstrates below -- with a tip for placing the monitor in the pouch sideways (horizontal to the floor).
To be transparent, some video monitors perform better than others and for various reasons. We have surveyed over 2,000 customers who had received their SlumberPod to gather feedback about the video monitor they used with their SlumberPod. The surveys had a great response --- providing details about what worked well and aspects of using particular models that didn’t work so well. From this information, we reached back out to customers to get additional information that will help other customers, as well as our product development. (Looking for tips for first use? We've got you covered! Check out our first use tips blog here).
A summary of the top results
Monitors reported being overall compatible with SlumberPod:
- Dragon Touch DT50
- Hello Baby (great picture)
- Infant Optics (great picture - see above and below)
- Moonbaby Split Monitor
- Nest (great picture - see below)
- Summer Infant (good picture - see below)
- Vacos Baby Monitor (great picture)
- VAVA (great picture - see below)
- Wyze (good picture - see below)
Some of the above were perfect for all aspects, and some of the above brands were only reported by a few but received very positive remarks.
From the beginning of developing our blackout canopy, we knew that caregivers would enjoy having a way to monitor their little one while using SlumberPod, similar to how babies are monitored when they sleep in a separate room at home. How did we know? SlumberPod was created by a mother-daughter duo who have nine children between them — so they knew first-hand that this feature would be important. They also conducted focus groups and product input surveys to confirm the importance prior to finalizing the initial design.
You may be wondering why more video cameras weren’t included in the initial development. Actually, we did test quite a few models back at the start of our idea (summer of 2016), but cameras have evolved and manufacturers have added features that weren’t as mainstream back then.
(Pictured Above - Infant Optics)
(Pictured Above - Wyze)
Our product development team is analyzing different ideas that could be incorporated in the design to enhance using all baby monitors. It will likely be a while before the ideas go into production, so we appreciate your patience.
In the meantime, please contact us if you have any ideas that you’d like to share with us to improve SlumberPod — for the video camera or for other enhancements. We love hearing from our customers!
(Pictured above — The Nest)
- If purchasing a video baby monitor to use with SlumberPod, look for models with a wide-angle lens.
- Check to see if your camera lens has a protective vinyl covering. If so, peel it off so that the camera lens is exposed with no covering.
- Make sure the zipper on the monitor pouch is zipped completely shut as any light will increase glare or cause blurriness.
- Keep in mind that the temperature reading on your baby monitor may show up to 10 degrees warmer than actual as the gauge is impacted by being included in the monitor pouch.
- If your video monitor has auto-focus, turn it off if possible, otherwise it will focus on the clear vinyl.
- Position the camera horizontally in the camera pouch so that it will capture the entire sleeping area.
- Position the camera lens as tight against the clear vinyl as possible with no wrinkles to reduce glare.
- Cover up the night vision sensor with duct tape or electrical tape.
- Put the camera inside the pouch upside down or sideways (sideways helps the view to include most if not all of the playard).
- Really helped to smooth out the pocket from the inside when adjusting the camera so there wasn’t a glare. Messing with it from the inside made it easier!
- Turn the monitor with the power light facing away from baby to keep it extra dark.
- Special thanks to Steven in the comments: "For those with Nanits, the clicking sound is the infrared (night vision) mode turning on and off, not auto-focus. Simply go into your advanced settings in the Nanit app and switch your night vision to on or off vs auto, and it’ll solve the problem."
- Place your Nanit in the pouch horizontally (fits easier with the stand) and after each adjustment, wait for the wifi to catch up to show the new view. In the same section in the Nanit app where you can choose to adjust the night vision, you can choose "Crib Left" or "Crib Right." These settings help adjust the view of the monitor without actually having to move it.
- For those with Nanit: It's best not to use the stand. You can plug the usb-c directly into the back of the camera which makes it so much easier to sit flush against the plastic.
Would love to know which of these cameras are wireless. We have twins and need 2 cameras— but we often find that there aren’t enough outlets close enough to where we place both of their slumberpods!
Katie Holliday said:
I used an owlet while traveling and it was very tricky to find a clear place for the monitor. We ar buying a new travel monitor for that reason.
Hubble monitor works great!
Testing this out with the Nanit. Not horrible to be honest. I placed the camera in the pouch with the multi stand laying flat (like it is stored in the carry case). I put the camera portion towards the right side (where the zipper plus when unzipped) and made sure it was pressed flat against the plastic. Slight glare but can see the whole crib. I also use the nanit breathing bands and it is able to give me a reading which is reassuring.
Just commenting that we DID have success using our Owlet monitor while on vacation with our 2 year old recently. We have a VTech for travel but I couldn’t find the parent unit charger, so we decided to try our luck bringing our Owlet. Now it didn’t work well in the monitor pouch, BUT we were able to basically place it between the 2 zippers of the entry flap and tried not to bring attention to it so that our son wouldn’t notice it and try to play with it. Make sure you turn off the blue status light from the app, otherwise they will definitely notice it, but if you kind of attach it to the zip tie thing (?!) on the front and then it just sort of hangs in between the 2 zippers once you close it up, it worked so well and it was so nice having SUCH a clear image! I would recommend getting the placement before putting your kid in, so you can make sure you at least have a generally good spot for it before fidgeting with it when you’re putting them in and bringing attention to it. It’s worth trying! It worked for a whole week for us!
Has anyone has success using an owlet video monitor with the slumberpod?
Very much wish this worked with the Nanit !
For those with Nanits, the clicking sound is the infrared (night vision) mode turning on and off, not auto-focus. Simply go into your advanced settings and switch your night vision to on or off vs auto and it’ll solve the problem.
Thank you so much for letting us know. We will update our blog accordingly and are also going to do some more research on our end!
We love our slumberpod but had the same issue with the Nanit. It’s not possible to turn off the auto focus feature and it kept clicking to refocus. I wish this blog post would be updated accordingly, since it seemed to work at one point but doesn’t any longer with the updated models.
Hi Viv, thank you for commenting about the issues you’ve had with the Nanit monitor inside SlumberPod’s monitor pouch. There are so many monitors on the market today, and our product development team has tested at least the top 10 to ensure they are compatible. Not all monitors are compatible, unfortunately. Cutting a hole in the vinyl to accommodate the monitor’s lens and/or night vision causes a serious safety hazard thus is not recommended. Although too late for this situation, did you try all of the tips regarding troubleshooting issues with your monitor?
Our Nanit (on the multistand) kept clicking and couldn’t focus with the vinyl, so we just cut a hole in it. It worked for a bit, then started clicking again, but then we moved it a bit and now it seems to be working ok. Would be great if there’s a cutout without any vinyl that’s properly sealed with seams.
My Motorola makes clicking sounds while in the slumberpod, any tips?
Would also love tips for the Nanit, mine also makes clicking sounds and the screen flashes black regularly.
For the Nanit, check with your manual to see if it’s possible to remove the “auto-focus” option. We want to make sure the monitor is focused on the child and not trying to focus on the vinyl pouch.
I use a Nanit and it keeps refocusing and making a clicking sound when it does. Any tips for using the Nanit in the pouch?
Helpful blog post, thanks! I have wondered if a different type of material instead of vinyl, (perhaps a thin mesh?) would prevent the glare and focus issues on the camera. We have the Infant Optics and it also gets pretty warm to the touch in the vinyl pouch. But really no complaints about our Slumberpod – we recently traveled for 4 weeks in 3 time zones and could not have gotten by without it! Thank you!
I have a nest and it’s never given me a single issue: pouch works like a champ!