Baby Monitors for Deaf Parents (Updated 2020)

Baby monitors for deaf & hard of hearing parents

Last updated July 2020 (in progress as I research)

My frustrating search for baby monitors kickstarted this website! I wanted a nice monitor that ALSO had some vibration feature for me for when I didn’t have my hearing aid in at night. My husband hears normally, so I wanted video, audio, and vibration.

List is now divided by traditional hardware-only monitors and smart baby monitors.


Note: if you buy a product from another country than your own, please double-check that your monitor frequency won’t interfere with emergency services! For example, many American baby monitors aren’t allowed in Germany for this reason.

Sarabec MONA (made in U.K. but should work in U.S.)


Sonic Alert Baby Cry Signaler

If you’re totally deaf, you probably already have a good range of home products that integrate nicely when you need to consider baby equipment, but in the interest of making sure all the best information is in one spot, I’d like to feature this popular suite by Sonic Alert here:

Baby Cry Signaler: This needs the strobe attachment at the least to function properly, and also works well with the Sonic Boom system. Just plug this into an outlet.

Strobe receiver: When the Baby Cry Signaler picks up sound, the strobe light will flash. Note: also compatible with Sonic Alert’s telephone and doorbell notification hardware.

Sonic Boom Alarm Clock: Compatible with the baby signaler, this alarm functions by activating a STRONG under-mattress vibrator, and/or can flash a lamp you have plugged into it.

This is a great suite of products, because they are specifically MADE for the deaf/hard of hearing. I had the alarm clock in high school and part of college, and there’s nothing that’ll get you up more effectively than a near-earthquake from the vibration pad, and lamp flashing simultaneously if you so choose. Hell, a great purchase for a teenager that doesn’t even have hearing loss, probably. One small criticism might be that the alarm clock is literally the same as when I got it back in… the early 2000s? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but just know you’re not dealing with real cutting-edge technology.

QUICK JULY 2020 update: Your best bet right now may be this suite or another alerting device (I’m still doing some homework) in combination with a traditional or smart video monitor. -Emily

Summer Infant Babble Band



I’m slowly coming around to the fact that the future for deaf parents is going to be pretty reliant on the smartphone, and its vibration alert settings. Unfortunately, customizing the vibration pattern to one that is strong/extended is not allowed for third-party apps on the iPhone; I’m not sure about others. That said, here’s my current list of promising smartphone-friendly options for deaf and HoH parents, BUT the vibration may not be enough to wake you.

If you hate the idea of sleeping with your phone under your pillow, you may want to stick with a vibration pad or light flasher option.


A powerful smart baby monitor that can even provide sleep tracking and analytics if you opt into their subscription model. (Never fear, the basics are still free). The initial price for the “suite” is premium, to be sure, but the video quality and alerts are exceptional.

Nanit was kind enough to send me one of their monitors for trial and review last fall, specifically from the perspective of the deaf parent. As you know, I wear a hearing aid during the day, but I take it out to sleep and cannot hear my son crying. I have a traditional baby monitor with a plug-in vibration pad (sadly discontinued), so I was really excited to explore a smartphone-friendly option. Set up is particular, but they make it easy with templates and clear instructions.

Drawbacks: The baby cry alert tone/vibration is too short to wake a sleeping parent. My understanding is that right now, a third party app on my iPhone is restricted in their ability to have a custom/extended vibration alert. I wear a FitBit that I customized to port the alert buzz through to my wrist, but it’s a quick one–works great during the day (naptimes, etc) but not enough to wake me at night.

That said, it’s an amazing monitor that does a great job of picking up on crying and motion, and I loved being able to check in on my son sleeping even when the sitter was at the house and I was out running errands.

Cocoon Cam

Same concept, except the price is a lot more friendly and there’s even some breathing monitor function built into this as well, which is nice. Another really nice thing for deaf parents looking for the right thing is that you can try this risk-free for 100 nights, and if it’s not a good fit, return it! There are no subscription models unlike the Nanit, so this might be a good option for someone looking primarily for “wake me if the baby’s crying” video monitor functionality with the added security of being able to easily return it early on. If you want all the bells and whistles, you’re more likely to be swayed by the Nanit.

iBaby Monitor

The HD feed looks amazing, and it’s so cool how you can pan around to look at your little one. I will say, if your wifi goes out, so does your monitor, and it may be an extra drain on your phone battery. There’s a few different models. This one (with HD) does require a consistently high internet connection.

Baby Monitor 3G App

Baby Monitor 3G Website with links to app purchase

Not even a physical purchase! And it’s cheap—only $3-5 depending on what device you set it up on. But you do need to have a spare smart device like a phone, tablet,or a laptop continually acting as the camera for monitoring baby. Your main phone, acting as the parent unit, will vibrate upon alert. The interface is really cute, too, noting the last time baby made a noise. This is a good option to have in your pocket on a pinch, like if you’re traveling.

Other Baby Monitors

For the sake of giving you a few more options, here’s a list of other baby monitors that MIGHT work for American deaf and hard of hearing parents. Worthy of taking a look if you’re interested, but perhaps don’t match the features of the ones I’ve discussed above.

VTech DM221 Safe & Sound: This does NOT have video, it is an audio baby monitor with a vibration feature. Reviews are good, except it seems to have some range issues.

Samsung Baby Cry Detector feature: I can’t imagine this being a permanent option, but to my knowledge, most Samsung phones have a baby cry and doorbell detector built in that would then alert ANOTHER smart device (such as their watch).

Phillips Avent DECT Baby Monitor: No video, but seemingly excellent audio quality with a parent unit vibration feature.



  1. I wish I stumbled on a page like this six years ago, before I had my first baby. I’ve been using the sonic alert/baby cry all this time and it works well, since I’m a heavy sleeper. I just had my third baby three months ago. 🙂 Gotta love that powerful vibration going off at 3 a.m.! Lol

    1. Author

      Glad to hear what someone else is using! And yeah, there’s no sleeping through that thing LOL. Congrats on the new baby–mine is due any day now!

  2. very useful article thank you

  3. I need to find baby cry flashlight because my daughter is deaf she will have baby on august 13

  4. Does the baby cry signaler require the strobe receiver if you have the sonic boom alarm clock? I’m thinking I probably need the remote receiver if I don’t want the strobe light. Thanks for any input.

    1. Author

      Hi Colleen, nope, my understanding is you can just use this in tandem with the alarm clock if you don’t want the strobe as well. That said, there are some reviews on the Amazon page for the signaler that it can be a bit finicky managing to send the signal to the alarm clock, with some people reporting it worked in some rooms and not others. Thanks!

  5. I work at a homeless shelter in Longview WA. I have a client who is deaf and has 3 children with her (the youngest is a few weeks old). Can you please help me locate services to provide (hopefully for free) a flashing baby monitor for this mother. Thanks

  6. Author

    Hi Holly,

    What amazing work you’re doing! I am unaware of a specific free service for this purpose, and the only flashing baby monitor system I’m aware of is the Sonic Alert suite. It may be worth reaching out to them. Alternatively, if she has access to a relatively newer smartphone and a spare device, she can use the Baby Monitor 3G app if she thinks the phone vibration would wake her. Best of luck!

  7. Hello, Holly. I am writing from a Spanish technology company for the deaf, Visualfy, and I am a content editor in the company. I would like to ask you what is most important to you when choosing a baby monitor and some other questions to write my article. Do you think we could talk by mail? Your collaboration would be very helpful. Thank you very much. My email is

    1. Author

      Thanks Piers! I’ll look into it and likely add it in into the list.

  8. my daughter is deaf and she has new baby boy that he s hearing so need vib monitor for baby cry

  9. Hi Emily
    Thank you Thank you for posting this.
    I am 59 yrs old. When I had my daughter 32 yrs ago there was a free service for people with low income and either deaf or hoh. They gave me device it was like a box.. one went inside her crib ( she was month old) and the other box connect to my Bed nite stand light. What a blessing.
    Her father was no help ( alcoholic ). I left him when my daughter was 1 1/2 yr old.
    That device saved me.
    Now .. I have somewhere in my house, can’t find it.
    I babysit my daughter’s 1 yr old ( my granddaughter).
    I like to have a video and flashing light & vibrator . All three in one unit.. is there one out there?
    Thank you for your help

    1. Author

      Hi Candie,

      Right now, there is nothing that does all three. It’s very frustrating! So what I would recommend is buying a system like your old light flasher (maybe the Sonic Alert suite) and then buying a standard baby video monitor so that you can use them together and check on baby via video when you see the visual alert from the other system.

  10. I am deaf I have a 7 weeks old daughter I need one baby cry lights where can I find one please I need it

    1. Author

      Hi Sheena,

      I hope this list was able to help you some! Each product is linked, most of them can be found on Amazon. A good light system is the Sonic Alert suite if you’re in the US.

  11. Hi Emily,

    Thank you so much for this useful article. My Deaf brother got a new baby couple of days ago and asked me to find a best baby crying vibration alarm and send it to him overseas. After looking to your article, he loved “Summer infant babble band” however I have found bad reviews on it, and many people complained about the function of it and it is only last for couple of days. So, have you used it before? do you recommend it? What is the best option right for Deaf parents? Thank you

    1. Author

      Hi Alaa,

      If you’re in the US, the Summer Infant band could be a good fit in conjunction with another monitor (like a video monitor). I have not had the chance to try it myself but am hoping to in 2019. Sorry I’m not more help on it!! I recently updated this page so please read through and see if anything would be a better fit for your brother. Thanks!

  12. Hi, my husband is deaf and he has a Bellman & Symfon system at home, I know you can get the baby monitor to go with it but its £140, Is there any other monitors you know of that would work with this system? Do you know of anyone whos tried it?

  13. I wish I had found your blog before my daughter was born 12/31/18. I have the sonic alert system but the bed vibrator is way too strong for me and is annoying. I haven’t been using it while she’s in our room with us. I have been resorting to wearing one hearing aid at all times throughout the night so I can hear her when she wakes up. I’m sad it doesn’t work because I know I should wear my aids to bed but it’s what has worked so far. It’s hard to sleep through her babble as she falls asleep though so I’ve started the search again… I just wish the bed vibrator part was let so strong and was like my regular alarm clock I used before. Just a little discouraging but thankful I found you and this list.

  14. Ahh. Wish I had found your article earlier. The MONA looks super interesting. I’m severely hard of hearing, I’m fine while awake and wearing hearing aids, but can’t hear much at all without them.

    I was trying to find a baby monitor with a plug in vibrator but was unable to locate any. I wound up using the Sonic Alert paired with a Infant Optics video monitor (that has a visual light up system for sound which is nice, but not ideal if you are totally deaf b/c its not attention grabbing like a strobe– the monitor is great, otherwise, though.)

    The Sonic Alert is an extremely violent shake and i found the cry signaler to be very finicky when setting the thresholds. It’s also very noisy, which is a problem if the baby is sleeping in your room. Because it takes a little cry and then scares the baby while it jolts you out of bed. Wish it worked more like my Wake Assure Alarm clock with is both reliable and pleasant. Now, I only use the Sonic Alert if i’m sleeping without my wife.

  15. I am a foster mom, and soon our foster baby will be moving to live with bio family, and her main caregiver will be a relative with hearing loss. The department of health and welfare said that they may be able to provide this family with a baby monitor if I can find them some prices and it isn’t an outrageous cost. This relative said she prefers a light up one as opposed to a vibratey one due to diminished sensory nerve function. I cannot find the sonic alert one in stock anywhere, and products for the D/deaf are a new area for me, so I am struggling to find reliable sources. Do you have any recommendations for other light up options?

  16. Great article. I a severely hard of hearing and can’t believe that there are not more baby alarms that come with a vibrating wristband. The only way I can ensure that I don’t miss my baby crying is if I sleep with my aid in and monitor next to my head which just means I have rubbish sleep. This is a big gap!

    1. Author

      Sarah, I did the same thing while my son was still in the bassinet next to me and it was AWFUL! Any chance you’re in the UK? The Sarabec MONA looks promising. If not, then maybe the Sonic Alert vibration pad would be a good one to pair up with a traditional video system.

  17. Thank you for this helpful information! I actually lost my hearing in one hear when I was pregnant. I’m looking into some options as I can’t hear him while I’m sleeping. Do these only pick up cries or any sound? He sleeps with a sound machine on so I don’t want it vibrating all night.

    1. Author

      Hi Catherine, monitors are really good at going off just for sharp/sudden noises like a cry. The monitor I use is set at the lowest sensitivity and it picks up his cries no problem. At high sensitivity it does go off if it’s too close to his white noise. I can track the noise level as well with the lights on the monitor (which most have). Hope that helps!

      Was your hearing loss a direct result of pregnancy?

  18. We were on holiday, sleeping in a hotel. My wife is deaf to high frequency sounds, I am deaf in my right ear. Sleeping on my good ear, I was half awakened by what sounded like a strange tinnitus sound. I rolled over and was struck awake by an extremely loud high frequency fire alarm! My wife didn’t hear it, and by the time we got down stairs to the lobby and the exit doors the entire hotel guests had been there for nearly ten minutes.
    On another occasion the phone rang in the middle of the night and, sleeping on my good ear, I didn’t hear it.

    Is there a product that could hear such sounds and vibrate me awake? Preferably small, maybe a wrist worn device?

    1. Author

      Hi John,

      Been there on sleeping through a fire alarm! If you’re in the US a lot of hotels do have a flashing light option in some rooms for the fire alarm, just takes some research/asking when booking. As for the phone ring, if it’s a landline you could purchase something like the Sonic Alert or similar product for the deaf that will flash lamps or use a vibration pad. For a mobile phone, if I am alone for the night or expecting a call overnight, I sleep with my phone on vibrate under my pillow, otherwise calls are ignored until the morning. I’m in a slightly different situation in that I have a hearing husband which does alleviate my need for backup on some of these things.

      If you had an apple watch, it would likely vibrate for the phone ring, but would take some getting used to wearing that overnight. I have slept while wearing a fitbit before and the vibration for a phone call on that is about 50/50 on waking me from a deep sleep, but could be worth a try on a watch wearable! As for a product that could simply “hear” a loud sound, I’m not very familiar but it would be similar to the design of the baby cry detector by Sonic Alert. Hope this helps you brainstorm some options!

  19. Do you know if any baby monitor that works with Apple Watch?

    1. Author


      Yep, there are several smartphone-based baby monitors that would port alerts through to the watch, but my main issue with them is it wouldn’t be a sustained vibration to wake a sleeping parent. If that’s not the issue then definitely look into things like the Nanit and perhaps the Owlet, or even an app that turns another iOs device into the transmitter.

  20. Hello
    I am a Canadian currently pregnant with my first child and researching baby monitors for myself (I am moderate-to-severe hearing loss). I too wear hearing aids but take them out at night.
    I was hoping you had a more in-depth update on Nanit or digital baby monitors. I notice you Mentioned using a vibrating pad along with a digital monitor so wanting to see what the brands is you use (for the vibrating pad) as I am struggling to find one that has a reliable back up. My audiologist sent me a few recommendations but nothing was video or digital and I feel I’d like to see my baby in the monitor before always going into the bedroom every single time to make sure everything is ok.
    All the recommendation would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you!

    1. Author


      The video monitor + vibrating pad I use was sadly discontinued by Amplicomms a couple years ago. Take a look at the Sarabec MONA above and see if shipping to Canada wouldn’t be too prohibitive through a company like Connevans and that it would work on your frequencies. That monitor right now is the only one I’m aware of that vibrates and has video, though I do check every few months to see if anything new has come out. You might want to combo a regular video monitor with something like the Sonic Alert baby signaler + vibration pad or the Summer Infant babble band though I know that isn’t ideal. I LOVE our Nanit and use it a lot as an extra way to take a look at my son sleeping to check on him but it’s definitely not suitable as an overnight wake option for me without my aids. Hope that helps guide your search some!

      1. Thank you. I’m afraid with the European outlet and if something happening to the machine it’d be a hassle to have to ship back and forth from England- so I’m going to try and research closer to canada/us.
        I was also thinking just doing two might be the route i need to take. How does the sonic baby signaler work? Do you have to have an alarm clock with vibrating pad for it to work? Or can you just have a vibrating pad that connects to baby signaler?

  21. Great write up! I am currently looking for a device that can wake me up via LOUD blasting alarm and vibration. However, the catch is that my nephew has autism and I’m trying to find something that will wake me up when he gets out of bed. I babysit him quite often and sometimes overnight as well. He doesn’t really cry at all but mostly gets up at odd hours late in the night and sometimes need to be put back in bed. I wish there was some sort of device that would wake me when he gets out of bed. Like some sort of sensor thing? Or an alarm goes off via vibration/loud blasting noise, etc. Any help or advice would be cool, thanks!

    1. Author

      Matt, this is a tricky one! It’s a little out of my wheelhouse. But perhaps there are some smart motion detectors or “nanny cams” that could send an alert to your smartphone? I’m not familiar with this, but worth a search! If you’re tech-inclined, it may even be possible to do an IFTTT where detected motion would flash a smart light bulb in your room, for example. Best of luck and let me know what you find!

    2. A lot of your typical home security cameras (that you can find cheap, I got one for 40$) or the mobicam also have motion activated notifications… some of them you can set up a specific boundary and it will alert you to any movement out of that boundary… the MobiCam definitely is smartphone compatible and you can check the camera once you receive the notification. I dont know if your smart phone vibrate is enough to wake you. but its an option.

  22. Sadly, the Summer Babble Band alarm is no longer made. You can find it on Amazon and such but ours came and the band was defective and the company cant replace it… they can only refund you your money 🙁

    1. Author

      Oh bummer! Thank you for the update, I’ll be sure to take it off my list soon as it sounds like they’re just selling off what there is on Amazon.

  23. I am Deaf on one side and deaf on the other, so when I’m sleeping I don’t hear anything because I usually end up turning over so my Deaf ear is up and the other one is muffled by my pillow.

    I am just starting my search for a baby monitor in Canada and really appreciate your list. Sonic Boom is the only system that is really recommended here but I have been hesitant to use it with SUCH a strong vibration (I think it would scare me and I think it would make my husband crazy).

    When my (hearing) husband is not at home, I wear my Apple Watch 2nd generation to sleep and it vibrates with my alarm and wakes me up easily. There is a sliding scale for vibration strength in the settings and it has a movie theatre mode so that the screen stays dark even if you accidentally touch it in your sleep. The battery life is 15-20 hours if I’m just using it to tell time and for alarms (ie I am not sending texts, playing music, using it to work out, etc). I expect the newer watches have an even better battery life. I’ll keep you posted about iPhone apps that sync with the Apple Watch.

    Thanks again for this list!

  24. Hi my husband is dead and I’m hearing. We had our first baby together 6 months ago and are still figuring things out. He wants to get at nights to help take care of the baby but tapping him continuously is driving me nuts as he can’t hear the urgency of the baby’s cry. He hates vibrations but reacts well to light but normal baby monitor with the little light sensor do nothing. Is the strobe light powerful? Would it light up the whole room?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.