Baby monitors for deaf & hard of hearing parents
Last updated Dec 2017
My 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. It was a frustrating search, and at one point, I may have resigned myself to wearing my hearing aid ALL THE TIME which I explained to others would be like wearing your glasses to bed at night. Weird and not comfortable.
But I did find some things, even though this corner of the market is sorely lacking in the U.S. My husband hears normally, so I wanted video, audio, and vibration. Here’s the list of things I looked into, plus extra ones I’ve found in my research.
Amplicomms V130 Watch and Care (discontinued)
Unfortunately, this monitor (the one I use) has been discontinued by Amplicomms, as of Fall 2017. I am closely watching to see if there will be another model produced with an option to plug the vibration pad in. If you are able to find one secondhand, it is in my opinion, the best option for deaf parents with video, lights, sound, vibration, and optional plug-in vibration pad for your bed at night.
Amplicomms V160 Watch & Care
Seemingly made to replace the V130, but reportedly without the vibration pad option, which was a necessity for me to sleep without my hearing aid at night. My understanding is that the parent unit still vibrates, but they’ve taken away the option for night sleeping with the plug-in pad. I’m not sure why the company made this move, as I feel they could have easily left the plug jack for the vibration pad in. As a company, they’re a bit difficult to contact… This is currently available through Connevans, which is where I ordered my V130. If American, shipping will be extra and you’ll need to buy some UK to US plug adaptors but it should work just fine.
Phillips Avent SCD630/37 Video Baby Monitor
This one required a little sleuthing, since it’s not apparent that this one has a vibration feature on its Amazon page. If you go straight to the Phillips page for it, though, it is clearly stated there. That said, it’s definitely not marketed to deaf parents, as it only mentions the vibration as “silent and subtle”–that said, it’s worthy of inclusion to this list if you just want that little extra bit of reassurance.
If you’re like me and can’t hear at night without your hearing aid, or you’re deaf, you might want to favor the Amplicomms Watch & Care over this one. If you have one of these, chime in and let us know what you think of the vibration feature! Is it strong enough to really get your attention when you’re sleeping or distracted?
This is a great option to use with your smartphone, assuming the vibrations can wake you. I sleep with my iPhone under my pillow and have the alarm vibrate. Love how easily you can check on baby through the app! 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
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 smart device like a phone, tablet,or a laptop continually acting as the camera for monitoring baby. Your phone, acting as the parent unit, will vibrate upon alert. The interface is really cute, too, noting the last time baby made a noise. There is, of course, live video.
Summer Infant Babble Band
This wearable band vibrates on your wrist, and has a parent unit with NO video screen. Before I found the monitor I bought (the Amplicomms V130–see above), I considering buying this AND a regular video monitor (or maybe that Phillips above) to use in conjunction with each other, so that I could wear the band during the times I had my hearing aid out (sleep, and when my hair is wet).
One of the big drawbacks, though, is that the battery life is only 8 hours maximum. I don’t think this would have lasted through the night for me. Also, I just couldn’t help but feel like if I wanted a video baby monitor, I deserved one, and I shouldn’t have to try to make my own a-la-carte system. That said, if you’re OK not having video, this is a great way to get vibration alerts, and bonus–hands-free!
Sonic Alert Baby Cry Signaler
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 in 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.
Other Baby Monitors
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.
Phillips Avent DECT Baby Monitor: No video, but seemingly excellent audio quality with a parent unit vibration feature.
Graco Secure Coverage: This baby monitor seems to be out of stock everywhere I looked. Lots of reviews, but again, NO video, just audio with a vibration feature for the parent unit. I’ll remove this soon if it seems to be out of production.