Mother of two little energetic babies. Always testing unique, safe, and creative parenting tools.
How to Use Alexa as a Baby Monitor
Amazon Echo Show, known widely as "Alexa" is, in my opinion, an innovative piece of technology that every house can benefit from. It comes with a price tag, but also with an array of features, such as the ability to use it as a baby monitor.
This article discusses two ways you can set up your Echo Show to work as a baby monitor, and the pros and cons I found with each option.
1. Use Echo Show With the Alexa App as a Baby Monitor
This is by far the simplest way to use the Amazon Echo Show as a baby monitor. Download the Alexa app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and pair it with your Echo show device. When you want to see the camera, simply "Drop-in" from your app—you can speak into your Alexa app just like with the Echo Show.
Let's take an example: you've put baby to sleep in the bedroom and your Echo Show is on the nightstand next to the cot. You can move around the house with your phone and use the Alexa app to drop in say:
"Alexa, drop in on Alexa bedroom"
It will create a video call connection and you can see the camera directly on your app.
Using Echo Show With Alexa App as a Baby Monitor: Pros & Cons
- No one needs to answer the call on Alexa when you drop in (as long as you enabled drop-ins).
- You can drop in as many times as you want.
- You can position the Echo Show as you want (any room, any location near a plug but within the limits of the device's flexibility—see tips for this below)
- Your baby can hear you and even see your face if you have positioned the Echo Show to make this possible for them to see the screen.
- You have the option to cover the camera when not in use.
- The drop makes a noise—if you're using it when baby is asleep, remember to turn down the volume on the Echo Show in the baby's room and mute the mic on your side.
- Unless you have the Echo Show 10, your angles are limited on Echo Show 8 and 5 and the camera is by design pointing high, almost up. To counter this you can use the adjustable stand (bought separately) or get creative by titling the Alexa forward on the surface you're using.
- It doesn't detect motion or have any other baby monitor type features aside from video and sound
2. Use Amazon Echo Show With a Smart Camera as a Baby Monitor
This is the version that has the most functions but it does require a bit more tech setup and the purchase of a smart camera.
- First, you need a smart camera that is compatible with Alexa. There are plenty to choose from on Amazon. Ring Indoor Cam and Neos SmartCam are two good options.
- You will then need to connect the devices through your wifi and give your Smart Camera a name.
- You can then place the camera where you want it to be used as a baby monitor and simply ask Alexa to show you the camera. Let's say you've called the camera "Baby Bedroom."
- You can say to your Echo Show: "Alexa, show me the Baby Bedroom."
- And it will show you the camera.
Pros and Cons of Using Echo Show With a SmartCam as a Baby Monitor
- You can use the Echo Show itself to display the camera as a baby monitor—the screen is bigger than the phone and you can continue using your phone while you monitor the baby.
- You don't need to drop in—as this is a camera feature, not a drop-in feature.
- You can have full flexibility of where you place the smart camera (most of them are highly mobile, can be angled as you wish, and even turned on and off and moved around).
- You can use this in addition to the feature above with the Alexa app, essentially being able to cover at least two rooms if you have a smart camera, an Echo Show, and the Alexa app.
- You can't see this on the Alexa app (although most smart cameras have their own app).
- It doesn't detect motion or have any other baby monitor-type features aside from video and sound (although the app that comes with the camera might detect motion and sound).
- Sometimes there are connection issues and technical difficulties to get Alexa to show the camera.
- Unlike the Echo Show and Alexa App connection, you can't establish a two-way video call and you can't speak into the Echo Show for baby to hear you on the other side (however, you might be able to speak into the camera using the app that comes with the smart cam).
Can I Use Alexa as a Baby Monitor?
The short answer is yes, as answered in this article, but the long answer is that it depends on your needs and if you feel it meets your safety requirements and anything else you want to consider.
Using Amazon Echo Show as a baby monitor is a makeshift solution that doesn't have the full features of an actual baby monitor device, but it does come with many benefits, too.
Top 3 Benefits of Using Alexa as a Baby Monitor:
- Value for money: Alexa can be used for all of its other smart speaker features in addition to the baby monitor option
- A voice-controlled baby monitor and two-way camera connection (when using option 1 - Echo Show with Alexa App)
- Long-life purchase: you can continue to use your Echo Show after you no longer need a baby monitor
Top 3 Downsides of Using Amazon Alexa as a Baby Monitor:
- No voice and motion sensor on Alexa.
- Not as compact and easy to travel with as (some) baby monitors.
- Can be expensive (depending on Echo Show model and SmartCam, if using).
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Georgiana