It’s probably safe to say that having superpowers would help make parenting easier. Enhanced speed could let you reach your child before their spaghetti ends up on the floor, and superhuman stamina could help you keep up with your toddler all day long.
While it may not be an actual superpower, you can get pretty close to having X-ray vision with the help of a split screen baby monitor. These devices use one handy display to let you see what your child or children are up to at any given moment, even if they have separate bedrooms or run from one area of the house to another.
We’ve used our own superpowers to compile a list of the best split screen baby monitors on the market, and we’ve also included a few tips to help you choose the right one for your family.
Our Top Picks at a Glance
- Moonybaby Baby Monitor with Pan and Tilt Camera
- MoonyBaby Baby Monitor with Two Cameras Split 5 inch Screen
- DBPOWER Video Baby Monitor with 4.3″ LCD Split Screen
Note: There’s a lot more information below but clicking the above links will take you to current prices, further information and customer reviews on Amazon.
What is a Split Screen Baby Monitor?
Most video baby monitors come with one or occasionally two cameras that record what’s going on in your child’s room and play the live feed on a parent display. While having a real-time look at your child is obviously helpful, the downside to these standard models is that you can only monitor one camera at a time.
Some dual-camera monitors let you choose which camera feed to display or have a scan feature that switches between the two cameras, but you can’t view both feeds simultaneously.
A split screen monitor solves these problems by allowing you to look at the feeds from multiple cameras simultaneously on one screen. Each camera feed shows in a half or quadrant of the parent display, so you can monitor multiple cameras in a single place.
Do You Need One?
While a split screen monitor could be a convenient option for almost any family, there are some situations where having multiple live feeds can be especially helpful.
You want to monitor more than one room at a time throughout the day.
Using a standard video baby monitor limits you to viewing just one camera at a time. You are free to place cameras in separate rooms if you choose a model with dual cameras, but you still have to scroll through the various feeds in order to find the one you want. Especially if you have multiple children or a mobile toddler, you could be overlooking activities in one room while you have the live feed of another room displayed.
A split screen monitor shows all the camera feeds on one display screen simultaneously. You can see at a glance what each child is up to in their own room, or you can see exactly where your toddler is playing at the moment.
You have twins or siblings sleeping in separate rooms.
If you have twins or multiple children of differing ages, you already know that keeping an eye on all of them overnight can be tough.
Whether you place a camera over each child’s bed in a shared room or set up a camera in individual bedrooms, having a split screen gives you the ability to easily check on all your children throughout the night.
You want to save space in your display area.
Monitoring two children in separate rooms with a standard video monitor requires you to have two complete set-ups and two parent display screens.
If your family is like most, countertop or shelf space is already in short supply. Since two separate parent displays take up twice as much area as a single one, a split screen monitor can be a great way to free up a little of that precious space while still letting you keep visual tabs on your child(ren).
Features to Look For
Many families use a baby monitor primarily after their child’s bedtime, and night vision capability can be extremely helpful during the overnight hours.
Night vision cameras pick up infrared light wavelengths that are normally impossible for the human eye to see in low-light environments. The images produced by a night vision camera aren’t as sharp as those from a standard camera, but they are enough to give you a reliable look into your child’s darkened room.
The last thing you want is for your monitor’s battery to die in the middle of the night. If it does, you have to deal with an annoying alert or a total loss of monitoring capability.
Most monitor cameras exclusively plug into a standard outlet, but the parent displays usually have a rechargeable battery. To extend your battery’s life to the max, look for a model with a power-saving feature. This feature turns the display screen off when the camera doesn’t detect activity in your child’s room for a period of time and then turns the screen back on if your child makes noise.
The indoor signal range for most monitors can vary greatly.
Electronic signals can usually pass through wood and plaster without losing much strength, so you shouldn’t have any trouble connecting your monitor and cameras if they are all on one level of your home.
On the other hand, concrete and metal are very effective at blocking wireless signals, so getting a good connection may prove difficult if you have a multi-story home with cameras on one level and the parent display on another. Most monitors should still be effective with a one-story separation, but trying to go through two or more stories could be a challenge.
Each of the monitors reviewed here will get up to 1,000 feet of range in open space, so you probably won’t have a problem keeping watch over your child if you want to sit on the patio during nap time.
While many standard video monitors have a display screen that is somewhere between two and four inches from corner to corner, most split-screen models are between four and five inches to accommodate for two or more camera feeds.
If you choose a model that displays two images, a model with a smaller screen size should still provide you with side-by-side images that are easy to see. If you are looking to display three or four feeds simultaneously, look for a model with the largest screen possible.
Most baby monitors allow you to hear what’s going on in your child’s room, but the talkback feature lets it function more like a two-way intercom.
This feature can be helpful in a few situations:
- If you hear your child crying in the night, you can say some soothing words to them.
- If your toddler is having quiet time in their room and asks if they can come out, you can answer the question without having to go into the room.
- You can communicate with your partner if they are in the room with your child.
Our Choices for the Best Split Screen Baby Monitor
If the prospect of sneaking into your sleeping child’s room to make a minute camera adjustment sounds more scary than thrilling, this monitor from Moonybaby can alleviate that fear.
It comes with two cameras, and you can fully control each camera function from the parent display screen. Each camera has a 40-degree vertical tilt range and a 280-degree horizontal pan, so you can set a variety of camera angles remotely.
Setting up the three-piece Pan and Tilt system is as easy as placing your cameras, turning the parent display on and connecting the devices. Since it doesn’t use WiFi, you don’t have to worry about the monitor causing any connection or interference issues with other devices.
If you need a closer look at your child or any part of the room, place the zoom lens on the camera for a 2X zoom. If you want to see a greater portion of your child’s room, use the wide-angle lens. Both lenses and a lens cover are included with the monitor, and you will need to place your desired lens manually on each camera.
You can set the parent display to show one or both camera feeds, or you can choose scan mode to switch from one camera feed to the other every few seconds. The battery should be able to get somewhere around six hours of use per charge, and power-saving mode automatically turns the monitor off until it detects sound in your child’s room. You can also plug the display monitor in while using it, and this is probably the best option for overnight use.
Night vision automatically turns on as the ambient light grows dimmer, so you don’t have to try to remember to turn the feature on yourself. Each camera also has an audio feature to let you listen in on your child’s activities, but you can only play audio through one camera at a time. Talkback lets you speak to your baby or your partner in the room, and Moonybaby has also included a nightlight feature, pre-programmed lullabies and a room temperature monitor.
- Screen size: 4.3 inches
- Typical battery lifespan per charge: Up to six hours in power-saving mode
- Maximum number of cameras: Two
- Range: Approximately 150 to 250 feet indoors, up to 1,000 feet outdoors
- Setting the system up is easy
- You can change the camera view from the parent display screen
- Useful additional features
- Option to use the zoom or wide-angle lenses
- Have to manually set lenses
This monitor gives you the capability to point your cameras in the exact position you want without having to worry about waking your child up, and the system also has some nice additional features. Just make sure you remember to plug the display screen in before you go to bed.
This is the other split screen monitor from Moonybaby, and the primary differences between this model and the Pan and Tilt are the camera construction and screen size.
While the Pan and Tilt allowed you to change the camera’s position remotely, you will need to adjust the camera’s angle manually with this model. Fortunately, getting the angle you want is easy thanks to the round ball joint that each camera sits on, but keep in mind that you will need to go back into your child’s room if you want to make an adjustment at a later time.
One advantage to the cameras on this model is the built-in zoom and wide-angle lenses. Rather than having to change the lenses yourself, you can switch between a regular view and a wide shot, or you can use the 2X zoom to get a more detailed look at the area of your choice.
This model’s screen size is larger than the Pan and Tilt by almost an inch. While that may not seem like a big difference, it does help you get a clearer look at your child at a glance. The options of viewing one or two feeds, scan mode and audio on one camera at a time are much the same as the Pan and Tilt.
You can expect a battery life that is a bit better than the Pan and Tilt. Each camera plugs into the wall, and the parent display has a rechargeable battery and plug-in charger. The signal range is a bit better in this model, and you should be able to get about 100 extra feet of signal indoors.
The automatic transition to night vision and the talkback capability are about the same as the Pan and Tilt, and the nightlight, lullaby and room temperature monitor features are also the same.
- Screen size: Five inches
- Typical battery lifespan per charge: Up to eight hours in power-saving mode
- Maximum number of cameras: Two
- Range: Approximately 200 to 350 feet indoors, up to 1,000 feet outdoors
- The large screen is easy to see
- You can set the zoom and wide-angle view from the parent display
- The cameras are easy to adjust on a swivel joint
- Better indoor signal range
- You need to manually adjust the camera’s position
This model has many similar features as the Pan and Tilt, but changing the camera view from the parent display, a larger screen, superior battery life and better indoor range are convenient upgrades.
If you have multiple children or your child likes to spend time in a few different rooms throughout the day, this monitor from DBPOWER could be a perfect solution. You can keep an eye on up to four separate camera feeds at a time, and the full-color LCD screen produces clear and easy-to-see images. The monitor includes one camera, and you will need to purchase any additional ones separately.
Each camera pans 270 degrees and tilts 110 degrees, allowing you to see over 90% of every room where you place a camera. You can also digitally zoom in on any area you want to see in greater detail. The parent display has buttons for each camera function, so there’s no need to worry about disturbing your child to make an adjustment.
While the range of pan/tilt gives you the chance to look at almost everything in the room, the downside is that you don’t have the option for a stationary wide-angle view.
Another cool feature of this monitor is the sound-activated digital video recorder (DVR). The camera will automatically start recording when it detects sound, and the imaginative and adorable things your child does when playing alone might surprise you.
You have plenty of options when it comes to placing your cameras. You can set one on a shelf or table, use a wall mount or mount a camera on the ceiling. The camera and parent display are already paired, so setting up the initial system is a breeze. Adding additional cameras is also an easy process.
The monitor will automatically switch to night vision mode as the room darkens, and you can get a clear image of your child even up to 15 feet away. Additional features include a gentle night light, a lullaby mode and room temperature monitor.
- Screen size: 4.3 inches
- Typical battery lifespan per charge: Up to eight hours in power-saving mode
- Maximum number of cameras: Four
- Range: Up to 1,000 feet outdoors
- Four-camera capability
- You can adjust each camera’s position and view from the parent display screen
- Recording capability
- The wide range of pan/tilt on each camera lets you see just about any part of your baby’s room
- Easy to configure system and place cameras
- No wide-angle view
- Only one camera included
This monitor from DBPOWER offers a surprising number of great features, including recording capability, displaying up to four feeds simultaneously, remote camera adjustment and easy set-up.
The DBPOWER Video Baby monitor comes in as our top pick.
With its capability of supporting four separate cameras at once, this monitor lets you cover the greatest amount of space in your home with just one parent display. In addition to being able to see multiple rooms, you also have the ability to look at almost every square inch of a room thanks to an incredibly adaptive pan/tilt feature.
Night vision is clear, and the battery life is on par with the other two options. The automatic DVR feature can let you capture some precious moments of your child playing or talking to themselves. Finally, with one camera already paired to the parent display and the ease of adding additional cameras, you won’t have to spend an entire evening configuring your system before bedtime.
Have you tried any of the monitors we listed here? What did you think? Did we miss any that you would recommend? Let us know in the comments!