This article has all the details you need to know about baby monitor batteries, including the baby monitor battery life, the reliability and where you can get some replacement batteries.
We also have an analysis of the risk that batteries pose and how you can choose between AC powered vs. battery-powered baby monitor options.
In 2014, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled over 800,000 units of baby monitor batteries manufactured by 15 baby monitor brands such as Samsung and Summer Infant. The hazard that was reported by thousands of parents involved Summer Infant batteries overheating and rupturing, posing a burn hazard to infants.
At BMC, we have closely monitored almost all the baby monitor brands and have always warned parents against any baby monitor with parts or accessories that may put your baby at risk. Aside from burn hazards, some baby monitor batteries are so bad that it can barely hold a charge. One of the best-selling audio baby monitors has received thousands of complaints because the battery life is barely 2 hours. We embarked on a research mission to find a baby monitor batteries that you can truly rely on, especially if your baby monitor is powered by batteries only with no option of AC power. Before we get started, let’s review some of the basic information on baby monitor batteries.
A number of baby monitors are powered by batteries while others can be powered by both batteries and AC. Several security cameras that can be turned into a baby monitor such as Arlo or Nest Cam are principally powered by AC. Arlo actually advice is that you should only rely on batteries for a short period of time. This is one of the differences between baby monitors and security cameras. Security cameras are designed to rely on AC but surprisingly, some of the latest models such as Arlo Pro has the longest battery life that can go for up to 6 months!
Here are the basics:
- Most baby monitors have an electrical cord or non-rechargeable battery option for the camera/unit in the nursery.
- The parent unit/receivers typically have an electrical cord or rechargeable batteries.
- Using batteries in your nursery reduces the risk of baby strangulation
What is a baby monitor battery life?
So, what is a baby monitor battery life? Rechargeable baby monitor batteries last for 6 to 20 hours depending on the brand and the type of battery. This is the number of hours the baby monitor can use a fully charged battery until it is fully drained. Some brands such as VTech have very small battery life while others such as Willcare have longer battery life.
We analyzed 43 baby monitor brands and even though we found a strong correlation between the battery life and the brand, the type of battery also had a big impact on how long the battery lasts. For example, the inexpensive audio baby monitors by VTech are rated for up to 8 hours of battery life while Willpower’s similar audio baby monitor lasts for up to 20 hours. Let’s look at some of the main brands in detail starting with VTech.
VTech Baby Monitor Battery Life & Batteries
The VTech baby monitor battery life ranges from a few minutes to just over 3 hours. Most users see their battery life decline shortly after using it for three months. This short battery life has been known as the biggest disadvantage of using VTech audio baby monitors.
Most VTech baby monitors use Alkaline AAA batteries to power the parent unit in most of its sound-only models such as VTech DM221, VTech DM1211, and VTech DM1111. VTech is one of the top baby monitor brands that also manufacturer toys and baby products. In fact, three of VTech’s audio brands are currently among the top 10 best-selling brands on Amazon as of this article publication (September 15, 2019). VTech DM111 is currently the 2nd best-selling baby monitor on Amazon as shown in the snapshot below:
The picture below shows the back of VTech DM112 monitor where you can open to replace the DM112 and DM112-2 batteries.
From our estimates, VTech ships about 18,000 units to parents every month and it is surprising that the VTech battery life problems have persisted for so long. VTech baby monitors are notorious for burning through AAA Alkaline batteries at an alarming rate. Below is an example of Alkaline AAA batteries:
Their batteries drain very quickly and Parents have complained that even monitors sold with rechargeable batteries built in can drain quickly. The table below has an analysis of how long you should expect your VTech baby monitor batteries to last. If your VTech baby monitor battery is not charging or lighting red, it may not be charging and you should reach out to VTech customer care. We have a separate post on what you should know and specifically how you should deal with VTech customer service.
|Name of VTech Brand||Marketed |
|VTech DM221/221-2||18 hours||Less than |
|VTech DM111||8 hours||1 hours||Yes|
|VTech DM223||8 hours||3 hours||Yes|
|VTech DM1111||24 hours||10 hours||Yes|
|VTech DM1211||24 hours||10 hours||Yes|
Despite VTech DM221 and 221-2 models making it to BMC’s top audio baby monitors list, we had great reservations on these models. Parents have had to depend on AC power to continuously charge the parent units as it barely holds a charge for more than 30 minutes. This is despite VTech promising and actually highlighting on their marketing materials that the batteries can last for up to 18 hours. See the quote below from their marketing materials.
“Rechargeable batteries provide the parent unit with up to 18 hours of monitoring time on a single charge, or use two AAA batteries (not included)”From VTech marketing materials
In most VTech baby monitors, the battery icon flashes a light when the battery life. They also claim that it can be fully charged within 30 minutes. Unless you do not have access to AC power, you should plan on relying on AC Power to power VTech baby monitors as their battery life is very short.
You can get replacement batteries for your VTech DM221 and VTech DM222 baby monitors on Amazon for $7 using the link below:
Replacement Battery for VTech VM343,VTech VM341, VTech VM333 VTech VM321 Safe & Sound Baby Monitor Parent Unit
For most of the VTech baby monitors that are powered by AAA Alkaline batteries, you should know that these batteries are sold separately. Alkaline batteries are not the best among all the array of batteries we reviewed. In addition, VTech only offers a 3-month warranty which basically means that it won’t be easy to get a replacement battery for your VTech baby monitor.
Samsung Baby Monitor Battery
Samsung baby monitor such as Samsung SEW-3037w is powered by batteries that last for up to 4 hours. It is very difficult to obtain Samsung baby monitor batteries but you could buy a regular lithium polymer with the following specs:
- Model number 434-354,
Motorola Baby Monitor Battery
Some of the best of Motorola baby monitor brands such as Motorola MBP36S has the parent units powered by batteries. You can get Mr.Batt 900mAh replacement battery for your Motorola Baby Monitor. This battery is compatible with Motorola MBP33, MBP33S, MBP33PU, MBP36, MBP36PU. The Motorola baby monitor uses Ni-MH rechargeable batteries.
Click below the image of Motorola baby monitor battery to check its price on Amazon:
Philips Avent Baby Monitor Battery
Avent baby monitor battery can be replaced with the one shown in the picture below. Click to check its price on Amazon.
Summer Baby Monitor Battery
Summer Infant baby monitor uses rechargeable NiMH batteries that can be found on Amazon here. Below are the specs of the replacement battery for Summer Infant. Click to check its current price on Amazon.
Below are the specs for Summer baby monitor battery:
- Battery type – NiMH, 3 AAA cells.
- Battery Capacity – 900mAh.
- Battery Voltage – 3.6V.
- Battery Power – 3.24Wh.
This battery is compatible with Summer Infant in View 28650, Wide View 2900, 2900 A, Clear Sight 29040, Sure Sight 29030, Glimpse 29890, 29600, 36004 Parent Handheld Baby Monitor. It is also compatible with Motorola MBP18, MBP27T, MBP33, MBP33BU, MBP33PU, MBP35, MBP35T, MBP36, MBP36PU, MBP41, MBP41BU, MBP41PU, MBP43, MBP43BU baby monitors3, MBP43BU baby monitors. NOT COMPATIBLE WITH MBP933S, MBP36S.
Levana Baby Monitor Battery
Levana baby monitor uses rechargeable Li-ion polymer. The replacement baby monitor battery for Levana has the following specs:
- Type: JH103450
- 3.7 V/1800mAh/6.600Wh
This Levana Jena replacement battery is available on Levana’s website here for $19.
Baby Monitors with Extended Battery Life (VOX & ECO-Mode)
We uncovered those baby monitors that are sound or voice-activated have longer battery lives. The parent unit for these monitors only turns on when the baby makes some sound or some movement. This feature is meant to increase battery life and is also meant to reduce radiation.
You can also read about our best battery-operated baby monitors.
Power Bank Battery Pack for Baby Monitor
You should also consider a power baby with USB cable if you are going camping or outdoors and need to use your baby monitor without a way to recharge or access AC power. The Omar power bank is compatible with some baby monitors. Click on the image of the power bank below to check its price on Amazon: