There are many types of baby monitors in the market, and you can choose one that suits you and your baby’s needs. Here is a list of some handy features that your baby monitor should ideally have.
There are many smartphone apps, such as Baby Monitor 3G, that converts your smartphone into a baby monitor. Using a smartphone, you can monitor another camera-equipped device, such as a tablet or another smartphone, placed in the baby’s room to hear every sound and watch live videos and pictures of the child.
One of the things that makes any new parent nervous or anxious is leaving the child alone in bed, away from him/her. Instead of running to check on the baby after every five minutes, most parents think it is a good idea to invest in a baby monitor. The monitor transmits sounds and images of the baby from one room to another. So, without having to peep into the nursery all the time, a parent can easily keep tabs on the baby. This gadget is especially useful for those who sleep apart from the infant, and have to get up at night for changing diapers and feeding the baby.
Baby monitors may seem like an indispensable device but like any other gadget, it does come with its fair share of problems. Interference and the loss of clarity are two major complaints against baby monitors. To avoid these problems, it is best to verify the features, and choose a model accordingly.
Tips to Buy a Baby Monitor
The initial baby monitors were small intercoms that were strung on the baby’s crib. With advances in technology and design, the technical features of baby monitors have improved drastically. Here are some features that you can look for when buying baby monitors.
Types of Baby Monitors
There are two basic types of baby monitors―analog and digital. While analog monitors are less expensive than their digital counterparts, they do have problems regarding sound quality and transmission. Since the sound is transmitted via radio waves, almost anyone in the vicinity can detect the sound.
Digital models, on the other hand, transmit sound by converting it into digital data. This makes it impossible for signals to be heard by others. They also provide better sound quality. Due to the privacy and sound issues with analog monitors, many parents opt for digital baby monitors
Baby monitors are also classified as audio or audio and video models. Audio models that transmit only the baby sounds are less expensive. The audio/video model has an additional small, wall-mounted or tabletop camera to transmit images to a video monitor. Choosing between an audio or an audio/video model depends on the preferences of the parents. If you want to watch your baby sleep, you can choose a monitor with video output, while a simple audio model will suffice for parents who want to know when their baby wakes up.
Audio models with sensor pads are quite popular. The sensor pads or mats can be placed under the baby’s mattress and plugged into the unit in the room. If the baby does not move for a long time, the sensor pad sends warning signals to the parent unit.
Frequency and Range
You should ideally look for a baby monitor which has a frequency of 900 MHz or higher. Since interference is a major concern, models with higher frequency are preferable. You also need to check if the monitor operates at the same frequency as other wireless equipment in the house, such as cordless phones and computers. Some digitally enhanced cordless telecommunications (DECT) models are designed to make it less likely to hear other sounds. If you have a large house, then you also need to consider getting a monitor that has greater range.
You can either plug the monitor into the mains or use the battery option. Models with rechargeable units may cost a bit more, but they do prevent the extra cost of buying batteries frequently. Do check out features like low battery alarm to ensure that you do not miss out on your little one’s calls due to a dead battery.
Night vision refers to the low infrared light of the monitor that allows you to see the baby even in the dark. Certain audio models also feature a low nightlight that can be activated by the parent unit to soothe the baby in the dark.
Temperature Sensor and Display
The adjustable sensors in the baby monitors help you monitor the baby’s room temperature so that you ensure that it is adequate for the child. So, now you know when the baby’s room is too hot, too cold, or just right.
Models with two-way communication are quite popular. Not only can you hear the baby wake up, but you can also soothe the child by talking to him/her via the parent unit.
If you are occupied in an activity, such as vacuuming or watching the television, you can miss out on your baby’s whimpers and cries. In such a case, lights provided on the monitor are activated when the baby starts to cry. Some monitors feature extra lights when the baby cries loudly.
Models with video output have black and white or color option. Some have auto night vision, camera adjustments, cameras for taking still pictures, and even Internet and television hookups that allow you to keep a watch on the move.
Other Great Features to Watch Out For
✔ Water-resistant receivers
✔ Extra receivers for multi-room monitoring
✔ Connectivity to television or video recorders
✔ A belt clip to carry the monitor
✔ Lullabies and music to soothe the baby
✔ Models with volume control
When buying baby monitors, make sure you check the frequency and range at home. Do not buy a monitor just because it has more features. Extra features come at a price. So, make sure that you choose a monitor with features that you actually use.