As expectant parents, we were overwhelmed by the amount of new stuff we had to buy and things we had to worry about. One item we knew we couldn’t live without was a baby monitor and we knew we wanted a video baby monitor. If you are expecting a child and are doing research on whether or not you need a monitor and which one you should buy, this article should help you pick the best baby monitor.
First, if you are wondering whether or not to purchase a monitor, I’ll tell you that from my experience, a baby monitor is probably the #1 item to help you sleep at night. When your newborn baby is in the crib for the first time, it is extremely reassuring to be able to hear baby breathing and if you have a video baby monitor, the ability to actually see your baby whenever you want, without going into the room and potentially waking her up, is huge.
Once you’ve decided you want a monitor, the amount of choices in the market is truly overwhelming. There’s audio only, motion detectors, video baby monitors, options for digital vs. analog, options for night lights, lullabies… the list truly does go on and on. Here is a list of things to keep in mind when shopping for the best baby monitor:
At what frequency does the monitor broadcast? Similar to radio waves, wireless networks and cordless phones, a baby monitor has to broadcast its signals (audio and video) at a certain frequency – usually in MHz or GHz. Common frequencies are 900MHz or 2.4GHz. The number one complaint for any monitor is that it interferes with other wireless home devices like cordless phones, wireless computer networks, wireless gaming consoles and so on. Some monitors have multiple channels and can automatically find the best channel to broadcast on and avoid interference. We recommend you test any monitor right out of the box to determine if you are going to have any interference.
Does the monitor broadcast a secure, private signal? Some analog monitors transmit on the exact same frequency so if your neighbor has purchased the same video baby monitor you have, they may be able to see inside your baby’s crib and vice-versa. If privacy is important to you, make sure you purchase a monitor that broadcasts a secure signal.
Is the system expandable? Some monitors can expand to accommodate up to 4 cameras which is helpful if your family is growing or you simply would like to monitor more than one room.
What is the range of the monitor? Most monitors come with rechargeable batteries (making it truly portable) and manufacturers claim that audio and video can be broadcast to the remote unit with ranges up to 300-500 feet. If you live in a two-story house and the signal has to go through many walls, expect this range to decrease.
What are the other features I should look for? Depending on how much you want to spend, you can get a bigger, color screen, multiple cameras, 2-way audio (talk to baby), a temperature readout, motion detectors, the ability to play lullabies and night lights. It all depends on your budget and what features you’d like to have.