Baby monitors can help you get things done around the house while your baby sleeps in another room.
With time they have gotten a bit fancier and actually do more: they sense movement, sound and a few have an internal camera for watching over your child.
Choosing the right baby monitor for your home and newborn can be difficult, but here are some things to consider before you buy one:
- The size and weigth of the parent unit. Many baby monitors have clips that allow you to attach the receiver to your belt or clothing. The smallest parent units are about the size of a wallet.
- One-way or two-way system. One-way monitors allow you to hear your child, while a two-way monitor allows your child to hear you as well.
- Video monitors are considerably more expensive than basic audio monitors, but you can keep an eye on your baby. The majority of these units have an infrared camera so you can watch your baby even at night.
- Interference should not be a problem, but many cheap monitors are made less effective by cellular phones or cordless phones being used within a few blocks of the neighborhood. The closer your monitor's frequency is to that of another device, such as a cellular phone, the more likely you'll hear static or cross talk. Some baby monitors are fitted with more than one channel to help you deal with this problem.
- Appropriate signal range. Some home-construction materials, such as concrete and metal, can reduce the range. Out-of-range warning can be a bonus, but if you're planning to use the monitor indoors only, even the cheapest ones should do their job.
- Other features like room temperature indicators, low-power warning or ease of use can also help you make a decision.
Remember that a baby monitor is no substitute for supervision. Always make sure that you can get to your child within a few seconds if you have to.