A baby monitor is basically a radio system that allows you to listen to your baby when he is in another room. A baby monitor consists of a microphone or camera unit placed near your baby and areceiver that allows you to see or hear baby.
Baby monitors are commonly used during naps or at night time when baby is asleep in another room, but can also be used a baby grows and learns to play independently. Now that you’ve decided that a baby monitor is an integral part of your baby necessities, what do you need to know about baby monitors?
Types of Baby Monitors
The basic type of baby monitor is a one way radio that allows you to hear baby in another room. Some may even come with lights to give you a visual alert if baby is fussing. There are also baby monitors with two way radios that allow you to communicate back to baby.
A two way feature may be useful in hushing baby back to sleep or guiding daddy to a new pack of diapers in the middle of the night. There are also monitors with movement sensors.
A movement sensor is a pad placed under a mattress or a clip placed on baby’s waist band that alerts you when no baby movement is detected after 20 seconds. Not only can you hear your baby with one of these movement monitors, but you can also be alerted to intervene in a potentially dangerous situation.
The newest type of baby monitor is equipped with a video camera to watch your baby. You can position the camera almost anywhere and watch from a small wireless video screen. Video monitors come in basic black and white monitors, color monitors and even monitors equipped with night vision.
Digital vs. Analog Monitors
An analog monitor is a basic radio monitor. Analog monitors can have lots of static and can interfere with cordless phones and even with a close by neighbor’s baby monitor. Analog monitors may not have very much range either. It can be hard to use when you’re outside hanging laundry and baby is in his nursery waking up from his nap. Digital monitors use a different wavelength than analog monitors with digital communication and are not prone to as much static or interference. You may also need to consider the frequency of a digital monitor, though.
In home WIFI or a cordless phone may interfere with a monitor on the same frequency. You may have to adjust the frequency of your baby monitor or use trial and error if you are getting interference. On the other hand, DECT Monitors with 1.9 GHz uncommon frequency are the best in terms of interference.
Are baby monitors safe to use?
This can be a tricky question. Yes, baby monitors are safe to use when used correctly. You have to consider where cords and plugs are in baby’s room for one. You don’t ever want to plug in a baby monitor in a spot where baby can pull at the cord, posing a strangulation risk or an electric shock risk. You also don’t want to rely solely on a baby monitor for keeping baby safe.
A baby monitor may provide a greater peace of mind when you use one, but your own eyes, ears and instinct are the best monitor you have. A quick peek into baby’s room during nap or play time can be more beneficial than just tossing that baby monitor on the sofa next to you during your favorite soap opera. While getting up in the middle of the night to check on baby may not be ideal, it can put your mind at ease taking a quick look to see baby sleeping soundly while you get a late night drink of water.
What are other features of baby monitors?
Besides a two way radio, camera or movement detector, baby monitors have all kinds of extra features that you may or may not find necessary. One is having more than one receiver. It can come in handy to keep a receiver in your bedroom for night time and have a second receiver to carry around from room to room during the day. Two receivers may also be handy if one gets misplaced.
Another feature is built in music. You can play a lullaby for baby with the click of a button and not even have to get up to go into baby’s room. Baby monitors also come with night lights. A night light on the monitor can make waking up to feed baby at night easier so you’re not fumbling around looking for the lamp switch.
If you want to make sure baby’s room is the ideal temperature, you can get a monitor with a temperature gauge to make sure baby’s room doesn’t get too hot or too cold. You can also find monitors that can be used with your iPhone or another smart phone or portable device. This can be a nice feature if you have a parent that travels a lot and wants to look in on baby every now and then.
Batteries, Wall Plug, or Both
Another thing to consider in baby monitors is if they run on batteries, use a wall plug or both. Baby monitors that run solely on batteries can drain batteries quickly. Batteries can even drain in the middle of the night or when you least expect it. No one really wants to have to dig for a pair of AA’s at midnight or while trying to get baby to nap and finishing up laundry at the same time.
Baby monitors that use only a wall plug may save you from the last minute battery race, but what if you don’t have an outlet readily available for your receiver? Moving the sofa to plug in the receiver and unplug it is really inconvenient. It may be best to find a baby monitor that uses both batteries and can be plugged in. You can have the convenience of batteries while roaming around the house and also the peace of mind of not needing batteries by keeping a receiver plugged in next to your bed at night. Also, consider if the monitor is compatible with rechargeable batteries, which can save you money on replacements.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best multi-room video baby monitor?
There are many video baby monitors coming with multi-room monitoring feature. You can watch more than one room at a time. See this page for video monitors with additional camera support.
How to extend the range of a baby monitor?
Once upon a time it was possible to extend the range of analog baby monitors with some signal boosters. With new hi-tech digital baby monitors it is not possible and it is not legal either.
Can someone use a video baby monitor to see inside my house?
Unfortunately this is possible with some cheap video baby monitors that do not use encryption on video. Good monitors encrypt the sound and video to make sure only the correct parent unit can decode the signal correctly.
Is there a digital video baby monitor that can be linked to the internet?
There are many models that can be connected to internet to watch your baby from anywhere, this video monitors can also be used as nanny cams.
How can I improve the signal strength of baby monitor?
This is illegal in most countries also it will cause many people to receive your signal.
What is the best video baby monitor out there?
See our best video baby monitors chart.
Is there a dual video baby monitor for my twins who will be in separate rooms?
There are many video baby monitors coming with additional camera support that can be used to monitor more than one room.
Is there a baby video monitor with sensor pad?
Yes. We recommend Angelcare AC1100.
How can I use a webcam as a video baby monitor?
There are some wifi webcams that can connect to your wi-fi network at home so that you can stream video to your PC or even your Smartphone. Here is an example: iPhone Baby Monitor with Y-cam
How do you get better reception on a baby monitor?
Try turning off any wireless and microwave devices between the transmitter and receiver and try not to locate your parent unit and baby unit too close to walls. Those may help you get a better reception.
What is the cheapest baby monitor or video baby monitor?
There are many cheap baby monitors out there but we highly recommend you to avoid them because:
- You will invest more in batteries
- They can harm your baby
- They are not reliable
My video baby monitor is creating static sound?
That is a common problem with many baby monitors. The best way is to choose one with sound activation feature.
Are video baby monitors any good?
See this page.
When did you stop using your baby monitor?
You can use it until you feel like you no longer need it.