As progress marches on, it is now possible to purchase a high-quality baby monitor and not to overspend your budget.
To put it simply, the baby monitor is a transmitting device that helps you to make sure that your newborn is fast asleep and doesn’t need your attention. Should the baby wake up and start to cry, you will immediately hear her. Parents use baby monitors both to do housework while their infant sleeps and to get some sleep themselves: you no longer need to put aside your work every five or ten minutes to check your baby’s room.
Things you should know about baby monitors:
- There are two main types of baby monitors: sound monitors and devices that also transmit video. As it is very unlikely that you will spend all your (relatively) free time looking at the screen, families on a tight budget usually decide on sound monitors.
- On the other hand, as monitor prices vary greatly, some sound only products (like the Philips Avent DECT SCD501/10) cost as much as gadgets that also offer video transmission (like the LeFun C2 720P Wi-Fi): it is perfectly possible that you can easily afford to buy a device with a built-in camera.
- There is a new type of baby monitor that also checks whether your baby moves in her sleep. If the baby totally stops moving, the movement monitor (such as the Angelcare AC701) will send you a warning signal. The manufacturers claim that movement monitors may help to minimize the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome); however, there is still no scientific evidence that movement monitors really protect your child.
- Real range of the monitor has very little to do with numbers on the box. It is possible that you will be able to transmit a signal as far as the manufacturer claims if you use the monitor in a desert or field and there is nothing in between the transmitter and receiver; in reality, however, such obstacles as walls and furniture greatly reduce the effective distance of the device. To make matters worse, some ‘long-range’ monitors are actually less powerful than their nominally ‘short-range’ counterparts: you can only rely on results of field-tests.
- Most monitors on the market offer the effective range of some 90 feet; they are powerful enough to produce a signal that can pass through at least five walls. Such devices as the Philips Avent SCD570/10 and the Vtech Safe & Sound DM221 work very well at the 90-foot distance.
- Models with a long range can be unreliable when it comes to sound quality and resistance to interference: for example, the Angelcare AC401 with a range of up to 160 feet beats all other models; on the other hand, it doesn’t offer good sound clarity and adequate protection against electromagnetic interference.
- Such models as the Vtech DM221 and the Philips Avent SCD570/10 offer very high quality sound: choose them if you want to be able to hear absolutely clearly what happens in your baby’s room.
- Some devices use built-in rechargeable batteries and some rely on regular AA batteries. It is very likely that in a year’s time the built-in battery will degrade: it might not be easy to replace it. As AA type batteries are very easy to replace, they might be a better option (the Philips Avent SCD570/10 uses AA type batteries).
- Only choose models that can filter out background noise: if your parent unit hisses all the time, this can easily drive you crazy.