A baby monitor can give parents much-needed peace of mind, allowing them to get some sleep or get some work done while their little one naps. Baby monitors have come a long way in recent years. If you're in the market for a new one, you might be wondering what kind of features are available and which ones are right for your family. This blog post will help you sort through the options and make an informed decision about which baby monitor is right for you.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Baby Monitor
If you're shopping for a baby monitor, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. First, decide what kind of monitoring you want to do. There are audio-only monitors, which are great if all you need is to hear your baby's cries. There are also baby monitors with cameras, which allow you to see and hear your baby. Some video monitors even come with additional features like temperature sensors and two-way audio.
Next, think about what kind of range you need. For example, if you have a large home, you'll want a monitor with a longer range so that you can still hear your baby even if you're in another part of the house. On the other hand, if you live in an apartment or condo, you might not need as much range.
Finally, consider your budget. Baby monitors can range in price from around $30 to $500 or more. Decide how much you're willing to spend and then look for a monitor that fits within your budget while still offering the features that are most important to you.
Analog vs. Digital Baby Monitors
One of the first things you'll need to decide when choosing a baby monitor is whether you want an analog or digital model.
Analog monitors use radio frequencies (similar to a cordless phone) to transmit audio and video signals from the transmitter (in the baby's room) to the receiver (in your room). Digital monitors use a 2.4 GHz frequency to accomplish the same thing.
Generally speaking, digital models are more expensive than analog models, but they offer a few advantages.
First, digital models are less likely to be interfered with by other electronic devices in your home, like microwaves or cordless phones. Second, digital models usually come with extra features like two-way talk (so you can soothe your baby without going into his or her room) and temperature sensors.
Video Baby Monitors
If you want to be able to see your baby while he or she sleeps, you'll want a video baby monitor with camera. There are two main types of video monitors: those that come with a dedicated handheld parent unit, and those that stream live video footage to your smartphone or tablet via an app.
Dedicated parent units come with a built-in screen so you don't need any other devices in order to keep an eye on your little one. The main advantages of these units are that they're usually cheaper than their smartphone counterparts and have longer battery life (since they're not streaming live video 24/7).
However, they can be a bit harder to set up and usually only allow you to see and hear your baby—you can't soothe him or her remotely with a dedicated parent unit unless it has two-way talk capability built in.
Live streaming video monitors use your home's Wi-Fi connection to send live footage of your baby directly to your smartphone or tablet. Wifi baby monitors are generally more expensive than dedicated parent units but offer some advantages; most notably, you can check on your baby no matter where you are as long as you have an Internet connection—perfect for those times when you need to step out of the house but still want to keep an eye on things.
They also tend to have more bells and whistles than dedicated parent units, like temperature sensors and two-way talk capability, making them, in my opinion the best baby monitors.
Things To Look For When Purchasing A Baby Monitor
When purchasing any type of baby monitor, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind:
How far away from the infant's crib do you need to be able walk and still hear/see everything clearly? Most monitors have a range of about 600 feet—but this can vary depending on things like wall thickness and interference from other electronic devices in your home.
If you opt for a battery-powered model (as opposed to one that plugs into an outlet), how long will the batteries last? Most handheld parent units will need to be rechargeable—and some can even be plugged into your car's cigarette lighter!
Obviously, you'll want to find a monitor that fits within your budget—but don't sacrifice safety for price. In general, higher quality models with more features will cost more than lower quality models with fewer features—but it's worth it for the peace of mind knowing that your little one is being monitored closely.
Common Baby Monitor Features
Most baby monitors come with some basic features, but there are also some optional ones that may be worth considering. Here are some common features that you'll find on most baby monitors:
This allows you to adjust the volume of the sound coming from the monitor so that it's not too loud or too soft.
LED sound indicator
This is a visual representation of the sound level coming from the baby's room. It's helpful because it allows you to see at a glance how loud your baby is crying without having to turn up the volume on the monitor itself.
This lets you know when you've moved too far away from the baby's room and are no longer receiving a clear signal.
Battery life indicator
This lets you know how much battery life is left on the monitor so that you can recharge it when necessary.
Some monitors come with infrared LEDs so you can still see your baby even in low-light conditions.
Many video monitor come with wall mounts so you can easily position the camera in the best spot to keep an eye on your little one.
In addition to the basic features, stand out brands of baby monitors such as Infant Optics and Lollipop Baby Monitors have added optional ones that may be worth considering depending on your needs. These include:
Remote camera pan/tilt/zoom
This allows you to remotely control the position of the camera so that you can get a better view of the room without having to go into it yourself.
This allows both parents to talk to each other and to the baby through the use of an intercom system built into the monitor and is usually included on a wifi baby monitor.
This feature allows you to check on the temperature of the room without having to go into it yourself. This can be helpful in making sure that your baby is comfortable and not too hot or cold.
Some baby video monitors allow you to attach up to up to four cameras for multiple angles or multiple rooms if you have more than one child.
With so many different types and features of baby monitors available on the market today, it can be tough to know where to start when it comes time to purchase one for your family.
But by keeping these basic tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect fit for your needs!
When you have decided what kind of monitor you think is best video baby monitor for your family, check out my blog Modern Baby Monitors: Watch, Sing and Sleep Train to see the top baby monitors with cameras on the market.
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