Every couple will be happy to hear “the good news” and will start having plans for the baby much before its birth. Selecting names to buying baby products, every task makes the new mom-to-be super excited. It is obvious; you little one deserves that special care and attention.
However, setting up a cozy safe nursery for the baby is not so easy. The task demands a lot of homework and experience. Unlike other things in your baby room like the crib, toys or any other gadgets, a baby monitor is the one great device that technology has blessed us, that needs to be selected wisely and placed rightly to ensure the baby’s safety and for you to have peace of mind.
Today, there are more than 50 brands of baby monitors available (on Amazon) each offering many useful features and in wide price range.
Understanding which monitoring system suits best for you and what features are “a must have”, which one is “not so mandatory, but nice to have” and which features “can be compromised with” is not so easy to conclude.
Here, in this baby monitor buying guide, we are trying to make you understand different types of baby monitors – their advantages and limitations and different features available in a baby monitor.
Baby Monitor Buying – How to Choose the Right One
Types of baby monitors
Firstly, though there are wired baby monitoring systems, they are not so famous because of the initial installation effort they demand and the obvious operational range limitation. However, remember the wired systems are always more reliable.
So, the next option is to go for wireless baby alarms.
But before purchasing, the noise level in the baby room as well as in and around the entire house needs to be considered. This is because; wireless baby monitors work mainly on radio frequency. Based on the frequency range they use, wireless baby monitors will be either analog or digital. Analog baby monitors use 49MHz, 900 MHz and there are analog monitors that work on 2.9 GHz.
Analog baby monitors
Analog monitors offer the channel options so that you can manually set the device to work on one particular frequency (49MHz, 900 MHz or 2.9 GHz) that picks less interference.
If your surrounding is noisy and there are young kids even in your neighborhood or you already have devices at home that work on the same frequency, then the analog baby monitor is sure to pick those noises. Apart from this interference problem, if you have an analog monitor, beware of hackers down the lane. These types of baby alarms are easy to hack. So, next time you hear a stranger’s voice over the baby alarm, do not panic, no one is in the nursery, but the device is been hacked☹
Otherwise, analog monitors are the simple and inexpensive option to have.
Digital baby monitors
Digital baby monitors, similar to some of the analog monitors work on 2.9 GHz but the data is fully encrypted here. It is assured that only you can see (or hear) your baby’s activities. There is no room for hacking.
To address the interference issue, that is still there even with digital monitors and quite common in analog monitors there are DECT baby monitors available now. The Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications use less known 1.9 GHz frequency range and hence not prone to interference from any other cordless devices or Wi-Fi routers in the house. And also, the privacy and security issue is well addressed same like digital monitors.
Now, that you know different types of monitoring devices available to keep an eye on your baby when you are an earshot away, it is time to make a decision whether you want to actually see how the baby is doing or just want to hear the baby’s voice.
Unquestionably, the picture and sound quality, good battery backup, portability (of the parent unit), ease of use ( some models can be synched to Smartphone or laptops and that must be hassle free), operational range and durability are some of the important basic aspects that makes the device reliable and user friendly.
With the advancing technology and increasing parenting challenges, today’s baby monitors come with lot many useful features along with their main duty of baby unit transmitting baby’s voice or video to the parent unit.
Here is a small list of some of the Additional Features:
Two Way Talk Back Communication
With this feature; the caregiver can talk back to the baby from the parent unit. Many times, simple ‘shhh’ or ‘its ok sweetie’ from the mother is all enough to soothe a crying baby; it doesn’t matter even if she is away from the baby.
It is a sound activated power saving mode. When ECO mode is set, the parent unit turns off automatically until the baby unit detects any sounds in the nursery. You can set the intensity of the sound that activates ECO mode to low, high or medium.
Some of the monitors come with pre-programmed lullabies that help the baby to sleep peacefully or comfort a cranky baby.
Auto Infrared Night Vision
With this feature, the device automatically detects dim light in the nursery and still provides clear video even in the dark room, so that you get to see what the baby is doing day and night.
Room Temperature Monitoring
Along with monitoring your baby’s activities, the device also monitors the temperature of your baby’s room thereby creating a comfortable environment for your sweetheart
Interchangeable Lens System
With interchangeable lens system offered by some models, you can customize the camera on the baby unit within a second and achieve total vision control of your baby’s room.
This is going to be useful as your child reaches every physical milestone. Remember, curious kids will not be in the same place as they start crawling or putting baby steps. Swapping to the panoramic lens will help you once they become mobile and normal lens is enough to monitor the sleeping baby.
A basic model or an advanced baby monitoring system, undoubtedly the device has made the whole parenting experience a lot more relaxing and fun compared to our previous generations. However, with a wide variety of options to choose from, selecting a monitoring device itself should not make the parent confused. So, in this buying guide, we have made an attempt to help you decide what type of monitoring device to purchase.
Though the decision is according to your personal preferences and requirements, we hope our buying guide will solve most of your confusions.
Select the baby monitor wisely and set up a safe and secure baby room for your little one.