Shopping for Baby Monitors

White and orange baby monitorBaby monitors allow you to keep track of your baby's activities and noises while you're in a different room. Mostly, they are used for when your baby is asleep in their room, so that you can easily hear their little (or big) cries if they wake up hungry or messy or just lonely. If you have a small house or apartment, you may not even have to purchase a baby monitor. You may want one if your house is larger or has multiple levels. Or, if you're a worry-wart mom, like me, who does have a tiny house, you'll want one anyway, just to be on the safe side.

There are two basic types of monitors: audio and audio plus video. They use radio frequencies to send you information, like sounds and/or visuals. There's a transmitter that is placed near the baby and one or two receivers for the parents.

There are a few features that you'll find nice to have, although even the most basic monitor would probably suffice. Some monitors come with lights as well as sound. This comes in handy if you are working or on the phone, but still need to monitor the baby. Many of the monitors' lights are on a scale where more lights equals a louder cry. It helps you tell the difference between a sigh (let them be) and a wail (run!).

According to Consumer Reports, the biggest complaint people have with monitors is interference, loud white noise, buzzing, and even picking up your neighbors' phone conversations on their baby monitors. Annoying! Try to find a monitor with multiple channels so that you can pick the one with the least amount of interference. Or, you can find a digital monitor instead of an analog one, and that is less likely to have all the extra noise. In either case, keep your receipt and return the monitor if you just can't get a good, clear sound.

I recommend getting a monitor that comes with two receivers. We have one in our living room and one in our bedroom. Also, it's nice if you can choose between plugging them in or using batteries. This way, if you have to take out the garbage or want to sit outside on the deck for a while, you can easily bring a receiver with you.

There are other features you'll find, such as color monitors versus black and white (for video monitors), and even pet sensors that tell you when a cat or dog is creeping too close to the crib, but the basics above are really all you need. I was very tempted to get the monitor that included video, but knowing what a hovermom I had the potential to be, I opted for audio only. I knew I would just be watching the monitor instead of getting much needed sleep for myself. The audio monitors work wonderfully, and I can get a good night sleep knowing that I will definitely hear my baby if she needs me.

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Shopping for Baby Monitors

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21 comments

  1. Kate says:

    I couldn’t do without it. I like to keep windows open in the summer and need to do stuff in other rooms and I want to know if she woke up from her nap, if she is crying, etc. My old baby monitor broke and I recently downloaded an app baby monitor (I didn’t want to at first, it takes me a while to get used to new technical stuff), but my husband persuaded me to try it, since he is often away and with an app he can check on the baby and see if she is sleeping too! It’s called Annie baby monitor. I know there are other apps, I tried this one and so far we are satisfied for less then four dollars. I am told by my friends that my baby is too old to be monitored, but I find it very usefull. What I like most is that my husband can see from wherever he is if the baby is asleep or woken up, can even talk to him if he is crying through microphone and it’s on the phone, so he doesn’t have to bring anything extra with him.

  2. Moyo says:

    I’m thinking of getting just audio, any recommendations on brands?

  3. MadisonCruz says:

    getting one. heard from my mom one of her friends grandchilden died beacuse they didnt hear or see her

  4. Tina says:

    I put an audio one that also lights up on my registry.

  5. Marilyn says:

    I haven’t gotten one.

  6. PrettyBoogs says:

    I not yet purchased one But i am hoping to buy a video monitor.

  7. Jeanetta says:

    A friend bought me a baby monitor but I still haven’t used it because my daughter sleeps in my room.

  8. Jeanetta says:

    I still need to buy a baby monitor.

  9. Hope says:

    We live in an apartment and the baby will be in our room. However, I did put a baby monitor on the baby registry just in case we do make a move while I still would need one.

  10. Julie says:

    We have a small house, but I got a baby monitor anyway and I agree with the article I think I too would become a hovermom with the video monitor.

  11. tiffy says:

    lol i thought i was the only one who had a monitor that picked up neighbors phone calls. i thought i was getting a grade A monitor for a great price but i was wrong.

  12. tiffy says:

    that would be awesome to have for my newborn. i worry so much. where did you buy yours if you dont mind sharing that information

  13. emjunk says:

    I have a monitor that has a motion sensor which goes under the mattress which sets off an alarm if my baby doesn’t move for over 30 seconds. It has really set my mind at ease with my little one’s room on the other end of the house from ours. It was a more expensive monitor, but the peace of mind is well worth it to me.

  14. SammysMOMMY says:

    Of course my husband wants a high tech one because he loves gadgets. However it is not a priority!

  15. Alyssa says:

    Just need a audio no video.

  16. Grace says:

    my first child we got a monitor that didn’t work/yardsale… I so want a baby monitor with video…. our new place has 4 levels….

  17. brandy says:

    cheap isn’t always the way to go because the reception isn’t the best

  18. cheaper monitirs arent always the better monitors

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