What is a  baby   monitor  & why do I need one?

It might seem like an obvious question these days, but  baby   monitors  are a relatively new innovation. At the most basic level they give the parent freedom from keeping a constant vigil at their baby’s bedside (cot-side or Moses basket-side!).

A  baby   monitor  normally consists of a transmitter and a receiver unit. The transmitter is placed near the baby and the parent keeps the receiver unit. This way the parent can hear instantly if their baby needs reassurance while doing other things around the house – or maybe catching up on some well needed rest!

 Baby   Monitor  Types

 Baby   monitors  now fall into three main categories. There are the traditional audio  baby   monitors . These alert the parent if the baby starts to cry or seems restless or uncomfortable. Audio/visual  baby   monitors  take this a step further by letting the parent see and hear their  baby . These consist of a camera unit with a microphone and a receiver unit with a TV screen and speaker.

Lastly, there are sensor  baby   monitors  (also called respiratory  baby   monitors ). These offer peace of mind by immediately alerting the parent if their baby’s breathing becomes significantly uneven or even stops completely.

Audio  Baby   Monitors 

Audio  baby   monitors  fall into two further types: analogue and digital. Analogue  baby   monitors  traditionally were subject to lots of interference from other household items that gave off a wireless signal. While this still can be true of cheaper analogue monitors, today most have more than one channel enabling you to select one that is interference free and incorporate technology that lessens outside interference.

To guarantee an interference transmission and reception you will need a digital  baby   monitor . Remember that a  baby   monitor  is essentially a radio transmitter and receiver and digital radio (should you have one!) is superior to normal radio reception. The higher-end digital  baby   monitors  use something called DECT technology. This technology came from digital walkabout phones and stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology.

DECT monitors will select a channel automatically from 120 channels and often encrypt the channels to stop any eavesdropping. Because of this technology these  monitors  are normally more expensive, but (like the Philips Digital  Baby   Monitor  and the BT Digital Monitors) they guarantee interference free transmission and often come with several useful extra features:

Audio  baby   monitors  – things to look for:

o Number of channels

o Rechargeable parent unit

o Belt clip for portable convenience

o Light display on the parent that shows noise level even if the sound is turned down.

o Low battery indicator

o Night light on baby unit

o Two-way transmission – so you can talk to your baby from the parent unit.

o Temperature gauge – remember the ideal nursery temperature is around 18C (65F)

Audio/Visual  Baby   Monitors 

A recent innovation – these  monitors  let you see and hear your  baby . This gives obvious added benefits such as seeing if your baby has come out of their blanket, or if they are sleeping in an awkward position etc. However, these  baby   monitor  may also be useful for older children so you can remotely check on them if they are playing by themselves in another room.

The range of audio/visual  baby   monitors  can be limited by your house layout. If your house has normal partition (or stud) walls then the range will be around the quoted 30m. However, if you live in an old house with solid internal walls the range will be reduced – especially if the signal has to pass through several walls. This will not apply when you are directly below or above a nursery as the signal only has to pass through a wooden floor (or floors) and should therefore be perfect.

AudioVisual  Baby   Monitors  – Things to look for:

o Night vision – sounds obvious but some come without it! This is essential for night time viewing. All our audiovisual  baby   monitors  come with night vision.

o Number of channels – helps in finding the best channel but can also enable you to add extra cameras later.

o Standby mode – if you have a portable parent unit the screen can be draining on the battery. Some units come out of standby mode if you baby makes a noise.

Sensor  Baby   Monitors 

Also called respiratory  baby   monitors  these  monitors  consist of sensitive pads that go underneath your  baby’s  mattress. During the first year of life, infants can experience irregular breathing patterns or even stop breathing completely.

These  monitors  can alert when your  baby’s  breathing changes due to a cold, high fever, or other illness. The Babysense II will continually detect your baby’s motion and breathing movements, and set off a sound and visual alarm if breathing movements ceases for over 20 seconds or if the breathing rate slows to below 10 breaths per minute.

REMEMBER, a sensor  baby   monitor  is an added precaution and safeguard which can help peace of mind but it must be combined with the important recommendations of “Safe Sleeping” (sleeping on the back, not overheating of  baby’s  room, not smoking around the baby).

Sensor  Baby   Monitors  – things to look for

o Certifications – the Babysense II is currently the only Household Movement Monitor to carry complete CE registration as a Medical Device and to comply with 93/42/EEC Medical device Directive.

o Mattress type – some sensor  baby   monitors  will not work properly with a spring mattress

o Mattress thickness – check your mattress thickness. Some are certified for thicknesses up to 12cm and some for thicknesses up to 14cm.

o Mattress base – sensor monitors work best on a flat base. This should be no problem with a cot, however, if used in a Moses basket you are advised to put the basket on a flat base.

Source by Babies & Kiddos