The baby monitor has come a long way over the years. In the past, monitors would transmit baby gurgles, cries, giggles and shrieks like a walkie-talkie. Today, there are many options for analog and digital baby monitors on the market. The best monitors can transmit video images, alert parents to the baby’s mood, sense movement, monitor the heart rate, check the temperature of the room and even automatically phone parents when the baby awakens!
There are a number of helpful features to look for in a modern baby monitor. For instance, some offer both sound and lights, which is handy for parents who are working, on the phone, or would rather not hear a sudden, ear-piercing shriek through the receiver. Often, the louder the baby cries, the more lights flash. Also, video monitors can show a sleeping baby or a baby who is awake, also eliminating the need for audio tracking. Some wireless baby monitors come with more than one receiver, which is a good option for larger houses or two parents who are on-duty at the same time. Belt clips are ideal for the on-the-go parent who is moving around the house and doesn’t want to be bothered with the hand-held receiver. After all, what good is a monitor if one forgets to have it in the room?
One of the primary complaints with the baby monitor is interference. This is the danger with any sort of transmitting device, like a cell phone, cordless phone, pager or wireless internet connection. Cell phones, appliances, radios and fluorescent lights can all possibly interfere with a new baby infant monitor, causing fuzzy reception and strange voices to transmit through the receiver. Even video monitors can suffer poor reception, so it’s important that a monitor is selected that operates on different frequencies. (For instance, a 2.4 GHz monitor and a 2.4 GHz cordless phone may interfere). If the next door neighbors are also monitoring a baby, then digital baby monitors will ensure the neighbors aren’t listening in to your house.
Some of the most popular baby monitor brands include Graco, Phillips, Evenflo, Summer Infant, Safety 1st, Fisher-Price. Mobicam and The First Years. Prices range anywhere from $15 to $200 for audio-only or $100 to $200 for an audio/video baby monitor system.