Shop Monitors & Sound Machines With Expert Advice
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Curated Experts Can Help You Find the Best Monitor for You and Your Family
One thing expecting parents don’t always realize before they bring home their baby is how hard it is to check on an infant up close without waking them up. You can master the tip-toe, leave the door ever-so-slightly ajar, or try to avoid the creaky floorboards, but it’s a gamble every time you walk into their nursery room while they’re sleeping.
This is exactly why monitors were created—making it easier for you to keep tabs on your baby with the beauty of technology. While electronic baby monitors used to be limited to audio-only, high-definition video monitoring is now the most popular way to keep tabs on a baby, and you can often do it right from your phone! Curated Baby & Toddler Experts can help you choose a monitor that will work best for your needs and living space, and they can also help you create a personalized registry with all the latest-and-greatest gadgets!
Types of Monitors
All baby monitors are electronic devices made of two parts: a transmitter (the baby unit) for the baby’s room, and a receiver (parent unit) for Mom, Dad, or anyone else to keep with them, whether they’re in the next room or out to dinner while the sitter is at home with the baby. The types of monitors can be broken down into three categories: audio, video, and baby movement monitors.
Audio monitors are audio-only devices that let you listen in on your baby without seeing them. They operate by sending sound from the baby unit to the parent unit through a selected radio frequency band. When choosing between analog or digital monitors, opt for digital as the signal is encoded and less likely to be heard or interfered with by others. These are the most affordable and simple monitors, which can be an ideal extra set for trips or keeping at a grandparent’s house. Some have two-way options so that your child can hear your voice if they find that comforting.
Video monitors have a camera that sends video to a receiver with a screen or to a smartphone, so parents can watch their babies from afar. The camera can usually be mounted to a wall, clipped to a crib railing, or placed on a nearby tabletop in the baby’s room. These monitors can operate digitally, via WiFi, or with a combo of both.
- Traditional video monitors include a camera and video screen (the parent unit), which can be plugged in or used wirelessly but must be within a specific range to function.
- WiFi monitors use a wireless connection to transmit video from the camera to your smartphone and can work anywhere as long as you have service.
- Hybrid monitors can be used either as a traditional video monitor with a parent unit or by sending video to your phone.
Baby movement monitors track a baby’s movement while they sleep, sometimes monitoring their vitals as well, such as breathing, heart rate, and oxygen saturation, as well as room temperature. These stats can give parents peace of mind as newborns hardly move while they sleep, and it can be difficult to tell if they’re breathing normally without getting close to them. Designed for use with newborns in their first few months, movement monitors are often worn, as a sock or a band over a child’s clothing, or go underneath crib bedding. By the time a baby starts moving more, around six to nine months, a movement monitor is usually no longer needed. They can be used in addition to a video monitor (some are sold as bundles) and tend to be the most expensive type of baby monitor.
How to Choose a Baby Monitor
When shopping for a monitor, it’s important to consider the size of your home, your budget, and your comfort level/desired level of monitoring. Maybe you have a small home and it’s easy to peek in on your child frequently. In that case, a simple audio or video monitor may be for you.
Pay attention to a monitor’s range, the size of your home, and whether it operates on batteries, requires a wall plug, or works with your phone. Some video monitors have night vision and zoom capabilities, both of which are useful features.
Here are some other features you’ll want to take into consideration:
- Range: As long as you have a strong wireless connection in every part of your home, a WiFi video monitor shouldn’t present any issues. But if you plan to use your audio monitor while gardening outside or while several rooms or floors away from your baby, the distance between the transmitter and receiver and the strength of the signal can impact how well the monitor works.
- Screen size: When it comes to video monitors, not all screens are created equal. Larger screens with higher resolutions will result in a clearer image. These tend to be more expensive, so consider what your priorities are.
- Two-way communication: Do you think you’ll want to talk to your baby while they’re away from you? Some monitors allow you to speak to the baby with the push of a button.
- Battery life: Many monitors have an electrical cord or battery options, and some are rechargeable. Some burn through batteries at fast rates, so look for those with a long battery life.
- Privacy: Keep in mind that audio monitors that operate on public transmission frequencies can cross wires with anyone with a receiver (such as a two-way radio, Walkie-Talkie, or another baby monitor). Choose digital over analog audio monitors, and look for those with a 2.4 GHz FHSS wireless transmission. When setting up a WiFi video monitor, change the camera’s password from the default and make sure it’s different from your home’s WiFi password (which should also be secure). This will make sure no one else can access your monitor’s feed.
- Special features: Movement monitors can provide a plethora of information for those who crave it, including room temperature and a baby’s sleep, motion, vitals, and growth.
Talk With an Expert
Wondering which baby monitor will work best for you? A Curated Baby & Toddler Expert can help you decide based on a couple of important factors, including where you plan to use it, your budget, and your desired level of monitoring. Experts can help with navigating the long list of options and get you the products that will help you keep a close eye on your baby without being in the same room. They can also help you create a customized registry with your most-wanted items! Chat with a Baby & Toddler Expert to get started.