It’s no secret that babies require near constant supervision. One way that many new mothers relieve this pressure is with a baby monitor that allows you to keep tabs on your new infant, even if you aren’t in the same room. If you choose to go this route, you may quickly find yourself overwhelmed with the number of different models and styles on the market today. Check out the following guide for more information on choosing the right baby monitor for you.
Buying a baby monitor is a lot like buying a home security system – you can keep it simple with an audio monitor that lets you know if your baby is crying or splurge on a complete wireless system that monitors your baby’s activity with infrared and LED lights and transmits it to any one of the screens you have installed throughout your house. The following are some of the most popular baby monitor styles:
*Audio monitors – These basic models transmit sound from your baby’s room to a walkie-talkie device that you keep with you at all times. They function on a very basic level – a microphone or receiver picks up any noises your baby makes, letting you know when he or she is up from a nap, needs changing or is ready to eat. Audio monitors tend to be the cheapest style on the market, but they do have some limitations. Because only sound is transmitted, you may not know if your baby has gotten into something serious unless he or she cries.
*Video monitors – Many moms prefer this upgrade over audio systems, which enable you to see and hear what your baby is up to when you’re out of the room. Basic models include a video camera that you install in your baby’s room and a simple viewing screen that you can carry with you throughout the house. Although these monitors are more expensive than audio monitors, most typically fall into the $50-100 price range. For many moms, this is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that being able to watch the baby can bring.
*Sound and lights monitors – Sound and lights monitors are sort of a combination of the audio and video monitors. They include an audio function that allows you to hear what’s going on in your baby’s room, but instead of displaying the baby’s image on a view screen, the monitor transmits LED light signals in response to your child’s movement. Typically, these monitors fall somewhere in the middle of the price range – you can find a good sound and lights monitor for $30-50 at most baby care stores.
Brands and Recommendations
As with most baby products, the major brands in the baby monitor market are Fisher Price, Graco and Sony. However, don’t buy a monitor just because it features a brand name label. Instead, solicit reviews from any friends or family members who use baby monitors to get their unbiased feedback. They may be able to recommend a product they loved or let you know which products didn’t live up to expectations. If you aren’t able to get any first-hand reviews, check major baby products websites BabiesRUs.com these sites often allow visitors to share opinions on the products they’ve used before.