Market and online shelves are brimming with video baby monitor options and it often leaves the parents confused. Choosing a monitor is based on a lot of personal parameters because not every household is the same and needs vary.
Here are the key features to look for in a baby monitor:
Baby monitors range from very basic to sophisticated ones and a lot of them come with add-ons such as the ability to control the temperature of the room remotely, remotely turning on soft music to soothe the baby, calming sounds to put the baby to sleep etc. While it is good to have these features, the essential vary according to families.
It is a good idea to consider the following features when choosing a baby monitor:
DECT technology: DECT technology in baby monitors enables them to use a low-frequency band. This low-frequency band is only for voice communication and not like the 2.4 GHz frequency band. The other home devices like video game controllers, cordless phones, Bluetooth and other wireless devices use the 2.4 GHz band. DECT makes it possible to receive very clear sound from the monitor to handset. An audio monitor that doesn’t work on DECT must be able to offer a choice between different frequencies so that one can choose the clearest signal.
Rechargeable batteries: A baby monitor is one of those devices that will be on most of the times. It is the same with their handsets. It is wise to choose a model that can either be plugged into a power source or comes with rechargeable batteries. It is quite a hassle to run for the batteries every time they conk off (it is going to be pretty frequent)
Multiple portable handset receivers: The whole point of buying a baby monitor is that it offers you mobility around the house. The monitor can stay static in the baby room whereas you must be able to take the receiver around the house. Some baby monitors come with multiple receivers that can be used in different rooms or by different caregivers. They also come in handy when you are recharging the battery.
Night vision video technology: Most babies sleep well only in a dark room. A clear view of your room, however, is difficult to achieve in dark. Night vision display in baby monitor cameras makes it possible to view a clear feed. Some models of cameras also come with the capability to control the brightness of the screen.
Sound and video interference blocks: Whether you use a single handset or more, it is very important to get clear sound and image from the baby’s room. Any distortion in sound or image defeats the purpose of having a monitor in the first place. Little sounds in the room are pretty irritating and prove to be a distraction when amplified by the monitor. It is very important to opt for a monitor that offers the functionality to filter the white noise.
Sound indicator with light: A sound indicator in a baby monitor that also lights up, makes it possible to detect the noise levels of the baby even when the volume of the handset is set to mute or at a low level.
Sound activation sensor: This is an awesome feature to get you some much-deserved sleep. Turning on the speaker only when a cry is made makes it possible to sleep through the night without being disturbed by ambient noise.
What to ask before investing in a baby monitor?
Baby monitors start at prices as low as £30 for the audio version but remember, it is not always a good idea to opt for the cheapest available. You must assess your need and opt for a monitor that takes your budget into account and also offers features that keep you relaxed. Similarly, the upper limit is also quite steep and again, costliest doesn’t mean the best. Your personalized needs are the key parameter to focus on. Wireless network monitors, encrypted digital monitors etc. are some of the top end baby monitors available but they are useful only when you need to spend quite some hours away from the baby each day or if cross channel interference is high in your area.
The number of receivers required: The first decision you need to make is regarding the number of receivers that you need as it will significantly affect the cost too. It depends on how your home is designed, the number of caregivers, a distance of nursery from your room etc. Decide if you need only one receiver in your bedroom or would need additional ones in the kitchen or living room. Before comparing the available options, it is wise to assess how you will use the monitor. Large homes could do with multiple handsets or portable receivers that enable you to move around the house without compromising on the safety of your baby.
Strength of signal required: You must factor in how strong a signal you will need. The manufacturer instructions will mention the area covered but that can be misleading in case of interference by multiple walls or any other interferences. It is good to consider these before deciding on the range.
Do you need silence to work?: If you work from home and think there is a lot to do workwise while the baby naps, you could make use of the light up the audio indicator. Keep the monitor muted and take your calls in peace and the lights will let you know of the crying.
How long do you need to use the monitor: Baby sleep patterns become more stable as they grow up. As that happens, you could reduce the volume of the monitor and hence hear only when the baby is upset. Till the baby moves to a toddler bed is the maximum timeline that most people stick to.
Does your place experience interfering frequencies: Monitors are impacted by 2 types of interference issues. These include the distance between the monitor in the nursery to handsets and radio frequency for sound travel. Another monitor or radio in your neighbourhood may also interfere and disrupt monitor sounds. A monitor that works on DECT technology is useful in such situations and helps to keep the transmission clear and secure.
An easy and convenient return policy is always a great value add and you must always insist on a proof of return or exchange policy. You must thoroughly check the monitor after bringing it home and exchange if it doesn’t fulfil certain criteria.