Baby Monitor Buying Guide

Baby Monitor Buying Guide When it comes to buying a baby monitor, there are several things one must consider in order to make an informed decision. A baby monitor allows you to keep an eye on your precious bundle of joy without spending all evening next to the crib. This handy piece of electronics comes with two parts, a transmitter for baby’s room and receiver for you. They are practically essential for the early stages, especially while your baby wakes often at night and needs to be fed or changed. They can also be useful for parents that can’t be right outside baby’s door during nap time, but want to make sure they hear their little one wake up.

Know Your Models

The transmitter component must be placed near the child’s bed or crib to ensure it picks up any movements or noise. The receiver can be carried around with the parent, or left charging next to the bed at night. Almost every monitor on the market allows the receiver to run off of batteries when not charging. Some state of the art models all two-way transmitting so that mom and dad can soothe a fussy baby during the night without leaving their bed. Another nifty feature can be video monitoring, which uses a camera to allow mom and dad constant visual access even when not in the room.

Interference and Static

Though baby monitors are typically thought of as indispensible, they do have some issues to keep in mind. Many monitors will suffer from interference. This can mean something as simple as static coming through the receiver, or as unsettling as accidentally receiving the signal of another monitor. Many moms admit that they frequently pick up conversations from surrounding houses. Another issue to consider is that monitors should never be placed in or around water, to prevent possible electric shock.

Buying Guide

The following is a list of some things to look out for when buying a Baby Monitor…
  • Size: A smaller model is preferable, as it is usually more portable.
  • Battery Power Indicator: Make sure that the monitor alerts you when batteries are running low, or you may unintentionally miss one of those midnight feedings! Most models will make some kind of beeping sound when the receiver needs to be charged.
  • Sound Stimulated Light: If you’re busy drying your hair when baby wakes up from a nap, you might not be able to hear them crying over the monitor. Look for a model that lights up when activated by sound.
  • Multiple Receivers: If you’re often moving throughout the house and don’t want to worry about remembering to take the monitor with you, find a model that comes with multiple receivers. You can leave one in your room and one in the kitchen, for example.
  • Multiple Transmitters: If you have multiple children, a system with transmitters for each room might be perfect. That way, you can use one receiver to get signals from each room, instead of having to carry around a separate receiver for each one. One issue with this type of set up is that too many transmitters can cause a higher rate of feedback and static interference, so keep that in mind when setting something like this up.
  • Bandwidth: Some models come with a wide bandwidth (up to 900 megahertz), which provides a better sound quality. If you live in a less populated area, this can be a plus. However, in a higher population area where interference is a problem, a lower bandwidth is a better choice as it often interferes with less common household devices.


For a basic model, audio only, that gets the job done but offers no frills, you may pay anywhere from $40 to $90. If you’re looking for something a little more exciting, such as a video monitor, be prepared to shell out anywhere from $150 to $500. The more expensive models aren’t necessarily better than the cheaper ones. For example, the Levana Babyview20 offers some of the best features out there, no interference, and video, but generally costs less than $200 at most retailers.

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May 21, 2011

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