Purchasing a new baby monitor is one of the most important buying decisions you can make. In order to purchase a device that will suit your needs and enhance your baby’s safety, you will need to first determine whether or not you prefer an audio monitor or one that features both audio and video capabilities. Other baby monitor features that you may want to consider include those that allow you to monitor your baby’s surroundings via the Internet when you are traveling and your little one is being cared for by another adult as well as a system that features temperature sensors to assure your baby’s comfort and safety.
Video Baby Monitors
A video baby monitor offers the best overall security and can also be useful as your child matures and begins moving about the house. In fact, you may want to consider a system that features multiple cameras which can be placed in several rooms in order to more closely monitor your child as she grows into the crawling and walking stage. Such monitors are also useful when caring for elderly adults as it allows you to keep a close watch without encroaching upon your loved one’s independence.
Digital vs. Analog Monitors
Experts recommend the purchase of a digital baby monitor in order to eliminate interference from other devices, such as cordless phones and neighboring monitors. It is of the utmost importance that you hear every sound coming from your baby’s room and that you are not receiving feedback from another device or from a neighbor’s child. Whether purchasing an audio device or one with audio and video capabilities, it is strongly recommended that you select a digital device over one that transmits via analog technology.
Selecting a baby monitor that alerts you when you are approaching a distance that is too far from the system’s base is also a good idea. Baby monitors, such as the Levana Advanced Digital Wireless Video Baby Monitor allow you to wander a full 450 feet from the monitor’s base. A monitor such as this affords you enough room to actively move about your home without compromising the quality of the monitor’s feedback.
Another highly recommended feature to consider when purchasing a new baby monitor is an alert that triggers a flashing light intended to attract your visual attention. This type of alert adds an additional layer of security as it is very useful for times when environmental noise prohibits you from hearing an audio alert whenever your baby stirs. (Note that any alerts featured in a monitoring system should be both sound and motion activated.)
Some monitors can also be programmed to schedule feeding alerts. This feature is particularly useful for caretakers who are not yet familiar with a child’s feeding schedule, as well as for busy parents who are juggling multiple tasks at home. Multiple alerts can be preset to attract an adult’s attention and notify her or him to begin feeding preparations at regular intervals.
Your baby’s satisfaction is of the utmost importance. To assure your little one’s maximum comfort, experts recommend that your child’s room consistently remain at a temperature no lower than 61 degrees and no higher than 68 degrees. A video baby monitor that features temperature sensors will help you maintain these comfort levels by keeping you informed about the temperature in your baby’s room at all times.
Advanced Monitoring Features
While the primary emphasis of baby monitor features should focus on quality reception and reliable safety alerts, other more advanced features help increase a monitor’s usefulness. Some of these features include:
- Automatic night vision functioning to assure that you can clearly see your child and her surroundings without having to turn lights on during the night and without having to switch the monitor’s mode for viewing in the dark.
- Monitoring from a computer or a smartphone. Whether you are traveling or just want to check in on your child while enjoying a night out on the town, advanced monitoring capabilities utilizing Internet technology can help you do so remotely.
- Image recording ~ Some monitors are equipped to take snapshots and capture video recordings of your child, which can be saved on your computer or even emailed to grandparents and other family members. Video playback capabilities are also useful in monitoring the quality of care your child is receiving from a sitter or a nanny while you are away.
- Two-way communicating ~ Monitors that allow you to not only hear your baby’s sounds, but to also speak to her are popular features that many parents enjoy using. Some monitors can also be programmed to play soothing lullabies for your child.
Must-Have Baby Monitor Features
Whichever baby monitor you decide to purchase, be sure that it comes with a warranty, as well as a money back guarantee. It is not uncommon for some electronic products to be ineligible for return after they have been opened. With this in mind, be sure to read all fine print before buying and make an effort to research and purchase a monitor that is returnable unless you are absolutely certain about the system you are buying.
It is further advisable to purchase a wireless baby monitor that comes with lifetime tech support at no additional cost to you. For maximum use and effectiveness, it is also a good idea to only purchase a monitor that comes with rechargeable batteries and with a rechargeable parent monitor. Quality monitoring systems of this nature can be purchased for less than $200 with many offering multiple useful features at costs less than $150.