In other articles, we’ve discussed at length the differences and pros or cons when it comes to choosing between audio only, or audio and video baby monitors. So before you start shopping, do yourself a favor and take some time to determine which of those styles you prefer. Actually, before you even get to that point, decide whether or not you even really need a baby monitor — especially an audio only monitor. If you live in a small apartment, where you can hear your baby all the time regardless, then purchasing an audio baby monitor is likely redundant.
Also, decide if you really want or need to hear every little peep and see every little wriggle that your child makes. Will that bring you peace of mind, or will you find it nerve racking?
Once you’ve considered and answered those initial basic questions, you’re ready to tackle the questions of what kind of features and options you want or need.
Analog or Digital Baby Monitors
While analog baby monitors are inexpensive, and can be found virtually anywhere, they are often troubled with a lot of static and interference from other electronic gadgets you may have in the house that are running on the same frequency, which is typically 900 MHz Even if you purchase an analog monitor that uses the 2.4 GHz frequency, chances are you will still pick up some interference. That interference could include being able to hear your neighbors through the monitor, or vice versa. Analog baby monitors also typically have a weaker signal, so they won’t give you the range that you might need, especially if you have a larger home.
Digital baby monitors, on the other hand, tend to cost quite a bit more, and while they typically use the 2.4 GHz frequency, the signal is encrypted and is secure. This means you’re safe from having to worry about your neighbors eavesdropping on your life. But while you’re safe in that aspect, you still do run the chance of picking up interference from cordless phones or wireless routers around the house. If you want to save yourself from this issue as well, then you need to purchase a DECT Digital baby monitor, which uses the less common 1.9 GHz frequency, and is less prone to interference.
Your Home and Your Lifestyle
Spend some time thinking about the size of your home and what your daily routine is like. And then factor that into your consideration of what brand and model of baby monitor to purchase. Perhaps you work from home, or are on the phone a lot during the day or evening. If so, it would be advantageous to have a monitor that lights up to let you know that your baby is awake. If you have a video monitor, you could, of course, just turn the audio down on that, but chances are the light display would be more likely to catch your eye.
If you’re always on the go when you’re in your house and not just sitting on the sofa watching TV while your baby is asleep, you might want to consider a baby monitor that has multiple receivers, as this will make it easier for you to move about. The other alternative is making sure that you have a parental unit that allows you to clip it to your belt or waistband.
Consider Where You Shop
While you are reviewing which baby monitor to purchase, take a little time and do a little due diligence when it comes to the retailer as well. If you’re purchasing from Amazon.com, you’re likely aware that they have a generous return policy. If you are purchasing from elsewhere, make sure you can either return or exchange anything that you purchase. Just because the marketing material or other people’s experiences deem a product to be perfect, doesn’t mean the monitor is going to meet your needs in your home. It’s critical that you test out the baby monitor as soon as you get it home, and you should do some testing in both night and day time scenarios as well. If you find it is unsuitable for whatever reason, and you’ve purchased it from somewhere that won’t take it back, you’re stuck.
Along with the above, here are a few other steps as well. First, when unpacking your new baby monitor, make sure to do so carefully because you may need to return it. Also, make sure to keep your receipt.