Baby monitors feature on the wish list of many prospective parents (in fact we even wrote a compelling article on our blog detailing the 5 most important reasons they should be). Ideal for first-time or anxious prone parents; digital baby monitors vary from basic audio monitors to Wi-Fi and app enabled monitors that can stream a video feed of your baby directly to your Smartphone.
When choosing which baby monitor to buy its worthwhile thinking about what makes a good baby monitor and what you plan to use it for. We've compiled a list of the 5 most important features to look out for:
Monitors tend to consist of two units: one device in the baby's room and one for wherever the parent is, allowing them to listen to or even see the baby. Broadly there are three main types.
This is the most familiar type of monitor. There is a transmitter in the child's room which broadcasts the sound to a receiver, allowing you to hear your baby.
These come with a small camera which you put in the child's room and allow you to watch your baby as well as being able to hear them. The majority feature Infra-Red night vision so they will continue to work even with the lights off.
Feature no parent unit as such, and instead connect to your home's wireless network allowing you to use your Smartphone or Tablet as the parent unit to listen or see your child via a companion app.
Have a think about what you want to use your baby monitor for. If all you want is a listening device so you'll be able to hear when baby needs your attention then a budget audio monitor should suffice. However, higher-priced monitors tend to offer some pretty practical features: from sensors that lets you check the humidity and temperature in baby's room, noise-indicators on the parent unit that illuminate more as the noise in baby's room gets louder, some will even double up us your baby's nightlight and play lullabies. If you'd like your baby to be able to hear your voice then make sure you find a monitor with "talk-back", a feature not included in some of the lower priced models.
You need to be able to rely on the audio quality otherwise it defies the point. Avoid disappointment by reading customer reviews and expert opinions on certain models before making your purchase.
The coverage that a digital baby monitor will provide can be a very important factor to consider. Most digital baby monitors use DECT technology, which provides a reliable and secure connection free from interference that will offer up to about 50 metres indoors and 300 outdoors. However, factors such as thick walls can interfere with the maximum range possible. Something to bear in mind when making your final decision.
Although you can buy mains powered-only monitors, it is more useful to have one that also runs on batteries – mains-only restricts you to one room and won't work if there is a power cut.
We hope this buying guide has given you a clear starting point on how to find the right baby monitor for you. For information on more specific baby monitors select from one of the Buying Guides below or start shopping for Baby Monitors now.