How Do I Choose a Baby Monitor?

by Staff

Even the savviest parents sometimes have trouble choosing a baby monitor. A good purchase means fewer anxious nights when you would struggle to get some sleep. This is because you now have a device to help detect when your child fusses or cries in his crib or when he’s just murmuring his way back to dreamland.

With the right baby monitor, you will know immediately if your baby needs to feed, get a diaper change, or be sung a lullaby as he is rocked back to sleep.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at the different factors to consider when selecting a baby monitor. Ideally, you want something that is functional and portable and has great features without being too expensive.

Factors to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Baby Monitor

There is more to choosing baby monitors than just checking out reviews. More than anything, you must consider your individual needs and how the following factors impact those needs.

1. Clarity

How clear are the device’s daytime and night vision? Back then, this wasn’t a question parents had to ask themselves when purchasing wireless baby monitors. With most older models only offering outdated display technology that showed grainy, mostly unreliable, images, there really was no other choice in the matter.

Things are a little bit different today, though, thanks to the new and improved variety of baby monitors with crystal-clear displays. They show HD videos with high resolution and awesome color contrast that deliver significantly more reliable images.

While most high-quality options provide excellent daytime displays, don’t expect their night vision features to be equally as reliable. Since night vision uses grayscale or slightly green hues when showing images, you need to be very careful in assessing this feature. At the very least, you must make sure the night vision display allows you to identify what’s going on.

2. Portability

Babies can take naps at any time during the day and go to bed earlier than you. Unless you’re perfectly fine stationing yourself next to the monitor’s base unit while watching the stream, you’ll want to get a device that has excellent battery life and great range.

A wireless unit that can be connected to your Android phone or iPhone would be a good choice. This model allows you to view the video stream in digital color wherever you happen to be. Furthermore, it also prevents you from purchasing a camera and monitor separately, which is more convenient and less costly.

Baby monitors that score high on the portability scale are more universal. Plus, not only are they more reliable, but they also slash a significant amount of stress off of your baby-watching duties.

3. Child Safety

Given that baby monitors obviously concern children, you’ll want to make sure to never overlook their child-safety features.

Safety issues concerning baby monitors usually center on due diligence. This has to do with keeping wires out of sight and out of the reach of your little ones, placing the camera far enough away that your child is not able to take hold of it, and positioning your monitor away from water.

Once you cover this, take a look at the different child-safety features baby monitors have to offer. There are breathing and heart rate monitor, movement detection system, blood-oxygenation tracker, and more. Some high-end monitors can even stream all this information to an application on your Android phone or iPhone.

4. Reliability

This part is tough to get right mainly because significant research is needed to gain knowledge of a system’s long-term reliability. A lot of baby monitors can start out superbly but eventually glitch out or experience system failures within the first few months of use. This is mostly true for a number of nameless brands in the market.

Dependable baby monitors are those that offer a consistently high-performance level throughout the first six months of ownership. There are some high-end models that can even serve you for years with minimal problems.

When referring to baby monitors, the term “reliability” also encompasses the ability to connect to phone applications even when there’s barely any Internet connection. In this way, for as long as you are within range, you can still continue to stream the video.

When to Choose Traditional Baby Monitors

High-tech is not necessarily better all the time. The following are instances when a traditional baby monitor holds the edge over its more modern counterpart, the Wi-Fi baby monitor:

  • When your smartphone data plans are limited
  • When your internet speed is slow
  • When your internet goes down frequently or is unreliable
  • When your phone’s battery life isn’t the best

Final Thoughts

It’s normal for us parents to want the best for our babies. We want to be able to monitor their activities at all hours of the day, even when performing other duties or after retiring to bed at night.
Choosing a baby monitor that is reliable, has great child-safety features, has good battery life and portability, and has excellent night-vision clarity allows us to better care for our babies while taking care of ourselves at the same time. Lastly, looking for a suitable baby monitor also means considering other baby monitor features that specifically address our unique parenting situation.

Featured photo by meg___mitchell

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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