Once you have a newborn baby, you will find yourself surrounded by lots and lots of baby supplies. In addition to the expected items such as; diapers, baby clothes, bottles, and formula, you will also need things such as; strollers, cribs, nightlights, and changing tables. One item you may not have thought much about is a baby monitor. Many new parents invest in a baby monitor, so they will have the ability to keep tabs on their newborn, even when they are not in the same room. There are a wide variety of baby monitors on the market, and you will need to do some investigation, in order to find the best baby monitor for you and your growing family.
Baby monitors have made some incredible advancements since they were first created in the 1930’s. Historians have some controversial answers about who actually invented the baby monitor, but the credit usually goes to Norman Emerick, who worked with the Fisher-Price company.
What is a Baby Monitor?
A baby monitor is a type of system that provides parents a way to listen to the sounds of their baby from a remote location. A baby monitor typically comes in two parts; a transmitter which has a microphone built-in, and is placed in the same room as the baby, and a receiver that has a speaker built-in, that is located where the parents or guardians of the baby are, and can allow the adults to listen to the transmitted sounds of the baby. The monitor uses radio waves, in order to transmit the sounds. Typically, baby monitors are one-way communicators, but some monitors also allow two-way communication, which allows the parents to talk back to the baby, remotely. Some baby monitors are available with battery usage, and some run strictly on electricity.
Do You Really Need a Baby Monitor?
During the first few decades after the invention of the baby monitor, most new parents did not make the investment of purchasing a baby monitor. The baby monitor was not seen as a necessity among all of the other baby paraphernalia that need to be purchased. However, as the public became more aware of the medical condition known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (S.I.D.S), then parents began to purchase baby monitors, on a regular basis. These days, a large percentage of American parents have a baby monitor on their list of needed items, as they prepare for the arrival of their newborn baby.
Features of Baby Monitors
Baby monitors are available in a variety of price points, and have a variety of features. Basic monitors include audio sound, but other features can include video functions that can be viewed on a parent unit, or the ability to use Wi-Fi so you can see your child on your smartphone, tablet, or computer from any location. Other features may include the ability to play music or lullabies that can be very calming for your little one, or track your baby’s heart rate, oxygen levels, or body and room temperature, which can be calming statistics for you to know. Other functions may also include updates on your baby’s position and bodily movements, with the use of a motion detector. Some monitors even have night vision, so you can see what your child is doing when it is dark.
As for some logistics to think about as far as baby monitors are concerned, you should consider if you would like a monitor that is corded and plugs in to the wall, or if you would like a battery-operated model. Some of the battery-operated monitors are available with rechargeable batteries, which you may find easy, since many of us have items that we charge routinely these days, such as cell phones or laptops. Another feature you may consider is whether or not you would like for your baby monitor to have one-way or two-way communication. One-way versions will allow you to hear the sounds of your baby, while a two-way monitor will allow you to hear your baby, as well as the ability for them to hear you from your remote location.
There are a lot of different monitors available. The original monitors were audio monitors. An audio monitor gives the parent the ability to hear the noises of their baby from a remote location. These monitors can be wired into the home’s electrical wiring system, but most monitors, on the market today, are wireless.
Wireless monitors use radio frequencies that do not require a licensed user, as one would need for a television or radio transmitter. With the use of a baby monitor, you are more likely to have interference from other non-licensed items, such as a walkie-talkie or a cordless telephone. This is why some people are concerned with privacy issues with a baby monitor, because interference from other receivers around your home can pick up the sounds of your baby. Newer technology has helped prevent this interference, with the production of the digital audio wireless systems that use DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications).
Dual monitors are becoming more and more popular; however, they are more expensive that an audio-only monitor. Dual monitors give the parent the ability to see and hear their child from anywhere within the home. These audio and video monitors may also have the ability to let the parent see and hear their child when they are away from home, using Wi-Fi on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Although this is relatively new technology, these monitors are becoming more popular with new parents.
Below, we have highlighted the best baby monitors on the market and have listed different features about each.
This really could be the best baby monitor on the market for 2017. This beauty is the first monitor to give the consumer the opportunity to change the viewing angle of the camera’s lens or allow for a zooming capability, so you can get a closer look at your baby. This feature is called Interchangeable Optical Lens feature.
When you first pull this monitor out of the box, the first thing you may notice is how easy it is to set up. Similar to other electronics in this day and age, you will need to charge the monitor with a USB outlet, such as on your computer or an adapter, and then it is ready to be placed in your baby’s room. You have the option of using the monitor either with audio coverage, or with video. The battery will last longer if you choose to use audio only, but the battery life is pretty good, either way. A power cable is also included.
The video of this premium Infant Optics monitor is streamlined in real-time, and the video image is very clear. It also has a secure video privacy and an audio playback, if desired. The screen is a generous size, about 3.5 inches of a LCD screen in full color, and you can easily adjust the volume to your desired level. It also has an antenna that is retractable, and is very lightweight. One uncommon function this monitor also has, is the ability to provide room temperature, so you can make sure your baby is comfortable in his/her environment.
This monitor really does have a lot of “bells and whistles”. In fact, you may find that it has more than you actually need, but it truly is our top pick for the best audio baby monitor.
This is an excellent choice, as far as baby monitors go, in value and quality. This VTech audio has a hearing range up to about 1000 feet. With the use of DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) technology, static noise that is sometimes heard through baby monitors is practically nonexistent, and interference from other electronics in the surrounding area is eliminated, too. This monitor provides a wonderfully clear audio transmission, so you can hear every noise your baby creates, while in a separate room from where you are located.
The VTech DM111 is available in models that come with one or two parent units, in addition to the one baby unit. The model with two parent units is slightly more expensive. Located on the parent unit, is a 5-level volume control that will allow you to choose which level is right for you. It also has indicator lights that will shine, if you wish to have the volume control muted. The parent unit also has a belt clip option, so it can be portable as you meander around the house, or if you venture outdoors.
The baby unit plugs into your wall socket, and the parent unit can be plugged in also, or will work with AAA batteries, which will need to be purchased separately. The parent unit offers a beeping signal, that will chime when the batteries are running low, or if the connection between the baby unit and the parent unit is disconnected.
Overall, if you are looking for a baby monitor that is a super value and one that will give you very clear audio performance, then this is one of the best baby monitors to purchase. It will not disappoint you.
This VTech model, the DM221, is very similar to the VTech model previously mentioned, but with a couple of other features that you might find appealing.
The main function that is attractive to buyers, is the two-way communication capability. While you are still able to listen to your child with clear noise, you also have the ability to talk back to your child with this VTech model. Sometimes this will be a very useful function, if you just want to speak to your child, without entering his or her room. You may even be able to calm your child down while using this function, and that result can be priceless.
Another function that has been added to this model, is a nightlight on the baby unit. Just a little glow from the monitor can be pleasing for your child, and for you when you venture into your baby’s darkened room.
For the screen display, the standard language is preset to English, but can also be changed to French or Spanish. This can be very accommodating for people that wish for a particular language.
One last function that has been added to this model is a vibrating function that alerts parents to any noise that is made in your baby’s room. This function can be good for parents who choose to not be alerted with the volume or the lighted bars on the parent unit.
Either one of these VTech audio baby monitors are an excellent choice, if you are in the market for an audio-only option. VTech baby monitors are among the best for providing quality and value simultaneously.
Babysense Video Baby Monitor with LCD Display, Digital Camera, Infrared Night Vision, Two Way Talk Back
Babysense may not be as well-known as some of the other electronic companies that specialize in baby monitors, but this monitor proves to be of good value and great quality.
The display on the parent unit is a 2.4-inch LCD screen with enhanced 2.4 GHz FHSS technology, and provides a high definition picture of your little one. Due to the infrared night vision, you will be able to clearly see your baby anytime you want to take a peek. You will also have the capability of zooming in, so you can have a closer look, or you can pan the room, also.
With this monitor, you can add additional cameras, if you desire, for an extra price. You can add up to four cameras that can be strategically placed around the room for optimal visuals on your baby. The cameras can be wall-mounted, or can rest on tabletops.
If you would like to check on your baby’s air comfort in their room, there is also a temperature setting that allows you to check the feel of the room without disturbing your resting baby. There is also an alert feature that will let you know if the temperature is too high or too low for your pre-programmed range, which is an amazing feature if you are concerned about your baby’s comfort.
The parent unit has about a 900 foot range from the baby unit. It also comes complete with a parent unit stand, so that it can easily be placed in a secure location.
This monitor is one of the best baby monitors available. With all of these wonderful functions mentioned, as well as others, such as the ability to play lullabies for your young child, it really can be a great addition to your home.
This monitor is another great choice for a baby monitor that includes a lot of functions, but is reasonably priced when compared to some other monitors. Similar to the Babysense video monitor that is listed above, this one also has a 2.4-inch display screen. Multiple cameras can be purchased additionally, if you would like to install cameras from different angles. The camera that comes with this monitor can pan the expanse of the baby’s room, it can tilt, and it has a zooming capability. A maximum of four cameras can be added to the base camera.
This baby monitor also has the two-way communication ability. You can hear what is going on in your baby’s room, in addition to the baby being able to hear your voice, if you desire. This function is similar to that of a walkie talkie set. If your baby is upset or lonely, sometimes if they can just hear your voice, then they calm down enough to continue their resting period.
An additional function of this monitor is the ability to play up to four different lullabies for your baby. This is a very nice feature because many young children relax as they hear lullabies. If you can play them with your baby monitor, then you will not need to purchase an additional machine that will play lullabies.
This baby monitor is definitely a contender for being one of the best baby monitors on the market. The price is reasonable and the features are attractive to many new parents.
You see that you have a lot of options when it comes to purchasing a baby monitor that you will feel comfortable with. A monitor is a big deal to many new families because it allows you to keep a close ear or eye on your child when you are not in the same part of the house as he or she is located. It is wise of you to decide which functions you think are most important to you, and which ones you would like to have in order to have a sense of peace, as it helps you keep in touch with your baby. Happy shopping as you continue your search for the best baby monitor for your home. Let us know which baby monitor you have and how you like it in the comments below!