How to Choose the best Baby Monitor

A baby monitor is a device that helps parents to listen to or see their baby while he or she is in another room. It is a great device that puts anxious parents’ minds at rest when they are not with their babies.  It can be digital or analog and it can be audio-only, video, or both. With these devices, babies can be monitored from any part of the house, and parents can watch or hear their babies whenever the baby wakes up or cries, even if the parents or babysitter is far away!

Some baby monitors have a portable mic and camera (called the baby unit) the parent can move around with them around the house. The majority of baby monitors available today are digital. However, there are some good-quality analog baby monitors available too. When deciding the sort of baby monitor to purchase, there are a number of factors to consider.

Such as:

  • Do you require a video or audio-only monitor?
  • What is the size and layout of your home?
  • Will there be interference issues with devices in your home and your neighbours?
  • Most importantly, your buying power, and affordability.

Baby monitors are available in a variety of styles and sizes. Some will display your baby’s video on your phone, while others may have a dedicated display monitor. Some connect to your wireless network, while others use their own radiofrequency.

Whether analog or digital, the choice is dependent on your requirement and whether or not you want just audio, video, or both.  What would you get with an audio or video baby monitor?

How to choose baby monitors

Baby monitors with only audio: Audio monitors are precisely what they sound like, they’re just for listening to your baby’s sounds. There is no video option. They are made up of a transmitter device with a microphone that is positioned near the child. They usually feature a base unit that plugs into the wall and stays in your child’s room, as well as a parent unit that can be taken with you and has AA or rechargeable batteries.

The reception range of these audio baby monitors is usually around 1,000 feet. In addition to transmitting the sounds, the monitor’s receiver unit will typically light up when noise is detected in the baby’s room, providing you with a visual cue. They are also incredibly simple to set up and use.

Pros

  • They enable you to see and hear your baby at any time. There’s no need to sneak into your child’s room to check on them. You may just check your video stream to see how your child is doing.
  • They contain extra functions that audio-only monitors lack. These video monitors contain a number of added features that audio-only monitors don’t have, like motion detection and temperature measurement.
  • You can keep track of numerous youngsters at the same time. A video camera can be put in a part of the room where all of the children can be seen, or you can buy many cameras for different rooms provided you have the correct video system.

Cons

  • They are more costly. Even though video baby monitors have become a lot more affordable as technology advances. They are, nevertheless, still more expensive than basic audio transmitters.
  • They have shorter battery life. When not plugged in, video monitors have a shorter battery life than audio-only monitors. When you’re trying to relax outside and your monitor dies, it might be rather inconvenient.
  • The possibility of constantly seeing your baby can be overwhelming for new parents. Instead of receiving much-needed sleep, you might find yourself checking in on the baby frequently during the night.

Most parents prefer video baby monitors since they have more capabilities (such as room temperature measurements) and allow parents to visually check on their kid’s safety at any time. They are, however, more expensive and have a shorter range than audio monitors.

Video baby monitors allow parents to watch a live streaming video of their anytime and wherever they want. To keep a watch on their infant as they sleep, most parents prefer the video monitor because they can point the camera toward their baby’s bed for adequate monitoring.

Some video baby monitors have motion detection technology that can tell when the baby moves. Other interesting aspects of a video monitor include:

  • A room temperature reader with two-way communication,
  • Respiration detection
  • Automatic night vision.

Pros

  • They are straightforward. Audio baby monitors just track audio, which makes them easier to use.
  • The batteries last a long time. Because there is no live streaming video, the parent unit’s batteries can last a long time, allowing you to take it with you inside or outside your home.
  • They have an excellent range. Audio baby monitors allow you to get away from the baby’s room more than visual monitors. They’re great for staying outside your house or while relaxing in the back garden and still keep an eye on the baby.
  • They are reasonably priced. Most people these days can afford audio baby monitors, making them a fantastic budget alternative.

Cons

  • They lack some of the sought-after features of the video baby monitors. Some audio baby monitors include added functions such as a night light and two-way communication, but video baby monitors have a lot more.
  • You are unable to see your child. This is crucial if you’re considering a “cry it out” type of sleep training, in which case you’ll want to figure out why your baby is crying. 

Should You Buy the Digital or Analogue Baby Monitor?

Analog Monitor

An analogue baby monitor is continuous audio or video signal which is transmitted by the monitor. It has sending unit that converts the signal into a sequence of electrical pulses. The signal is picked up by the receiving device, which converts it to an auditory and/or video signal.

As the sending device transmits the analogue signal, it is broken down into smaller ‘chunks.’ Any sound picked up by the signal will be included in the analogue signal. The receiving unit then puts it back together.

Pros

  • One of the good things about an analogue monitor particularly for someone who is on a low budget is that in comparison to digital monitors, the technology required to manufacture the analogue baby monitors is inexpensive, thereby making it cheaper than the digital monitor.
  • Analogue monitors are thought to be safer because their signals are weaker than digital signals. Most parents these days are wary of the impact of waves and transmission on their babies and because of that, they try to stay away from such technologies.

Cons

  • One of the downsides of an analogue baby monitor is that it can suffer from more interference from other appliances, such as cordless phones or Wi-Fi networks, and this can affect sound quality.
  • Another drawback of an analogue baby monitor is that its transmissions weaken quickly. It is hard to travel long distances without it losing signals which may make monitoring the baby a bit difficult.
  • Analogue monitors require a lot to reach their intended destination, which means, there may be delays in the transmission. You may be hearing sounds like God forbid your baby choking seconds after it has been transmitted.A

Digital Monitor

A digital baby monitors on the other hand function similarly to an analog monitor. It uses a radio frequency to send a signal. The key distinction is that a digital signal is transmitted at a different frequency – 2.4 MHZ. It is also encrypted, and when it’s received, it’s decoded.

A digital signal converts audio into binary information (1s and 0s). The digital signal is broken down and sent to the receiving device. The signal is then reassembled into the original signal from the 1s and 0s.

A digital signal understands that it needs to be reassembled in a specific order. This aids in the correction of errors that may arise during transmission and makes transmissions clearer than analog signals.

Pros

  • Because a digital baby monitor uses the 2.4 GHz frequency, it makes interference less likely, they pick up less noise.
  • Digital monitors are useful in larger houses, they provide greater privacy and clearer reception,
  • Have less interference from other frequencies and many offer a wide choice of potential operating channels.
  • They are able to transmit better quality data and have the capacity to travel further without losing signals with increased signal capacity per second.

Cons

  • Digital monitors are generally more expensive than analog units.
  • While digital baby monitors are less prone to interference, they can still be affected. Wireless routers, mobile phones, microwaves, and other electronic gadgets can cause interference problems.
  • There have been a lot of stories about waves and signals on the health of people and digital monitor is no exception. Do more research and decide on what is good for your baby.

My Take at the End of the Day

Your baby monitor selection will be influenced by where you reside and the layout of your home. If you reside in a highly-populated area, a digital baby monitor is a good idea. This is because a digitally encrypted signal’s security will reduce interference.

Also, if you live in a large house with more floors, it will be better to have a digital baby monitor because an analogue signal cannot transmit as far as a digital signal. There are fewer chances of signal loss or interference.

If you however live in a tiny house or apartment with no immediate neighbours and you are on a budget, an analogue baby monitor is a good option.

At the end of the day, whether digital or analogue, audio or video, the choice is up to you the parent, the suitability and most importantly, what you can afford.

Motorola Monitor

VTech Monitor

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BT Monitor

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