Some swear by them. Some don’t see a real need for them at all.
But generally if you move your child into another room parents want to know what their little one is doing one way or another – whether its swinging from the side of the cot or hearing your baby gorgeously snore. However the size of your home, you and your child will really be the key reasons why you may see a baby monitor as an essential purchase.
If you are shopping for baby monitors you will find pretty quickly that you need to make some key decisions on the features that you need/want:
- Lullaby option (music built in to play to your child)
- Walkie Talkie option (the ability to speak two way to your child i.e. “go to sleep!”)
- Additional monitors (helpful when your brood expands)
- Range (including out of range warning)
- Built in torch
- Adjustable volume control
- Sound lights (indicates intensity of your baby’s crying)
- Room temperature
- Infra-red night vision on the monitor (for video monitors)
- Wall mountable /portable/ wireless
However the key decision is do you want video and sound or just sound only?
Here is a couple of comments from our parents below to give you insights on their decision making:
- Sound only monitor “I only use this for when I’m outside so all I need is to be able to hear them”
- Video and Sound monitor “I love that I am able to see my children as well as hear them. It has helped us respond quickly to legs stuck in cots, dropped teddy’s, vomit, and many other situations that sound alone may cause you to try and ‘ignore’”
The key “add on” you will find in your research is senor pads. A sensor pad goes under your child’s mattress to sound an alarm if they stop breathing. Some parents like the security this provides to ensure you baby is safe throughout the night (particularly newborns sleeping in a separate room) but some warn you need to know how to turn the alarm off in the dark, half asleep when you pick the baby up for night feeds!
Some sensor pad models seem to be not as effective and parents have complained the alarm goes off in the middle of the night when your child just rolls over in the night and this gives them a fright at 3am! This can be very annoying if you just got your baby to sleep! Another recommendation is to go digital over analogue if you choose a monitor with a sensor plate.
But most of all if you are considering sensor pads then buy it at the same time as the monitor to make this a more cost effective purchase rather than buying separately. See Oricom sensor pads below. Please note many other companies also have the similar bundled offering on sensor pads.
Our parents recommend the following baby monitors rom our survey:
This is a reliable monitor that provides both video and sound. Range is pretty good but volume limits how far away from the monitor you can be. There are no sound lights to indicate the baby is making noise so you need to be able to hear it which can be difficult if you have a lot of conversation going on (dinner party noise would drown out the monitor). However the monitor is a great size and easy to see although is quite bright on bedside table at night and cannot be dimmed. It does include the lullaby function, walkie talkie options and as an extra bonus you can have up to 4 monitor handsets. Model BW S2101 is recommended after one mum tried both models after spilling tea on the first monitor (note: does not withstand hot drinks!)
This Secure SC710 model was recommended and a parents favourite as it provides all the features you would need with clear colour vision (although often looks black and white), temperature, portability, sound lights , volume control and you can buy the sensor pads with it too. The sensor pads were reliable and no false alarms were mentioned. The wall mountable camera was mentioned in the baby’s room makes it very handy to position it so you can see you bub in their cot. The infra-red camera on the parents monitor was mentioned as it can be bright during the night but it does mean if the baby wakes you can easily see what is happening. Oricom also has the Secure510 and Secure610 models that are sound only and still provide all the premium features just without vision.
Parent recommend this brand as it provides a range of helpful functions and is reasonably priced. There are a number of models with varying function to suit your needs from basic to deluxe. Parents commented the digital full colour monitors were really good and overall this brand was reliable and responsive. Angelcare does provide the option to have the sensor pads included with the baby monitor however some parents mention a few false alarms with the sensor pads going off in the middle of the night.
One again Avent provides a range of models that have varying features from sound only to sound and vision to temperature/humidity alerts. However this brand has been recommended by parents mainly for the sound only basic offering as it is cost effective and as one parent said “all you need to be able to hear them from the clothes line”.
Do you agree? Any monitor missing from this list that you would recommend? Any feedback on the above monitors?