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Tips on Choosing a Baby Monitor

by Jessica Gezon

Happy baby with arms raised

Whether you're welcoming a baby into your home or celebrating someone else's growing family, you're looking at a lot of choices in baby monitors and baby gear. These tips on choosing a baby monitor will help you make the right choice for your situation. Baby monitors can act as extra eyes and ears so you can keep tabs on your little one even when you're out of the room.

Choosing a Baby Monitor:

  1. Baby monitors are most commonly used to keep track of sleeping babies. They're an unobtrusive piece of baby gear designed to help with watching and listening to without waking a sleeping child. The typical baby monitor comes with two parts: a receiver and a transmitter. The transmitter stays near the baby, and the receiver stays near the babysitter. Some receivers are designed to clip to a belt so you can be more mobile; if possible, try the clip on in the store to make sure it's comfortable.

  2. There are two basic kinds of baby monitors: video and audio. Audio monitors provide sound monitoring so you can hear when your baby cries. Video monitors let you actually watch what your baby is doing. Some baby monitors combine both features, and others offer a "light" aspect that represents the volume of the crying in a column of lights.

  3. The easiest way to think of a baby monitor is as a one-way walkie talkie. You can hear what your baby is doing, but your sounds aren't being played in the baby's room. One thing to keep in mind is that baby monitors broadcast like tiny radios, so to avoid others overhearing your conversations, make sure to turn the monitor off when you're not using it to monitor your baby.

  4. Consider the size of your home when choosing your baby monitor. If you have a small apartment, a monitor with a single receiver is probably enough. If you live in a larger space, you may want to purchase a monitor with more receivers so you can place them around the house.

  5. Baby monitors work on the same frequencies as other household electronics. Consider what other electronic devices you have in your home. If you have a 2.4 GHz cordless phone, then you want to set your monitor to 900 MHz. If you have 900 MHz Wi-Fi, you want a monitor that works on 2.4 GHz. The least commonly used frequency is 1.9 GHz; so, if you can find a monitor on that frequency, it's a good choice. The most common frequency is 49 MHz, and if your neighbors also have little ones, there's a good chance that they're already using that frequency. While two monitors can use the same frequency, it may lead to you hearing other babies through your monitor.

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