If you are expecting your first baby to arrive very soon, you won’t yet have had the joy of going out to buy all the things you will need when it arrives.
It pays to plan ahead of course, and as such one of the most important things you will need is a baby monitor. This helps you to keep an ear out for your baby even when you are downstairs or in another part of the house.
But it can be quite overwhelming to choose from the vast range of different baby monitors that are on the market today. For example, would you know instinctively what was best to get without having done any research beforehand?
That’s why we have created this site for you. Once you have read through all the information on this page you will have a much better idea of what to expect when you go shopping for a baby monitor. We’ll take you through the different types that are available, and you can then decide which one you want to buy.
So let’s get started and make life easier for you!
Audio baby monitors
Audio monitor enable you to listen for any sound your baby makes, even though you may be several rooms away at the time. Most sets come with two units. One unit is designed to sit in the baby’s nursery and the other one is kept with you.
Once they are switched on you should be able to hear any noise your baby makes. So if they should awake you will hear them instantly, even though you ordinarily wouldn’t be able to if you relied just on your own hearing.
So the benefits of these types of monitor are easy to understand. They also tend to be at the cheapest end of the market, since they don’t have very many additional features. Some of the more expensive models come with two parent listening devices instead of just the one, allowing both parents to listen in instead of just one! You can be more mobile with these as well, which is a benefit.
Video baby monitors
These are getting to be much more popular as the prices for them come down. They consist of a camera which is mounted somewhere safe in the nursery, and a unit on which you can watch your baby sleeping.
They have audio as well of course, but these monitors have the distinct advantage that you can see your baby as well as hear them. Many of them also have colour monitors and night vision too, so you can easily see your baby even when their room is dark.
These are understandably more expensive than the basic audio versions, as you are getting more in the way of benefits. If your baby is getting to be more mobile at night and constantly turns over or gets themselves stuck by the bars of the cot, you may be happier with this type of monitor. They are also better for toddlers if you want to keep an eye on them too. In this sense they are liable to give you more use for longer than a simple audio monitor would.
Foetal baby monitors
This is one baby monitor that you will want to buy before your baby is born! It isn’t a necessity, but if you want to hear your baby inside the womb then a foetal monitor is easy enough to buy from many different outlets.
It generally comes with a monitoring device to be strapped to the mother’s tummy, and two sets of headphones – one for each parent. Many people don’t worry about buying this as it isn’t vital, but you might wish to treat yourself if you want to bond with your baby in an altogether different way.
Two way baby monitors
You might wonder why two way monitors have been invented, since your baby won’t be able to talk back to you.
But they are actually used more and more now, and if you have a toddler who is starting to talk you can use the baby monitor for much longer too. And of course if one parent goes up to check on the baby they are able to talk quietly to the other parent downstairs – without disturbing the baby or having to go back downstairs to pass on the required message.
Some parents also use them to lull their baby back into a comfortable sleep if they have woken up and they are unsettled. Sometimes simply hearing a parent’s voice is all it takes, and the two way monitor can make this possible without having to go in and risk disturbing them.
These are designed to prevent the occurrence of SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Sensor pads are supplied which are put underneath where the baby is sleeping. The monitor then alerts you if at any time the baby stops breathing.
As such this should be used in conjunction with a standard baby monitor of either the audio or video variety, and not simply on its own.
Additional features to watch out for
Some baby monitors also come with temperature readings and other similar functions. These allow you to check whether the room they are sleeping in is at an ideal temperature.
The more advanced models even have humidity sensors which do much the same thing. Basically speaking, the more advanced and expensive the baby monitor is, the more likely that it will be able to do more things for you. For example it may have a wider range on it than some of the more basic models do.
There are lots of things you need to think about when you are going to buy a new baby monitor. Take a look at our Buyer’s Guide to find out more and to help you to make the right decision for you.
You now have a basic idea of what to expect when you go shopping for a baby monitor. Now it’s time to go shopping!