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What to Look for in a Baby Monitor

May 28, 2008
One of the greatest helps for busy parents these days are baby monitors. With a baby monitor, you are not only allowed greater freedom of movement around the house, but you can also provide better safety for your children, even when it's not possible for you to be right by their side. However, new parents may find it difficult to select a baby monitor that is right for them, since there are so many different varieties available.

Here are a few qualities that you should look for in a good monitoring device, whether you choose audio, video, digital, or analog.

1. The reception of the device should be clear, whether it is audio or video, as well as being low static. This is a very important consideration to ensure the safety of your child. It is imperative that your baby's activities can be heard or seen clearly.

2. One way in which you can keep an eye on your child while you are working is to have a baby monitor that comes with a compact and portable receiver that can be comfortably carried around. Many modern baby monitors are equipped with ultra small receivers.

3. Many baby monitors come equipped with receivers that have belt clips so that the parents can carry the device around with them. It's important to ensure that the attachment is durable enough to endure daily usage if you intend to frequently carry the receiver throughout the house.

4. There are also baby monitors that have a light alarm which is activated whenever it picks up sound. This feature is ideal for those moments when you may be preoccupied with loud noises such as the television or the vacuum cleaner.

5. This is often overlooked, so do ensure your baby monitor has a feature that indicates when the device's battery is low. Not knowing battery levels, you could be unaware that the device is not working, and possibly compromise your baby's safety.

6. It's also important that you pick the correct range or bandwidth. A large area will need a broad range, whereas a monitor used in an apartment or small house would need less, particularly if the device is going to be near many mobile phones or other devices which transmit and receive signals.

7. If you're considering a wireless model, be aware that you might experience interference with the signal. You and your next-door neighbors may utilize similar channels and wind up hearing noises from each other's homes. Cordless telephones may also interfere with your signal. Look for a product that utilizes no-interference technology or has additional security features.

8. The combination of sound and visual monitoring in a video baby monitor is also possible nowadays due to technological innovations. However, even though the video option does seem like a great idea, it isn't possible or practical to sit and stare at the screen constantly. Consequently, excellent sound quality should not be sacrificed for supplementary features.

As far as baby monitors are concerned, the most expensive one is not necessarily the most useful. Go for a baby monitor that is durable and strong enough for daily use, and, most importantly, the baby monitor should have all the requirements you want to ensure your child's safety.
About the Author
Ashley King is editor of the Family Section at i-KnowHow | Information for Life, where you'll also find ideas and tips for hobbies, home and garden, personal finance, technology basics and much more.
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