Many expectant mothers question the need for a baby monitor as they assume that they will always be able to hear their child cry or will have them sleeping in the same room as them. While both of these are true, the intensive nature of the first few months of motherhood will mean that you will need times when you can put your baby down for a nap, close the door and have some adult time with your partner or friends to unwind. In these situations, a monitor is essential so you do not end up ignoring your child in need.
The quality of monitor you get is closely linked to the amount of money that you can spend on it. Basic models will act as a simple broadcasting radio and receiver while at the other end you can spend a small fortune on video technology and pads that go underneath the mattress to measure your baby’s heart beat and temperature. It is a question of personal preference and how nervous of a mother you think you are going to be, but at a minimum, your baby monitor needs the following functions:
- Two-way communication – Most monitors work in a broadcast only mode meaning that you can hear your baby cry but have to go and check on them. By having a talkback function on the monitor, you can try to soothe your child through song or words, as they get older. It is also useful for you to be able to communicate with your partner if you run out of anything during a diaper change.
- Wireless base sets – A typical monitor system
will have the main box that sits near your baby’s crib and a receiver
base set that plugs into the wall in the room where you are. However, at
night, you might spend time in the kitchen, living room and bedroom,
and you will slowly spend a small fortune if you have a receiver set in
each room. A better option is to buy a monitor that comes with a
wireless base set so you can take it into any room.
- Mute button – Sometimes, especially as your
child gets older, they will make noises and cries as they fall asleep
and as they wake up. These sometimes can sound like distress cries and
can wake light sleepers or spoil a dinner party. Buying a monitor that
has a mute function allows you to turn off the volume for the first five
minutes once you have put your baby to bed. You can then use the
monitor to alert you if anything is wrong in their sleep or if they are
having problems falling asleep.
You will find a large market when you are buying your baby monitor, so have a look at these brands first:
- Graco – Graco comes towards the bottom end of the price bracket and you can pick up a simple one way broadcasting monitor for between $15 and $20. The sound quality is not great but they will do the job.
- Motorola – Motorola have used their phone technology to build a good wireless baby monitor. Their Digital Audio Baby comes with two wireless base sets as well as a series of LED lights that indicate how loud your baby is crying. You can find them online from $50 to $70
- Sony – As with most electronic products, if
you want the best, choose Sony. They offer a range of wireless video
technology that will convert their night vision images into colors that
you can see. However, you will be lucky to find one for under $200.
baby monitor makes for a great shower gift as it allows people to find
you a product that matches their budget. However, do not be afraid to
specify key features if you really want a particular feature.
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