How to Buy a Baby Video Monitor

Baby video monitors allow parents to hear and see their children from different parts of the house. The camera unit, or transmitter, of a baby monitor is located in the child's room, and the parent unit, or receiver, can be moved throughout the house. Some monitors have larger screens and are more stationary and others have handheld parent units with small video screens. There are several factors to consider before you buy a baby video monitor.

Steps

  1. Image titled Decide on your price point Step 1
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    Decide on your price point.
    • Video monitors can range from $100-to-$300, depending on their features. Some well-known brands will also cost more.
  2. Image titled Determine the size and mobility Step 2
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    Determine the size and mobility of the monitor you need.
    • Think about how you plan to use the monitor and where you will need it within the house. Will it need to be portable as you move around the house? Will you spend most of your time in one room or area of the house? You will be able to narrow your focus for choosing a baby video monitor by deciding on the type of monitor that best suits your family lifestyle and needs.
  3. Image titled Find out the range you will need Step 3
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    Find out the range you will need for the monitor.
    • Many video monitors boast long ranges, but often these are unobstructed (meaning they can only go that far without obstacles such as walls and doors in their path). Knowing your maximum required range will help in narrowing the field. Consider the size of your house and where the baby's room is located to determine the range that you will need for the monitor. Also take the distance between you and other houses into consideration. There can be electronic interference with some monitors.
  4. Image titled Check for basic monitor features Step 4
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    Check for basic monitor features.
    • Baby video monitors should have basic features, such as a range that fits your house size, infrared night vision, rechargeable battery power, good picture quality and sound indicators.
  5. Image titled Consider the differences Step 5
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    Consider the differences between analog and digital video monitors.
    • Analog baby monitors operate on radio wave frequencies that are similar to those used by cordless telephones. These monitors often cost less, but there is a chance of interference and the signal for these monitors may not be secure (meaning that someone else with a monitor may be able to hear or see your child).
    • Digital baby monitors convert the sound and pictures into data, making the line secure and more interference-free. However some digital monitors can still experience interference from wireless networks that may be on the same digital frequency.
  6. Image titled Prioritize optional features Step 6
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    Prioritize optional features.
    • Baby monitors have many optional features that may, or may not, be important to you. Prioritizing the features will enable you to compare monitors and eliminate those that do not meet your needs.
    • Baby monitor features can include: a color screen; a 2-way channel, so parents can talk to their children remotely; music that can be played; multiple screen options so additional receivers and transmitters can be added; snapshot capability; telephone and computer connections; digital interference-free options and remote panning and zooming capability.
  7. Image titled Check for recent consumer ratings Step 7
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    Compare prices online and check for recent consumer ratings.
    • Take the time to compare prices online before buying a baby monitor. There are many websites that offer price comparisons along with expert and consumer reviews. You can also check consumer product testing and review sites, such as ConsumerReports.org or ConsumerSearch.com. Often, reading what other experts and buyers have to say about a specific video monitor can help you make a good decision on which model to purchase.

Warnings

  • Never install a monitor camera near your baby's crib. Cameras with cords should be a least 3 feet (1 meter) away from the baby, because they pose a strangulation hazard.


Article Info

Categories: Babies and Infants | Home Security