Whether this is your first baby or your third, infant safety is always a priority. With mounting information on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and initiatives like Back-is-Best — which encourages parents to put their children to sleep on their back to to decrease risk of suffocation — it is no wonder that parents feel an increased sense of anxiety when choosing baby gear. While color selection and style is important (Grandma may not approve of your desire to neutralize gender stereotypes by picking out a magenta high chair for Finn), these factors pale in comparison to one important question:
Will this product keep my child safe?
When we found out about our first son, Landon, arriving in July, we couldn’t wait to head to our local baby store and select items for our registry. However, once we found ourselves inside, a sudden nauseating sense of dread hit me like a cool breeze: there was baby “stuff” everywhere. Wall-to-wall gadgets claiming to be hip, convenient, and keep my son safe. We decided at that very moment to carefully spend time choosing the items that we absolutely/immediately needed — car seat, carrier, stroller, high chair, onesies, and of course, my top priority, a baby monitor.
Technology has advanced ten-fold when it comes to baby monitors. My mom had lectured me about finding one that was durable and had good sound quality. While she was onto something in terms of durability, we were more in the market for a video monitor that would provide us with added reassurance that Landon would be sleeping safely at night. Because… let’s face it. Whether you’re a “new mom” or a “new mom again,” checking in on your baby at least 15 times a night happens, at least for the first few nights that he/she is no longer sleeping in your room.
Like any good, inquisitive parent, I took to the internet with my video baby monitor search and asked my other mom friends for advice. It’s safe to say that I received an education; selecting a video baby monitor meant researching more than just battery life and digital display quality. And with so many different companies vying for your business, it isn’t always easy to decipher one quality monitor from another. To make your search easier, I’ve compiled a list of things to consider while looking for an ideal baby monitor. At the end of the day, it comes down to what works best for your home and family. Peace of mind is priceless and being able to see your baby blissfully sleeping is worth every penny.
Things to Consider:
Price: I hesitate to say this, but when it comes to baby monitors (regardless of if it’s a video monitor or one that is audio only), you tend to get what you pay for. I only throw this out there as a friendly heads-up.
Battery Life: most baby monitors are capable of operating in two ways – plugged into a standard outlet and wirelessly with the use of batteries. Having the option to do both is beneficial, as you can carry the monitor around your home as you do other things.
Wireless Security: some video monitors use wireless from your home to provide closed circuit surveillance of your baby, or wherever you’ve placed the monitor base. You want to make sure that whatever model you choose, can ensure a safe connection as you don’t want any unwanted followers tuning in.
Base/Monitor Distance: depending on where you put the base — most likely on a dresser or mounted somewhere in your baby’s nursery — you’ll want to see how far the monitor can go before you lose reception.
Additional Channels and Devices: depending on the model you select, many companies now allow multiple channels and devices to be used per base. So, let’s say that you have two young kids and you want to be able to monitor activity in both rooms. You would buy two bases, put one in each room, and be able to monitor both from the monitor in hand by switching back and forth between channels. This option is nice because you don’t need to buy two different setups.
Extra Features: I’ll preface this area by saying that extra features are just that — extra. If you’re looking for a video monitor that gets the job done without all of the bells and whistles, then be sure to have those basics in mind. Certain video monitors can tell you the temperature in your child’s room, automatically activate the monitor if there’s movement in the nursery, or my personal favorite — allow you to talk to your baby by pushing a specific button.