Video Baby Monitor Comparison
Video Baby Monitor Buying Guide
What is a Video Baby Monitor?
We all know that having a child is an amazing, and sometimes exhausting, experience. No matter how much you’re in love with your child, you do look forward to those hours when they are napping so that you can get things done around the house and catch up with other aspects of your life. No matter what age your child, these hours are important, and you desire a way to get things done while still being able to see and hear your child.
A high quality video baby monitor, such as the ones mentioned above, give you this freedom to roam around your house and still be able to stay in contact with your child. There are tons of monitors on the market, and particularly with a video baby monitor you may be daunted by which one you should choose. Before you begin your search, it’s important to look into what features and qualities make a good baby monitor into a great baby monitor. Once you do your homework and know a bit more about these remarkable devices you’ll be better suited to making a decision that will truly benefit your whole household.
History of Baby Monitors
Lets begin with a bit of background knowledge before we delve into purchasing points. Traditionally, parents would put their children down for a nap during the day and go about the house, doing their business. Then they’d put the child to sleep at night and would be awakened by crying or sounds in their baby’s room. Parents would leave the door open to better hear their baby’s call in the night. Hearing and responding to their baby was simpler then, and homes were also smaller.
That being said, the need to monitor one’s child has always been important, and Fisher Price realized that back in the 1930s. Baby monitors didn’t become a household necessity until some 50 years after the most basic monitors were created. Today, due to our hectic lives and larger homes, you will be hard pressed to find any house where there is an infant that does not have a baby monitor. The benefits of this device are simply too great in number for any parent to deny.
Baby Monitor Basics
Before you purchase and set up your baby monitor it’s a good idea to learn the basic functions and the types of monitors that you will find on the market today. Once you know this you’ll be better able to select a unit that is right for you and set it up properly.
How Baby Monitors Work
Traditional baby monitors are also known as baby alarms, and they operate on a radio frequency similar to what you find with a walkie talkie. These traditional baby monitors come with two different parts, the first being the base or transmitter which is placed in the baby’s room. This unit has a microphone which transmits the sound that the baby makes via radio waves to the parent monitor. The monitor, or receiver, is the second component to the system, and it is generally carried around by the parent or caregiver, allowing them to monitor the child from a distance.
Types of Baby Monitors
- Traditional: Originally the only baby monitors that were available were the one-way units that transmitted sound alone. These are still the most widely available systems but are by no means the most advanced or efficient.
- Wireless: Today you come across the latest innovations that allow for wireless connectivity, providing the parent with freer movement and better sound quality.
- Intercom: Also, you’ll find two-way radio options which allow you to talk to your child, as opposed to just hearing their sounds.
- Video: As we have highlighted above, the very best technology that you can find today also includes video monitoring for the ultimate connection to your child.
Tips for Setting up a Baby Monitor
Before purchasing a baby monitor, you want to consider what type of setup you’re interested in. In fact, not taking this into account will result in your purchasing the wrong monitor and therefore needing to return it. Consider these points:
- Placement of the Transmitter is Important: In most cases the transmitter end of the baby monitor will require a wall plug for operation. That means that wherever you plug the transmitter in you need to make sure that it works properly in that spot. Hearing and viewing your child accurately will depend upon where the transmitter is set up, and for sound, this usually means 5 to 10 feet within reach of the crib.
- Make Sure You have the Appropriate Receiver: The sensitivity of the receiver is going to vary from model to model, so it’s important that parents consider what activities they will probably be doing while their child is napping, and where these activities will be located. Some of these receivers will come with belt clips, whilst other systems provide multiple receivers that you place in various rooms throughout the house. Some will even vibrate when the sound coming from their child’s room reaches a certain intensity. Evaluate for yourself which kind of receiver you’re most interested in.
- Be Knowledgeable About Frequency Interference: You must know which radio frequency a monitor operates on. The frequency category that you purchase should depend upon where your family lives and what other electronic devices are being used in the home. Even if the frequency is not readily apparent the manufacturer’s website will fill in the details. When you have this knowledge about your monitor you’ll be better able to use it properly and get the most of it without interference.
Using a Baby Monitor
Once you’ve successfully determined which monitor is right for you and have purchased it for your home, you’ll find that most monitors are simple to use. Plug in the transmitter into the wall in the appropriate area of your home, charge the receivers, and turn each unit on. You’ll also need to find the ideal location in your baby’s room to place the camera. These are the basic operations, but there are some additional items to consider:
- Number of Receivers: It’s often convenient to own more than one receiver. This allows parents to keep one receiver in the master bedroom while carrying the other one on your person around the home.
- Location of Charging Stations: Decide where is the most convenient location to charge the receivers.
- When to Use the Monitor: Dependent upon how your home is laid out, you may not need to monitor your child during naps. Also, deep sleeping parents will want to use a monitor to hear a baby at night.
Buying a Baby Monitor
It’s easy to purchase a video baby monitor because there are so many to choose from on the market, but this variety can also make the decision daunting. You’ll find devices at any major department store or retailer with baby products for sale. You should be able to find the popular models discussed above either online or in one of the aforementioned stores. The latest models can also be found in boutique baby stores and even electronics retailers which offer higher-level models.
Before you set out to purchase, be sure to understand how much you’re willing to spend on your video baby monitor, what kind of warranty you’d like, and what quality level of camera you’re hoping to have.
The Right Model for You
Is there anything that can be considered the “best” video baby monitor? In reality, there are some that are of the highest quality, but it really comes down to taste. No one wants a second-rate baby video monitor for their child. You’ll be happy to know that with all the features available on today’s market it’s possible for you to customize certain applications to suit the needs of your home and your baby. It’s possible to find the plethora of options to be bewildering, especially with all the bizarre technological terms that you read in the specifications for the cameras. For instance, what’s the difference between the analog and digital monitor? What’s a voice operated transmitter? Also, how can one customize their camera to best suit their home?
- Even if you aren’t a technological genius, you can mix and match the features that you’re comfortable with to create the perfect system for your home. Some of the options mentioned above are important, whereas others may not be necessary for you. Keep in mind that any video baby monitor that does not have IR night vision is pretty much useless. Being able to see your baby at night is one of the key advantages to owning a video monitor in the first place. Something else you’ll probably find useful is the low power indicator. It’s vital that you are notified when it’s time to charge the battery so that your baby does not go unmonitored for hours without knowing about it.
- You should note that when you live in a densely populated urban area you’re going to want a digital monitor that uses encrypting technology. This is because an analog video monitor is prone to intercepting signals from other devices that use analog signals.
- Parents are smart to consider brand quality when they’re looking for a high quality video baby monitor. The most basic manufacturers will provide a comprehensive package that includes cameras, transmitters, receivers, and the like, but the most popular brands will include added features such as advanced audio and visual specifications and capabilities, as well as enhanced product design and customer support.
- The best cameras will work well within a number of different lighting conditions, and they have a two-way parent talkback feature to soothe and assure your baby when you’re in another room. They also have out of range indicators and brightness/contrast controls.
Owning a video baby monitor is one of the best ways to stay connected with your child throughout the day and night, while still allowing you the freedom to move around your home and accomplish tasks. Although operating a video baby monitor may seem complicated, it is in fact incredibly easy and most systems are designed to be user friendly. When looking for the right monitor for your home, consider how much you’d like to spend, how many receivers you need, and what features are most important for your home.
There are countless video baby monitors on the market, and it’s easier than ever to find the right one in a local store or online. We explored some of the most popular and trusted models on the market, but if none of these are what you’re looking for, be sure to do your homework online and read certified reviews to find a system that has been vetted by parents. No matter what model you choose, you’ll find that operating a baby monitor adds so much to the safety and sanity of your home.
As a parent, you know that nothing is more important than your child, but you still have an adult life to tend to. Owning a high quality video baby monitor will allow you to multi-task in an ever increasingly fast paced world. Whether it’s working in the kitchen, out in the garden, or inviting friends over, you’ll find that you can do all of this while your baby is sleeping, and still be able to get to their room quickly when there’s any sign of disturbance. This not only puts you at ease, but it’s also comforting for your child to know that you’ll be right there when they need you.
- Infant Optics: http://infantoptics.com/DXR-8_Main.php
- Levana: http://mylevana.com/
- Foscam: http://foscam.us/