What New Parents Need to Know About Baby Monitors

Published On July 29, 2013 | Electronics

One of the most important items that should be on everyone’s baby registry is a baby monitor. Not only does it give the parent peace of mind while the little one naps, but it enables the parent to be out of the room getting chores done or entertaining older siblings without hovering over the sleeping baby.

Since there is a very large variety of baby monitors on the market today, it makes selecting the most appropriate one a bit difficult. Here is a list of the different types and features of monitors available:

Analog Monitors

The analog system takes the audio/video received and transmits it over radio waves through a series of pulses to the receiver that picks it up and sets it to the right frequency. It is one of the oldest technologies.

Pros: Readily available, multiple model options

Cons: Cross signals

Digital Monitors

These types of monitors use code to transmit the images and sound over radio waves. This keeps other devices from picking up the baby’s sound.

Pros: Eliminates cross signals

Cons: Uses a 2.4 GHz frequency that other wireless devices use and may cause static on the receiver

Wireless Network Monitors

A newer option available to baby monitors is the ability to use the family’s existing wireless network as a transmitter. These come with a transmitter (camera) and the parent can view their baby from the Internet on a computer or smartphone.

Pros: Parents don’t need to carry around a monitor, don’t have to be home to monitor the baby

Cons: Must be by a computer or have a phone capable of using the network, must have a wireless network to operate

Audio Only

These types of monitors allow parents to listen to their baby while they sleep and work similarly to walkie talkies – with radio waves.

Pros: Affordable, easy to use

Cons: Cannot see your baby, parents need to assess if a certain sound is that of sleep or distress, have more cross signals


One of the most popular monitors available are those that feature both video and sound.

Pros: Multiple model options, can watch as well as hear the baby

Cons: Price, new parents tend to hover over the video screens more often

Movement Monitors

New parents often worry about all the things that could go wrong while their baby is asleep. Movement monitors bring peace of mind to parents who worry about the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This under-the-mattress monitor keeps track of the baby’s movements.

Pros: Sound options available, temperature option available, puts parents at ease

Cons: No video option available, price, mobile babies tend to roll off sensor pads, false alarms may stress out parents

Multiple Cameras

Most brands come with the option to purchase a set of two cameras that work in conjunction with the same monitor.

Pros: Value, great for twins or future children

Cons: Price, some monitors don’t allow for multiple camera views on one screen

Other Features to Consider

Prices of monitors range depending on the amount of features available. Some monitors are black and white (night vision) and others are color. Baby monitors can also feature a temperature sensor, two-way talkback, sound sensitive lights, eco modes, remote controlled cameras, and can even project light shows and play lullabies.

Luckily for new parents there isn’t much that a baby monitor can’t do now-a-days. And with the hundreds of baby monitoring apps that can be used in conjunction with a monitor, new parents are sure to get a little peace of mind.

— By Ashley Pfeffer

Ashley is a Navy wife and a mom who enjoys crafting, blogging, taking pictures, and spending time with family and friends. Visit her blog at http://twoundertwoblog.wordpress.com/.



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