Parents should take the time to investigate baby monitors before choosing a brand for use in the home. There are two basic types of monitors: audio and audio/video. Some are analogue and others are digital, but they perform essentially the same function. Some monitors detect an infant’s breathing or heartbeat and give an alarm if breathing stops for too long a period. Others provide only audio to inform parents when a baby is awakened. There are many other high-tech features available including color video monitors in high definition, motion detectors to identify intruders and infrared video so parents can view a child without opening doors and turning on lights, which can awaken the baby.
All models consist of a base unit, which is placed in the baby’s room, and a receiver, which goes in the parents’ bedroom. The base unit receives data from the crib and nursery and transmits this information by radio frequency to the parents. There are many frequencies employed by modern electronic devices and there may be interference caused by cell phone operation or other devices being used in the area. Many models offer a variety of frequencies so parents can choose the one offering the clearest signal. Digital monitors encode the signal so other people cannot pick up the sounds on their electronic devices. Parents may wish to choose a monitor that operates on a different frequency than other electronic gadgets used in the home.
Most monitor’s base units operate on both AC or DC current. When employing electrical outlets, a backup battery provides protection in the event of an interruption in power. Video monitors include a small screen for parental viewing so parents are not tied to a video monitor. Parents should choose a screen that is large enough for clear viewing. Some models allow control of the brightness of the screen, which can facilitate a clearer resolution. Parents can choose video monitors that utilize infrared cameras so they get a clear view of an infant, even when he or she is sleeping in a dark room. Some models have base units that have a built-in nightlight, which parents can activate from their room.
Parents can choose baby monitors that take the temperature in the nursery and warn parents if the temperature falls too low or rises to unacceptable levels. Nurseries should maintain a temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Some audio monitors have lights that flash when babies make a sound. Parents can also choose models that have warning indicators when parents are out of range. The parental receivers are generally battery-operated so parents can carry them from room to room. By investigating models and prices, parents can choose the best model to suit their needs and provide reassurance that their infant is carefully monitored at all times.