Helpful guide to baby monitors
Baby monitors can offer parents peace of mind when baby is sleeping, here's some helpful tips to help you choose the right one for you
Baby monitors are a great way to keep an eye or ear on your baby from another room whilst they’re sleeping, and wonderful for a new parent’s peace of mind.
What to look for
Baby monitors range in price from around 320, to deluxe models that can ring in at nearly £200.
Monitors offer a range of features, with three main types to choose from, audio, video and movement.
Audio monitors are the cheapest. Always make sure that you choose a digital model rather than an analogue one, as these can have poor sound quality and are difficult to tune into the right channel.
Video monitors are more expensive, but you can now pick up a decent model for under £100. They normally have black and white images and most have a night vision camera so you see your baby even in the dark.
Finally, movement monitors. These are sensor pads that are put under your baby’s mattress and sound an alarm if no movement is detected after a twenty second period.
They’re not essential, but can be useful to reassure particularly nervous new parents or if a baby has had serious health issues.
Typically, a monitor has two parts, a base unit that sits by your baby’s bed and picks up sounds and a ‘parent unit’ for you to listen with. There is now a new breed of monitors however, that doesn’t have a parent unit and send sounds and pictures via an app on your smart phone instead.
Make sure you choose a monitor with a good range, so you can still hear your baby even if you have popped to the bottom of the garden.
Some models have a temperature display, while others have a nightlight – useful for night feeds or nappy changes. You can buy monitors that play lullabies, too.
Need to know
A monitor offers peace of mind but you should always follow sleep safety guidelines.
For more information about safer sleep and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), visit www.lullabytrust.org.uk
- Choose between an audio, video or movement monitor
- Look for clear sound quality and a good range
- Video and sound monitors are not essential but will reassure more anxious parents
Latest products on the market:
VTech Digital Audio baby monitor RRP £29.99
Has a 300m range and features DECT digital technology to ensure clear sound.
- The parent unit uses rechargeable batteries for up to 14 hours of active monitoring
- It also includes audio and visual sound indicators and 5 volume levels and volume off settings
- Includes an alert on the main unit to let you know if you have gone out of range with it.
We love that this very reasonably priced, simple to use digital monitor will give you peace of mind – whatever your budget.
Technical specs: Digital
Tomy TF525 Digital baby monitor RRP £49.99
Has a crystal clear, interference-free connection
- Nightlight to keep low level lighting for night-time feeds
- The parent unit shows the ambient temperature in the nursery
- Has rechargeable batteries so you’ll never run out
We love this simple and reasonably priced audio monitor that is hassle-free and easy to use.
Technical specs: DECT technology ensures an interference-free connection with crystal clear sound and 100 per cent privacy, long 350m range in optimum conditions.
BT Digital Baby Monitor 350 Lightshow RRP £69.99
Has hi-definition sound so you can hear your baby clearly
- An adjustable nightlight, lightshow projection and 19 lullabies
- A bright and clear LCD screen
- Temperature display and alert so you know ifyour baby’s room is too hot or cold
We love the choice of lights or soothing music to pacify your baby, and you can upload your own music too.
Technical specs: LED screen, nightlight, rechargeable battery
Tommee Tippee Digital Sound and Movement baby monitor RRP £99.99
Includes a movement sensor pad that alerts you if no movement after 20 seconds
- Long distance range (up to 300m) plus an indicator to let you know if it goes out of range
- Two-way talkback so you can reassure your baby from another room
- Room temperature display on both units
We love that this monitor is reasonably priced and still includes features like the sensor pad, but there’s no visual monitor.
Technical specs: Contains: 1 x Sound Monitor (parent unit and docking station and baby unit), 1 x Sensor Pad