How to buy - Monitors

How to buy - Monitors

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The expert guide to buying a baby monitor

A great help for parents who want to know when their baby is waking up. So if you’re getting on with some work, relaxing in the garden or doing the housework, a monitor can let you know as soon as baby wakes up ready for a feed – or some fun!

Typically, a monitor has two parts. The base unit sits near the baby’s bed and picks up his sounds. Make sure there’s a handy power socket (don’t trail wires across the floor – you could trip). The parent unit, which you keep with you, is usually portable, either plug-in or rechargeable.

Some monitors have a motion-sensitive pad that senses baby’s movements and breathing and alert you if he is still for too long. These can be reassuring for special needs or premature babies, or if you have had a previous experience of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). They offer peace of mind but be aware – baby may roll off the mat and give a false alarm. For more information on premature babies and SIDS, see www.tommys.org and www.fsid.org.uk

Features to look for

  • Range – check how far you can go in house or garden.
  • Sound quality; some offer digital quality and reduce interference.
  • Video – some parents like to be able to see their baby, day or night.
  • Room temperature display – baby’s room should be 18° for safety.
  • Visual sound indicator – it may have lights in addition to sound.
  • Music – some have lullabies and other soothing sounds.
  • Remote control.
  • Nightlight.

Important safety advice

A monitor is not a substitute for parental attention. When baby is under six months, have her sleep in your room with you. It is important to check on your baby regularly.

How to be an expert

There are lots of monitors with different features – the more you pay, the more features you get. Decide if you really need them all. You may be better off getting a simple model and you can save the money for something else.


Usually quite cheap, can be plugged into the power socket in baby’s and your room. Not ideal if you travel a lot or move it from room to room.


The parent unit is cordless and can be clipped to your belt. Some have recharging from the mains, others take batteries. Rechargeable ones are cheaper, as batteries wear out quickly.

Featured product

Digital Video Monitor with Movement Sensor Pad by Tommee Tippee

The video monitor form Tommee Tippee is Closer To Nature. It comes with a full colour screen and a movement sensor pad to offer parents peace of mind and a good range of functions. The sound quality promises to be interference-free, relying on FHSS digital technology: the parent unit picks up the slightest sound up to 300m from the base unit. The parent unit has a 3" colour screen to keep an eye on baby even in the dark, due to its infra-red night vision camera. You can keep an eye on the room temperature with its thermometer. There is a two-way talk back function to soothe your baby from outside the room, a nightlight and a pager if you mislay the parent unit. The sensor pad, with adjustable settings, is placed beneath the mattress and sounds an alarm if no movements are felt for 20 seconds.

www.tommeetippee.co.uk 0208 420 4429