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
What to look for
Baby monitors range in price from around £20, 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