Who’s Minding the Baby?
December 31, 2014
As a parent, you are well aware that nothing can replace your own eyes and ears. You are the best baby monitor for your child. However, having a new baby does not mean that the rest of your other responsibilities disappear. You will need your sleep more than ever. Getting regular showers is nice as well. For these and other reasons, most parents choose to use a baby monitor to act as their eyes and ears (and even voice). With over 1900 choice on Amazon alone, though, it is hard to know how to choose the right monitor.
Narrow your choices down. Decide what features are ‘musts’ and which are ‘nice.’ Many of today’s monitors have video options with cameras that can be moved remotely. There are also significantly less expensive audio monitors. Is it important to you that you can see your sleeping baby? If so, the video feature is going to be a ‘must’ for you. With the video monitors there are systems that allow you to use your phone as a viewing device or a separate monitor. There are even monitors that check the temperature of the baby’s room.
If you are comfortable simply being able to hear your child when he cries, consider the less high-tech audio monitor. Many of these monitors come with a parent control that gives you the option of “real” sound, a vibrate alert and a flashing light.
Other options to consider when choosing a baby monitor include: wireless versions, monitors with a frequency over 900 MHz (to avoid interference), a prominent low battery light and, on video monitors, an option to dim the screen at night. Once you have the monitor, spend some time practicing using it before the baby arrives – use it on the dog or on your goldfish. You’ll be glad you practiced when the monitor alerts you in the middle of the night – you won’t waste time fumbling with dials and switches.
A baby monitor is not a substitute for you or other adult supervision. It will, however, give you peace of mind when you have to leave your sleeping baby upstairs while you work or rest in another part of the house. Having a reliable monitor at your side will allow you to focus on the task at hand while your baby naps.