Choosing the right baby monitor is no easy task. It takes research, recommendations, and sometimes physically viewing and testing monitors in order to make the big purchase. To some, the baby monitor purchase is one of the most important items on the registry, simply because baby’s safety (and your own ability to see and hear baby’s every move) is more important than anything.
Bubba only slept in our room for the first 2 months, and then we transitioned him into the crib in his bedroom (that’s a whole other blog entry)–so you can imagine the obsession I had with the quality and functionality of his monitor. At that time, we used an Angelcare AC401 Deluxe Movement & Sound Monitor, which was a hand-me-down from some friends of ours with an older toddler. It was a few years old, which worried us a little bit, but it was in perfect condition, and worked great. What I liked most about the Angelcare, was that it detected baby’s breathing at all times…but that feature was also sometimes problematic, when it would occasionally warn us that baby is not breathing (by sounding a very terrifying beep, which upon hearing, I would tear out of the bedroom door in a panic, just to find that my peacefully sleeping baby was not laying on the monitor’s sensor pad!) Despite the glitches, I felt assured that my little one was just fine while snoozing a room away.
Once Bubs started standing up in his crib, we decided that a video monitor purchase was a must. After extensive research, and recommendations, we decided to purchase the Motorola Digital 3.5″ Video Baby Monitor – MBP36, which tends to be a tad pricey (around $240), but we found a good deal on Target.com, and ended up saving about $50. We love this monitor, and have had it for a year now, with zero issues. With so many monitors on the market, how do you know which one is best for you and your little one? Every family’s needs are different, but here are some important and popular features to look for:
- sensor pad
- multiple receivers
- temperature display
- nursery night light
- battery option
- low battery indicator
- volume control and vibration alert
- motion and sound alerts
- high-quality video display
- temperature display
- 2-way communication microphone (for speaking to baby)
- remote access (ie: smartphone-based monitors)
- pivot and tilt
- battery option
- multiple camera capabilities
- digital zoom
- night vision
Vendors are a dime a dozen, but if you visit the right store (online or in-person), you will save time, frustration, and chances are, you will also save money! Amazon.com is always a good place to start when researching products and reviews, and if you have Amazon Prime (about $100/year) you can receive most products in 2 days, without having to pay shipping–totally worth the premium! Most moms I know swear by shopping at Buy Buy Baby, due to its wide selection, pricing, and the fact that they take Bed Bath and Beyond coupons–pretty cool, huh? I love Target, and I am a proud Red Card holder. This means, I save 5% on all purchases in-store or online, and I get free shipping when purchasing on Target.com. Target.com is also fabulous because it accepts as many coupons and promotional codes you can come up with–unlike Babies ‘R Us.
Where to start? Visit any (or all!) of the websites mentioned above and search “baby monitors.” From there, it’s important to filter your search results by whatever matters most to you. I mainly sorted by “customer rating” and “price”–rather than “popular” or top seller” options. Then, narrow the contenders down to three, and ask your favorite group of Moms which of the three they’d prefer. You should be pretty confident in making a purchasing decision at that point.
Take your time researching and deciding on which type of monitor to purchase, and be sure you are aware of all the cool new monitor options on the market, such as multi-camera monitors and smartphone-based monitors (yes, you can actually check on baby anytime, anywhere!). Piece of mind is a powerful thing, and when you know baby is sleeping safe and sound, YOU might actually get some sleep too!