Before You Buy a Baby Monitor

There are dozens of styles of baby monitors available for purchase at baby products stores. When you're buying a baby monitor, you should look for one that fits your lifestyle and the home in which it will be used. The following suggestions will help you find the perfect baby monitor so that you can keep a closer eye on your baby for safety and peace of mind.

Baby Monitor Range

If you only want to monitor your baby from a few rooms away, or in a small house, almost any baby monitor will do.

If you have a large or multi-story home, or you'd like to be able to take the receiver outside to a large yard or detached garage, look for a baby monitor with a longer range, so you can be sure you'll hear baby from far away.



    If you have close neighbors with children, keep in mind that other families may have baby monitors that use the same channels, meaning that you may hear what happens in other homes, and they may hear you. Cordless phones may also pick up baby monitor sounds. If interference is a concern for you, look for a baby monitor that has added security features or no-interference technology.


      Monitoring Sounds, Sights and More

      Basic baby monitors let you hear what's happening in baby's room. Modern baby monitors also let you watch baby on video, and even to monitor baby's breathing and movement. Video monitors are helpful, but you won't want to watch the screen constantly, so be sure the monitor also has good sound.

      Movement sensors add peace of mind, but the AAP warns that parents may gain a false sense of security from movement monitors. Checking your baby personally is still the safest option.


        Multi-Room Monitoring

        Most baby monitors have one transmitter for the nursery and one or two receivers that let parents listen to baby.

        If you want transmitters in more than one room, or for more than one child, there are fewer choices. Some parents buy two or more baby monitor systems to monitor different children, but with this option you must choose systems that don't interfere, or you'll only hear annoying electronics screeches. A few baby monitors today have multi-room monitoring options, though.


          Baby Monitor Portability

          The majority of baby monitor receivers today have at least a belt clip that allows parents to carry the receiver with them around the house. If you want to move the receiver around a lot, check the belt clip or attachment method to be sure it's sturdy enough to withstand daily use. Also check the power source and battery life. Will you need to plug it in constantly? Some new baby monitors have ultra-small receivers on a lanyard or belt-clip for great portability, too.