Ask Anything: Best Baby Monitors?
GoodyBlog reader Donna writes: “Which baby monitors have the best reviews?”
Ok Donna, so here’s the deal. This is subjective, because though all baby monitors do the basics (transmit sounds), where they differ is in features, range, and battery life. It all depends on your situation (Have a big house? Do you want it to play lullabies? Need video too?). To get you started, here are some shopping tips from Sandra Gordon, author of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products.
1. What’s the frequency? It depends. Choose a monitor that has multiple channels (up to 27) and operates on a different band than your cordless phone–2.4 GHz instead of 900 MHz, for example.
2. You’ll want to hear your baby all over the house, so look for a compact rechargeable parent unit that clips to your waistband, has multiple receivers, and sounds an alarm when you’re out of range.
3. Also consider buying an audio monitor that lights up when your baby cries–handy for monitoring him when you’re watching TV or talking on the phone.
4. Look for a model that can be powered both by batteries and an A/C adapter. Batteries are helpful in case of a power failure and will let you use the unit outside.
Okay but which ones are the best? Most of the monitors in our most recent review are still available. We also found this hip one via MomAdvice (she seems to really like it.) This little number (via Ubergizmo) is ridiculously cool (but probably just as ridiculously expensive). And if you’re in a pinch (or traveling), check out the cell phone-as-baby-monitor trick from ParentHacks.
So now if you’ve narrowed it down to a few choices, try this little hack that I use all the time: Hit up Amazon and type in the product name. It’s the fastest, easiest short cut to tons of really honest reviews. (I just bought a vacuum via the Amazon method, actually.) Donna, if you find one you love, let us know. (And if anyone has a baby monitor that rocks, please post it in the comments for Donna!)
Got a question for us? Ask Anything at editors @ goodyblog.com.
**UPDATE: There’s some really fabulous advice from the real experts (um, that’s you guys) in the comments. Do read!**