SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only!
(The ad below will not display on your printed page)

How to Buy a Baby Monitor

PA0805SHOPP03

Quiet Sounds Handheld Color Video Monitor Summer Infant Baby, $200 Your best bet if you need to see it to believe it.

PA0805SHOPP04

2.4 GHz Ultra-Range Monitor The First Years, $60 This unit lets you hear your baby from up to 1,500 feet away and won't interfere with your cordless phone.

PA0805SHOPP05

Ocean Wonders Aquarium Monitor With Smart Response Fisher-Price, $40 When it "hears" your baby wake up, this model starts a soothing music-and-light show.

PA0805SHOPP06

SoundSleep Monitor Graco, $30 All the basic features you need to keep tabs on your tot.

PA0805SHOPP07

Whisper Connect Tria Nursery Monitor Evenflo, $70 A "page" button helps you find the receivers even when they get shoved under the couch.

Consumer Reports Shopping Tips

  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.
  5. Even the best audio monitors can pick up interference. Audio/video combinations can help you determine when a sound is coming from your baby and not the child next door, your TV, or your phone.
  6. Remember, baby monitors are not medical devices and are not able to prevent SIDS, nor should they take the place of heart or breathing monitors prescribed by health-care professionals.

-Sandra Gordon, author of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products

Copyright©: 2005. Reprinted with permission from the August 2005 issue of Parents magazine.