How to Buy a Baby Monitor
Shop with Parents: Read this before you head to the store!
Quiet Sounds Handheld Color Video Monitor Summer Infant Baby, $200 Your best bet if you need to see it to believe it.
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.
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.
SoundSleep Monitor Graco, $30 All the basic features you need to keep tabs on your tot.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.