Everything Parents Need to Know About Baby Monitors

Shutterstock // Aleksei Mikhailechko

Staying connected with your baby is a top priority for parents, especially during those precious nap times in another room. Baby monitors provide the reassurance you need, offering a watchful eye and ear to keep you in the loop at all times. Modern technology goes above and beyond, allowing you to monitor your little one 24/7. If you need help finding the perfect fit for your lifestyle and budget, here are some tips.

Types of Baby Monitors

Baby monitors come in three main types: audio, video, and wifi-based monitors. Audio monitors capture your baby’s sounds during sleep, providing a budget-friendly option for monitoring naps or brief absences. Video monitors offer a visual overview of your baby’s sleep, featuring special functions like zoom, tilt, and night vision.

WiFi-based monitors connect to your network, allowing remote monitoring via your smartphone to provide reassurance when away from home. While high-tech options are available, many standard monitors on the market offer the peace of mind you seek without unnecessary complexity. Choose based on your budget, desired features, and lifestyle.

Safety Tips for Using the Gadget

Baby monitor safety is paramount for ensuring your little one’s well-being. A top safety concern is the danger baby monitor cords can pose. To minimize risks, place monitors with cords at least three feet away from your baby’s sleeping space, avoiding placement inside cribs or on crib edges. Experts also recommend against breathing monitors that supposedly help prevent SIDS, as there’s no evidence to prove that they work in this way and they just increase parent’s anxiety.

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But perhaps the most important safety tip is that while monitors offer convenience, they should never replace direct supervision. Regularly check on your baby, especially during illness, as monitors may not detect subtle changes like fevers. Stay attentive to your baby’s movements and sounds in person as well as via a monitor.

How to Set Up the Baby Monitor

For optimal baby monitor setup, purchase and install it before your baby arrives. Since homes differ, this minimizes frequency interference risks. If using a video monitor, follow the provided instructions for wall mounting. Choose a suitable location, ensuring safety with cord placement. Additionally, avoid excess background noise interference from fans or air conditioners.

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The duration of baby monitor use is a personal choice. Most parents use it during the initial months and for naps. Some continue into the toddler years, especially during the climbing-out-of-bed stage. However, some parents skip baby monitors entirely, opting for alternatives like room-sharing. As long as you can hear your baby, a monitor isn’t strictly necessary, emphasizing the variety of approaches in parenting.