I’m going to be an aunt!
I’m so excited! In just over a month, my baby sister is going to have my first blood nephew! Having a close relationship with her, she has turned to me for guidance on what to buy, avoid and invest in. After surviving the baby stage three times and owning 5 baby monitors, I have learned a few tricks in one what to look for in a monitor.
Buying a baby monitor can be confusing and overwhelming. Should you go for a simple sound monitor that is easy to use? Or should you go for the Cadillac of all monitors complete with all the bells and whistles?
Here are my 3 top things to look for in a baby monitor:
1. Video is a MUST
When I had my first child, we only had a sound monitor. It was great at alerting me to when the baby was awake, unhappy or wanting his next feeding, but it really didn’t provide me with all the information I needed to make a clear decision as to what the baby needed. For example, my oldest child was a soother sucker. He would stir and often cry in the middle of the night. Not being able to see what he wanted, I would rush in (as all new parents do) to soothe his cries. Half the time, he was searching for his soother and once he found it would lull himself back to sleep. When I rushed in, I would ‘wake’ him up more, thus having to start the soothing process all over again. When DD3, who was also a soother sucker came along, I had a video monitor. I was able to view what she was doing when she was awake in the middle of the night. Was she making her hungry face or just searching for her soother? The video monitor allowed me to make a sound decision without leaving the warmth of my bed!
Another amazing use for a video monitor is in the case of a baby with colic. DD3 was essentially starving due to my undiagnosed celiac disease and as a result has a lot of colic. There were times when nothing would settle her and mommy’s nerves were shot. I would turn off the sound and leave the video feed running. I was able to see that she was safe, without fraying my last nerve.
When searching for video monitors look for:
-The zoom function (gives you a clear picture)
-Infrared lights (allows you to see in the dark)
-High resolution (this provides a clearer picture)
2. Two way communication
I never thought of this as a must have feature for a baby monitor until I had it. I remember with my DS8, when I was sleep training him, I would stand in his room murmuring ‘shhh shhh shh’. He would be fine until I left the room and stopped shushing. With DD3, I applied this same method but was able to leave the room and use the two-way communication to continue shushing (or in case of being startled awake!). This function also works amazingly well when you are doing laundry and have three flights to run up to get the baby. With the two way communication, I can say “mommy’s coming” which prevents them from going into a panic with the extra time it takes to get to them.
3. Good Range
There is nothing worse then going to the basement to do laundry, only to have your monitor quit working because you are ‘out of range’. When manufactures test the monitor for their range they are usually using an open field test. In a real life situation, your signal is going through walls, doors, wiring, around other signals, etc. It is estimated that the actual range can be anywhere from 5-30x less then what is on the box. Find a monitor that has ample range (more then you need) so that you can be sure that the monitor will be function everywhere in the house.
One monitor that meets all of my criteria and much, much more is the Snuza TrioPlus.
Snuza TrioPlus is a three in one baby monitor system. It has a large 3.5″ color display unit to allow you to see every move your baby makes as well as the ability remotely control the camera for panning, viewing and tilting to ensure you get the best view possible. It provides you both audio and verbal capabilities to allow you to hear and speak to your baby. Lastly, It includes a mobile baby movement monitor for 24/7 tummy movement detection.
Other features include:
– Room temperature display
– Timer to remind you of feeding times.
– Movement detection to alert you if abdominal movement stops(Vibration stimulus after 15 seconds of no movement and built-in alarm after 20 seconds of no movement)
– Invisible infrared LED night vision
– Portable and rechargeable parent unit
– Remote control camera – pan/tilt zoom
– Multiple camera option (You can add up to 4 camera to one unit)
– Voice-activated sound monitoring (VOX)
– Digital wireless for private and interference-free connection
– Range up to 165 ft. indoors, 492 ft. clear line of sight
– Camera wall-mount option
Out of all the monitors I have experimented with in the past, this monitor seemed to be right on the money! The range was decent and allowed me to sit out back in my gazebo while still maintaining ‘eye’ contact on my sleeping DD3. The video was crystal clear and I loved that I could pan and tilt the camera to follow DD3 around the room. The infrared light made it easy to watch her sleep at light and was so clear I could see her chest rise and fall with her breath. The two way communication is great for catching DD3 in a unsafe situation and stopping it while not in the room. The only function I was unable to test was the movement detection piece as DD3 didn’t like the idea of it being attached to her to get a good reading. I highly recommend this monitor for my sister!