Important Shopping Considerations for Baby Sleep Monitors
By now you know the top-rated baby monitors and the features they include, but you may still have some general questions. Here are the top FAQs people have about baby sleep monitors.
Are Baby Monitors Safe?
Yes, baby monitors are safe, with proper use. Never place a baby monitor in your baby’s crib or within their reach, as the device can pose a choking hazard. Also ensure the cord is placed well out of your baby’s reach to avoid strangulation. Ensure that even if your baby were to stand up in the bed, they could not reach the cord.
Do I Need a Baby Monitor?
Whether or not you decide to purchase a baby monitor depends a great deal on your parenting style and your house. If you share a room with your baby or sleep in close proximity, you may opt for no monitor. Many parents, however, appreciate the peace of mind a baby monitor provides. Especially if you’re a deep sleeper, you may sleep more soundly at night knowing that you will wake up if your baby needs you. On the other hand, light sleepers may want to turn down the volume on their units so they don’t wake up to every peep.
Baby monitors are especially useful if you have a larger house or sleep on a different floor from your child. They’re also handy for more than just bedtime. A baby monitor can save you from having to stay within earshot while your baby naps. Some parents use baby monitors as nanny cams to check-in while their children are with other caregivers. Wi-Fi-enabled devices also allow parents to check in on their babies even if they’re out of town.
If you’re not sure if a monitor is right for you, you can always start off with a basic, audio-only model and upgrade if needed. You may also decide you want a video monitor once your baby moves into her own room.
How Do Baby Sleep Monitors Work?
Baby monitors transmit sound and/or video from your baby’s room to the receiving device over a selected radio frequency band or internet connection.
Whenever you buy a baby monitor, it will include the transmitter (the audio or camera you place in your baby’s room), and the receiver (which you keep with you). You may place the transmitter on a surface in your baby’s room, or you may be able to mount it on a wall. The receiver will be a handheld device, and it may come with a clip so you can attach it to your person.
Where Should I Place the Baby Monitor?
To avoid interference and keep your baby as safe as possible, place the baby monitor completely out of reach from your baby and any household pets. Also keep it at least a few feet away from other wireless products that may cause interference.
Ideally, your baby monitor should be placed in an area that’s positioned to give you an unobstructed view of your baby while they sleep, without endangering them from being in a place where the power cords could become tangled or the monitor could be accidentally knocked over.
How Do I Reduce Interference?
The biggest complaint parents have about baby sleep monitors is interference. The video can be fuzzy or audio can have static, confusing you as to what’s your baby and what’s not. This interference occurs due to other electronic and cordless items in your home sharing the same wireless signal as the baby monitor.
To reduce interference, some audio-only monitors use Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology (DECT). DECT uses a private signal, separate from the 2.4-GHz frequency band the other wireless products are using in your home (such as cordless phones).
Besides getting a DECT model, you can also reduce interference by confirming that the frequency band your baby monitor uses is different from the one your other wireless products are using. You can typically find this information on a label on the back or side of each device.
Regardless of the technology powering your baby monitor, place it at least a few feet away from other wireless products to ensure a crystal clear feed.
How Much Do Baby Monitors Cost?
The price of a baby monitor depends on the type of monitor you choose and the number of included features. Video monitors are more expensive than audio-only monitors, and the more features you can expect to enjoy, the more you can expect to pay. Typically, baby monitors range from $30 to $300.
Can I Return My Baby Sleep Monitor?
Always check the store or manufacturer’s return policy before buying a baby monitor. Typically, you can return something as long as it hasn’t been opened, but you also want to know if you’ll be able to return it in case you do open and decide you don’t like it. Keep the receipt and original packaging just in case.
Do Baby Breathing Monitors Prevent SIDS?
No, they cannot prevent SIDS. Baby monitors are not a replacement for adult supervision, but they can help you continue to keep an eye and ear on your baby while they sleep.
Some monitors, marketed as baby breathing or baby movement monitors, are designed to track baby’s breathing and movement. They may include a device that’s clipped to your baby, or a sensor that lies in their crib, but they usually don’t include a video camera allowing you to watch your baby. However, these claims have not been tested and, since they’re not medical devices, they are not regulated or approved by the FDA.
As such, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not endorse buying these products, and warns consumers about whether they should believe the marketing hype. They worry that because these monitors claim to prevent SIDS, parents will worry less about taking other precautionary measures that are proven to be effective at preventing SIDS.
Because they’re marketed as high-tech monitors with smartphone apps and baby health analytics, these baby breathing monitors often tend to be expensive. These types monitors pose a growing concern for the AAP because their market share is growing. Currently, the AAP’s official position is that these are not effective for preventing SIDS.