Baby monitors are a great help to a lot of parents. But what exactly are they, and what are they used for? Imagine a pair of children’s walkie-talkies, and you’re pretty much there with how they look and work Parents can put one of the monitors in their child’s room to keep an ‘ear’ on whether their baby is in distress. They are a really useful tool if a parent is unable to stay with their baby for every waking minute, a feat very few parents manage.
There are many kinds of monitor, the simplest design being the one-way monitor. It’s the most common kind and is usually just audio. These are the cheapest and most widely available. As long as you keep your part of the monitor with you, you’ll always be able to hear what your baby is doing, as it sends sounds from one receiver to the other. If your baby wakes up, or starts to cry, you’ll know immediately and can go to their side.
One-way baby monitors are exactly that; they only transmit audio from your baby to you. But the downside of the one-way variety is that you will find yourself constantly running back and forth to be at your baby’s side.
However, more recently the two-way monitor has become available, and is much more popular. These will undoubtedly be a little more expensive, but they do have greater benefits that the one-way counterpart. Parents tend to love them. Not only are you able to hear your child at all times, but they are able to hear you, too. If they are awake, you can talk to them from wherever you are in the house, and they are a wonderful tool to help with the parent-child bond.
Baby monitors are an excellent way of easing the transition on the child as you start to leave them alone for more often, as opposed to mollycoddling them for the whole day. A great many young children suffer from separation anxiety. Pacifying your child’s anxieties by singing lullabies, talking in a soothing voice, or reading stories will really help your little one be reassured. For children, it’s often just enough to know that their parents are in the background.
If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, sometimes it might just be a case of hearing your voice in order to soothe them back to sleep. Or if he or she is crying and upset, you can calm them down using your end of the receiver. As long as you ensure you have a mix of ‘actual’ visits to your child’s room, the two-way monitors can be a huge success, especially if you’re trying to get back a bit of your own independence during the day.
It will also help your child to become more independent, not just you. Very young children learn quickly that crying means you’ll be by their side in a second. This can be dangerous; before you know it, they’ll be demanding your presence every waking hour. Baby monitors can keep the bond whilst maintaining your distance.
Having a baby is massively time consuming on both of the parents, to the point where looking after your child constantly has knock-on effects on the rest of your life. Trying to do the housework with a child on your hip is quite the feat. Very few parents can be at the beck and call of their child, but owning a baby monitor can ensure the transition to parenthood is less frantic.
Not only is it a useful tool, but the number one priority for parents owning a baby monitor is that of safety. Being able to hear your child at all times means you know they are safe and will give you incredible peace of mind when the doorbell rings, or the washing needs to be hung out to dry.
Older models of baby monitors used to be full of static and disturbances. Static meant it was more difficult to hear when your child was in distress. These were analogue monitors, and as well as the static, they often have a limited range, meaning you couldn’t travel very far without losing the signal to your child. But technology has come a long way in recent years. Today’s choices of baby monitor give a much clearer signal and have a far greater range. Many have additional features, so you can choose the monitor that is most appropriate for your circumstances and you budget.
The cheapest type of baby monitor is the analogue variety. They are still available, and at a better standard than past models. We’ve also already mentioned the one-way monitors, as well as the audio-only types. However, with advances of technology, baby monitors these days are also available with video potential. This is great for parents who want that extra piece of mind, and also for babies who are mischievous! Video baby monitors usually come with a little camera that you place somewhere near to your baby, usually on their cot. Some advanced models even have the capabilities to transmit images that are recorded onto and television or a computer screen. There are also infra-red monitors, which can film your baby when it’s dark.
The third type of baby monitor is the sensory monitor. These have three different mechanisms: the receiver, transmitter, and the pad. The pad is touch-sensitive, and it is usually placed underneath your baby’s mattress. Any subtle movements are recorded. These are particularly useful if your child is at a higher risk than other babies of cot death.
The only drawback to be aware of is that, as the monitors run on radio signals, they can experience interference from cordless telephones, mobile phones, and even microwaves. Also, be aware that if any of your neighbours also own a baby monitor, they may be able to pick up your frequency, so never have a private discussion while your own monitor is active.
Extra features on some monitors included alerts when the batteries are nearly dead, and belt loops making them easier to carry while you go about your day-to-day business.