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Baby Monitors Buying Guide

The advent of the baby monitor really changed how parenting works. Once upon a time it was a bit challenging to get stuff done when you had to keep checking up on the baby, listening for the baby, and generally keeping your ear tuned for those first signs of waking up, "fussing", or wailing for a meal or diaper change.

All of that changed with the creation of baby monitors. They allow a parent to listen in on the nursery and to remain fully aware of the baby while also being free to do all kinds of projects around the home. Naturally, as technology has advanced, so too have the technologies associated with the baby monitor. 

Today's Options

In the world of modern baby monitors parents can choose from:

1. Audio/Video Units - these are high tech designs that come with both an audible signal as well as a video signal; meaning you actually see the baby thanks to a special camera mounted in their room.

2. Dual Units - these feature the device that remains in the baby's room and which transmits the signals to the parent's hand held or portable unit.

3. Sound and Movement Units - these feature special pads put under the baby's mattress in addition to the typical transmitting device; essentially allowing the parent know everything going on without having a camera in the room.

4. Combination Units - These feature the usual transmitter and receiver, but some have special soothing sound or light features mounted into the transmitter that help the baby to remain calm and relaxed.

While many new parents wonder if they need a baby monitoring system with so many of the famous "bells and whistles," it may be surprising to hear that there are many other options to consider.

The Options

One of the most important factors in any baby monitoring system is the type of signal used. Though most manufacturers are moving away from the analogue signals because they are so easily interfered with by competing signals, there are still some that use broadcasting technologies. This can make a good system seem surprisingly low in price, and it is something to remain aware of, particularly if you live in a crowded area in which bandwidth is something with a lot of competition.

If you want to avoid all of the problems, go with a DECT system. This means "digitally enhanced cordless communication technology", and brands such as Phillips, Motorola, and Oricom are well known for integrating this sort of top of the line option into their equipment. This technology doesn't just give a clearer signal and sound, but it also tends to guarantee that your frequency remains private and "locked" from any spying or eavesdropping.

There is also the need to consider the "range" of the devices too. If you want to regularly head into the garden while the baby sleeps, you cannot use a device with limited range. Also consider the amount of battery power any portable units have as well - especially if you will be bringing it to many different rooms. 

The portable receivers always have a "base" in which they charge, but not all have the same amount of battery power before they need to be recharged. Also, consider if there are any options for converting from the wall outlet to battery power if the electricity service is interrupted. 

Advanced Features

If the idea of the video and audio combination units appeal, the names most commonly associated with them are Uniden, Avent, and Motorola. Do keep in mind that these create independent signals of their own. They are not wired through a home router or other device, and that means they will consume electricity and need to be designed for optimal security. You do not want someone hacking into a home video system, and the top units ensure that their devices keep your signal closed and fully encrypted.

When you do invest in an audio and video system, try to choose those that are expandable, have night vision features, and which have audio signals that allow you to speak to a child through the unit if you cannot get to them immediately.

The costs of these technologies are difficult to indicate because they vary so widely and change so rapidly. The system that costs a few hundred today may be remarkably more affordable in a single year's time. The best way to choose is by selecting the best signal for your needs, and then choosing which sort of devices you require. Whether using a single hand held receiver or the full blown video display, you will be able to be sure your child is safe and contented from anywhere in the home.

Popular Baby Monitor Brands

Popular Baby Monitor brands are Angel, Motorola and Oricom.

Find, compare prices and buy from NZ's best online shops.

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