Your basic baby monitor might not seem very high-tech. But there are plenty of bells and whistles available beyond a basic baby monitor to make it more of a fun gadget to play with.
Many wireless devices in your home can interfere with each other. If you already have a cordless phone and wireless computer network, you may notice a lot of interference, static, and poor quality when you use a baby monitor. To get the best signal, consider choosing a monitor that has more than one channel and that operates on a different frequency from the other devices in your home.
A basic baby monitor simply consists of a transmitter with a microphone that you place in your baby's room and a receiver that you carry with you or just put in the room you're in. Obviously, that's not very high-tech, especially if you get a cheaper model that has a lot of static and a poor range.
Newer models have advanced features such as increased range, dual monitors, and even the ability to put on a projection light show to help soothe your baby. Other advanced features include rechargeable power supplies, lights to indicate the intensity of your baby's cries, and two-way connections, so you can talk to your baby.
In addition to the basic audio monitors, you now can get a combined audio and video monitor so that you can see what your baby is doing if he is crying in his room during naps or at night. It is also a good way to keep an eye on your older baby if he is playing in another room. An infrared lens allows you to see your baby in the dark as long as the camera is mounted about six feet or less from his crib.
Available in 900 MHz, 2.4GHz, and newer 1.9GHz models, video monitors can usually transmit from 100 to 300 feet. Other available features include the ability to receive the signal on your regular TV set, using a monitor that comes with the camera, or receiving the video signal on a handheld color monitor. If you already have a wireless computer network at home and an iPhone, you might even be able to set up the monitor so that you can watch your baby on your iPhone. Many systems even allow you to have more than one video camera, so that you can keep track of more than one child.
Because a basic baby monitor, whether it is using audio or video signals, is just a transmitter, your neighbors and other people may be able to see and hear your baby too. Keep this lack of privacy in mind and consider other security controls, especially if you are going to watch your baby on the Internet.
Internet Video Monitors
If you want to get really high-tech, you can even watch your baby when you aren't at home. It may sound like that's impossible, or that it would cost a lot of money to set up, but there are systems that allow you to inexpensively and easily watch your baby on your computer or iPhone when you are away from home.
These systems can be a good way for a dad who works outside the home to check in on his baby throughout the day. They can also be a good way for grandparents or other family members to regularly see the baby.