Are you SURE your baby monitor is safe?
A seductive piece of technology to help parents do a better job of “watching” their babies is the ubiquitous electronic radio called a Baby Monitor. Baby monitors transmit sound and more recently photos AND even video of the baby in his or her crib to the parent who is elsewhere in the house. While this is generally a really helpful device, there is still a lot to take into consideration before purchasing one. This is especially true when it comes to safety.
Read on to find out what to look for in a baby monitor and how to make sure you are using yours in such a way that guarantees your child’s safety. We’ll even recommend some models along the way.
While traditionally baby monitors simply reported back the sounds of your baby’s crib room, nowadays they can do much more. Though there are plenty of bells and whistles you can add on (e.g. climate monitoring, movement monitoring, etc.), one feature that’s becoming more and more standard is an actual camera that will show video of your baby while he or she sleeps. It’s just an extra layer of comfort, should your child move around noiselessly.
When your baby monitor is cordless, and the ALL are these days, it raises an important concern with your safety reviewers.
There are several issues to be concerned about:
- Baby Monitors are miniature radio and television transmitters. They emit sometimes powerful radio frequencies that may potentially harm the brain of an newborn. These days, modern devices should be used at least 3 feet from the baby. The further away, the safer they are.
- Another problem with placing the monitor too close to your baby’s crib can result in your child getting a hold of it, chewing on it or choking. Just make sure it’s not too close.
- Also make sure your baby monitor—cordless or not—is far away from any liquid as this could result in shocks. While many manufacturers may take this into account, just be safe.
- As baby monitors are essentially radios, baby monitors are vulnerable to the same forces that cause static and unintended sounds. This problem increases with the number of high tech items you have in your household (e.g. wireless routers, cordless and cell phones, etc.). People have actually reported their baby monitors picking up radio signals or even those of other baby monitors in the area. If at all possible, try getting a baby monitor that works on a different frequency than the rest of your equipment.
One of the more useful and safe baby monitors we’ve found is the Philips Avent Digital Video Baby Monitor with Night Vision. It covers many of the safety points made above and adds a very interesting twist to monitoring your baby; video!
Its designed to see in the dark and can sense movement. It can be set up to alert you when the baby is active. This means you’ll always be in touch with your baby and won’t suffer from any false alarms. It comes with over 100 channels and its small sleek and lightweight (only a pound) design makes it easy to take with you on trips.
Another great model from that company is the Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor with Temperature Sensor and Night Mode. This model also has the DECT technology and guarantees a private connection. It also can keep its range up to 33o meters and has a customized sensor that monitors temperature with a vibration alert.
Privacy, a BIG Concern
Though it’s disturbing to think about, that private connection will keep strangers from intercepting the signal which would allow them to watch your baby, get a look at the inside of your house and even monitor your conversations. For this reason, another great model is the Philips AVENT Baby Monitor with Temperature and Humidity Sensors. This model also features humidity and temperature gauges to make sure your baby is always sleeping comfortably.
Depending on your home’s arrangement, it might be helpful to have two receivers for your baby monitor. This way both parents can have one if they’re in separate rooms and it just means there’s an extra pair of eyes and ears around should something accidentally go missed by one parent. It’s also great if you like to keep one in, say, your bedroom while you carry the other one around the house.
No matter what make or model you choose, be sure to test out your baby monitors before using them for the first time. Concrete walls, for example, could potentially block signals as could other devices, as we mentioned earlier. You’ll want to make sure any room you plan on being in while your child sleeps receives a clear signal from the monitor in their room.
Baby monitors are a great addition in the constant endeavor to become an ever better parent. It’s important to remember, however, that they do present potential hazards. Whether it has a cord or not, always be sure your baby monitor sits at least three feet away from your child’s reach. It’s best to get one that also delivers video and does so through a private connection.
Remember, too, that a baby monitor is there to make your life easier and you, as a parent, better. It won’t do you or your child any favors if it serves as an excuse to worry unnecessarily. Upon purchasing your unite, confirm that your new baby monitors work flawlessly before using it for the first time.
If you’ve found this report to be useful, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear back from you about the type of products you would like to see us review in the future.