Baby monitors are a modern day nursery accessory many parents rely on for peace of mind. They really come into their own if you've a two-story house, or baby's room is some way from the kitchen or living areas of your home. A monitor can also be useful if you're visiting with baby and want to put them down to sleep in an unfamiliar environment.
They allow you to hear (and in some cases see) your baby from several rooms away, and gives you a chance to get on with other activities knowing you’ll be alerted when your baby calls.
But can you rest assured that the monitor will alert you when your baby wakes or becomes unsettled? There’s no evidence that using a baby monitor will prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The reduction in SIDS deaths in Australia has been brought about by raising parent’s awareness of safe sleeping practices.
We test baby monitors for sound and picture range, sound and picture sensitivity and quality, carer unit sound volume and immunity from interference.
What to look for:
- Sound range, quality and sensitivity The baby monitor should maintain a good, acceptable sound even when you’re at the other end of the house. The monitor should also be able to pick up and reproduce soft sounds.
- Movement monitor will sound an alarm when there is no movement after a certain period.
- Sound indicator lights on the carer unit are useful if you want to see the noise your baby makes rather than hear it. This is particularly useful if you’re talking on the phone, have visitors or if you’re in a noisy room. The sound indicators will light up to alert you to the baby’s call.
- Mains and battery operation are handy if you want to use it in areas without mains power - for example, if you’re working in the garden.
- Baby room temperature monitor displays the temperature in the baby’s room. For some models in this test you can set an upper and lower temperature limit and the monitor will sound an alarm when the temperature exceeds these limits.
- Low battery indicator will alert you when your battery is running low.
- Belt clip for carer unit allows you to easily carry the unit with you around the house while you’re busy doing other chores.
For more information on how we test baby monitors as well as our test results, check out our article on Baby monitors