Baby monitors can come in very handy, depending on the size of your house or if youíre trying to get some chores done, by allowing caregivers to eavesdrop on babyís sleep and/or waking sounds.
A light indicator helps you see activity when other sounds (like a vacuum cleaner) drown out the audio.
Range is measured in open, unobstructed space and doesn’t necessarily take walls and stairways into account. Reception will definitely vary.
Two or more channels (like on a cordless phone) allow you to switch if you experience interference.
A plug-in and battery option allows you to charge it at night, and carry it with you (without being limited to plug-in areas) as you move around the house during the day.
An intercom/Walkie-Talkie feature provides two-way communication so a caregiver can speak to a baby/child to make them feel more secure
Power-on, low-battery and out-of-range indicators are other handy features to consider.
Try to buy a different model of monitor than a neighbour with a baby, or you could end up inadvertently hearing their baby sounds and conversations. And they will hear yours.
We think that baby monitors with video are just too expensive, and a bit of overkill. Our test moms felt that it would be handy, except for the price tag.
We tested these baby monitors for clarity and range with the help of some new mothers and their babies:
- Safety 1st – basic sound-only monitor: $30
- Evenflo – sound and lights: $70
- Fisher-Price – sound, light, two-way intercom and projector: $90
- Summer Infant Video Monitor – sound, lights and video camera: $200
Our tests and results include:
Sound Reception Test
Clearest sound: Evenflo
The others picked up a lot of static, and one was really quite bad in our test area.
Furthest range: Evenflo
The others varied in range abilities.
OUR TOP PICK
No question, the Evenflo had the best reception and greatest range, and we felt the LED lights were a handy added bonus.