Baby Monitors Product Guide
The night has a thousand eyes and the day but one. Perhaps the dark needs more eyes. The eye was extremely important in the early periods when humans attempted to explain the unexplainable. One of the earliest symbols was a circle with a dot in the center, depicting the watchful eye of the creator. In Egypt, The Eye of Horus is represented as a figure with 6 parts. These 6 parts correspond to the six senses - Touch, Taste, Hearing, Thought, Sight, and Smell. The eye also symbolized "Ra" the sun god as it watched over the world. Perhaps not as holy, but extremely significant to new parents, Baby Monitors watch and help protect future generations.
Parenting can seem overwhelming. Even the most enthusiastic parents need personal time to handle chores and merely rest and chill-out alone. Yet, in the not-so-deep recesses of thought, they continue to wonder how the baby is doing. Having a baby monitor is a crucial tool that every new parent should consider having.
Many people protect homes with closed circuit TV (CCTV) systems that allow cameras to be positioned so you can monitor several remote areas around your home. A baby monitor is dedicated to viewing your baby.
Somewhat like a Walkie-talkie, it consists of two parts. One part is placed in the baby's room while the parent carries the other around the house. Audio monitors convey when the baby is crying or making noise. Some are visual and have NightVision cameras so you can see your baby sleep in dimly lit rooms.
There are even apps that let you hear and view your child on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
Baby monitors have also evolved toward the esoteric. There are special baby monitors that track breathing patterns and heartbeats. Sleep Apnea has been associated with one of the possible causes of a rare baby disease called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Very cautious parents, to help alert if SIDS might be occurring, use heartbeat baby monitors.
The point is, no matter how cautious you may be, no one could be at two places simultaneously. You need to live and fulfill your own needs as well. Baby Monitors allow you to create fairly accurate simulations that allow you to experience two places at the same time.
On average, newborn babies sleep up to 16 hours per day, usually in 4 hour intervals. This leaves lots of free time to handle house chores and rest. Owning and using a proper baby monitor is a great benefit for you and your child. Now you have to find the best baby monitor to suit your needs.
Baby monitors have been available for over 25 years and there are many features and variations to look out for, when you consider buying a baby monitor.
A traditional baby monitor allows one to hear the noises made by an infant and consists of a simple transmitter and receiver system. One places the transmitter near where the infant sleeps, and the child's guardian can then switch on the receiver, often on another floor of the building, to monitor any activity made. Most traditional baby monitors are audio only. Video monitors are rising in popularity. Some mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, may offer baby monitor capabilities. We suggest choosing a baby monitor that fits your needs and does the job best.
Selectable Transmission Channels
It is not uncommon to pick up other curious noises, including other children in the neighborhood when you first switch on your baby monitor. To prevent this try to find a unit that offers selectable channels to help reduce interference.
Battery Signal Display
If buying the more common wireless baby monitor, check that the unit has some way of alerting you to the fact that the batteries are due to run out. Find out if the unit has both audio and visual alerts. Does the unit use regular batteries? Is the unit rechargeable? Find out the average time to expect the unit to work per charge.
You want to know what the effective wireless operating range is in your home. Most manufacturers indicate the maximum range. The monitor may indicate 150 feet as the maximum range but that is an optimal specification. Walls, furniture, unique floor surfaces, and levels may significantly reduce the effective range in your home. In some cases, they might only work in an adjacent room.
Wireless devices are ideal and convenient. Wireless baby monitors are truly liberating. They use frequencies and frequency channels. If your home is filled with WiFi and Bluetooth devices that use 2.4GHz or phones using 5.8GHz, these may interfere with your monitor's range and overall performance. Under normal conditions audio wireless systems using DECT are suffer from less electronic interference, as they use a different frequency band altogether. There are many cordless telephones that use DECT. DECT sends signals slightly differently than devices using other bands and there is no noticeable difference. Users claim that DECT offers a wider and longer effective range as well.
In general, the smaller the better, especially if you plan to use the units in multiple locations. They should be a comfortable size that you can hold comfortably and see clearly, if there's a screen.
In all the commotion of caring for your other children, vacuuming the floor and trying to listen to the TV it is easy to miss out on your child's cries for assistance. Try to find a baby monitor that displays very visible signal such as bright LED lights to catch your eye, which trigger when the baby makes a noise. These lights might just catch the corner of your eye and alert you to something serious.
Multi Receiver Capability
Even if you do not need it from the start, units which come with the ability to add additional receivers, especially if you live in a large house. Some models come with two receivers, which can be handy if you want to leave one in a room and have the other for moving around your home.
Video Baby Monitors
Adding video capabilities to your baby monitor goes a step further than traditional audio-only baby monitors and allow you to actually view your baby as well as hear them using technology similar to that found in PC webcams and CCTV cameras. The video display may be implemented via an integrated LCD screen in the receiver set, or the receiver may be plugged into another video device (e.g. a TV or portable LCD screen).
Note that wireless video baby monitors may be sensitive from interference issues when used in environments that operate in the 2.4GHz spectrum (e.g. WiFi devices). They can also be susceptible to picture loss when microwave ovens are used.
Can you see in the dark? Camera units may feature Night Vision so you get to see your prized cherub in a darkened room. This technology is used by the military to see clearly in dark areas and is often integrated into CCTV security cameras. Considering that most babies may not sleep in bright-lit rooms, getting a monitor that has this feature is important. Most of these monitors will automatically switch to this mode when the light gets dim. This applies only to video baby monitors.
Special Feature Considerations
The term, Apnea, is derived from the Greek and means "without wind". Though considered normal in short durations over the adult lifespan, it can be deadly to many infants.
Research indicates that a large number of adults suffer from sleep apnea, a subtle respiratory condition, that can interrupt normal sleep patterns. In children, it can be amplified. An apnea baby monitor checks for pauses in breathing, often used for babies that have been diagnosed at risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or who experienced lapses in breathing in hospital.
Apnea is often associated with babies that were born prematurely. The transmitting device is attached to the baby's chest and if no movement is sensed after some certain duration, an alarm will sound indicating there may be a problem.
A common type of apnea in children, obstructive apnea is caused by an obstruction of the airway. Enlarged tonsils may be one such obstruction. This is most likely to happen during sleep because that's when the soft tissue at back of the throat is most relaxed. It is believed that a range of 1% to 3% of otherwise healthy preschool-age kids may have obstructive apnea.
Apnea of infancy occurs in children who are younger than 1 year old and who were born after a full-term pregnancy. Following a complete medical evaluation, if a cause of apnea isn't found, it's often called apnea of infancy. The condition usually goes away as the child grows but may be a note of concern during the first 18 months.
Baby Monitors for the Deaf
Some parents or caregivers may suffer from hearing loss. In this situation, you want a baby monitor that offers very visible light alerts and vibrating alerts.
A baby monitor is a great way for parents to feel at ease when they can't be in the same room as their baby. At night you can sleep in another room while still being able to hear or see when your baby wakes to be changed or fed. During the day a monitor can give you the freedom of doing other things around the house during naptime.
Choosing a monitor with more than one receiver is wise, as you move through your home or where two parents (or a caregiver) are present. Some parents buy two or more baby monitor systems to monitor different children, but with this option you must choose systems that don't interfere, or you'll only hear annoying electronic disturbances. A few baby monitors today have multi-room monitoring options but are more difficult to find. In some cases, a CCTV system that offers alerts might be worth consideration.
With all the possible combinations and permutations, it really is best to seek and buy the best baby monitor for your needs. This is your baby and you shouldn't compromise when it comes to buying the right baby monitor.
When considering lots of movement around the house, check the receiver for ways of securing it to your clothes. If you want to move the receiver around a lot, check the belt clip or attachment method to be sure it's sturdy enough to withstand daily use. Also make sure that the battery power isn't low.
A watchful eye or attentive ear is a great way to help assure that all goes well. Don't overlook the need for a baby monitor. It's really a necessity.
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