Product Reviews Baby Monitors
For her first nine months, your baby is tethered to you via the umbilical cord. After that, it’s the baby monitor that becomes your surrogate umbilical cord—enabling you to work in the garden, wander about the house, and do many things that other, childless human beings do, while still keeping tabs on a sleeping baby. Hence, this is a pretty important piece of equipment you’ll use every day—a good one will make your life easier . . . and a bad one will be a never-ending source of irritation.
Our Picks: Brand Recommendations
Here are our picks for audio baby monitors, with one BIG caveat: how well an audio baby monitor will work in your house depends on interference sources (like cordless phones, wireless internet routers), the presence of other monitors in the neighborhood, etc. Since we get so many complaints about this category, it is imperative you buy a monitor from a place with a good return policy. Keep the receipt in case you have to make an exchange.
You’ll note that we just have two recommendations in this category: good and best. Both of these models feature digital DECT transmission to reduce interference from other household electronics.
In the past, we had recommended analog monitors from the likes of Sony or Safety 1st. But parent reviews on analog monitors in recent years have turned sharply negative. Any analog monitor is likely to disappoint these days, thanks to all the electronic gizmos in a typical home that can interfere with analog monitors.
Hence, we now only recommend DECT (digital) monitors, such as the two below:
Good. The Philips Avent SCD560/10 ($80) features DECT digital technology to stop interference and eavesdropping. The SCD510 also has rechargeable batteries, out-of-range indicator and intercom feature. The only bummer: it doesn’t have a double receiver option. Quality is very good.
Best. VTech’s affordable Safe & Sound Digital Audio Monitor DM221 ($30-$40 single, $50-$60 double) has 6.0 DECT technology for a secure, interference-free signal. This monitor is loaded with features (intercom, vibrating sound alert, rechargeable batteries and more). It is the best of the audio bunch.
For tips and advice on selecting a baby monitor, click here for a PDF excerpt from our BABY BARGAINS book.
A EXCELLENT-our top pick!
B GOOD-above average quality, prices, and creativity.
C FAIR-could stand some improvement.
D POOR-yuck! Could stand some major improvement.