How to Choose your Baby Sound Monitor
Latest update: September 18, 2018
Author: Heidi Holvoet, PhD
she still breathing? A baby sound monitor is
the simplest and cheapest wireless baby monitor to check on your baby
Here's how to make sure you actually can hear
your baby breathe, cry
when she wakes up, or if she's happily babbling after a nap ...
It's such a typical parent
trap. Finally (!) you get baby to sleep.
She's quiet for a while. Then you start worrying, does she really
sleep nicely, or
is something wrong? You go in and she's fine but "thanks to you", she
wakes up ...
To me that is the main use of a baby monitor: being able to hear
your baby without disturbing her.
A wireless baby monitor also gives you more freedom to move
around the house during naps: you can hear when something is wrong, if
she wakes up crying, ...
It's also good to have if you sleep in
a different room, too far away
to hear every cry.
A sound monitor is less expensive than a video monitor, but
still, it's not a give-away and you need to get the right one. So
here's the basics to help you choose.
The best baby sound monitor is ...
... one that gives you crystal clear sound quality without background
Analog vs Digital
sound monitor, or audio monitor, takes the sound
the transmitter (in baby's room) and sends it to the receiver (which
keep near, around the house).
analog and digital sound monitors.
You must know that any baby sound monitor (cheap or expensive)
does not have
the digital DECT technology can interfere with other equipment
in/around your house (cordless phone, wireless internet, microwave,
wireless game consoles, ...).
And that means that, with a non-digital (analog) monitor, you can have
static - background noise. Annoying because the receiver is then not
silent - not good if
you want to have it on while you sleep.
Worst case, the static is so loud you will not hear baby's breathing,
or light cries ...
A digital monitor is more expensive than an analog one.
But, some analog ones can still be very good! Trouble is, the
same analog monitor that is crystal clear in one
household, can have the worst static elsewhere ...
Another difference between digital and analog monitors is privacy and
security. The analog's
signals can be picked up, e.g. by your neighbors' cordless phone - not
exactly the privacy you might want. Digital ones are totally secure.
should be your main concern. Too cheap and you may hear nothing but
static, too expensive and you probably spend more than necessary.
If you need guaranteed sound quality, and you can spend $80 or
more, don't hesitate and get a digital DECT one, like the Philips
Avent Basic Baby Monitor. They
also guarantee privacy.
Otherwise, get a good analog monitor, and avoid using it near other
wireless equipment (see below for detailed reviews).
Once you have the sound quality you need, these are interesting extras
to look out for, depending on your own taste and preference:
(my personal fav extra): a light signal shows you when noise is
detected in your baby's room. Good when you're in a noisy room, or if
you want to limit the sound volume on your receiver (like when watching
display letting you know if baby's room is at a good
speaker: allows you to talk to your baby through the
receiver, or to your partner when he's in the room ...
- Batteries AND AC adapter: best to have the two options. With
batteries you're independent of plugs, but plugging it in avoids using
If battery-operated: make sure there is a light warning of low batteries!
My Top 3
I actually have a winner in each category: Best
Price, Hear Baby Breathe and Digital Sound Quality.
1st Crystal Clear Baby Sound Monitor is probably the cheapest one out
there with still very reasonable quality.
Many parents are very happy with this one.
Especially if you don't have other appliances that work on the same
(49MHz), this may well be your very best-buy.
What I like as well is that it comes with an AC adapter so you can plug
it in rather than use (many!) batteries.
That saves you the battery costs and is of course better for the
But the battery option is there if you need it, for
example when traveling.
Read on for more reviews + troubleshooting.