How to Choose a Baby Monitor - Baby Monitor Buying Guide

Last updated: October 2020

In this guide:

Now that you have an understanding of the types of monitors available, here's Betty's tactical advice on how to choose the right monitor for you.


1. Know what you want to monitor.

With new technology, baby monitoring has drastically evolved over the years. Knowing what you want to monitor can help you narrow down your options and also save you from buying a monitor with all the bells and whistles you might not use. Here’s a shortlist of the things you can monitor:

  • Audio
  • Video
  • Heart beat
  • Breathing
  • Sleeping
  • Movement
  • Room temperature
  • Room humidity


2. Think of where you plan to use the baby monitor.

When you think of a baby monitor, you might plan on setting up the monitor in the nursery above the crib. The reality is, your baby might not nap or sleep in their crib right away. Envision where you want to use your monitor and if you need something that can easily move around the house with your baby.


3. Determine how you want the information to be transmitted.

There are four ways information can be transmitted from the monitor to the playback device.

  • Analog technology: typically use a 49 mHZ or 900 mHz frequency that might get static or interference from other devices in your home (or neighbor, if they’re close enough). Analog monitors tend to have the shortest range.
  • Digital technology: typically operates on a 2.4 GHz frequency, which is common for most household electronics. However, it is encrypted so that no one can hear what’s happening if the signals cross. These monitors tend to have longer ranges (~700 to 1,000 feet unobstructed, or ~150 obstructed).
  • DECT technology: operates on a less common 1.9 GHz frequency that is also encrypted. Meaning there’s less of a chance for signal interference. Similar to digital monitors, DECT monitors have longer ranges than analog monitors.
  • WiFi: these monitors are connected to your internet and so there are no range or interference concerns. Some parents are concerned about potential hackers, so looking at security features in these types of monitors or taking extra steps for securing your internet connection is key.


4. Get the features that are most important to you.

Baby monitors vary in all the little details, such as the quality of the video, the user friendliness of the analytics reporting dashboard, the types of alerts it can send, the list goes on. The next section highlights the breadth of features you can get.


5. Check for FSA/HSA qualification. 

Monitors can be pricey. Luckily this is a product that could potentially be approved as an FSA/HSA expense. If it qualifies, this can save you ~30% by using pre-tax dollars.

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