Hi - I was recently asked to advise an NCT group about baby monitors and wondered whether it might be useful to other people as well.
Things to think about:-
1) Analogue or digital – I would generally advise going digital as pretty well anyone with a radio can pick up your signal from an analogue monitor.
2) Effective range – despite what the manufacturers say the range is usually about 300m outdoors and around 50 metres indoors. The range can be affected by all or any of the following :- microwaves, wireless broadband routers, thick concrete walls, walkie talkies etc etc.
3) Video monitors – all very exciting but the technology is in it’s infancy and they often don’t work too well – picture is fuzzy and they can also make you very paranoid if your baby crawls out of shot of the camera….
4) Toys: - a collection of extras is available with any given monitor including – nursery temperature sensor (useful especially when travelling), playing polyphonic lullabys and even Mp3s (hmm…) , torch on the parent unit, remote controlled light shows etc. , travel bags.
Some friends of mine have the all singing and dancing BT monitor pacifier which includes a whole light show that can be played out on the ceiling but the BT 200 is perfectly good monitor for less than £50. Still has plenty of excellent features. Your baby may be better off without having Black Sabbath blasted at her in any case.
BT are pretty good at digital communications so their stuff is generally better quality and more reliable than for example – tomy monitors.
To conclude: I would try not to be sucked in by all the bells and whistles and go for a good quality basic audio monitor and go digital – the sound quality is much better than analogue and worth paying for.
Hope this is useful – if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.