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Monitoring the Situation

Modern parents now have the option of using baby monitors to listen to or even watch their babies from afar. Many parents find that monitors buy them peace of mind—allowing them to roam freely around the house while still keeping close tabs on their babies. If you choose to use a monitor, you may want to keep the following considerations in mind:


  • Range.Baby monitors are only as good as their technological limitations, so we suggest you take a look at what kind of “listening”range they each offer.
  • It works both ways. In more densely populated neighborhoods, apartments, or townhouses you may pick up interference from other baby monitors. Not only do you run the risk of eavesdropping on neighboring households, but your monitor-owning neighbors stand an equally good chance of hearing what’s going on in the monitored room(s) in your house as well.
  • Disrupting the peace.Some of you may find that leaving the monitor on at night significantly disturbs whatever limited sleep you stand to get—causing you to be wide awake in response to your slumbering baby’s every twitch or snort.
  • Channel surfing. In this age of modern electronics there’s more than enough to interfere with your monitor, including cordless phones, cell phones, radio stations, and other monitors. Try to find a monitor with good reception and more than one channel to decrease the likelihood of interference. We also suggest holding onto your receipt in case you run into any unforeseen technological conflicts that become apparent only once you put the monitor to use at home.
  • Bells and whistles.Give some thought to which bells and whistles you really want and which simply serve to raise the price. Some of the available added features include a portable receiver with a belt clip, 2-way walkie-talkie radio capability, a receiver that vibrates or flashes lights so you can leave the sound turned off, and the possibility of purchasing multiple portable receivers that can accompany a single base station.
  • Nothing beats the real thing.Never let your baby monitor substitute for taking sensible safety measures. There is no evidence that using a monitor will decrease the chance of SIDS.

Author Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP


Last Updated 11/12/2009

Source Heading Home With Your Newborn, 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

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