Many mothers, and others who take care of a baby, have numerous other tasks to perform around the house every day. The need may thus arise to be in another room while the baby is sleeping, yet one will want to be aware when baby wakes up or begins to make any disturbing sounds. One may also wish to have visual access to what his or her child is up to at the moment without having to be in the same room.
Most of us cannot afford to spend a fortune on a baby monitor, but finding the best cheap baby monitor to fit your needs and your budget can be a great asset. It will come in handy as you work, relax, or take some time off for entertainment. You can’t afford to neglect the baby, but the only chance to do something other than look after him or her may be during nap time. Thus, an affordable baby monitor is something you could use practically every day.
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Things to consider When you’re setting out to purchase a baby monitor on a budget
Go through the most important features of baby monitors and decide which ones are a must and which you can live without. You might find out that you are really only interested in a few specific things, and that between similarly priced basic models only one specific brand has what you need. If you have little or no experience with a baby monitor, choosing the most important features might be difficult, so read on for some more suggestions.
Do you need a video monitor or an audio one will suffice? Some parents want to see what is happening to their child through the monitor while others are comfortable with only hearing when their child wakes up and starts to cry. You’ll have to decide for yourself how aware of your baby’s situation you want to be when you are not in the room and with your child.
Will you need more than one child unit or parent unit? If your child often stays in two different rooms or areas of a single room, this might be a worthwhile cost. Similarly, if you monitor more than one child, more nursery units might be very handy. If both of the parents would like to have their own parent unit, you need a device that allows that as well. Keep in mind that both the parent units and nursery units are portable to some extent (parent units are in most cases way more portable), in that you can relocate them as needed to retain a single monitor for a single child. Switching rooms constantly though, you could find this feature invaluable.
Would you like to be able to talk to your child through the baby monitor? If you are a few rooms away with your monitor, you could say a few soothing words if your child wakes up well ahead of schedule momentarily.
Do you want to monitor your child only within your house, or would you like to be able to take a look what’s going on in the nursery while being at work? If you want to keep tabs on your baby while away from your home, you’ll need a baby monitor with internet monitoring capability. While this is a very nice feature, consider that you will always have an adult with your child at home, who can contact you if the need for you to return home arises.
Think carefully about each feature and you will quickly determine what makes your must have list for the device, and what is not a make or break feature. At that point, all you will need to do is find a baby monitor that meets or exceeds your needs with a price within your affordability range.
Best Inexpensive Baby Monitors
A few of the best cheap baby monitors on the market today will be looked at briefly below. Keep in mind that these three monitors are only representative of the many available options.
The Motorola Digital Audio Baby Travel Monitor
This baby monitor from Motorola has a 165-foot range in-home, provided no major obstructions intervene and shorten the range. The baby unit has a built-in nightlight and has a hyper-sensitive microphone. A special out-of-range signal alerts you if the signal is cut off, and LED lights let you know the unit is active as well as how high the sound level is in baby’s room. Other electronics will not interfere with the monitor’s signal
Some of the good points of this model are:
- It is a cordless unit with a plug attached directly to its back side. This makes it much easier to grab and take along on vacation or on a trip to Grandma’s house.
- Its 1.9 GHz DECT 6.0 technology out-performs most antenna models, which typically only get around 900 MHz. This means you get better range than with an antenna model.
- It is very cheap, often only around $20 to $30, and yet, it is is adequate for the needs of many.
Some of the drawbacks include:
- It does not have the option to run on batteries.
- It is not as powerful as some of the more expensive models.
The Levana Ayden 3.5-Inch Digital Video Baby Monitor
The Ayden comes with a night vision camera, a zoom feature, and an LCD screen. It includes a bi-directional intercom system that lets you “talk with” baby. It also has a temperature sensor and display so you can keep baby comfortable. The range is an impressive 750 feet, and the battery life is an impressive 48 hours when set in PEEP mode. PEEP mode is a power-saving mode that only runs the video camera when the microphone detects a sound.
Some of the good points to mention are:
- It has wonderful video and audio quality.
- It features easy-to-use controls.
- The screen is sizable enough to be seen clearly from several feet away.
- You can use up to four cameras with the display screen. This will allow you to have multiple perspectives of your baby or to outfit multiple rooms with “baby surveillance” cameras.
- The unit plays three different lullabies, which will help your baby get to sleep.
- Compared to some other audio-visual baby monitors, the $100-or-so price range is not bad.
Some of the potential drawbacks are:
- The user manual does not always correspond properly to the realities of the device.
- Some have reported that PEEP mode does not always kick in automatically when they have set it to do so.
- The LED light is rather bright on the parent end, and some have said this has made it a challenge for them to fall asleep.
The Levana Sophia Digital 2.4-Inch Video Baby Monitor
The Sophia is a 500-foot range, audio-visual baby monitor that runs on batteries. It is similar to the Ayden outlined above: It has 48-battery life in PEEP mode, a two-way intercom system, temperature monitoring, etc. Both the Sophia and the Ayden are fully private and secure since they are not Wi-Fi based models.
Some good points of the Sophia are:
- It is very easy to set up.
- It comes with a night light, but the LED lights are much less visible than with the Ayden.
- It gives you a high-quality image both day and night. At night, the screen may sometimes show a little fuzz, but it is still quite readable.
- It is reasonably priced, at around $100.
Some drawbacks are:
- The screen is a little on the small side.
- Some have reported problems with getting the signal to travel between different stories of a building.