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A CHOICE magazine report on what to look for when choosing a baby monitor.

Pair of baby monitors iStockphoto.com/PhotonStock
 

On the parent unit

  • Mains and battery operation, so you can take the unit with you in and around the house.
  • A belt clip – but if you intend to use this feature, check that the weight of the unit isn’t too heavy to render it impractical.
  • Volume control. Check that it’s not too loud even at the lowest setting – you only need to hear your baby in the middle of the night, not feel like you’re in the cot with them.
  • A light display to indicate the sound level. This is handy if you want to see the noise your child makes, rather than hearing it – for example, when you’re watching TV or vacuuming, or if you (or a babysitter) have hearing problems.

On the baby unit

  • Mains operation, and battery operation if you want to use it in areas without mains power (for example, if you go camping).
  • If you intend to use a night light anyway, choosing a baby monitor with a built-in light can be handy.

On both units

  • At least two different frequencies to choose from.
  • Power-on light.
  • Battery condition indicator.
  • An automatic battery back-up feature is useful in areas where power failures are common.
  • A cord long enough for your set-up.
Go to CHOICE Online for expert, unbiased tests and reports on baby products, appliances, electronics, food and finances, and for the full report on baby monitors.
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  • Content supplied by CHOICE magazine
  • Last Updated 08-04-2011
  • Last Reviewed 25-03-2011