There are so many baby essentials out there these days. Then once you've finally decided what you're going to buy, you're hit with a huge array of different models. One of those important items is a baby monitor. We absolutely love our Motorola video monitor, but how do you decide? I've got the lovely Becka from Love, Becka x over on my blog today, sharing her tips for choosing the right one for you.
I can remember very clearly endless lists of things that we needed to buy to prepare for our baby, and one of those things was a baby monitor. So I thought I'd share with you the things we considered, and if we'd do anything differently in hindsight.
First things first is to set your budget, they can vary in price wildly and there's no point in lusting after an all-singing all-dancing get up if you've got a small budget. Essentially all that it needs to do it transmit sound from your baby's bedroom to wherever you are, everything else that various models do should be considered a bonus. You can get some fantastic monitors out there which are cheap and cheerful but still do the job well, don't be sucked in to think that you absolutely have to have the latest £200 option.
My next thing would be to sort your priorities. Whilst admittedly I've just said that it only needs to transmit sound, if you've done any kind of research into baby monitors then you'll already know that there are many who offer much more than that. For us we always knew that we wanted a sensor mat for that added peace of mind (but there are many parents out there who don't deem it necessary!), and so we instantly looked to Angelcare who are probably the best known brand for offering a sensor mat. Whilst searching we saw that you can get monitors that offer video too, we opted for this in the end but again, I've spoken to many a parent who hates the idea of having a video monitor because, I'll admit, it is easy to sit and stare at your baby rather than actually watch The Apprentice, sorry who got fired darling?
You also need to think of your priorities in terms of space, since really looking into baby monitors there are some which have quite intrusive bases in the Baby's bedroom, and also many of them need a docking port in at least one other room for the handheld device to charge on. We have a place in our living room where we used to have Sophie's monitor but now that she goes in her bedroom overnight we have it hooked up in our bedroom. If you're really conscious of keeping things tidy then the Babbleband monitor comes with a watch-type receiver so there's no need to store an extra device. Similarly the Philips Video Monitor connects straight up for your phone, so it's one less gadget to find a home for.
For us, how it looked was also kind of important. The Angelcare base looks really sweet and simple in Sophie's nursery and the handheld part is a sleek white unit that charges directly from a cable so there's no need for a permanent charing base. Whilst we haven't seen many which are overly offensive to look at, some are clunkier than others and it's really just a case of whether or not that would bother you. I know a few people who don't want their home to look too "overrun" by baby things, especially once they've gone to bed, but then I also know of many who really would care either way.
My last piece of advice would be to do all of the above rather early on. We got our Angelcare device for a steal in the Black Friday sales before I was even 20 weeks pregnant (although I don't remember the exact saving, as James luckily footed that bill!). But as we knew about Sophie's impending arrival from really early on, I made it my priority to get us straight with what we wanted to buy, so that we had time to wait for things to come on offer and save ourselves some money. If you are wanting a sensor mat and video device, then they are generally fairly pricey so allowing yourself time to save some pennies could come in really handy!
So that is my advice on buying a baby monitor, unless you're like us and have baby napping upstairs from very early on then many parents don't actually need one until their little one is 6 months old and in their own room. It's one thing that I would wait out for in order to get a deal and make sure that you get it right first time. Although a lot of the pricier brands do fetch fairly good money on eBay, constantly buying new monitors will get costly so for us we chose to grab a deal on the one we really wanted first off.
Thank you so much Becka for coming over and sharing your advice. I completely agree that you don't need a fancy model if you can't afford it - but if you really want one keep at eye out for the sales! Make sure to pop over to Becka's blog and say hello. You can also find her on Instagram, Twitter and Youtube.