When the baby is brought home after months of excitement and waiting, safety is the number one concern for parents. However, watching a baby all the time is literally impossible, especially when sleep deprivation becomes insurmountable and the need to be productive around the house is a pressing priority. Baby monitors are quite handy inventions for parents who need to accomplish some chores, make food for themselves, or catch up on sleep after weeks of little to no rest.
However, parents may be hesitant about which type of baby monitor to purchase for their newborn: analogue or digital? It is an excellent question, and the answer varies, depending on the family. Factors such as budget, location, proximity to neighbours, safety, and the need for portability all go into such a decision. Knowing more about how analogue and digital baby monitors work, along with their advantages and disadvantages, can help parents sleep a little more soundly at night.
The analogue baby monitor works like a radio and operates on the same frequencies as many electronic devices. Small pulses are constantly emitted between the transmitter, which is placed where the baby is located, and the receiver, which is placed where parents may be sleeping or working. When the monitor functions correctly, any noise, such as a baby crying or talking, can be heard.
Compared to digital baby monitors, analogue monitors are more affordable, and they are readily available in stores and online. They are also considered to be safer since the signal they emit is smaller in strength than a digital monitor. While analogue monitors work on common radio frequencies and sometimes experience interference, most analogue monitors come with automatic channel scanners or offer several manual channel options to minimise this problem.
Since analogue baby monitors work on the commonly used 49 mHz and 900 mHz frequencies, interference and static are normal and may occur often with these types of baby monitors. As noted above, this problem is usually mitigated by the monitor's ability to change channels, but if a user lives in close proximity to a lot of other people, such as in an apartment complex or with a large family, cell phones and baby monitors compete for radio frequencies, and this can cause signals to cross paths, even with frequent channel adjustment. Because of this, receivers may receive the wrong transmissions, and a phone conversation may be heard on the baby monitor, or someone on the phone may hear the baby crying.
Another disadvantage of analogue baby monitors is that they typically only produce relatively weak signals that do not carry over long distances. These weak signals may not carry well through a large number of walls. However, this problem is not usually relevant unless the user lives in a very large house where the baby is far away from the parents.
Like the analogue baby monitor, digital baby monitors also transmit signal pulses over a radio frequency. However, the signal is encrypted when transmitted and unencrypted upon arriving at the receiver, and this minimises the amount of interference.
Digital baby monitors typically operate on the 2.4 GHz radio frequency, which is less common than the frequencies that analogue monitors use. Combined with the encrypted signals, this helps maintain privacy on those occasions when signals do cross paths.
Because digital monitor technology is newer and more modern, it is also more expensive than analogue technology and can exceed some parents' budgets. Also, while the digital technology reduces the problem of interference, this does not mean that there is absolutely no interference. Many parents have reported that digital baby monitors experience interference with wireless routers, while others note that cell phones still create noise on digital monitors.
Another possible disadvantage is that some experts believe that the stronger signal pulses of a digital baby monitor could be harmful if the monitor is located too close to the baby. While there is not significant evidence to prove this theory, digital monitors should be located a few metres from the crib, just in case.
Other than the traditional digital baby monitor, there is another newer digital option that is known as DECT. This technology works on yet another radio frequency of 1.9 GHz, and this generally provides more privacy and more limited interference than the average digital baby monitor. The problem with DECT baby monitors is that they are still somewhat hard to find and are even more expensive than standard digital.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both baby monitor technologies, and the right choice is dependent on the individual family's situation. When shopping for a baby monitor, several factors should be taken into consideration before making a decision.
A different baby monitor may be needed, depending on where the family lives. For instance, if the family lives in an apartment where neighbours are within very close proximity and the chance of other baby monitors in the complex is high, investing in a good digital baby monitor is recommended to prevent interference. Digital baby monitors are ideal for families who live in large houses where good range is important. However, if the family lives in a modest-sized home where neighbours are not within a close distance, analogue baby monitors are a good option.
Various features are offered by both analogue and digital baby monitors, and the budget that is set for purchasing a monitor should take into account what preferences are desired for the baby monitor. While baby monitors always transmit sound, there are also many video monitors available that allow parents to keep a virtual eye on the infant from anywhere in the house via a camera that is attached to the transmitter in the nursery.
Other monitors use sensors to detect breathing and movement in the baby's room. However, sensors can also create a false sense of security about the baby's breathing or movement and should not replace the physical check-ins to the nursery. Portability is another important feature that should be considered for parents who like to keep an eye on the baby while moving around the house or in the yard. Belt clips and lanyard receivers are options that some monitors offer, although they are not standard.
Not all baby monitors offer multi-room monitoring, where more than one transmitter or receiver is included in the package. If this is a feature that is important for a family, it is essential to search for analogue or digital baby monitors that offer such an option. Range should also be considered when living in a large house. Likewise, the power source and battery life of baby monitors is important to check when shopping around. A portable baby monitor with terrible battery life, for instance, would not be a wise purchase.
Each baby monitor type may be ideal, depending on the family's situation. Regardless of the chosen type, both analogue and digital baby monitors can be found in brick and mortar stores that offer baby accessories. However, for a wider selection of baby monitors with a greater range of options, buyers might want to consider turning to the Internet to shop. Websites like eBay typically offer a large variety of possibilities in one convenient location.
Browsing through eBay for the perfect baby monitor is made simple by the search box located on the homepage and all the other pages on the site. Searching through eBay's large database of products is easier than trying to find a specific type of baby monitor in a store. The ability to narrow one's search is made possible by inserting keywords like ' digital video baby monitor'' into the search box. The results can be narrowed even further by using the filters and category options on the results page to sort the results.
It is important to research the reputation of sellers on eBay before committing to a purchase, especially when buying a baby monitor, as its performance is essential to making sure a baby is safe and secure when you are not in the room. Looking at the feedback left by previous customers allows you to feel good about a seller as you make a purchasing decision.
Parents do not have to lose more sleep than they already do by worrying about not having a baby within sight. Thanks to baby monitors, parents can take an afternoon nap, get chores done, and feed themselves when they have the chance. Analogue and digital baby monitors, although different, are both potentially good options, depending on the family's location, desired features, and budget. The range, interference level, and privacy of analogue and digital monitors differ, although the size of the problem differs with the size of the house or apartment and the proximity to neighbours and other electronic devices.
Whichever baby monitor works for a family, both analogue and digital baby monitors can be found in brick and mortar stores as well as online at websites like eBay. Once that ideal baby monitor is found and purchased, parents can look forward to a little peace, quiet, and sweet freedom from having a baby constantly attached to the hip.