A baby monitor is an important piece of the new baby kit. It gets used several hours a day (and night) for years. When it does not work well it is very annoying. If the range is too short you won’t be able to use it around the house, let alone when you are on holiday. If the battery life is too short, its beep will wake you up in the middle of the night. If mobile phones interfere with it you will hear strange noises but not necessarily your baby cry. The key features for me are 1) long battery life (at least through the night), 2) good quality of sound even near mobile phones or across a multi story building, 3) long range 4) lullabies to soothe the baby that can be actioned also on the parent unit, 5) room temperature display 6) talk back function (I have been using this a lot with my toddler to remind her it is time to sleep). I also look for something reliable, sturdy (it will fall a number of times) and not too big or ugly. A baby dim light is good but not key. A video camera is a nice to have but there are features that for me are more important. The movement sensor pad (such as what you find in the Angelcare line) is not scientifically proven to prevent cot death and it works only until the child starts moving in the cot (in my case about 3 months). Also, unless you remember to turn it off, every time you pick up the baby you will set off the alarm. If you are a first time parent it might help you to deal with your fears but I could not find a sensor pad baby monitor that has all of the other features that for me are more important. So the best monitor for me is a pretty simple, reliable, high quality and reasonably priced Philips Avent Dect Eco Baby Monitor SCD525/00.
The pros are: 1) long battery life – the company claims 24 hours. I have not checked if it is 22 or 24 hours but I know it has never let me down in the middle of the night. 2) digital quality of sound with no interference. 3) long range. They company says 330mt. I have tested across a five floors-house and it works! 4) remote activated night light and nice quality lullabies. They can be switched on or off from the parent or baby unit 5) digital temperature display. I checked it is realiable. 6) small size/nice design of the baby unit. I like the fact that it is small and light. It makes a difference when you are travelling.
The cons are it does not have a camera nor a movement sensor pad and the lullabies are nice but ‘a bit too digital’. None of this bothers me much.
Price wise if you look hard enough you should find it around GBP 60/70.
Which ranks it Best Buy and I do too!
P.S. One product I would avoid is BT Baby Monitor 250.
With my first child I had been very happy with BT Baby Monitor 150 Hi-dS but when last year I had my second child I discovered it was no longer available so I bought BT Baby Monitor 250. I found this new model very disappointing (battery life is just unbearably short and the sound quality not impressive) and after long discussions with customer care and two sets of new batteries I decided to re-start my research and just buy the Philips Avent.