When it comes to baby monitors, there are quite a few things that cause anxiety among parents. These issues range from electromagnetic radiation (EMFs), network inference, baby monitor hacking, and false alarms to strangulation risk, range, price, and more. These baby monitor FAQs are an attempt to answer the most important questions about baby alarms in one place. Here, you’ll learn everything that’s worth knowing about these baby-monitoring devices.
What Is a Baby Monitor?
A baby monitor is a device that transmits signals between baby and parent through radio waves. The most basic type comprises two essential components: the parent unit and the baby unit. The baby unit stays plugged in, and it’s a dedicated baby sound transmitter to the parent set. As for the parent unit (receiver), it’s either a small handheld device or a bigger device you can place on your nightstand.
Related: Baby Monitor Buying Guide
There are different baby monitor types, but they fall into two main categories: those that send images and sound to the parent unit and those that relay only. Some monitors need to stay connected to a Wi-Fi connection while others don’t need such a connection. Read this guide to choosing the right baby monitor to learn more.
What is Baby Monitor Used For?
A baby monitor helps you stay connected with your baby or babies when you’re in the house or even remotely in some cases. The device helps you keep an eye on what’s going on in the crib in a different room. You can listen to or watch and hear your baby while they’re sleeping in another room or from miles away if you’re using a smart option. The most basic gadget streams crib sounds such as cries and baby talk. But certain types of monitors can also help track movement, breathing rate, heart rate, nursery temperature, humidity, and even oxygen saturation levels.
How Do Baby Monitors Work?
A transmitter that stays safely close to the baby picks up crib signals and sends that signal to a receiver. It could be an audio signal, a video signal, or both. The receiver interprets the incoming signal so that the parent or caregiver can act and make the child comfortable again.
In basic monitors, the receiving unit is a handheld device. Other times, the receiving component is something you can place on top of a nightstand. But in some setups, the receiving component may be a smartphone or a tablet.
As long as you’re within the baby monitor’s range, you can keep an eye on your baby as you do other things. And if you can remotely access the unit’s video and audio feed, you can monitor the baby from anywhere.
Should You Really Buy a Baby Monitor?
If you value convenience and you and your baby live in separate rooms, you may need a baby room surveillance device. Also, if you leave the baby with a sitter, being able to view them throughout the day on your mobile is comforting.
But if you and your baby sleep in the same room, splurging on a baby monitor may not be a smart decision. You certainly can rear a baby without using an expensive monitor, but for many parents today, the convenience these devices offer is worth the cost. What you get is peace of mind and better sleep unless you’re using an option that keeps streaming false alarms.
When Do You Start and Stop Using a Baby Monitor?
You can start monitoring your baby as soon as they arrive from the hospital and stop at month 12. Some parents continue watching baby until age 3 or even age 4. But if you think your 10-year-old still needs a baby monitor, you’re unjustifiably paranoid and need help.
Are Baby Monitors Bad for Babies?
A baby monitor isn’t a bad thing, but it can be in some situations. The right monitor helps you keep an eye on your little one day and night. It keeps you in the loop in regard to every event in the baby room. It lets you know when you need to change diapers or peel off a layer if the room gets too hot.
But there’s the ever-present risk of strangulation from the power cord. That’s why you should carefully hide the baby monitor cord. Also, baby monitors emit electromagnetic radiation. And EMF radiation may cause all kinds of serious health-related complications in babies and adults.
Do Baby Monitors Get Hacked?
Yes, they do. Audio baby monitors are the easiest to hack, but ALL kinds of baby monitors can be hacked. All a smart crook needs to do is figure out what radio frequency your monitor is running on and that’s that. Parents hear shocking stories of baby monitor hacking from time to time. But in truth, baby hacking incidents don’t happen all the time. What’s more, there are several easy steps you can take to prevent hacking or at least make it less likely.
Do Baby Monitors Emit Radiation?
Yes, ALL baby monitors emit EMF radiation, but some emit higher levels than others. EMF is an abbreviation for electromagnetic field. Choose a low EMF baby monitor and stay away from high-emission options. And when positioning the device in the baby room, be sure to place it as far away from the crib as possible.
There’s a lot of everyday household electronics that emit this potentially harmful radiation. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled devices, cell phones, e-readers, baby monitors, tablets, laptops, and smart home appliances emit EMF.
Many experts advise parents and caregivers to install baby monitors at least 10 feet away from the crib. That’s good advice, and the farther away from the baby the better.
What Is the Lowest EMF Baby Monitor?
Audio-only baby monitors emit lower levels of EMF radiation compared to Wi-Fi baby monitors. If you have concerns about EMF in the baby room, consider buying a basic, low-tech option. But even a low radiation baby monitor needs to be placed a safe distance away from the baby crib.
How Do I Reduce EMF from My Baby Monitor?
First off, choose a low-emission baby monitor. That is typically an analog baby monitor. Also, keep the distance between the baby monitor and the crib at least 10 feet to minimize radiation exposure. Another way to reduce EMF from a baby monitor is to always turn the device off when you’re not using it.
Here’s yet another way to reduce electric current surges in your home using dirty electricity filters. Simply plug the dirty electricity filter in and then plug the baby monitor into the filter. Also, consider buying an EMI dirty electricity meter so you can easily test whether the filter is helping at all. Check out Greenwave Dirty Electricity Filters on Amazon.
Finally, there’s Voice activation as a way to help you reduce EMF exposure. This EMF reduction strategy works primarily with digital baby monitors (audio and video monitors). These monitors offer a certain setting that turns the device on every time the baby makes sounds or cries. This feature minimizes radiation by keeping the device turned off as long as the baby is calm and comfortable.
Other Ways to Reduce EMF Radiation
- Stop warming food in the microwave when your baby is close.
- Eliminate devices that run on Wi-Fi in the baby room or at least limit their usage. Such devices include wearable baby monitoring technologies, Bluetooth-enabled noise machines, nightlights, smartwatches, and whatnot.
- Use incandescent light bulbs to light the baby room instead of smart bulbs. With good old incandescent light bulbs, the nursery ends up with less dirty electricity.
What’s Considered a Good Baby Monitor Price?
There’s a ton of good baby monitors in the $50-$400 price range. The higher the price, the fancier the features. And past the $100, you likely won’t get
Is there something you’d expected to learn about baby alarms that these baby monitor FAQs missed? Tell me about it in a comment below.
I'm Esther Moni, a proud stay-at-home mom and a psychology graduate of the United States International University (USIU) . I hate it when anyone calls me a housewife, because what does housewife even mean? Being a mother of two babies and a pup, Bailey, as well as being Ricky's wife tires me to no end, but I still manage a smile at the end of it all. And when my boys aren't done doing mischief, I juggle writing a post on parenting or baby gear performance for this blog and running my little counselling office based out in Nairobi. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/esther.moni/">Visit my Facebook profile here</a>, and this is my <a href="https://ke.linkedin.com/in/esther-moni-3841b573/">LinkedIn profile</a>, and here's my <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKcVb3NNDrURDH8C0KiAE1g/">nascent youtube channel.