Monitors are among the most researched and reviled of baby gadgets. We find great comfort in them, but interference from cordless phones and neighbors, poor battery life and flakiness have been known to drive parents batty. A family's monitor needs are predicated by their space, lifestyle and little ones, and monitors are never one-size-fits-all. Here are a few different options for households of all shapes, sizes and styles. What kind suits your family best?
• Summer Infant Slim & Secure Handheld Color Video Monitor ($199). Parents love the form factor of the small camera and handheld monitor. The digital system is designed to eliminate interference and can be expanded with up to two additional cameras, a nice option for parents of multiples or children close in age.
• Angelcare Movement & Sound Monitor ($140 deluxe version). A motion sensor pad that goes under the mattress works in conjunction with sound monitoring. An alarm will sound after 20 seconds if no movement is detected, making this a favorite among parents of preemies and tummy sleepers. As an added precaution, Angelcare monitors display the nursery temperature on the parents unit.
• Graco imonitor Vibe ($90, 2 parent units). Available with one or two parent units, the imonitor operates on a 900 MHz frequency to banish interference from other home electronics. The 2,000 foot range is great for larger homes or stepping into the garden.
• Uniden Wireless Surveillance System ($200). This no-nonsense system doesn't come in fashion colors, but it gets rave reviews for its reliability, rechargeable batteries and image quality.
• Cordless Phone ($100). Purchasing a cordless phone system with room monitoring capabilities is a Smart Shopper Tip from Baby Bargains and a perfect strategy for parents looking to streamline their gadgets with multitasking devices. Look for this option on phones from Uniden, Motorola and GE.
- Roni Shapira Ben-Yoseph