Baby Sound Monitor and Radio Interference

Parents with newborns and babies sleeping in cribs like the added security that a baby sound monitor can offer. They don't have to hover, since the monitors let them know when their baby is crying. At least that's how it works in theory. In practice, radio interference can turn that peaceful baby monitor into a nonstop source of noise that keeps you and your baby on edge. You might even learn things about your neighbors that you'd rather not know. When you're shopping, keep radio interference in mind and use these tips to help you find a baby monitor that will work.

Analog Is More Prone to Interference
Some baby monitors, especially the analog ones, can pick up radio interference, static, cordless phone signals or signals from neighbor's baby monitors. If you've got a radio tower nearby, you'll get their programming as well. If you can hear what's going on in your neighbor's house, chances are your neighbors can hear what's going on in your house, to say nothing of the false alarms that baby monitor cross talk causes.

If you're near radio equipment, close to your neighbors' houses or if you have a lot of wireless electronic devices around, it's best to steer clear of analog baby monitors. They're the cheapest option, but they're also the most susceptible to stray signals. Only use them if you're well away from sources of interference.

The Digital Solution
Digital baby monitors have less interference problems, but they also tend to have a shorter operating range than analog monitors. Check the range when you're comparing models, and keep in mind that some materials used in home construction, particularly masonry, brick and concrete, may block the digital signals.

The Philips SCD 589 DECT digital model runs on a new 1.9 Ghz signal, which won't interfere with any electronics because no electronics run on that frequency. Graco's iMonitor uses an encryption key to scramble the signal between the baby monitors, so even if the next apartment over has an iMonitor, you won't hear each other. Prices are generally higher for digital baby monitors, and encryption or dedicated channels only add to the price, so it's worth it to make sure you need these features before you buy.

Stay away from baby monitors that use a 900Mhz frequency, especially if you're in a densely populated area. This is the same frequency used by older cordless phones, so you'll be getting unwanted conversations if any of those phones are nearby.

Some baby monitors now come with rechargeable batteries, a great feature for the parents' handset, since monitors drain batteries quickly. You can plug in the monitor in the baby's room, but the parents' receiver travels with you, making batteries a necessity. wi

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