Why I chose an Audio Baby Monitor vs a Video Monitor

Why I chose an Audio Baby Monitor vs a Video Monitor

Initially, I selected the Philips Avent Dect audio baby monitor (SCD510) to avoid being an overly paranoid parent. Now, I also appreciate the extra privacy it offers when I am in the room with baby.

Let me clarify – I don’t think owning a video monitor makes you a paranoid parent. I think that if *I* owned one, it would flare up my paranoid tendencies and lead to me staring at a sleeping baby on the screen when I could be resting or doing something else.

That said…

PROS OF THE DECT BABY AUDIO MONITOR

> Reliable unit
> Extremely sensitive (though I didn’t think so in the early weeks :))
> Sounds are accompanied by lights – so you can use the monitor in “mute” mode or when you are someplace noisy
> Portable – easy to move between rooms and carry on holiday
> Suitable range for my needs (covers the two bedroom apartment and almost our balcony)
> Doubles up as a walkie-talkie to talk to baby from afar
> Decent battery life on the parent receiver. Both units come with wall chargers
> Clips on to your pant waistband / pocket

CONS

> Not inexpensive, cost varies by range required
> No video, so you can’t peek to see if you “really need to go in”
> Can be used to eaves drop on you if you forget to switch it off (ugh!)

The specific monitor I have is available for $60 on Souq.com at Philips Avent Dect Baby Monitor (SCD510). You can check out other Dect Baby audio monitors at the links below.

> Amazon US: Philips Dect Baby audio monitors
> Amazon UK: Philips Dect Baby audio monitors
> Amazon India: Philips Dect Baby audio monitors


Full review of the Philips Avent Dect Baby Monitor (SCD510)

A baby monitor is an absolute essential. At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted an audio or video monitor. My mother chided me for being so paranoid that I wanted to see my baby at every moment. “Get an audio one,” she said. That, and the significantly lower price tag sealed the decision. (She would have flipped if she knew there are monitors that double up as baby sensors!)

I’ve used Philip’s audio baby monitor since. In fact, it’s sitting right beside my laptop as I type. I have no complaints.

The Philips Avent Dect baby monitor is a straight-forward no nonsense device. If it’s positioned properly near baby, you WILL hear the sound of their breath, movement and cries.

Offers privacy if you are a co-sleeper, or live in a joint family setting

Living in the Middle East, I have part-time help with cleaning my house. There have been far too many occasions where I have rushed in to check on baby leaving the audio monitor in the living room, for all to hear. I’ve baby-talked, had embarrassing phone conversations, once even had a fight that a visiting guest overheard through the monitor (ouch).

Now, imagine if I had a VIDEO monitor out in hall!

For a number of excellent reasons, I co-sleep with baby and nurse him to sleep for naps and at night time. So he’s usually lying down on my bed with the monitor close by. The video monitor would have captured numerous instances of me nursing baby back to sleep. (Which you will soon find out is not as graceful and smooth as a non-parent would imagine. Especially not when baby is a crawler, sitter and soon-to-be-stander.) AWKWARD.

As baby has becomes more aware and mobile, he has started to treat the monitor as a chew toy. As a solution, the monitor is now perched on the top of my headboard, with the very tempting label and wire safely hidden from baby (see below).

Is the Philips Avent Dect baby monitor sensitive enough?

In the first two weeks, I was worried that the monitor wasn’t sensitive enough. Back then, we were still watching TV in the hall at a normal level and speaking to one another loudly. Oh how things have changed. As baby grew older, HIS sensitivity developed and he no longer sleeps through our noisy Netflix binges and excited loud chatter. The house is now so silent at night, you can hear when the neighbors use their toilet flush.

I’m not quite sure if baby’s really that a light sleeper – or if we are extra cautious because of how difficult it can be to put him to sleep. (And how exhausting it can be if he accidentally wakes up for another 1.5 hour awake spell).

If you use a white noise machine though, I suspect this won’t be a problem for you 🙂

But I digress. Now that baby is older at 7.5 months and the house is much quieter, the Dect baby monitor has proven that it is extremely sensitive. At the highest level of sensitivity, we can hear baby’s breathing, his snoring, his moving, his mid-sleep gibbering and his cries. The sounds are accompanied by the useful flare of blue light. There have several times when we didn’t heard the sound but did notice the light.

The extra sensitivity also ensures we are able to attend to baby before he stirs too much; which means its easier to soothe him back to sleep during the night. (I am currently delaying Round 2 of Sleep Training due to the expected arrival of three new teeth. So it’s in my best interests to get him back to sleep ASAP.)

Left to right: Power socket, Audio controls & lights, Sensitivity meter, Back clip

I chose this model of the Dect baby monitor as it covers the size of my apartment (a spacious two bedroom apartment). We have used it on holiday too, when baby was asleep in the hotel room and we were enjoying sunset on our room’s terrace. We could have walked out to the closest sun beds too, but are way too paranoid for that luxury!

In a nutshell, an audio baby monitor has some serious advantages in its favor, especially if you live with family/roommates and expect a lot of house guests. The Philips Avent Dect baby monitor has been extremely useful for me, and has proven to be a very reliable audio monitor.

Note: I very rarely use the walkie-talkie feature, I prefer calling out to baby as I walk over to him. My husband likes to use it to call out for me when he’s in the room with an awake baby.

The specific monitor I have is available for $60 on Souq.com at Philips Avent Dect Baby Monitor (SCD510). The same model isn’t available in the US and UK, but Philips does have other Dect baby audio monitors (US – Philips Dect Baby audio monitors / UK – Philips Dect Baby audio monitors / India – Philips Dect Baby).

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BabyCenter – Birth Club
For an online community of moms (join a birth club based on your baby’s birth month). (But note, the BabyCenter articles can be so off!)

KellyMom.com (Blog)
For information on parenting & breastfeeding, especially helpful in early months.

La Leche League (Organization)
For information on breastfeeding.

Your Baby Week by Week (Book)
A helpful breakdown of what to expect, from weeks 0 to 26. Take the advice with a pinch of salt – all babies are different.

The Wonder Weeks (Book/App)
A guide to baby’s mental development milestones and chart showing when baby will enter fussy periods (fairly accurate).

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