How Do Baby Monitors Work: A Detailed Explanation for New Parents


How Do Baby Monitors Work? Here is All You Need to Know

Mar 01, 2021
Are you expecting a newborn baby soon? Or are you a first-time parent? Well, let us start by congratulating you on this big achievement. The excitement that comes with parenting is now going to be part of your life. How you go about it means a lot for your mental health and baby’s growth.

A close up picture showing a parent monitoring his baby

A close up picture showing a parent monitoring his baby

One of the guaranteed ways to ensure that your newborn is safe is through the use of best baby monitors. But how do baby monitors work? In this article, I’ll help you know more about baby monitors and how technological advancements has helped new parents to live a stress-free lifestyle.

Don’t you want to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep knowing very well that your baby is doing well? Isn’t it a nice thing to know when it is time to feed the baby or even change diapers? These plus many more reasons are what make these monitors stand out. Without taking too much of your time, let’s get into the main agenda which is ‘’baby monitors’’. Take a look.

How baby monitors work?

How do baby monitors work? Many people keep asking this question, it is not you alone. Well, it is worth noting that baby monitors usually have two components –  a receiver and a transmitter. The receiver is always placed next to the caregiver whereas the transmitter is usually left in the newborn baby’s room.

A picture showing two parents monitoring their baby on bed

A picture showing two parents monitoring their baby on bed

If the transmitter detects some unusual movement from the baby, it sends a signal to the receiver. It is this signal that is interpreted by the receiver and the necessary attention given to the baby. The signal is usually dependent on the type of baby monitor; whether it is an audio model, video model or a one with both.

In this arrangement, you or the caregiver can easily notice anything unusual happening to the baby. In the event of an emergency or any discomfort from the baby, you can easily notice even from far. The good thing about these baby monitors is that you can go about your work without any worry unless you get a distress call from the baby’s end.

Types of baby monitors

Audio baby monitors were the first invention of mankind as far as baby monitors are concerned. Technological advancements have seen the introduction of video monitors which are a little more advanced with additional features to help divert the attention of the baby thus dispelling unnecessary concerns.

The most advanced baby monitors are currently designed with sensor pads for more accurate detection of any slight baby movements or otherwise. So how do these two different types of baby monitors work? Which of the two would you recommend to a parent? Well, let’s have a look at both the audio and video baby monitors in more detail:

A. Audio/analog baby monitors

These monitors operate in a similar way as FM radios. They operate based on the principle of frequency modulation. Sounds made by the baby are broken down into very small signals which are picked by the transmitter and delivered to the receiver through radio frequencies. The receiver does the work of processing the small sound signals and eventually converts them back to audible sound from the baby’s end.

A close up picture showing a home camera watching sleeping baby

A close up picture showing a home camera watching sleeping baby

The process of breaking down the sound at the transmitter and the converting it back at the receiver happens in a seamless manner without any interruptions. Remember, if there happen to be any interruptions in this process, you might end up getting the wrong information at your end. To ensure that possible interruptions from the likes of wireless telephones and other analog baby monitors are minimized. Analog monitors are designed to work at very high frequencies compared to the other common radio frequencies.

This audio-only baby monitor focuses on the cries of a baby. The transmitter picks up any sound around the baby’s crib. It is therefore recommended that you minimize any noise emissions in the background. The presence of other noisy equipment in the background can cause some misjudgment. Can you imagine how painful it is to be woken up in the middle of the night with the thought that your baby is probably uncomfortable only to find your tiny bundle of joy deeply asleep?

Always make sure there isn’t any noise in the baby’s crib if you happen to have the audio baby monitor on. The latest audio monitors are capable of searching multiple frequencies to find open bands to operate at. This makes the newer versions better in terms of reduced signal interference. However, they’re still not well secured as an external device can be tuned to collect the signals before being transmitted elsewhere.

A picture showing a baby audio monitor isolated

A picture showing a baby audio monitor isolated

B. Video/Digital baby monitors

These are the more advanced versions of audio monitors. Just like audio monitors, video monitors have a single transmitter and a single receiver. The difference between these two types of baby monitors only comes into play in the kind of signal transmission. In the digital monitors, signal transmission is done in encrypted codes which are sent over different frequency spectra.

The encrypted message is picked up at the receiver where it is decoded. The process of encrypting the data is key as it helps keep off possible environmental interruptions. This is actually a more secure way of finding information  regarding your baby’s wellbeing in the crib.

With digital monitors, there is no likelihood that you’ll pick up any sounds from the environment. They are more secure with high quality sounds compared to the analog models. These improvements come at a cost though, as the digital monitors are more expensive.

Apart from the two most common baby monitor types above, the latest models combine the two to give analog video baby monitors which combine the individual principles from each model. This leads to a more superior, reliable and accurate monitor. Isn’t it this accuracy that you yearn for?

A close-up picture showing a baby monitor
A close-up picture showing a baby monitor

C. Two-way baby monitors

Currently, there are baby monitors that resemble walkie-talkies. This way, both of you (the caregiver and the baby) can listen and talk to each other. The two-way communication is possible due the presence of radio waves. The radio waves are picked up by the transmitters and sent to the receivers which are available at both ends.

The good thing with this type of baby monitor is that you can speak directly to your baby from whichever part of your house you’re located. This has a high chance of making the baby feel you are around. You can therefore go about your chores with a lot of ease. This is another handy type of the baby monitors.

A closeup picture showing a baby monitor walkie-talkie

A closeup picture showing a baby monitor walkie-talkie

d. Wi-Fi and Smartphone baby monitors

Have you ever thought of monitoring your baby from work? Well, this is a possibility in the current world. Remember you have to resume your daily duties including going back to your work station. But the anxiety doesn’t just disappear that easily with resumption of work. In fact, this even comes with a lot of unease.

To curb this, you need to go for a wireless baby monitor that can help you know of your baby’s safety from whichever part of the world you are at. Most of the Wi-Fi enabled models come with cameras that enable live video feeds. With these more advanced models, you can actually store the videos and images in computers, memory cards and even the cloud for future reference.

With a smartphone, you actually don’t need a receiver. Most of these types are built with Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) which allows you communicate with your babysitter or baby real time. Just like other cellphones, these devices are prone to communication outages due to poor network and power outages.

A picture showing a young couple enjoying knowing how a baby monitor works

A picture showing a young couple enjoying knowing how a baby monitor works

The above four are some of the most common baby monitors you can always come across whenever you’re the market for these handy devices. Technological advancements will definitely lead to the introduction of some more sophisticated monitors. So, be ready for these plus some more to come.

How to mount baby monitors

Have you asked yourself questions like where exactly do you need to install the baby monitor? Well, just like most of the home installations, you can’t just wake up and decide to mount a baby monitor just anywhere within the little one’s crib. There are a number of factors you need to consider right from the baby’s safety and best viewing angle among others.

It is always recommended to mount the baby monitors on the wall. This way, they are kept out of reach of children. Besides, you can get clear shots of the baby from the video baby monitors.

If you intend to use the baby monitor across different rooms in the house, then permanent installation onto the wall shouldn’t be your thing. We would recommend that you just place it on a shelf from where it can be removed to other locations. Whether wall-mounting or a simple placement on a shelf, always make sure that the gadget is kept out of reach of the baby so that it’s not knocked over.

For wall mounting, pick a spot that will give you a clear view of the entire baby’s room. If power cables are used, make sure they are hidden from the baby; you can use cable covers. The use of shelves on the other hand is quite convenient as you can move your baby monitor to different locations.

How to hack baby monitor signals

How secured and safe are these signals you are relying on for your baby’s comfort, safety and general well-being? Can these signals be accessed by unauthorized gadgets or persons? How prone are they to hacking? And can they be hacked in the actual sense?

Any parent’s intention is to keep away intruders from their baby’s room. However, this cannot be completely assured as the baby monitors, both audio and video, can be accessible to intruders. Nonetheless, this shouldn’t deter you from ensuring your baby’s safety is well guaranteed.

For audio monitors, hacking is always a quite simple thing. Just hijacking the frequency of the radio signals then interrupt them by placing another gadget in between. The web and Wi-Fi based baby monitors are currently the most affected in terms of hacking. The use of internet protocols (IP) in these smart models has challenges as they can be hacked from anywhere in the world unlike for audio models that the hacker must just be nearby.

Best baby monitor

Having looked at “How do baby monitors work”, it is important that we also have a look at an ideal baby monitor that you can consider taking home to use for your baby. In this section therefore, we will simply make your work simpler as you’ll just pick a great product from the word go.

Vtech baby monitors stand out in the market as the best as they are reliable, convenient and less expensive. Vtech has got both audio and video monitors from which you can choose from. We specifically like the Vtech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor due to its simplicity.


It is no doubt that baby monitors are very important in a child’s growth process. From the assurance to the caregivers and parents, to the safety, mobility, flexibility and even connection between the parent and the baby regardless of the distance of separation, you’ll agree with me that this is actually a necessity.

What is more satisfying than going about your duties knowing very well that the baby is very safe? However, as you have read above, these baby monitors are also not well-secured against intruders who might want to have access to your data. It is therefore recommended that you look for a model that is somehow well-protected from external forces whenever you want a new one.

Don’t you want to have your baby unexposed? The paranoia of signal hacking shouldn’t deter you from buying these gadgets though. Look at the bigger picture of your baby’s safety at the expense of signal hacking.

Is there anything that you feel we’ve left out that is so important as regards baby monitors? Does this information meet your expectations? Feel free to share your thoughts with us.

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