Baby monitors are a fairly new invention. The idea behind a baby monitor is that you can have the ability to move around the house or your yard and still be able to keep tabs on your baby by listening or now viewing your baby. This can help alert you to a crying baby, a baby who needs your help or just help you watch baby while he or she sleeps.
The baby/nursery monitor that you buy will have different levels of mobility. The base usually plugs into the wall, usually the nursery or wherever your baby is sleeping. The receiver can plug in or be mobile. If you intend to use the monitor as you move from room to room, you will want to invest in the mobile kind, versus the stationary variety.
Perhaps mom and dad both want to monitor baby sounds, or even use one as a back up monitor - get a baby monitor with more than one receiver! This allows you both the have a baby monitor handy or have one charge while you use the other. This also comes in handy if you tend to lose items like remote controls, phones, etc.
Some monitors offer you the ability to actually watch your baby. Now you can catch the baby in the act of removing their own diaper while playing silently in the crib! Seriously the visual monitors are becoming more popular as they become more accessible and less expensive. Some monitors also offer you the ability to view baby via webcast. This is a nice touch when family members must be away from baby.
Other fun attributes!
There are other fun attributes to baby monitors these days including remote controls, rechargeable batteries for the receivers, notification if baby stirs or doesn't stir, even musical monitors! Find one that works for your family!
Quality of SoundObviously the most important quality of your monitor will be the quality of reception that you get. By closely observing the distance guidelines on your monitor, most monitors are very able to handle the average family's requests. A few households will have problems with interference and may need to go to a higher threshold of baby monitor.