One of them is that sometimes it pays to go cheap, and sometimes it's worth it to spend a little more money to get the better quality.
When Mason was younger we had two different baby monitors.
I reviewed both of them on the blog here.
Unfortunately, the video monitor crashed on us when Mason was around 9 months old.
At the time we didn't purchase another one. We really didn't need another one.
He was past the stage where you're terrified about SIDS every moment that they are in their crib, and we could easily hear him crying from any room in the main level of our home, so we didn't go out and get another one.
Now we have a need for another monitor that is two-fold.
1) We are having another baby this spring, and will again have the SIDS fear in the forefront of our minds every evening at bedtime.
2) We are working on sleep training Mason in a toddler bed.
The second reason for needing a new baby monitor really made this a more urgent request.
We won't need video surveillance of our new little one until next summer because he or she will be rooming with us until they are around 3 months old (as we did with Mason as well).
However, Mason will be transitioning to his "big boy bed" hopefully this winter, and from our "attempts" to get him to try it out so far it's obvious that he likes to roam around his room during what is supposed to be bedtime.
We need eyes in that room at all times to make sure that we know when he is up and when he is in bed.
I researched a bunch of different video monitors, because a sound monitor alone will not assist us in making sure he stays in bed.
My initial idea was to find one that was viewable from our cell phones, but also relatively inexpensive.
I found a video monitor for around $60 on Amazon that allowed video viewing from your cell phone.
I thought I was such a smart bargain shopper.
Until we got it delivered, and it was next to impossible to figure out how to set up to view on your phone.
I mean seriously, the instructions were practically in Chinese.
We returned that monitor and I resumed my search.
I settled on a more expensive monitor that had video viewing from your phone AND the reviews talked about how easy it was to set up.
It's called the iBaby monitor.
Don't let the name fool you, you can use the monitor with an Android phone, however, you cannot set up the camera using an Android so you have to have at least one iPhone or Apple device (iPad works) to install the system.
There are many different models of the monitor and we chose to purchase the M3 which is not the newest model, but also not the oldest. It has all of the functions (as far as I can tell) as the M6, but just as a different look to it and also is less expensive.
We love it.
Honestly, I'm so glad we decided to go for quality this time around because it's already proving that it was worth the extra pennies.
For one, it was the easiest thing to install in the world.
Okay, not easier than the ones you plug into the wall and listen to, but as far as a video monitor that streams on your phone...the easiest.
All you have to do is screw in the back antenna, plug the camera into your wireless router, install the app, let everything load, and then unplug it from your router and put it in the baby's room.
Another bonus its that it can scan the ENTIRE ROOM!
All you have to is drag your finger across your phone screen and the monitor will SILENTLY pan the entire room.
This is a huge bonus for us as we will be having Mason and the new baby sharing a room, so we can easily view both the crib and toddler bed (which are on opposite sides of the room) from the same monitor at essentially the same time.
The monitor has to be plugged in at all times, so the maneuverability of the camera makes it appealing as well because you don't have to pick a specific outlet that will give you the best view of your room. Pick the one where the camera fits best, and you'll be able to view the entire room from the spot.
It also has a really clear screen.
The picture from this video monitor is 100X better than our previous one, which showed grainy video and lots of glowing things.
You can also take snapshots of your camera view so if your baby is doing something adorable (like sleeping...how adorable are sleeping babies?!) you can take a quick snapshot and text it to you whoever you want. I have been doing it when people ask us what we are up to, or when we are coming to their house. It answers the question for me in an even more adorable way than saying, "Mason is napping".
The camera allows you to hook up a maximum of 4 devices to it which is really nice as well. Currently, we have Steven and my phones hooked up to it, but if we ever have someone come over to babysit we can have them install the app (which, again, takes 2 minutes) and they will have access to the monitor as well.
There is also a remote viewing feature (which I haven't set up yet on ours) that allows you to view the monitor even when you aren't at home. You can use it as a nanny cam, or even when your kids are grown you could use it for a doggie cam, or a security feature for your home as well!
All-in-all I would highly recommend this monitor (and nobody paid me to say that!).
If you're looking for a video monitor I would say iBaby is the way to go!