Having a baby can be a nerve wracking experience for new parents - not the nine months of pregnancy, I'm talking about after the infant is brought home from the hospital. It's always the same thing, by the time they have their third child they have it all figured out, but with number one it's a learning thing.
Baby monitors help you hear your baby's needs without you having to be in the room with the baby. Some baby monitors are portable, or "mobile" and are small enough that you can carry it in your pocket as you do your daily chores around the house. Depending on your price range it's best to have a base unit that plugs into the wall. The receiving unit can be like your portable phone, you can carry it around with you, and plug it back into the base unit to be recharged.
Some people find that their baby monitor can be interrupted by cell phones, mobile phones, computer networks and even your neighbors baby monitors. Be aware of any potential interruptions before you put the monitor into official use. Also, make sure you get a monitor with a receiving unit that emits a tone when the battery is going low so you won't be caught with a dead battery.
Another consideration before purchasing a baby monitor is the range the monitors have. If you have a more regular sized home say 1,800 you probably won't have any problem with a conventional baby monitor. If you live in a home that has square footage of 4,000 or more, or if you live in a multi level home you may need a specific type of unit.
There are baby monitors available that actually feature what is called a "sensor pad". The pad is placed underneath the crib sheet and picks up any movement the baby may make. Some physicians recommend these types of monitors for premature babies.