Wireless devices, including baby monitors, can suffer from interference from other electronic devices. It can happen when you are using your mobile phone or trying to re-connect to your wireless broadband connection. When it happens, baby monitor interference is a pain.
Compared to their analogue counterparts, digital baby monitors are less prone to interference. However, electronic gadgets around the home such as wireless broadband routers and mobile phones can cause interference. Selling or throwing away an electronic gadget that causes interference is not an option for most people.
A digital baby monitor uses the 2.4GHz frequency signal band. When it comes up against another device using the same frequency band and channel, interference happens. Radio frequencies can also cause interference.
Devices such as stereo speakers, mobile phones, Wi-Fi routers and microwaves are the main culprits. The 2.4 GHz band is quite wide ranging. Sometimes you do come across devices that don’t quite get along with each other. Bad devices!
Unless you know what electronic device in your home is causing interference, you may think you have a faulty baby monitor. There are tell-tale signs when baby monitor interference is occuring. You will hear a buzzing sound, clicking or static sound along with the ‘normal’ audio signal.
If you have a digital video baby monitor, the picture can also be affected. The video may look fuzzy and / or out of focus.
There are actions you can take to reduce interference. Please note I don’t say eliminate interference. It’s not 100 per cent possible to do this. But, by following these six methods below you have a good chance of reducing those ‘static’ and screeching noises your baby monitor suffers from.
Six steps to reduce baby monitor interference
1 – Re-position your baby monitor
This sounds like an obvious thing to do. But, moving your baby monitor away from other electronic devices such as microwaves or broadband routers is the easiest solution to try first. Also, put your baby monitor (either the sending and / or receiving unit) near to a door as possible. A clear ‘line of sight’ for the parent and sending unit will help keep the signal strong.
Avoid putting your monitor behind a pillar or thick wall, if possible. It may also be worth switching off other devices to eliminate them from the list of potential culprits. Also, don’t place your baby monitor on a metal table or shelf. Metal will weaken the signals sent and received.
2 – Change the channel
No, not on your TV! Change the channel on your baby monitor, or other electronic devices. These devices send out wireless signals and use one of eleven different channels. Most devices use an auto channel function. This detects if there are other devices nearby using the same channel. If the device finds a conflict, it chooses a different channel.
You can also manually choose a channel. Sometimes doing this is trial and error. You won’t know what channel your neighbours Wi-Fi routers uses for example. Although you could ask them, especially if they use a baby monitor. Changing the Wi-Fi channel on your monitor is a good place to start when attempting to eliminate baby monitor interference.
3 – Switch the baby monitor on first
Turn the baby monitor on first and then switch other gadgets on after. It’s not ideal to keep switching off your broadband router. If your baby monitor suffers from interference and it’s your broadband router, you will have to decide if you are happy to turn it on and off regularly.
Turning the baby monitor on first, it has the best opportunity to be the first device to use the 2.4 GHZ signal. It doesn’t have to compete with other gadgets in your home.
4 – Buy a digital baby monitor
If you own an analogue baby monitor and its suffering from interference, it may be time to upgrade to a digital version. Digital units can also suffer from interference. However, the clearer, stronger and encrypted digital signals will reduce the amount of static and interference dramatically.
As analogue devices use radio frequency signals, they are more prone to static and interference. Also, analogue signals cannot travel as far as a digital signals. The analogue signal is more easily accessible to those with handheld scanners.
5 – Consider a monitor with DECT
What is DECT? It sounds like the latest social media app that we all must use! DECT is Digital Enhanced Cordless Communications. The majority of digital baby monitors use the 2.4GHZ frequency to send and receive signals. DECT uses the 1.9 GHZ frequency. This is reserved for audio signals.
DECT’s unfamiliar frequency means that most, if not all, other devices that use the 2.4 GHZ frequency will not interfere with a DECT baby monitor. The downside is that not all baby monitors have DECT. These monitors tend to cost a little more than others. However, the lack of interference is worth the extra expense in my opinion.
6 – Use fully charged batteries
Using the wrong or low charged batteries means the sending and receiving of baby monitor signals are degraded. Signals can also dropout. Weak signals or those that dropout frequently are more prone to interference.
Don’t use the wrong type of batteries (using re-chargeable when you shouldn’t be) or using cheap types. Make sure you use the correct batteries. It will make a big difference. Also, if you are using re-chargeable batteries and they aren’t holding the charge any longer, consider getting new ones.
So, there you go, six steps you can take to reduce, and hopefully, eliminate baby monitor interference. We can do without worrying about hearing other people’s phone conversations. Or worrying about your wireless router interfering with your baby monitor. Following the steps above will give you a fighting chance to hear your little one clearly while they sleep.