Monday, November 21, 2011

Baby Monitors


Dad Recommends...Baby Monitors

We have two baby monitors, both of them audio-only models. The first one we used with our older daughter was the typical Graco baby monitor that almost everyone has. It works fairly well, and we continue to use it. It's analog, on the 49mhz frequency.

Then we needed a second monitor for our twins. To insure that it wouldn't interfere with our daughter's monitor, we got a digital monitor, since digital monitors usually run on a completely different frequency. It's called the Summer Infant Secure Digital Monitor, and it uses 900mhz. This particular monitor is awesome in that the receiver has a docking bay, and it automatically recharges in the docking bay. Then the built-in rechargeable battery is good for 8 to 10 hours of usage. This means that you can carry the receiver around with you, clipped onto your belt, or put it on the kitchen counter, and you're not worrying about power cords or AA batteries running out every couple of hours. Even now, two years later, the built-in battery stills holds a good, long charge, and it's never given us a problem. Plus it always has very clear reception.

One difference between our older daughter and the twins is that we always wore our daughter to sleep in good attachment parenting style. We never really missed the video feature with hr, because we really only needed the monitor to know if she woke up - and if she did, then we would go get her. But with the twins, after about a year, we started putting them in their cribs at the start of the night for them to fall asleep on their own. Most of the time they fall asleep quickly, but on some nights, they might cry for a little while. Then we're always wondering, "are they crying because they're having a hard time falling asleep, or because they got their leg stuck in the crib or  some similar other disaster that requires parental intervention?" Because of this, it really would be handy to have the video feature to be able to know this without having to go in the room.

Summer Infant also makes a handheld video model that similar to our digital model in that it has a built-in rechargeable battery. From the reviews on Amazons, customers seem to have left pretty good feedback, both on the product itself, and on their experiences with the company. Without having had a video baby monitor ourselves, I'd probably look first at the Summer Infant video models first, based on the good quality of the Summer Infant monitor we already have. 

2011 Update: Several years later, we no longer need a baby monitor in our kids rooms. But if we're down in the basement watching TV, and they need us from their second floor rooms, it's still hard for us to hear them. The solution we've come up with is a set of walkie talkies. Modern walkie talkies are completely silent when there's no transmission and they use rechargeable batteries. It's a great solution for young elementary school aged kids in a large house. 

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