Friday, May 16, 2008

Dad tip #27: Video baby monitors good for monitoring more than babies

Okay, I don't know if the title of this post is actually true because we've only ever used our baby monitor for monitoring our baby. However, we have a cat that definitely spends way more time on the kitchen counter and the dining room table than he should and it would be great to catch him in the act more frequently (and then *SQUIRT* with the water bottle!).

That said, the real advice of this post is that video monitors may or may not be overkill and they may or may not make you saner or crazier; it really all depends on your personality. We were originally planning on using a hand-me-down audio-only baby monitor from my sister (thanks sis!), but discovered that the static was ridiculously loud.

I think I already harbored some latent desire for a video monitor -- I like gadgets -- so, I did some research and decided to pick up a video baby monitor by Summer that seemed to rate pretty well for reliability and relatively low levels of static.

If you're like me and my wife, the video monitor is great because it gives you the chance to look in on your cute sleeping child, it prevents you from disturbing your child when he may well be perfectly fine, and it answers the "what was he doing to make that noise?" question. However, I could totally see some more OCD-inclined, paranoia-prone, and just-plain-nutty parents having their lives taken over by constantly looking at the monitor.

And you've got to figure that humans have been making and raising babies for a loooooong time without ANY kind of monitor. So, I guess the other real piece of advice here is evaluate what personality type you and your wife are before determining whether or not you even need a baby monitor and, if so, what kind you want to get.

Just to set some people's minds at ease: a.) we love our cat dearly and do not really take enjoyment in squirting him with the water bottle when he's naughty and b.) video baby monitors are NOT creepy a la George Orwell's 1984 ... unless you're actually really creepy like that.

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Blogger Jean S said...

We have the handheld video monitor pictured at the top of this post, and we have NO NO NO idea how parents survive with an old-fashioned audio baby monitor. I think one of the best things about it is when we started instituting sleep training (read: crying it out), and it gave us such peace of mind to be able to see him in the monitor yet be able to turn the sound OFF. Hehe.

May 19, 2008 9:17 AM  

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