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Video Monitors

mtsmts Registered User regular
edited June 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So come October we will have a new baby in our house. exciting yes. Our house is all one level (except the basement) and we don't think we really want a sound monitor since really at most we would be 2-3 rooms away for the nursery. At this point we are questioning how paranoid we are going to be and thinking that a video monitor might be worth it to check in the middle of the night that the baby is, well, still breathing without getting up and going to the nursery.


looking at different places, most baby video monitors seem expensive as hell and don't seem all that great.

Was thinking how diffiuclt it would be to set up some sort of monitoring system using webcams or something like that. Either a dedicated viewer or smartphone app/website would be fine since we both have android phones.

i know some fancy systems you can access through a website which might be nice for when i go back to work and my wife is still home.

Or am I better off just springing for the baby monitor

mts on
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Posts

  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    If you have a spare computer or laptop, the cheapest way would be to just buy a decent webcam in the $80-100 range, and software that lets you access it remotely. I've been using AbleCam for a few months to keep an eye on our ducks in the back yard, a license costs around $30, and the camera can be accessed through your browser. It has a bunch of nice features, motion activation, automatic ftp upload, live streaming etc.

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  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    There are easy ways to accomplish this with a pc or laptop and a webcam. If you're an Apple household, using facetime with an auto accept script is easy too. Lifehacker just did a show on this if you want specifics of both pc and smartphone software to get.

  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    My thought on video monitors is you won't really be able to see enough detail in the dark to tell if the baby is still breathing, kind of defeating the purpose of them. I haven't used one, so this is just my assumption, but we ultimately decided to skip video and haven't regretted it.

    As far as sound monitors, even if you're one room away, they're still worth having. The point of them isn't to hear if the baby is crying, you'll hear that across the house anyway. We use ours mainly to hear when he's waking up, and to listen for any bad sounds, like choking.

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  • cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Would sound be good enough to hear if the baby is breathing?

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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Would sound be good enough to hear if the baby is breathing?

    Probably not, most of the time. The monitors pick up a lot, but at least our son didn't make much noise at all while sleeping. You'd have to stare at him for a couple of minutes while your eyes adjusted to the dark to see any movement at all.

    And that constant need to check on them will fairly quickly go away. After a few weeks of them being okay, you'll start to relax a little.

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  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    We just had a baby in December, and we were pretty close to buying a video monitor. But like you found, they were pretty expensive. Instead, what we do is just use our cordless phone as a sound monitor. One of us will use intercom to call the other phone, and the other will set it to speaker, mute, and turn the volume way up. Then we'll set the calling phone pretty close to her head in the crib. We can hear pretty faint sounds, like her waking up, and then we didn't need to blow money on something that will only be useful for a few months.

    Ultimately, the reason we didn't get a video monitor was for the same reason other people have said. You'd need really high resolution to see a newborn breathing, which means you'd need to spring for a high-end version. And realistically, are you going to want to wake up in the middle of the night, turn on the monitor, and stare for half a minute to see her breathing (in the dark)?

    And like Sir Carcass said, the constant need to check goes away pretty quickly.

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    HMM That phone idea is pretty good, though it might mean moving our base into our room. honestly i don't really want a video monitor. my wife was the one who suggested it, and the inner geek in me is trying to find a cheaper option

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  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    mts wrote: »
    HMM That phone idea is pretty good, though it might mean moving our base into our room. honestly i don't really want a video monitor. my wife was the one who suggested it, and the inner geek in me is trying to find a cheaper option

    Yeah, it's a tough call. Personally, I'd recommend at least waiting until after she (or he) is born before buying anything. We had all sorts of ideas about what we'd do once she was born, and that pretty much went out the window after the first few days.

    As an example, I was pretty worried about our cats jumping into the crib and suffocating her (or whatever). So I bought a fairly expensive net thingy that fits on top of the crib. And I'm not sure we've even zipped it up once. We ended up just not letting the cats into the room at night, and that has been fine.

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