The first I heard about a video monitor was when my best friend was pregnant with her son and she put one on her registry. My first thought was, how unnecessary! Why would you need to see your child over a video monitor when they’re stuck in their crib? At the time, I was also pregnant with my first child and thought it was an extravagant, unnecessary want. Though most people think of having a monitor for their newborn, I think it’s even more important to have it when you have a toddler. Product received for review. Post contains affiliate links.
Now I know exactly why it’s necessary to have a video monitor. Toddlers are sneaky little beings who don’t cry when they wake up, and do much more in their cribs besides sleep (climb, take their diaper off, etc.), so it is absolutely necessary to have a video monitor if you have a toddler.
The First Years Video Monitor
I was ecstatic to receive The First Years video monitor – Crisp and Clear! Most days, my son doesn’t make a peep when he wakes up. Also, he’s getting to the age where he loves to climb and jump, so I’m always on edge wondering if he’s going to climb out of his crib. So receiving this monitor and being able to see what he’s doing in his crib, and know if he’s sleeping, playing, or climbing, has reduced my stress levels drastically!
The Monitor Details
When I received the monitor I was anxious to use it that night, however the instructions suggested charging the unit for a length of time before using it. I know from being a cell phone owner that this step is required to keep the life of the rechargeable batteries, so I let it charge for a full day before using it. Even though I briefly glanced through the instruction manual, I found the unit extremely user-friendly. If you can use an iPod or a cell phone, then it’s a piece of cake. Some of the features this unit touts are:
- Parent Unit Finder
- Night Vision
- Background Noise Filter
- Sound Activated Lights
- Power Save Mode
- Low Battery Indicator
- Sound Level Indicator Lights
- Out of Range Indicator
My favorite of all the features is the Night Vision! I was expecting green night vision, like you see in movies, but I was pleasantly surprised that it’s normal black and white. It works great in the dark and it’s a decent picture. We keep our son’s room pitch dark except for a small night-light behind his toy box which gives off only a tiny bit of light in that area. Here is a picture of the parent unit during the early morning hours when the sun wasn’t up yet. The room is completely dark, yet the picture is pretty clear. I have it plugged in to charge in the picture, but it is a wireless unit.
The camera unit can sit on a shelf or be mounted to the wall. It adjusts forward and backward on the base it sits on, so you can point it up or down from where it’s perched. Here is a close up of the camera unit.
We don’t have any shelving, and I’m not interested in putting holes in the walls so as you can see from the photo below, I got crafty and stacked my son’s foam blocks up and placed it on top of there in the corner of the room with the perfect view of his crib.
Another great feature is the ability on the parent unit to adjust the view. When I first put it on top of the blocks I thought I was straight on but when I checked the parent unit I saw it was facing more towards the wall than I would have liked. It was no problem however, because on the parent unit I can zoom and adjust the camera angle so the crib is in clear view. This is a definite plus!
One of the only cons I have found with this unit is the sound quality with white noise. We are white noise sleepers and my son has a loud fan that runs in his room while he sleeps. With his old audio monitor, the sound was super clear so while we were sleeping all we heard was the fan noise which mimicked our own fan so it was easy to sleep with. However, this unit has a bit of a static–like sound quality so with the white noise of the fan, it sounds like static and not the fan, which makes it a bit annoying to sleep with. Also it seems to pick up interference from other electronics very easily which makes the static feedback even worse. However, when there is no fan, the sound seems pretty clear. So if you are not a white noise sleeper, this may not be an issue. The only other con is if the camera unit is not close to the crib the image is less clear. When I first put it in my son’s room I just set it on the top corner of the crib. Here is was crystal clear, even in pitch darkness. But now that we’ve perched it atop the blocks a couple of feet away, the picture is less clear. But we can still see him and what he’s doing so it’s not a big deal.
Overall, I think this definitely a “must have” for any parent, be it of a newborn or a toddler. At a retail price of around $89.99 at most of the big box retailers, it’s a steal for what you get. This monitor is a great choice for those who do not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a video monitor.
Do you use a video monitor for your baby?