Like most new parents, my husband and I had the best intentions when preparing for our new arrival. We resolved to remain “laid back” and not allow ourselves to be “helicopter” hovering parents. Little did we know, though, that once our son was born, we would become totally and lovingly obsessed. We had originally felt that the need for a video monitor was unnecessary, due to our son being in the bassinet at our bedside. When the time finally came, for him to be in his crib in another room, however, we knew we wanted to still be able to keep a close eye on him from a distance.
Luckily, an opportunity came along for us to test and review the Levana Safe N See Advanced Digital Video Monitor. When the box arrived I was so anxious to test it out that I pulled it right out of the box and set it up—without even glancing at the instruction manual. It came in just two small units—the camera and the video monitor. Each have the ability to be plugged in or to be wireless once batteries are in place. The two units paired up immediately and, within seconds, I was able to start using it. After a short test-run, I sat down with the instruction manual to learn more about its various features.
First of all, given that most other video systems in our home have the HD technology, we had unrealistic expectations for the quality of the video monitor. While it doesn't quite meet the standards of HD, it certainly allows for easy viewing—we are able to see with or without the lights on (it includes night vision technology) and has more fluid movement than we anticipated. On occasion, it can stall and the movements are a bit jerky—as they would be in a security video, for example—but overall the quality of the video monitoring is good. The size of the screen is similar to that of the smartphones that my husband and I both use daily, making it familiar. The camera can be mounted or simply placed on a shelf away from the crib. We have found that simply having it placed allows us to move it around more easily when needed.
The sound quality is excellent. There is rarely noise interference, and when there is, simply turning the volume down usually works. A feature we use often is the intercom. It allows myself or my husband to check in with our baby but more often we are checking in with one another. I am able to intercom in and let him know to bring more wipes, etc.
A feature that my husband has found to be valuable is the temperature display. It's displayed in the corner of the monitor (it can be removed if not needed) and let's him keep an eye on the temperature in the nursery—just in case the heating and air unit in our home becomes faulty, as it can do in extreme temperatures.
As I mentioned, the monitor has the option of being wireless—which I've found to be most useful. It uses a rechargeable lithium battery that, at night, I just plug in to charge, but during the day, I am able to carry the monitor throughout the house while our son naps, giving me the ability to both see and hear our son from every corner in our house. It even works when I take it in the yard to let the dogs out or to garden. It does have an available belt-clip for mobility, however the unit's a bit too heavy to put on my hip and walk around with.
There are a couple other features the monitor has to offer, though we admittedly haven’t made as much use of them. The unit allows for five lullabies to be played by just hitting a button on the monitor. We haven't personally found them to be very soothing—they sound a bit choppy—and typically play music from an iPod instead. In addition, there is an optional night-light. It's not quite bright enough to prevent a late-night toe stubbing on the edge of the dresser though, so we tend to supplement with a separate night-light and keep the included one turned off.
Our overall assessment of the Levana Safe N See Advanced Digital Video Monitor is that it has allowed us to continuously view our sweet baby from almost anywhere necessary—which, for new parents, is an ideal situation. We would recommend the monitor to anyone looking for a hassle free video monitor to keep both an eye and an ear on their newborn.
To buy: mylevana.com