Safety 1st Hi Def Digital Monitor

Written by: Margaret

As a new mother, I am plagued with the ever-important question, “Is my baby OK?” So, as far as I am concerned, if a baby monitor can answer this question, then it is already on its way to winning over this panicked mother’s heart. Now, onto question number two: “Is she OK while I am in the basement, laundry room, garage, etc.?” And lastly, “Is she OK even though I am watching TV, typing an email and have my windows open?” Well, according to my Safety 1st High-Def Digital Audio Monitor, yes, yes and almost!

Included in this package, are two monitors, which are referred to as the parent’s unit and the baby’s unit. The parent’s unit is about the size of a handheld PDA and the baby’s unit the size of a deck of cards. As the names imply, the parent’s unit is the monitor that travels with the parent while the baby’s unit stays with the baby. Additionally, two AC adaptors and three rechargeable batteries are included. Instructions for setup are extremely easy to understand and include some helpful illustrations. Setup simply involved connecting to a power source and pushing a button.

Connecting to a power source required inserting the three rechargeable batteries provided and plugging in the AC adaptors, one to each of the monitors. The only difficulty in doing this was removing the battery cover on the parent’s unit and flipping open the cover of the AC adaptor insert on the baby’s unit. Removing the battery cover entailed unscrewing a small screw with a Phillips head screwdriver and some finagling. I hate to admit it, but both the battery and AC adaptor cover required the assistance of my husband, who was much less fearful of using brute force to pry them open! However, once opened, they were easily re-opened. Conveniently, when you plug in the parent monitor, you are also recharging the batteries—a nice, cost-effective solution to having to buy and replace batteries—making removing the battery cover in the future obsolete. Besides, if you are anything like our household, when it comes to batteries, one of three things is inevitable: (1) you don’t have the size you need, (2) you have the right size but are short by one, or (3) you put them somewhere where you wouldn’t forget where you put them and … you forget!

Because of its sleek look, many of its features are identified via an LED indicator on each unit. As a result, there can be various indicators differing in meaning but only slightly in appearance, all of which are clearly outlined in a chart within the instructions manual.

The monitor’s primary selling feature is its HD capability which enables it to maintain clear airwaves. Although this is the case, and thus my first two questions previously posed are answered with a resounding, yes, it may be clear, but it is not always easily heard. Like many moms, I have honed my multitasking skills and pride myself on being fiscally savvy; as such, it may be no surprise that at any moment you can find me watching TV while typing an email, while the clothes washer runs, and the wind blows through my open windows. Therefore, the more a monitor can pick up and at a high volume, the better. This monitor, even on its highest volume and at a fairly close distance, I found it difficult to hear my baby’s whimpers amidst such “chaos”; when there was no chaos, of course, no problem. The manufacture suggests that the baby’s unit be placed 4 to 6’ away from the baby. I noticed that the closer I got to 6’ the greater the volume capacity lacked, the opposite was true as I decreased that distance to 4’ or less. However, in doing so required some ingenuity since the device lacks the hardware to mount it to the wall and there is no secure place to set the monitor near my baby’s crib.

What about those times when my baby isn’t napping in her crib? With a twist on the old saying, let sleeping dogs lie, I say, let sleeping babies sleep … wherever that may be. Whether it is the car seat you just schlepped into the house or the play yard in the basement, how do you monitor your baby? So far, the only answer I have come up with is to move that one thing and crawl under that other thing to “easily” unplug the baby’s unit and hope that wherever the baby is sleeping, there is an available plug. Luckily, both units (parent and baby) do have rather long AC adaptor cords. My point: The baby’s unit is not portable. It must be plugged in to function. (Unfortunately, I don’t know of any monitors that do this, but it sure would be nice!)

Price: $70
To buy: overstock.com

Posted in Gear Reviews, imported, Monitors & Tech