Big Mother is Watching
There comes a time in every expecting parents’ journey where they have to make the big decision: do you buy a video monitor or an audio-only monitor? James and I were at the Baby Show when we first started to consider our preference. At first we were leaning towards a video monitor, when a grandmotherly woman standing nearby brought up the excellent question: “When do you stop watching them?” So in order to avoid a life of staring at a small video screen for small movements, we decided to go with the audio option. At the time I think that was the right choice for us.
But if I’m honest, I always wanted a video monitor, especially after Baby moved to a cot at 18 months and we were left sitting downstairs most nights, listening to thumps and bumps on the ceiling and wondering, “What is she up to?” So when the good folks at Samsung asked if I wanted to review their video monitor, the SEW 3037W, I said yes – because I totally wanted to snoop on Baby.
We eagerly opened the box and unwrapped our new toy. We found a spot to affix the camera, hanging it upside down across the room from her bed, so we could get a good view. The tilt and pan function helped to give us a wide range of vision. After we finished her bedtime ritual that night, we settled onto the sofa downstairs and prepared for the show.
And what a show it was. The phrase “ignorance is bliss” comes to mind. It turns out that our sweet little baby girl wasn’t creating the rumble of thuds by gently playing in her bed. No. She was climbing up onto the footboard and leaping inelegantly head first onto the floor, only sometimes hitting her chosen target of the cushions. She also had a nightly habit of reorganising the feng shui of her drawers and bookshelves. What amazed us was how she then attempted to cover her tracks by putting everything back again.
For about a week, James and I put away the latest DVD box set marathon and watched our daughter instead. Improvised it may be, but the drama was Emmy material.
It has certainly been fun watching her nighttime cabaret, but has it actually been a useful weapon in our toddler care armoury? I think it has. I really love to be able to glance quickly at the screen and know that she’s not half hanging out of bed head first or that she is tucked up all nice and snug dreaming of Alex the Lion. James says he still prefers the audio monitor as he is quite happy to leap into action if he hears a yelp or squeal that warrants a super-dad save. One thing we both agree on: having the monitor helped us make the decision to tweak her sleeping arrangements by adding a rail to her bed (we told it was her Princess Castle, which she seemed to dig).
Having now had the video monitor for a few weeks, it’s hard to imagine our bedtime routine without it. For different reasons, we love both monitors, but the video monitor definitely wins for me. I enjoy the peace of mind and it is tuned into my mummy instincts of wanting to know that my little cub is safe and sound, tucked up in bed.
I guess the ultimate question you have to now ask me is: when we go away for a weekend to Grandma and Grandad’s house, which monitor is it that we take away? Well, it’s the video monitor. No question. When she is sleeping in a new environment that hasn’t had the benefit of our thorough baby-proofing, it’s good to know what she’s up to in there once the door is closed.
Some stuff from the hubby who enjoyed setting it up:
It’s super simple to set up. Stuck upside down on the bottom of a shelf was the best option for us, so little grabby hands couldn’t pull it down. Just like the audio minor, turn it on and it has a quick search for the video bit and we’re away. Panavision nursery antics, ahoy!
From the control/monitor you can pan and tilt the camera to follow the mass devastation as it unfolds and, if you really need to stop Destructo-Toddler in her tracks, it has a little audio feed, too.
Turn out the lights and the video monitor’s infrared turns on so you can see the monochrome version of your child. It’s like watching the nature programmes with fewer badgers snuffling around.
The only teeny tiny gripe was that, by turning the camera upside down to stick it to the bottom of a shelf, which was suggested in the manual, there was no way to turn the resulting image upside down on the monitor, so we in effect have to hold the controller/monitor upside down. It’s such a small thing that it’s almost irrelevant, but it would make a 5-star video monitor even more 5-star.
Final verdict is: the Samsung SEW 3037W is a great video monitor for basic spying on our mischievous little darlings who are hell bent on self-destruction .
The video monitor was provided to me for the purpose of this review by Samsung Electronics. Co., Ltd.