Ask GeekDad – May 18th, 2010

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Graphic by Dave BanksGraphic by Dave Banks

Graphic by Dave Banks

Last week we put out the call to our readers for questions from our readers. Questions about what? Well, anything, really. We had no idea what to expect, but the bottom line is that we’ve got some great questions that really run the gamut from serious to zany. Which is generally how we like things around here. We had a lot to choose from, so thanks to everyone who sent questions in.

So here’s our first batch of questions! Remember if you’d like to ask something, just email AskGeekDad at gmail dot com or reply to us on Twitter @askgeekdad.

And here we go!

We’re Expecting Twins–What Kind of Monitors Should We Get (If Any At All)?

Mike: In October I will be a brand new father of not one but two children. I love my technology but haven’t yet started to do the research on baby monitors. Since you offered, I figured I’d take you up on it. Two real questions: 1 – should I even buy a baby monitor and 2 – if yes, which one? Below are the details on our situation.

Live in the city of Chicago in an early 1900 building with 7 other units (and not a lot of soundproofing between the floors). We have a 1500 square foot three bedroom condo (all on one floor) and the babies’ room (they will both be in one) is closest to the living room and furthest from our bedroom. However, overall distance, as you might expect is not that significant, hence the question of if I really need one.

We currently have a Panasonic DECT phone and a wireless router on the 2.4Ghz spectrum. So we’ll need to avoid the 2.4 Ghz spectrum unless I upgrade the router (which needs upgrading because it has a high pitched squeal – seriously – what’s that about?).

I believe in finding the best value when tech shopping… In this case I think all I need is for it to broadcast the babies’ noises and preferably only to our receiver not the neighbor’s cordless phone. Are there other bells and whistles I should be looking for? Video seems really cool but not sure the price makes sense.

Corinna: Congratulations on the being a father two-times over all at once. My own twins are going to be eleven years old in June. As a result, my technical knowledge about baby monitors is a little out of date.

But on Question 1: Should I even buy a baby monitor?

I say YES. Emphatically. This is because with two babies, there are going to be times when one of them will demand your complete attention. This includes times when they spit up on your or you’re bathing one of them…basically, any time you need two hands for one baby and the other baby is in the crib, out of sight.

Because it’s inevitable that one baby will fuss when you’re tending the other. If you have a baby monitor, you can at least have some idea if it’s normal fussing or a real emergency of some sort.

There will also be times when you’re so exhausted that you might sleep through the crying. Keeping the monitor close ensures that you can hear the crying through your exhaustion. At least, most of the time. 🙂

I’d also highly recommend a portable playpen of some sort. I know it seems redundant with cribs and in such a small space but it’s a safe place to put one or both babies down within eyesight when you have a task that demands two hands, such as fixing dinner.

On the tech side, I got along just fine with a basic audio monitor.

Good luck and, again, congratulations!

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