video baby monitorWhen I was a new mom, I had tons of fears, anxieties, worries. Okay, I've always had fears, anxieties, worries, but the arrival of the bambina brought a whole new batch. Some of them were justified (is my baby eating enough comes to mind), others were just weird. Like what if someone is visiting and overhears us talking about them on the baby monitor.

I know, straight out of a scene from a movie or book. Modern Family has used the "overhearing it on the baby monitor" shtick a couple of times. I am sure it happens in real life.

Then I found out just how dangerous baby monitors can be.

Yes, a baby monitor, especially the new video kind, can help you keep your baby safe, but it can also put her in harm's way just by being on. Baby monitors have a bigger range than you may think -- and are broadcasting things you may not want strangers to hear.

A local news team in New York did an experiment where they bought a regular video baby monitor, turned it on, and drove around a neighborhood. The video monitor in their car was able to pick up video feeds from many houses and hear everything going on inside those homes. 

This is creepy. This is scary. Anyone with a video monitor turned to the same frequency as yours can see your baby, can hear you making dinner, chatting about your day, saying goodnight. Anyone. Burglars, child pedophiles, anyone.

Now before you freak out, they also talked with police to see what you can do to be safe. They said to be sure to turn the monitor and the camera off when you aren't using it and to have the camera just focused on the crib, not a large area where burglars could see more of your home. Mainly, they said to buy a video monitor with a digital lock (which is pricey) or one with a single frequency channel.

News like this makes my odd fear of some friend overhearing me toot in my baby's room seem really pretty trivial. 

Do you have a video baby monitor?

 

Image via Justin Brockie/Flickr