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Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

How to Use A Cell Phone As A Baby Monitor

Parents may occasionally find themselves in situations where conventional baby monitors won't work, such as in a large hotel. While you should not use these instructions to leave your baby unattended while you are a significant distance away from the baby, you can use a cell phone as a baby monitor in certain situations where you remain physically close to the baby and are able to offer assistance if necessary. Remember, never leave your baby unattended.

  • Obtain a cell phone with the "mute" feature and preferably the "speaker phone" feature. Top end cell phones such as the Treo 600 / 650 now have these features.

  • Place one standard land line phone or cell phone near the crib. The parent should carry the cell phone with the mute feature.

  • Connect a call between the two phones. Activate the mute feature on the parent's mobile phone.

  • Test the connection to ensure any noise the baby makes is audible on the mobile speaker phone. If you have established the connection correctly, the parent will be able to hear the baby, but the baby will not be able to hear any noise from the parent's phone.

  • Enjoy peace of mind, knowing you will be aware of your baby's safety and comfort even when you have to briefly leave the room.

Reduce the expense of using a cell phone by practicing this monitoring technique during the free nights and weekend minutes most cell phone plans have. Similarly, placing the calls between two cell phones from the same company (e.g. Verizon to Verizon) is often free on many cell plans.

Ensure you have enough power in your batteries to maintain the connection for as long as you need.

On the phone for the monitor side, look in the menu for an auto answer feature. This feature would be located under the Tools or Settings submenu. You may also want to silence the ringer. This would enable you to re-establish a connection without going back to the monitor phone.

Be aware of situations that will create a dropped call such as entering an elevator. If your call is terminated, you will not be able to re-establish a connection.

Never leave your baby unattended.

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