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A baby monitor that claims to work

We're withholding judgment, but there do seem to be some key improvements

Hammacher Schlemmer

If you're a parent, chances are you've tried a baby monitor. And chances are even greater that you've tried one that sucked. That, at least, has been our experience and that of practically every other mom and dad we know.

Hammacher Schlemmer is trying to right this widespread wrong with a $200 "Superior Baby Monitor" that does address one obvious flaw in many other models: This one uses "digital enhanced cordless communication" (DECT) that will automatically find an open frequency among 60 channels, avoiding interference from phones, microwaves and other electronic appliances. (In theory, at least.)

But the uber-monitor goes too far, in our opinion, by trying to play nanny with five lullabies that can be controlled from the system's remote. Call us old-fashioned, but we think parents should handle that function themselves, in person, with--gasp--a real live voice. Otherwise, you might as well get an "Intellicot" and let the machines raise your kids.