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Baby Monitor

A monitor will give you peace of mind even if your baby is in the next room. For small spaces, a good audio monitor with little interference is sufficient. A video monitor may be preferable for larger homes, particularly is the baby's room is upstairs.

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Summer Infant Handheld Video Monitor (2.5-inch screen) Summer Infant Handheld Video Monitor (2.5-inch screen)
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Crib Music Player

Music soothes many a crying baby, enabling them (and you!) to rest. To bring music to the crib, there are a few good options for CD players and iPod docking stations.

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Munchkin iCrib Sound System Munchkin iCrib Sound System
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Digital Cameras

Not all digital cameras are well-suited to the unique challenges of taking pictures of babies. First, babies don't sit still to smile and pose for a camera, so your camera should take the picture immediately after you've pressed the button ("shutter lag" or "processor lag") and also allow you to take a second shot quickly. Second, many babies, especially sleeping ones, are not big fans of flashes, so your camera should take high-quality pictures in low light. Third, features such as face recognition and image stabilization help ensure that none of your "perfect" shots end up blurry and unusable. Rapid improvements in technology mean that you can get all of these features in a compact digital camera that takes great pictures for $250 or less. For skilled photographers, high-quality digital cameras with traditional (SLR) lenses for $1000 or less outperform models from only a few years ago that cost many times more.

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Canon PowerShot SD850 IS (ELPH) Canon PowerShot SD850 IS (ELPH)
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Digital Camera - Extra Memory

Most cameras come with a "starter" memory card that can only hold a handful of pictures. It is well worth buying a card to expand your camera's memory, especially as prices have dropped dramatically in recent years. Make sure to check that the extra memory format is compatible with your camera (especially if you buy a Sony). To learn how many pictures you can fit on to a memory card, check out this handy table: http://www.camerafarm.com.au/camera/customer/pages.php?pageid=22.

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Kingston 4GB Digital Flash Memory Card Kingston 4GB Digital Flash Memory Card
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Camcorder

Many first-time parents are too doting, harried or tired to take out the camcorder. If you are looking for ways to save money, consider borrowing a camcorder to see how much you'll use it before deciding how much of an investment you want to make. There are some excellent options for around $800-1000, with variations in recording media (tapes, flash drives, hard drives and dvds), features and price. And if you see yourself recording your child's life like a professional filmmaker, there's an outstanding option for $3300 for you, too. In 2007, two extremely compact, inexpensive (under $200) and easy-to-use camcorders -- the Flip and the Small Wonder -- took the market by storm, selling over a million units. Their lack of features may be a vice to video enthusiasts but are a virtue to everyone else: they are so easy to use that you are much more to actually take some video. And since most people mainly want to capture moments like their baby's first rollover, crawl and steps and not edit a Hollywood-quality movie, these are terrific options for almost everyone.

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Camcorder - Extra Memory

Different models of camcorders use a wide variety of storage media formats (such as flash, Memory Sticks, MiniDV tapes, and DVDs). Make sure to buy the compatible media.

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Kingston 8GB SDHC card Kingston 8GB SDHC card
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External Backup Hard Drive

Back-up hard-drives both expand your computer's storage and gives you an extra copy of all of your irreplaceable baby pictures and videos. The cost of back-up hard-drives has come down so dramatically that each $1 will buy you roughly 2GB of storage. Don't over-do it, though, as you can always buy more storage later when the price per GB will be even lower.

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SimpleTech Signature Mini 250 GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive SimpleTech Signature Mini 250 GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive
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