A couple of weeks ago I shared a post on the iSafe Booster Seat and I asked you lovely lot to share your recommendations for those essentials you couldn’t live without in the first year of having a baby.
SO many of you responded (thanks for that…we love a good chinwag!) and more than a few asked for advice on baby monitors. Which products to buy? Sensor mat vs video? Or both? How much to spend and so on and so forth. Lottie and I chatted the next day and thought it would be a good idea to share our own reviews of the baby monitors that we bought for our own littles in the hopes of helping those of you looking for recommendations.
Video functionality was really important to me when picking our monitor and we finally settled on the MBP27T Digital Video Baby Monitor with No-Touch IR Sensor from Motorola.
This was actually my second attempt at a baby monitor after my initial purchase of the MBP36S Digital Video Monitor also from Motorola was sent back not once but twice because of various malfunctions. I’m pleased to report that this new monitor has been performing its job wonderfully for the last two years.
We’ve positioned the camera end of this monitor on the wall (screwed in) above Hector’s cot, since it is on a swivel ball base it can easily be manoeuvred into the best position. The monitor itself comes with a variety of functions including a sensor so you can check the temperature of food/milk as well as your baby’s body temp. I have to say I haven’t actually used the sensor so I can’t testify to its accuracy but I will say that the monitor itself is fantastic.
The screen isn’t the largest on the market but it’s plenty big enough to do the job in hand satisfactorily. Plus the camera can be remotely adjusted downstairs using the pan and tilt buttons from the hand held monitor if your baby moves out of shot which Hector so often does.
The battery life is ok…it started off being fantastic but over time has gradually depleted and I would say that it needs recharging after about four hours. The monitor will beep annoyingly at you when the battery goes low which I suppose is the point really. It drives Ste to insanity however!
There is also the option to add on additional cameras to the system if you have more than one child too which was a plus point for Ste and I. It’s likely that we’ll never make the most of this feature as by the time we’ll be getting round to baby number 2, I think Hector will have outgrown the use for a monitor but you never know.
IF there was a criticism I had to make then it would be that the lights at the top of the monitor (which indicate that the monitor is on and that the monitor is charging) are pretty bright and do cast a bit of a glow in our bedroom at night. I’ve found I’ve had to shove the screen underneath the bed to get rid of the light pollution that results.
Whilst it doesn’t seem as readily available as it did when I first bought it you can still buy it from various outlets including Kiddie’s Kingdom. Here’s a link to the monitor if you’re interested in purchasing it for yourself.
Over the last few years we have had a couple of different baby monitors for different reasons. When we were expecting Molly we opted for quite a standard BT baby monitor that cost around £40. We were stabbing in the dark a bit and I will admit we bought it mainly as some seemed so blimmin expensive and it was yet another thing to buy. They don’t do our model anymore but this is similar. I do know that it is an important purchase but I figured a baby monitor was a baby monitor and as long as I could hear her if she cried then that was ok.
I have to say it did exactly what we needed. It worked well throughout our house and was always clear on transmitting sound. Sometimes it would get a bit crackly but you could adjust the settings and channels till it worked clearly.
It was quite sensitive and so we would hear most snuffles and sighs but adjusting the volume made these less intrusive at nighttime. After all I woke anyway the moment Molly started crying. Mothers instinct and all that. We would often take the monitor out in to the garden and it stretched pretty far but would give a little beep if we were out of range.
There were little lights on it that flashed if Molly was crying so you could have the sound off completely and just watch those if needed. The only downside was the battery life which did seem to get worse over time and would need to be charged quite frequently but we just kept it on charge all night which seemed to help. Overall it did its job. Nothing fancy or special but it worked for us and allowed us to spend those pennies on some of the other baby paraphernalia.
When Alice was born we planned to use the same monitor and we did in those first few weeks, not that she slept! After a bit of a sleep crisis we discovered at around 14 weeks that the only way Alice would sleep was on her tummy. I knew in my heart that she was fine but given the guidance I panicked a bit about her new sleeping position. The first night she slept like that I set my alarm for regular intervals to go and check on her. Crazy I know. To help me relax Edd ordered the Angel Care sensor mat on next day delivery and it was a god send. I can’t recommend it enough.
The monitor has a mat that slips under the mattress to monitors baby’s smallest movements and it sets off an alarm if no movement has been detected for 20 seconds. How it picks up those small movements I have no idea but it does and it gave me the piece of mind I needed. It really does work and I only ever had one middle of the night jump out of bed when the alarm went off and I dashed in to Alice’s room but she was absolutely fine.
The monitor clicks off and on automatically when sound comes out so you don’t have a constant background noise. You can adjust the sensitivity as well so as Alice got older I would turn this down so it was only the louder noises that I heard. If you do experience interference you can just adjust the channel. I’m pretty sure all of Edd’s fancy TV speaker system contributed to this!!
It also has a light indicator that changes withe the level of the cry or noise so it’s handy to watch that as well as listen, especially if you have turned the volume down. In addition there is a temperature indicator for the room which was handy.
The only annoying thing about the monitor is that if you forget to turn the monitor off in the room the alarm goes off at full volume and I’d often find myself racing back up the stairs to turn it off. That’s more my fault at being forgetful than a real downside!
I have to say that I would highly recommend the Angelcare for piece of mind and functionality. I’m not sure I could have coped with constantly setting my alarm to check on Alice!
I hope this helps in some ways those of you currently looking for a monitor. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the models you’ve chosen or have whittled down to a shortlist be they the same as Lottie and I have or otherwise. Oh and also if you have any questions about them don’t be afraid to ask. We’re always happy to advise in any way we can.