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Fisher-Price Sounds and Lights Monitor

1 rating: -2.0
Baby Care

The favorite choice in nursery monitors has a fresh new look. The Sound 'n Lights monitor allows you to see and hear your baby's call. With a multi-light display and excellent reception, nighttime and nap-time communication between you and your baby … see full wiki

Tags: Baby Care
1 review about Fisher-Price Sounds and Lights Monitor

Oh, dear.

  • Sep 22, 2007
  • by
Pros: Durable outer casing to prevent fall-apart

Cons: S T A T I C

The Bottom Line: Buy it for $5 at a garage sale, or drop $200 on a proper one -- or forget the monitor concept. This is more irritation than a new parent deserves.

I bought a baby monitor with great trepidation and guilt. A hallmark of lazy parenting, surely. That and a playpen and Mummy will spend her days in the yard drinking beer, etc.

The reality of three floors (not counting basement) with the sleeping babe on the top and the kitchen on the bottom kicked in; I missed food not made by Stouffer's, and added this bit of Fisher-Priciana to the house.

We're now contemplating the $200 Philips monitor while we keep jogging upstairs. On the up side, I have the thighs of a teen-ager! But...

This really falls into the "the company should be ashamed to sell it" category of product. I wouldn't be so livid if it was a dirt-cheap thing that just promised basic monitoring. Nope. It occupies premium shelf space at the local baby emporium, and trumpets Crystal clear reception on the box. On what planet?

When I first plugged it in, I was sure it was broken or I was messing something up -- no way was anybody passing off that much static as a working consumer product. Right?

I brought the transmitter next to a speaker, put on "Hot Child in the City," and went back to the receiver. I was amazed to hear Nick Gilder mixed in with all the static. Really, dumbstruck. That's how it works?

"Perhaps this is why there are two channels," I said. I haven't been a parent long, and am still pretty gullible about how crummy most baby paraphernalia is.

We tried the second channel, with "Be My Baby." We got Ronnettes, and static.

On experimentation with an actual baby, it did pick up gurgles. And a boatload of static. Many were merely potential gurgles; the smallest noises are not too clear. Not good if you know a meal is coming up and want to catch the first sign of hunger, not frustration.

I hear gurgles only when a foot away from the receiver; were I busy doing something (cooking decent food, say), it'd be dodgy whether or not I'd notice anything going on. Turning it up just turns up the static as well. Rarely does one come across such a marvellous white-noise generator for napping on another floor, but I'm not sure that's the sort of mothering I'm aspiring to...

The lights are, as suspected, a sort of so-so feature. I'm sure there are some situations in which they'd be useful; I'm just not sure what those might be.

The overall design is your basic lightweight made-in-China cheapie. An example of slick industrial design it is not; it's easily recognizable as something bought at 'Babies R Us,' rather than anywhere one actually wants to shop at.

On the plus side, right now it's doing a wonderful job of transmitting Daddy reading out loud, boring her to tears with a book about Orwell.

I'm disappointed in Fisher-Price, and now sort of disappointed in the whole baby monitor concept. What's plainly needed is a monitor that transmits and receives in both directions; it seems silly to have this thing around and still be reliant on our mobile phones -- to text message "Bring up more wipes" and other thrills. Can anybody recommend such a product?

For those who require a mention of specs in every single review posted on this site, I'll refer the curious to:


which sums it up nicely.


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