This is by far one of the most useful items of baby gear we've had in the two years since our daughter arrived on the scene. At first it felt pricey - and actually, my husband gave me some grief for being the indulgent new parent willing to spend any sum on a baby gimmick. After seeing this gem in action, he came around in about 24 hours, and agreed that this is one essential tool for the new parent.
Being able to not only hear, but to also SEE your child as they sleep is ... well, invaluable. We found that she got better rest and less interruptions, because we didn't rush in at the slightest sound -- being able to see that she was ok with just the touch of a button. Plus, we had total peace of mind - which is in limited supply as a new, first-time parent.
Even though we co-slept with our daughter as an infant, there were still countless occasions to use this awesome bit of technology. While she was in the swing or crib napping, I could grab a quick shower, or throw in a load of laundry downstairs... um, priceless? After about a year, when we started leaving her to get herself to sleep, it was fantastic to be able to watch her while she was crying - to see if it was just a tired cry, or a cry that required attention.
PORTABILITY: Really, the only way to go with a monitor, IMHO. There are versions of this, by the same brand and others, that have a much larger screen -- but it's stationary, like a little TV set. I haven't used one, but can't imagine how that's nearly as useful as the portable monitor. Mine trots with me from kitchen to bathroom to garage, and that's a big part of the whole bonus... Especially in those early months where you really are not comfortable letting them out of sight for even a moment. We spent many evenings glued to our monitor, watching her roll around and coo to herself (and now eavesdrop on her elaborate nap time stories ; )
TWO CHANNELS: This is useful, to work around neighborhood interference from other electronics, or even other gadgets in your own home that cause static. There's an A and B channel, and we toggle between them to find what's best. Only catch -- you have to adjust the channel on the camera as well, which is in baby's room and hence not that accessible when tip-toeing around.
SUPER SPIFFY NIGHT VISION!!! How cool is that?! Literally, day or night you can see a really great image on the monitor screen.
SO-SO BATTERY LIFE: Just decent. I keep it plugged in at my bedside each night - it'll make it through one day of naptime and most of that evening, but then run out. This could be improved, for sure. The video does turn off after a minute or so (you just click it back on when ready to take a peek), to save battery life - which helps somewhat with the battery.
IN FOR THE LONG HAUL: One of my personal peeves about the major outlay of cash for baby gear is that most of it is good for roughly three weeks to three months, max. This item, however, is going strong after being used every day (including travel) for over two years now. The joke about spying on our teenager gets volleyed around often ... but seriously, I can imagine this will be useful for a very long time to come. Or until she starts asking what that camera thing on the dresser does. We actually swear we've caught her looking straight into the camera more than once.... with that eye like " I KNOW you can see me people, come get me out of here!"
ALTERNATE USES: I'd have to imagine there are all sorts of neat uses for a portable video monitor -- pets come to mind, actually. Maybe I'm just in that mode, since we're in the process of house training a three month old puppy right now ; )
SPACE NOTE: We had a two bedroom condo for the first year of using this. I initially thought that with us being all on one floor AND sharing a wall with the nursery, a monitor would be pretty useless. But that was with the idea of just an audio monitor in mind. I truly think this would be valuable in even the smallest living arrangement. We often dream of living on a boat, and discuss how we'd have to sacrifice a lot of our fancy gear to do that. I'd have to say though, that this monitor would be along for the ride, even in those tight quarters.
If you're expecting, put this on your registry, pronto. If baby's already arrived... pool those gift cards and pick one up!
Update: We found a new use for the monitor this weekend -- watching our daughter attempt to climb out of the crib = ) She's pretty capable of it now, but by eavesdropping on her we could tell if she was just experimenting or actually about to make the leap. Great to be able to keep her safe, but not disrupt her rest. Within about 10 minutes she gave up the attempt to escape and settled in for a nice two hour nap.
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Really loyal, a little more lippy than I'd wish, love love love the beach and all things tropical, sneeze freakishly loud, love the F word, came of age in the Midwest during the 80's, get a lot … more
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