Sunday, October 4, 2009

Baby Monitors

Here's a short review of a few baby monitors because we had to finally replace our original monitor because new neighbours below our apartment has caused some interference so we went for an upgrade.

Our original monitor was a Graco Respond which we managed to find at Big Lots for $10 and has been a fantastic bargain as well as a great product.

It is well built, very sturdy and can be thrown around lots without breaking. The receiver has a battery built in that can be charged up and gives you great usage which is handy when when you've got to run around the house as the range is also very good. The signal also is generally very good, except when placed around a phone or router.

Other features of this monitor include a recording option so that if your baby cries it can play your recording, or it can play a few nursery rhymes.

Very happy with this unit and give it 4/5

The replacement unit we got was a Graco iMonitor Digital Vibe - What we liked about this, it's very simple to work out of the box, comes with a built in battery for the receiver which charges from a cradle and the base monitor can use batteries as a backup, which aren't included but the power adapters were universal for both the base and receiver.

Also the receiver has a power socket so you don't need the cradle if you don't want. This is a nice mobile unit, small, well made, light and sturdy with a pretty good belt clip. The battery life on this isn't as good as other monitors but it is good enough to get you around a long nap time.

The range on this is advertised as 2000 ft, I haven't confirmed that, but it has been crystal clear through out our apartment which is lovely, and it really has been crystal clear with no static or interference, being a digital unit really does make a huge difference here over the older analogue systems. The receiver also has a vibrate function to let you know your baby is crying if you have the volume turned down which is a nice idea but not something I use.

We'll give this a 5/5 rating.

Before we got the above, we tried and then returned a couple other units, the first was:

Safety First Go and Glow Monitor - Looks great, quite cheap depending on where you get it, $25-35 and nice and sturdy design. The major problem we had with this unit was interference, it wouldn't work anywhere at all in our apartment, the receiver was just bleeping out static which was horrid. Other things that dinged this in our minds, the belt clip was rubbish and this didn't include any batteries. The base unit was nice and stable though and had a thermometer. Finally the nightlight feature didn't really light up, so was a bit pointless.


Fisher Price Sound's n Lights Monitor
- Another cheap unit around the $25-35 price range, analogue and returned because it also suffered heavy interference, it was better than the above unit in that it would work if the receiver was placed close to the base unit or in certain parts of the apartment but not anywhere that was useful for us.

This does advertise itself as being "green" with the power supply, the irony being that it was least environmentally friendly in the packaging having the most disposable rubbish. The antenna is not built in on this either, which potentially means it could be unsafe as a large protrusion, certainly something easy for the baby to grab and throw. The base unit was very light and didn't feel sturdy, but it did have a nice night light feature, which wouldn't automatically shut down incidentally which is a shame. Also no built in batteries for this unit and if you wanted to place your own batteries, the compartment comes with screw fitted fixings which isn't very convenient, this is aimed at the parents and not the child after all.

A nice feature about this unit though, the light indicator is visible from both sides of the receiver and the belt clips is quite sturdy.


Other units we looked at but didn't try out, but you can read the reviews on Amazon, which came highly recommended were the:

Safety 1st High-Def Digital Monitor

Sony 900 MHz BabyCall Nursery Monitor