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January 7, 2013
When we made our baby registry when I was pregnant with Rylie, I did not see the need for a video monitor. I mean, when your baby cries, you go in their room and get them, right? So why would I need to see my baby?
Ahhh. The things we learn after actually becoming parents. While it is true that with a newborn, you will most likely always go in their room when they cry, that isn't the case with a toddler. There are some nights when your toddler may fuss a little bit, but they aren't fully awake. That is, until you walk in there to check on them. With a video monitor, you can peek in on your child without them seeing you. Oh, and let's not forget about those sneaky little ones who try and climb out of their cribs. That is something you definitely want to see before it happens!
We have had a video monitor in Rylie's room for several years now, and we absolutely love it. Unfortunately, it isn't made any longer, so we were unable to get that same monitor for Bryce's room. We had tried several video monitors in his room, but we hadn't found one we loved. I started reading reviews of the Vtech Safe & Sound Video and Audio Monitor, and since other mothers seemed to really like it, I decided to check it out for myself.
One of the nice features of this monitor is that you can have up to four cameras connected to the unit at the same time, so when I was sent the monitor for Bryce's room for review, I was also sent an additional camera for Rylie's room.
Installation was super simple. The baby unit has an adjustable camera, so you can put it almost anywhere in the room where you will have a clear view to your baby's bed. In Bryce's room, we simply set the baby unit up on his dresser and angled the camera down to his bed. In Rylie's room, we mounted it on the wall across from her bed.
One drawback we did find during installation was that you can't mount the camera directly above your child's bed, because the camera does not angle down to the full 90 degrees you would need to see the bed. I think that if you were able to mount it right above the child's bed you would get a better picture and be able to zoom in more, so I wish we had been able to mount it that way.
Once we had both baby units installed, we turned on the parent unit and were able to see both cameras at the same time. The baby units are equipped with infrared LEDs for night vision, and we had a clear picture of both Bryce and Rylie.
Just in case you're wondering what the light is above Rylie's bed - it is her other monitor's LEDs. It really isn't that bright in there and you can't see those lights when looking inside her room.
These monitors give you great quality images. In fact, the view is definitely one of the best of all of the monitors that we have tried. At night, Bryce's monitor usually gives us a little "snow" around the edges, but we can still clearly see him in his bed. During the day, the image is just about perfect. We can also zoom in closer from the parent unit.
When you have only one camera hooked up to the monitor, you can turn the parent unit screen off and set it to come back on if sound is detected. This is wonderful so you don't have to have a light shining in your room all night. If you have multiple cameras hooked up, though, the parent unit will turn on only if the sounds detected are from the last viewed camera. When the screen comes on, it will tell you which camera the sound was detected at.
If you have multiple cameras hooked up, you can set the parent unit to vibrate once whenever there is any sound detected from the baby units after 20 seconds of silence. If you are a light sleeper, this would work great, but unfortunately, I sleep so soundly that the vibration doesn't wake me up. It would be better for me if the monitor would cycle through the cameras with sound, so that I could hear if one of my kids was making noise.
Because there is really no way to hear sound from both cameras at the same time, we still use Rylie's old monitor when we sleep. We set this one to view Bryce's room and then have Rylie's other monitor turned on. That way we can hear the sound from both rooms. However, when we are not sleeping, it is nice to only have to carry one monitor around. If we happen to be outside or just in the other room watching TV, we turn the monitor on so that we can see both cameras at all times. It works great and is way more convenient to have to carry two different monitors around.
The Vtech monitor has a few other great features -
1. The LINK light will show you when you have a good link between the baby units and the parent unit. You can also set the parent unit to alert you if the link is lost.
2. You can set a temperature range and have the monitor alert you if the temperature goes out of that range.
3. The baby units will play lullabies for about 20 minutes.
4. You can talk to the baby unit to soothe your child, let them know you are on your way, or tell them to get back in their bed after they keep getting up to play.
Bottom line, the Vtech Safe & Sound Video Monitor is a great, affordable monitor for one child, or multiple children. It is available directly from Vtech, or online at Amazon for $129.95. (Additional cameras are sold separately.) I have had experience with several video monitors, and for the price, you won't get one better than this. In fact, this monitor is much better than many of the more expensive monitors we have tried out. I definitely recommend this monitor to parents who want to be able to peek in on their child(ren) without being detected.
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received the monitor and additional camera at no cost, in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received.