Essential Digital Video Monitor
Finding the right baby monitor is something that perplexes many parents. Before being selected as a Happiness Tester this is something I had mulled over for a long time and still hadn’t been sure about what would be the right one for us. Chicco’s Essential Digital Video Baby Monitor is a great buy and provides all that you really need.
Reassuring for us and Rory
Being able to see Rory sleep thanks to the video camera is incredibly reassuring – especially now that he can turn over. We can look at the image on the parent unit and know that he is lying comfortably on his back. We can even see him interacting with his toys as he drifts off to sleep, which is lovely to see.
Night Vision is impressive
The adjustable infrared video camera also enables us to see Rory when he’s lying in the dark. This is something that has greatly impressed many visitors to our house. With this function we can clearly watch him settle and we know if he’s woken in the middle of the night as his little peepers blink like cat’s eyes. We even managed to catch him smiling.
When you see this function in action on the baby unit, you can see the camera light up a little, but it is cleverly designed so as not to cause a distraction to baby.
There is an orange light that moves a little like the light on Kit (the car on Knight Rider) when Rory cries. The more intense the cry the higher up the light goes. I do not believe in letting Rory “cry it out” – however this is great to get a sense of what is wrong (you quickly get into tune with your babies cries).
Voice Activation mode feature is useful
We can also switch the parent unit to voice activation mode, so the picture will only appear if Rory cries. This is ideal if baby is sleeping in another room to you, so you can keep the monitor on all night, but there is less interference when it is in voice activation mode.
The design of both the baby and parent units is nice, clean and compact. The baby unit comes on a little stand with a round lens. The only thing is that is difficult in some situations, is to get the camera in the right position for the best image of Rory. It would be perfect if it came with attachments to allow you to fix it securely to a wall or unit. Otherwise you need to have a bedside table or set of drawers at the right height and angle to get the perfect image.
Tidy and transportable
The parent unit can be charged up, so you don’t always have to have it plugged into the mains and you can walk around with it.
Both parts also operate on batteries, so if you like to go camping or simply somewhere that doesn’t have a great choice of power sockets, you can still use this monitor.
We have taken the monitor everywhere with us – when visiting my parents, and simply spending the day at my brother-in-law’s house. It provides reassurance on the move; allowing us to relax in company without having to constantly disturb Rory and check that he is OK.
Range and lack of interference
Having used it in different houses, we have got a great feel for the reach of this monitor. It works perfectly in a three-storey new build townhouse. However, in older houses with thicker walls, there are some areas where the picture cuts out – but you can work around this, as the sound is audible enough that you could be in the next room and still hear the parent unit
We have been at friends’ houses when they use other makes and models of monitors and they pick up neighbours’ telephone calls or the sounds from police radios. We have had none of that interference from the Essential Digital Baby Monitor.
There is sometimes a slight fuzzy sound, but it is very quiet white noise, which can also be relaxing to listen to.
Did it make us smile?
As the picture shows, it has clearly made Rory smile. Seeing him smile and interact with his toys on camera; or sleeping safe and sound, makes me happier than words can say.