monitors

I did tons of research on this baby monitor before deciding to take the plunge and put it on my registry. I (and by I, I mean my husband) was worried that it was going to make me a nervous wreck. He pictured me just staring at the app all night while the baby was sleeping. And to be honest, I did for the first week of his life. (I'm a first time mommy.) I'm six months in now, and here is my honest opinion of this sock. 

I am one of those moms who researches all the bad things that could possibly happen and tries to prevent them. SIDS is real and I was and am terrified of it. For this reason, the Owlet seemed like a no-brainer. The app is extremely easy to set up (if you're at all technologically savvy). The base station goes in the same room that the baby is sleeping in (which in my case is our room...you know, the SIDS research and all.) The sock is worn on the left foot.There are three different sock sizes. The sock has a blue tooth connection to the base station, meaning that no matter if you lose internet connection, the station will alert you with an alarm if something is awry. The app then connects through wifi to the base station, showing you a real time reading of the baby's oxygen level and heart rate. It also shows if the baby is wiggling, as to not scare you if there is not a current reading. There are three alarms: Blue (out of range... this only happens to us if I forget to take the sock off of him during the day and I walk outside) Yellow (sock is misplaced... this usually only happens to us if his foot is too cold or if he kicked the sock off.) and Red (levels are too high/low).  The Blue and Yellow alarms play twinkle twinkle little star and the red alarm is what I can only relate to the sound of a tornado siren. ALARMING, as it should be. Below you will find the pros and cons. 

Pros: PEACE. OF. MIND. I am so reassured each night when I put him in the crib. I know that if something was to happen (even the beginnings of a SIDS episode, God-forbid, that I would be alerted to the fact that it was happening). There doesn't seem to be a lag. When the app shows him wiggling, he is wiggling. There is an option for an extra monthly payment for an upgraded app that allows you to store the sleep, oxygen, and heart rate data. (This could be a considered a con, as well. See below). The sock seems to be comfortable. He never screams when we put it on, it never leaves marks on his skin, and the only time he kicks it off is when he's pitching a fit because he's hungry, in which case he always kicks his feet together with a ridiculous amount of aggression (he gets his hanger from his momma). There are payment plans. You can also now pay for the Owlet with your Health Savings Account. 

Cons: The sock does have a learning curve. The first week we used the sock, we had red alerts for a whole night. I cried like a baby, stayed up all night watching him breathe, and called the Pediatrician the next day. He told me to throw it in the trash, that the baby was fine. He was right, the baby was fine. But I kept trying to figure out the problem. I chatted with a customer service representative and she told me to try the next size up. Turns out, my baby boy has some big feet and the small sock wasn't getting a reading. Ever since we switched sizes, we have not had a red reading (thank god). The app could use some work. It isn't super surprising when the app gives you a notification that it is not connecting with the base station. I have received at least 3 emails that I can remember (could have been more) from Owlet saying their servers were down and that they would be solving the problem. The station still works during this time (the sock will alert the station) but you cannot see the readings on the app. For a steep $299 price tag, it seems that this problem shouldn't be happening more than once. Speaking of price, some are not too enthused with the new option to upgrade to the app that keeps record of readings. Not that they aren't enthused with the app, but that it requires you to pay a monthly fee after already dishing out $299 for the product itself. I personally don't find the upgrade necessary. I don't see a reason to keep track of his breathing and heart rate (it seems like overkill, even for this paranoid momma.) Although, I will say that if I had a preemie or a baby with a heart condition, breathing issues, etc. where the information would be beneficial to a specialist, I would definitely splurge. 

Overall, I will recommend this product to every single mother and father out there. It has saved me so much sleep, anxiety, and has given me back my alone time with my hubby. I can put the baby in his crib at his bed time, turn on the Owlet, and KNOW that I don't have to stare at him or feel his chest the whole time he's sleeping. 

Buy the Owlet HERE 

Every mom dreams of watching their baby sleeping peacefully in the crib on a monitor while being able to catch up on everything that needs to be done around the house. Meanwhile, reality sets in and baby is NOT sleeping but you still have stuff to do. Or perhaps you aren't a total sap like me and your children sleep in their cribs so you want/need to monitor them. This was a gift from my registry (and a pricey one at that).  Here are my thoughts:

 

PROS: large 3.5" touchscreen with night vision; camera pans and zooms across room; volume and brightness is adjustable; two-way talk back for parents to soothe baby; up to 600' range; clip stand to hold monitor up; you can add up to 3 extra cameras to monitor more than one child

 

CONS: the battery life on this is non-existent!!! I don't know if we received a bad one, but this battery definitely does NOT last for ten hours; automatically turns the screen off ( which I didn't like because I want to see baby at all times, not on a timer)

 

Unfortunately, the battery life was a deal breaker for us because we don't have time to wait on a monitor to charge and then hope it stays charged. I have to charge mine every time and keep it on the base or it will die. I could never rest comfortably or go on about my business not knowing if this battery will stay charged with my baby in a crib. This was such a disappointment because of the price, but everything else about this product worked for us. Because of the negatives, I would not recommend this product. 

View HERE on Amazon

I received this product in exchange for reviews but all opinions are my own. Every parent (specifically first-time parents) start to feel the anxiety when they bring baby home for the first time. No more nurses to watch over your bundle of joy, and no more round-the-clock care that gives you a sense of relief to be able to close your eyes and know your baby is safe. Mommy (and Daddy)....you are all on your own and it can be intimidating and downright scary knowing it is your job to care for this fragile infant. You can relax knowing that there are options out there to assist you on this journey of parenthood that take away some of the anxieties and the CocoonCam is a great example. This handy little monitor is really unique in that there are no gadgets or devices or wearables that attach to your baby to disrupt them like most other similar products on the market. You simply register on their user-friendly app and connect your camera through Wi-Fi for initial setup and install the camera by centering it 3 feet above the baby’s crib mattress. Unfortunately, we had issues with the Wi-Fi and internet connection due to being so rural at no fault of the company, but it was still frustrating and time-consuming to set up, nonetheless. Be prepared to do a few trial and error rounds during setup of the camera because it has to be in the PERFECT position in order for it to pick up your baby’s breathing patterns. It also requires you to drill and anchor it into the wall, so keep that in mind. Then there is the power cord that dangles, so you will need to find a way to tape it and remove it from your baby’s reach  (CocoonCam sells a cord cover on their site for this.) You will also need an extension cord unless your crib happens to be located right near a power outlet. After all of that, all that was left was to plug it into a power source. Once setup was over with, I was able to monitor my baby and review all my pros and cons about this monitor. Here are my thoughts:

 

PROS: crystal clear camera; so detailed that I can actually see my baby’s chest rise and fall; no wearables or devices; the breathing monitoring feature sends you alerts with changes in your baby’s breathing patterns; 2-way talk back feature that lets you talk to and comfort baby from a different room; the app livestreams your baby so you have constant access to live footage of your baby any time; nothing to lug around because the monitor is your phone; cute Swaddle Stories recap your baby’s sleep; it’s a cloud-based service on your phone so it continuously updates itself removing bugs and any issues on its own; baby’s breathing patterns are saved into a graph that you can show a doctor; night-vision mode is very sharp and clear; cloud-based so you can monitor baby from work, dinner or anywhere else on your phone; excellent customer service team 

 

CONS: cloud-based system is a subscription that requires a monthly fee for access; cord could be longer; video sometimes lags and jerks due to faulty Wi-Fi; static camera isn’t as versatile as others; Wi-Fi has to be on at all times for us; can only access with one camera so you can’t monitor babies in separate rooms; not portable at all; the app has to be open at all times; this DRAINS the life out of your phone battery!!!

 

This product has some amazing features that make it stand out from the rest but still has some room for improvement. If you’re looking for a way to monitor your baby and your baby’s breathing without any wearables, or if you would like constant access to your baby’s crib while at work or away from home, then this would be a good product to try. Just make sure that you have a solid connection to Wi-Fi and are someone that has their cell phone on them at all times with a charger (you will need it). The clarity of the videos are amazing and the breathing monitor alerts are nice and helpful without false alarms or becoming a nuisance. This is by no means a portable monitor though, so it’s useless for vacations or trips to grandma’s. ***Also, this product (or any like it) is NOT proven to prevent SIDS nor is it a medical device. However, it does provide parents with the peace of mind knowing that their baby is being carefully monitored so that they can get some much-needed rest. I would recommend this product for that reason. 

Buy HERE

Project Nursery Smart Wi-Fi Baby Monitor

**Update- One year later and the power port caved into the monitor. I tried contacting customer support three times via email, with no response. I called customer support and was on hold for an hour, so I finally gave up. I loved this monitor until this experience. I can't use it because there is no power, and I refuse to shell out money for another, when this one would work fine if the port was replaced. **

I received this product in exchange for reviews but all opinions are my own. I love the idea of a baby monitor that is not only convenient but practical for busy moms as well. This monitor checks all the boxes with its ability to let you look in on your baby from anywhere using your tablet or smartphone. The other truly unique feature about this monitor is that it works with any Amazon Alexa service speaker such as Echo and Echo Dot! Setup took less than 10 minutes and was fairly easy. You do have to download the Project Nursery App and then activate Project Nursery in the Amazon Alexa App for it to work and have a solid WI-FI setup, so take that into consideration. Here are my thoughts on this baby monitor:

 

PROS: Alexa provides voice-control functions; has motion and sound detection that alerts you if your baby is crying or starting to wake; plays lullabies and soothing sounds; records videos and takes photos that are sent straight to your camera roll; awesome camera quality with crisp pictures; infrared night vision is very sharp; camera pans and tilts around the room; reads room temperature so you can make sure baby is comfortable; no fees associated with the app like other similar products; both parents or grandparents can log in to see baby in nursery in real time; you can check in on baby from anywhere on your phone

 

CONS: Project Nursery App is glitchy; there is a slight delay when talking to your baby through this app; Nursery is not displayed on echo device; sometimes drops connection due to our rural area; sucks the LIFE out of your phone battery; can’t see baby with incoming texts or calls

 

Overall, this is an awesome baby monitor for techies or anyone loving the convenience of Alexa. It has a few flaws here and there, but the good definitely outweighs the bad with this one. The quality of the camera itself is worth the money, and the added benefit of being able to watch over your baby in the nursery from anywhere on your phone is icing on the cake! 

Buy Here

Evoz Vision Wireless Baby Monitor

I received this product in exchange for reviews, but all opinions are my own.

This monitor is one of the most tech-savvy, feature-packed ones on the market. Being a wifi-connected monitor, you can view your child from the next room, or from out of town on your phone's app. This is handy, because if grandparents are over watching baby, they can be invited to view on their phones as well. (Note, you can invite them temporarily, if you're worried about them hearing temper tantrums :) The monitor's app is packed with smart features and data tracking. You can talk back to baby and even play them lullabies with a click in the app. The monitor tracks cries,  which I was skeptical of because of the sensitivity in other monitors that I've tried. This one is not super sensitive like the others. With others, anytime baby sighed or coughed, I would get an alert. Now, I only see alerts after it's been about 20 seconds, and it keeps a time tracker, so that you know justs how long it has been. (Seconds feel like an eternity when baby is crying... right, mama?)  The Sleep Lady partnered with Evoz in the app. If you're not familiar with her, she is a well-known sleep guru, teaching a sleep training much gentler than cry it out. In the app, you'll receive content of hers, reassuring mom (and dad) that it's ok to let baby fuss for a minute or two, because they'll normally put themselves back to sleep.The app also tracks room temperature, crying data, and allows you to enter diaper changes, feeding times, sleeping and other milestones. I like that I can keep all of this info within a single app.

 

Okay, now for some flaws- some have noticed a film or fog on the lens, but I have not. My picture is crystal clear. I have read before that it does matter what temperature you store these things, so I wonder if the film wasn't developed after keeping in storage without temperature control? That said, if you store it before or in between babes, keep it inside. I have noticed the app can be finicky, but a recent update seemed to fix those bugs and it has been working well ever since. The only other complaint that I haven't had an issue with is security.Some people have claimed to see their camera moving unprovoked by them. I argue  that this is a user issue, not the monitor's. All wifi-based products can only be so secure. You're internet needs to be secure, as well. That goes for Alexa, Google Home, Nest, etc. Wifi monitors have so many benefits (you can watch baby when you have a sitter, can receive cry alerts, etc.), but every wifi product is at risk of hacking if you don't secure YOUR WIFI connection. If you don't know how to do this, I encourage you to find a professional to secure your connection.

If you're into the data tracking and a super intuitive cry tracker, check this monitor out. It will save you a headache searching through the thousand of wifi monitors on Amazon. 

Buy Here

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