Video Baby Monitor Review

When I was pregnant with Maxton, I never really thought about purchasing a video monitor. I didn’t want to have the option to spy, because I was afraid I would just constantly stare at the monitor. He slept in our room for the first six months, so at that time I realized I wanted something great and reliable. I liked the idea of the Angelcare monitor, because it had the pad to put under the mattress to detect their breathing. We ended up coming across the same type of monitor by Tommee Tippee, The Closer To Nature Sensor Pad. It was the same idea as the Angel Care monitor but had a great two-way audio feature so you could talk to the baby from the parent monitor. This comes in handy to this day! We love it.

So when Miss Everly came along, I decided I wanted another great monitor. This time around we decided it would be nice to have a video monitor. It would be fun to spy on Everly in her crib, and we figured we could use it on Maxton when we move him into his big-boy-bed, to see if he actually STAYS in his bed without us having to go in every five minutes.

About a month-and-a-half ago there was a sale on some monitors at Babies R Us, and one caught my eye. The Summer Infant Baby Touch Plus Digital Colour Video Monitor. It retails for $269.99CA, but it was on sale for $169.99CA.

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It seemed like a great deal so I purchased it. I had read some reviews online beforehand, and a few mentioned the monitor would go “out of range” often, so this concerned me, but I thought I would give it a shot.

What a piece of CRAP! I cannot believe this item retails for that price. Within less than a month of purchasing it, it stopped working all together. All that would display was “Out of Range”, and the audio would not work either. Even if I was outside the door, the same message appeared. I wanted to throw it out the window. Also, from day one, the temperature gauge was off by ten degrees. So it would say 81 degrees, but it was actually 71 in the house. I loved the size of the screen, and that the touch screen allowed you to pan the camera, but this product is horrible and I give it a 3/10 based on the fact it costs so much and stopped working within a month. I read further reviews and the majority of them seemed to have this issue, so I can’t say it was just a dud. Back to the store it went.

PROS: Great video quality, being able to adjust the camera angle from the parent unit, compact, large screen, two-way communication

CONS: Epensive, horrible range, stopped working, temperature gauge incorrect

I then decided to try the Vtech Safe & Sound Video Monitor, which retails for $99.99CA.

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I give this monitor a 0/10. This one didn’t even last 24 hours in our house. There is nothing I liked about the monitor. The screen is small (which I knew when I purchased it), the quality of the picture is awful (both night and day), there is no temperature display (although it shows it in the picture), it lost signal within hours of being on, and the audio does not stay on. It automatically shuts itself off if there is no change in the sound in the room, which also shuts the video off – so you cannot hear that white noise sound of the monitor. (Some people may like this feature, I don’t.) The monitor kicks back in when your baby cries, although in the little time it did work, there was 15 second delay. Not acceptable to me. To me it’s enough time for a babe to cough and choke, or throw up, without me knowing (perhaps it seems dramatic, but still). Fail.

PROS: None

CONS: Poor video quality, sound is only activated when child cries, poor range, small screen, no temperature display

At this point I was feeling defeated, and feeling as though I wasn’t going to find a decent video monitor at an acceptable price point.

I thought I would try one more. I came across the Lorex Care ‘n’ Share Video Baby Monitor. This monitor retails for $149.99CA and I purchased it on sale for $129.99.

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I wasn’t familiar with this brand but decided I would go for it.

I am giving this one a 9/10! It’s a keeper! I am impressed with the monitor overall and would recommend it to anyone looking for a video monitor.

PROS: Large screen, great video quality, good range, good battery life, two-way communication, temperature display, nature music that can be played through the baby’s unit

CONS: Cannot change camera angle from parent unit, nature music cycles through various sounds, rather than being able to choose one sound only, parent unit is on the larger side (Steve jokes it’s like an iPad mini)

The “cons” really aren’t anything major, and I was just picking at things that I would change if I could.

I hope this helps for anyone out there looking for a decent video baby monitor!

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Maxton at Two-and-a-Half

Maxton is officially two-and-a-half. Where has the time gone? I have been looking back at pictures of him when Everly was first born, and he looks like such a baby! I mean take a look at the “then” and “now”.

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DSC_0138Right??? It’s mind-boggling how grown up he is looking to me. He is starting to look less like a toddler, and more like a little boy.

My last real update of him was when he turned two, and boy have things changed!

– He speaks so well. Full sentences – and he comes up with the funniest things! I wish I could record every second of his day, because you never know what is going to come out of the kids’ mouth.

– He has this goofy smile he semi-fakes. When you ask him to smile, his eyes get all squinty; it’s pretty funny but even more adorable.

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– He loves to sing songs. The typical “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “The Wheels On The Bus”, Old MacDonald” etc. Then he will throw in some Katy Perry “Roar”, you just never know. Ha-ha.

– He is still ridiculously independent and stubborn. He MUST do things his way or the world will cave in. Rather than asking for help or taking our help when we offer it, he will scream and cry and tantrum until he is able to do it himself, or we do it against his wishes. Let me tell you, that kid can tantrum. We went through a phase around Christmas time where he was scratching me in the face and poking my eyes, and constantly trying to slap Everly in the head and poke her eyes. That was rough, but it was a phase he had to go through. It was his way of releasing all of the emotions he didn’t know how to express. Now, we are going through a “NNNOOOOOO” phase which involves his screaming and throwing himself onto the floor to cry and scream at the top of his longs. Fun.

– He still loves playing with cars and trucks, and has more than enough hot wheels.

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– The alphabet is a breeze, he loves to count (usually to 40), and he can draw every letter (he’s mastered upper case and we are working on lower case) and number. We are also working on spelling his name on paper – he can spell his name out loud.

– He loves his baby sister. She is starting to laugh and smile at him which he enjoys. He loves to hug and kiss “Ezovey” and will go over to her and try to sooth her if she is upset. It’s very cute.

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– He is really into puzzles these days. He’s mastering some for ages 4+ so I am trying to get some to really challenge him, without frustrating him. He loves to learn, and loves to practice something until he’s mastered it. You can see the determination in his little blue eyes.

– His favourite TV shows are My Big Big friend, Bubble Guppies and Max and Ruby. Bubble Guppies is in the lead these days.

– He is outgrowing his naps, which can make for some long and cranky days, but that’s part of growing up! Let me tell you, if you stuck me in a bed and told me I had to nap, I would be MORE than happy to oblige.

– We are working on the potty training. We have a seat for the toilet, which he didn’t like (my Mom said I used to be afraid of falling in, so I think that was his problem), and a little potty. He will sit on it, but has yet to go. He doesn’t have much of an interest yet. He always tells us after he has gone, never before. It’s a work in progress – we don’t want to push him. I am hoping it clicks with him by the summer.

– He weighs just over 32 pounds and is 36 inches

He is such an amazing little boy, and I am so proud to be his Mama.

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Happy two-and-a-half years, Maxton! xo

Quiet Time

We have recently decided (forced) to cut out Maxton’s naps at home. He still naps an hour and fifteen minutes at daycare, as his days are more tiring there.

He was napping 1.5-2 hours during the day, which was a nice break for me, to be able to get some things done – providing Everly napped at the same time. However, he wouldn’t fall asleep until 9-10pm, then wake at his normal time between 6-6:30am. Not good. He was also taking 45 min or so to fall asleep during nap time which meant he wasn’t really that tired. The first day he didn’t nap, he was in bed asleep by 6:45pm. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. The only problem is he is miserable by 4pm…

I can usually tell by his mood in the morning whether or not I should attempt a nap (for his sake and mine). So, what I decided to do was put him in his crib, throw some books in with him and tell him it’s “quiet time”. This way he can read, and if he gets tired he can lay down and fall asleep. The odd time he has passed out, but more often than not, after a while the books get thrown over the crib rail onto the floor, and after going in to see him he will say “Mama, I’m done quiet time.”  This seems to be the best solution.

He’s almost two-and-a-half, so it seems to be a typical age for kids to drop their naps. As I said, he still naps at daycare, and probably will for a little while.

We are going to be moving him into a big-boy-bed very soon, for a few reasons, which I will share when we decide what type of bed we will move him to. His crib does convert into a daybed, but I am thinking we will skip that step entirely. Right now we are debating whether to put him into a toddler bed, or jump right into a double bed. I would prefer to go right to the double, so we can lay with him for story-time etc., and save having to buy a toddler bed. However, a double bed will take up so much space in his room…We are still weighing the pros and cons of both.

Things are busy around here. We are in the middle of some minor home renovations which I will share with you shortly!