Product Type: Angelcare safety products
Newest Review: ... The pad underneath the bed is discreet and baby wouldn't feel it. The monitor itself is small and light, it tells you the temperature in... more
Does the job perfectly!
Angelcare AC401 Baby Movement and Sound Monitor
Member Name: pinkprincess24
Angelcare AC401 Baby Movement and Sound Monitor
Date: 07/09/11, updated on 30/10/11 (322 review reads)
Advantages: works perfectly, minimal static
When I was pregnant I bought a Tommee Tippee monitor with motion detect. However it was so freakin loud with static that I soon got rid and purchased the Angelcare monitor from Toys R Us which cost me £89.99. I believe it is often on offer at £59.99 or less, and obviously less on eBay. It was essential to me that the monitor I chose had a motion detector as I am over-cautious with regards to cot death. Not only that, but my daughter was premature and very small (still is) so I have always worried about her.
The monitor comes in a square box which includes: parent unit, docking station, sensor mat, baby unit, power supply. Batteries are not included, but it takes AAA batteries if needed.
The thing I loved and appreciate the most is that the parent unit charges in the docking station. Unlike my last monitor, there is no need to constantly recharge or replace batteries. In fact, I typically bring the monitor downstairs at 8am. I have it on for her 2 hour nap in the afternoon, and from 7pm - 11pm every night and it has NEVER gone low in battery let alone flat! I put it in the dock every night which charges it, but I have on occasion forgotten to do so and it has still lasted the following night without going low, which leads me to believe it has very good battery life indeed.
Assembling the system is easy. It comes with a very long wire which you plug into the sensor mat and baby unit (by baby unit I am reffering to the unit that stays in baby's room). The wire is very long and potentially hazardous to a moving baby/toddler, so for peace of mind I trailed it behind her cot (and later, behind her bed) and tacked it to the wall, so that it would take her so long to undo it that I'd be there before she could. This isn't entirely necessary, you could just trail it out of the way. I also stuck the baby unit down to a table in her room so that she couldn't pick it up or drop it.
The baby unit is white with a 'halo' that emits an eerie blue night light. It's a soft glow. It also has LEDs on the front which tell you what the monitor is doing (ie. on/off, movement etc). It is quite small and modern looking.
The parent unit is white with a blue-ish plastic lid over the LED screen. To set it up you simply insert the batteries, plug it in and allow it to charge. The parent unit needs to be charged for 15 hours before first use. Once charged, as I mentioned previously, it lasts a long time. Just dock it when you go to bed and you never have to worry. The parent unit and baby unit automatically find each other, and you can change channel to avoid static. The parent unit has a small white dock with an led that stays red when the unit is docked. Again, it is mains powered.
We never used this monitor whilst our daughter was in a moses basket simply because by the time we bought the Angelcare she was already in a cotbed and we had got rid of our old monitor. However, the system is compatible with moses baskets, cribs, cots, cotbeds etc. We have used it for several holidays in a travel cot with no problem. It can also be used in toddler beds. However it does not work with hollowfibre or memory foam mattresses.
--THE SENSOR PAD---
The sensor pad is not a breathing detector as such - it is a motion sensor. Obviously breathing is a motion so it will detect that, but it is designed to pick up even the slightest movements from baby. This is very reassuring if like mine, your child is a still, heavy sleeper. The pad has 5 levels of sensitivity which can be adjusted accordingly - I used the most sensitive whilst she was young, and now it is on a middle setting as she is big enough to roll over etc in the night. If no movement is detected for 15 seconds, the unit emits a loud beep on both the baby and parent unit. If no movement is detected after a further 5 seconds, a loud alarm will sound from the baby unit which is very audible (I can hear it all over my house, and I have a big 4 bedroom detached). After approximately 20 seconds, the alarm switches from the baby unit to the parent unit. The alarm will sound until it is either manually switched off via the baby or parent unit, or for well over an hour if left. It detects even the lightest of breaths so it is brilliant for a newborn. I still use it now under my daughter's mattress and she is 21 months...I'm sure I'll still be using it when she's 18 LOL. It provides excellent peace of mind but is worth noting that it doesn't in any way prevent cot death or anything like that - but it does alert you as quickly as possible so that you can get to your child as quickly as possible and get help or administer first aid. The sensor pad has never falsely tripped for me, but there have been occasions where I have picked up my daughter and forgotten to turn the unit off, in which case the alarm has sounded and woken my husband (oops, but at least we know it works!) The only problem I can see is that if baby moves out of the way (say, to the bottom of the bed) then the pad won't be able to detect him/her and the alarm will sound which will worry you for no reason. However, you can always move the pad up/down and adjust sensitivity to combat this.
--USING THE MONITOR ---
The monitor reverts to it's batteries if there is a power failure which means you will always have peace of mind. When we moved house we had to run both the units on batteries whilst the nursery was decorated. As stated before, the parent unit was amazing with battery life, but the baby unit did run low on power after about half way through the second night. Still, in case of a power cut, you still get several hours of use.
The range of the parent unit is excellent - my garden is very very large and I can get to the bottom without it going out of range, and still hear every sound. The sound is always very clear, with minimal static unlike my last monitor. There are 8 channels to choose from to minimise static. I have found that on the loudest setting it is plenty loud enough to hear over the tv.
--THE PARENT UNIT--
The parent unit has a visual display with coloured lights that indicate how loud baby is being, eg. amber for quite loud, red for screaming - and they go up and down in accordance with the sound. This means that even if the volume is down, you can still 'see' how loud baby is being. There is the option to have the unit on continuously or for it to be sound-activated, but personally I have always had it on continuously. The unit has an up arrow on a button for increasing the volume and a down arrow on a button underneath it for decreasing volume, and ranges from mute to very loud. There is a belt clip which I find handy as I clip it onto my waistband when hanging out the washing for example.
The unit will beep if it is out of range, or if it loses connection with the baby unit for whatever reason. If the baby unit is turned off for example to silence the alarm, then the parent unit will vibrate and beep intermittently until the unit is switched back on or until you turn the parent unit off. This can be both helpful and annoying!
The benefit to the parent unit is the hold button, which is the same as the decreasing volume button. You simply hold the hold button for a few seconds, and it will silence the alarm and/or the baby unit. It gives you approximately 15 minutes, and then it will start to intermittently beep and vibrate to remind you that it is on hold. This is fantastic if you forget to unhold the unit, but irritating if you need to be with your baby for longer than that time and don't take the parent unit in with you!
The unit has a digital temperature display which displays the temperature in baby's room. I am slightly sceptical of it, but it does always seem to correspond with the normal thermometer we have in her room and our handheld central heating control. There is the option to set the alarm to go off if the room becomes hotter or colder than a temperature you define. I have set this option but never needed it.
---OPTIONS AND FEATURES--
Aside from the temperature options as mentioned, there is also the option to turn the movement sensor off completely without having to unplug the sensor pad. You simply press the menu button and scroll through to turn it off. You can also set it to beep with every movement but I found this annoying so I turned it off. There is a button to change channel, and the on/off button also mutes if held. I have read reviews where people think they cannot turn the movement feature off - so here is how it works: Press menu, press the arrow keys until only the ear symbol is visible, press select, press exit. Now only sound is on and the movement is turned off. To turn movement and sound on, have the ear symbol and wavy line symbol lit up. To turn movement, sound and movement beep on, have all three lit up. I definitely have this model as it says AC401 on the back of the parent unit.
I honestly wish I'd bought this monitor first instead of the Tommee Tippee one. It is expensive but it is worth it. Minimal static, all the features you could want. Perfect for reassurance. However it does not replace a parent, you cannot rely on it or use it as supervision - it is merely an aid to indicate what sound baby is making and if baby is moving. You should always check your baby yourself.
MAY ALSO APPEAR ON CIAO UNDER MY USERNAME PINKPRINCESS244
Summary: wish I'd bought it sooner!
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