* Prices may differ from that shown
10 months ago we brought home our precious first baby from hospital. As new parents we have fussed and worried over our tiny bundle with enormous love. My best friend passed over her Tomy classic baby monitor declaring after twins she definitely wasn't having any more!
It was actually quite awhile before we had the need to use the monitor as baby slept in a mosses basket in the lounge with us during the day or in another mosses basket in our bedroom, so was never in a different room for a least 3 months. Then in preparation for sleeping in a cot, naps during the day were in her mosses basket put in the cot with the baby monitor on. Without a monitor I would of probably stayed by her bedroom door listening to her breathe the whole time she was asleep so monitors are invaluable baby items.
This particular set comprises of 2 units. One listening unit that you can plug into the mains in babies room, the other sound unit you plug into the room you are in. You can use batteries rather than mains which means you can walkabout doing the housework (if you have the energy) hence the product name! The sound unit has a volume wheel on the side that goes from 1 to 9. It also has a semi circle of lights that light up when a sound is made going from green (light noise) to red (loud crying). This is very beneficial if the sound control on the side has accidentally been turned down.
There are also 2 channel settings A and B, very important if someone nearby is using one you can pick up their baby crying instead of your own. In my sisters case accidentally overhearing her neighbour singing to her own baby, think how embarrassing it could be. If you live in a block of flats maybe one that offers more than 2 channels would be beneficial.
-PROS AND CONS
Obviously gives parents piece of mind, especially new parents. Yes we have experienced the 'are they still breathing ' moment when baby is so quite you go into their room to check on them. However compared with panic my friends had with a special matt that goes under babies mattress (approx £40 by Tomy) that monitors breathing (great until they roll off) then you really panic with the monitors alarm going off thinking the baby has stopped breathing! I think the conventional monitors are safer for the parents health.
During the evening we do seem to get a noise interference that isn't there during the day, maybe it's all the electrical equipment on in the surrounding rooms e.g. TV's computers etc. We tend to have the volume slightly lower as a result as changing channels doesn't help.
There are monitors with a talk back option that this model doesn't have. My friend lives in a 3 storey town house and uses her monitor to talk to her toddler if she wakes up too early encouraging her to go back to sleep even a little singing and hey presto it works and she hasn't even got up. If we were to buy another set I would look for this feature as in months to come will be a big asset.
Other monitors on the market are now coming with TV screens, so not only can you hear baby you can see them. They are very expensive at £100 plus. There has been several occasions when we wished we had this though as if you go into babies room to check on them you could disturb them as we have done and cause then to wake up. If we had the TV screen we could see babies sleeping position and no need to go into their room. This is mainly once they start rolling over and you want to make sure they are sleeping on their backs which is the recommended position for new babies.
Other units have back lights and or temperature displays. Both of these functions we didn't need on our monitor as we have an 'egg' which is a product that does both for approx £21. This we felt was better as the back light (glows stronger) and different temperature ranges are represented by lighting up different colours so easier to know instantly whether a room is too cold or hot.
Overall though we are pleased with this model and if you are on a budget you get all the features that are important. It seems to retail at approx £14.99 I don't recommended going over your budget just to get the other features but if someone wants to buy you one as a gift go for at least the talk back model at approx £49.99
We bought this monitor second hand from ebay before our daughter was born, it was just one of those things on the list that we needed to get. The reason we decided on this one was because it seemed simple, no complicated functions, just plug in at the mains and away you go.
We also knew a lot of people who had them, and it seemed quite a popular monitor. We never even thought to ask them if it worked ok...
It's been an 'ok' monitor but it's not one that I would recommend to others.
The lights across the top. They spring into action when your baby cries and if it's a particularly loud cry, the lights spread all the way across the top of the monitor and you have a nice display of green and red lights. You know if the red lights are on you need to go and check your baby!
The sound quality is good when there is no other interference. Which is not very often.
I can't really think of any other good points other than that it's cheap and there are a lot of second hand ones available.
Interference and buzzing. This is really terrible most of the time, it doesn't take much to cause interference on this monitor. Switch the TV on and it buzzes, boil the kettle and it crackles, turn on a light and it buzzes. Sit in a different position on the sofa (seriously) and it buzzes. It seems anything you do within your house causes this monitor to make a lot of noise, and sometimes the interference is so loud that you cannot hear your baby over the top of it.
The term walkabout must mean that you can walk about with this monitor. I have never found this to be possible. If you switch it off at the mains, the power lasts 10-20 seconds at the most.
There are no extra features with this monitor, no temperature indicator, no fancy lullabies, no two-way talk to baby function, no night light. It's very basic.
If you are considering buying a monitor for your baby, avoid this one at all costs. We have suffered with ours for a long time and are seriously looking into buying a digital monitor, probably a BT one. I recommend you do the same.
This monitor cost us £39.99 from babies r us! After buying a video monitor for £100 that broke after 2 days of use, we felt £39.99 for a plain audio monitor was good value.
The monitor is good for when you baby is sleeping in the next room but hanging out washing can prove a problem.This usually depends on what mood the monitor is as sometimes it is crystal clear! But for 40 quid odd you can't complain!
There is a channel selector on the monitors but this isn't much help really.
One of the top features of the monitors is the sound activated lights. If you are in a noisy room then the monitor tells you if the baby is making loud noise (usually crying in my babies case)! We have found this to be very usefull when watching a film or having loud music on as then you don't have to have the sound on the monitor and the lights indicate if your baby is making noise! Very useful aspect!
The other useful fact is that the baby monitor has a night light on it and you can talk on your monitor to the baby to calm an older child down! Brilliant idea!
All in all not bad for the price but if you can afford more then maybe you should consider something more expensive!
Oh and the batteries don't last too long in it so I would suggest rechargable batteries - though they do plug in as well!
When I was a baby my parents didn't have a baby monitor, they just had sharp ears! It's amazing how you can pick up the slightest sound from your child and differentiate it from other babies sounds, even when they are all in the same room. I swear I can hear Leah make any noise at all when I am out in the garden even WITHOUT a baby monitor!
However, it was one of those must-have gadgets that we chose before she was born, because at that time I had no idea I would get radar ears. There are some very fancy and sophisticated monitors on the market now, including those with temperature gauges and even cameras so you can actually watch your baby as well as listen to them.
My husband and I decided we only wanted a basic but reliable model from a quality manufacturer, at a reasonable price, and that's why we chose the Tomy Walkabout Classic. It's not a great quality sound, as it's not a digital monitor, but it's enough to hear your baby and that was all that mattered to us.
Of course we played with it before she was born as if it was a one-way walkie talkie and it was very handy when I was upstairs and heavily pregnant - I could tell him I was stuck (wedged) in the bath without having to shout!!!
When Leah was tiny I wasn't prepared to let her out of my sight and she slept in my arms, but as time went on I began to put her to sleep in her cot, so that I was free to do other things. The monitor provides peace of mind: instead of thinking I can hear her and worrying, I know for sure whether I can hear her or not!
How Does it Work?
The monitor has two units, a baby unit (place up to ten feet away from baby) and a parent unit (carry around with you - there is a useful belt clip). These units run off the mains which is ideal if you are staying in one room, for example overnight, and on 4 AA batteries per unit as well so you can do the gardening or even pop out to the car while she is sleeping. They cover a distance of up to about 100 metres, but of course the further away you are from the other unit, the worse the signal strength will be. The signal strength is better with the mains adaptor than with the batteries, but of course you can't go as far when the monitor is plugged into the mains adaptor!
It's great that the monitor is so portable, as you are free to move around the house without worrying that you won't hear your little one. It's also peace of mind that if there is a power cut, it won't affect the monitor which will just start running on the batteries instead. The red "on" light on the unit is great for paranoid mothers who wake up in the middle of a quiet night and instantly want to check it is still working. There is also a low battery warning light so you know when to replace the batteries. This can easily be done with the aid of a screwdriver! The units have a flat base so you can stand the parent unit up in the room where you are based if you wish, and easily see the light display from a distance without having to pick up the unit.
The volume control runs from 1-10, and I generally leave it at 10 as most parents would! However, if baby is just objecting to being in bed, you can always turn it down for a little while! You can see how much volume your baby is creating even if you don't hear it, as quiet crys mean a display of green lights, which rise to red if baby is getting mad! The monitor is very sensitive, so you actually hear baby breathing rather than just when she crys, which is great if you are putting baby to sleep in her own room and want to still hear her breathe!
There is also a mute button. It's on the switch in-between on, and off, which I think is a mistake. I've accidentally switched the monitor from off to mute, instead of from off to on before now. It wouldn't have taken much thought to position the mute AFTER the off so that the sequence was on, off, mute rather than on, mute, off! That quibble aside, it seems to me that a mute button is pretty pointless. If you need to turn it off for some reason, why not just turn the volume down, or even turn it off for a minute?
There are two channels, A and B so you have to ensure that both units are set to the same one. The only purpose I can see to having two channels is that you can switch if you are getting interference from the neighbours unit! (remember to change the switch on both units or you won't hear baby at all!)
The interference is sometimes quite annoying, especially if you have other electronic equipment plugged in next to the monitor. I can't charge my mobile next to the monitor, for example, as I get a lot of crackling. The amount of interference you get will depend on where you have your monitor and the other equipment around it, some of which is outwith your control (the neighbours TV for example!) I know one family who managed to actually hear the baby next door instead of their own, which means its very sensitive - a mixed blessing perhaps!
Final note: it's worth remembering not to enter your baby's room with the parent unit still attached to you, you will get very loud hissing which is enough to wake baby!
Best Price £27.92 from www.deafequipment.co.uk
(Widely available in high street stores as well)
12 month guarantee included
I bought these when my son was a few weeks old from boots for £25. I only used them twice as I far prefered to keep him in the same room as myself. Being a first time mum I was petrified, and constantly found myself checking on him if he hadn't cried in fear that he'd stopped breathing.
When he turned 15 months i decided that it was about time the little tyke slept in his own room. I used the monitors every night without no hassle but after a week and a half I switched on the parent unit only to hear hissing. The hissing was loud even with the monitor turned right down. I could only hear my son when he cried loudly, which was a far cry from being able to hear him breathe the night before. The hissing also made it impossible to sleep. Eventually I had to leave both our bedroom doors open so he could just come through when he woke up, otherwise I couldn't hear him.
I'd threatened buying new digital monitors for ages but the ones I had my eye on were £80. I eventually had to take the plunge after I left my son with my niece so my partner and I could go out for a meal. We stay a minutes walk away from 2 pubs. On returning home we found our niece sleeping in bed with our son. She had been exhausted from running up and down the stairs checking on him. She'd heard other children from down the street and at one point picked up the "Hey Baby" song. Needless to say, we haven't used them since.
We did purchase the Tomy Digital monitors from Tescos, but for £50, the only added extra that these had was the temperature gauge and the nightlight. We found the sound quality even poorer on these, hence they were returned the next day. These monitors weren't purely digital, therefore was still prone to interference. We purchased the BT Digital Baby Monitor Plus (£60 from BT's website), and so far it has been well worth the money. I'd definitely reccommend spending a little extra on digital monitors, it saves far less hassle in the long run.
The Tomy units themselves are really simple to operate. On both units there is a switch at the side where you can change from channel A to B, but both monitors have to be on the same channel. The parent unit also features lights that indicate noise level. It starts off as green for a little whimper right through to red for screaming. When my unit was picking up interference the red lights were on. The units can be operated by plug or by battery, so you could use the parent unit mobily if you wanted.
I decided on this monitor, not because it was the cheapest on the market, because at between thirty and forty pounds its not. But because Tomy are a brand that I trust and associate with good quality products. I must say that other monitors are available on the market and cost a lot more, as this does the job very well I cannot see the point of spending more for the same job. The Tomy Walkabout Classic seemed the answer to my prayers, as when my baby was sleeping I would not be tied to one room waiting for the monitor to sound. Setting the monitors up is so easy, simply place the baby monitor in the room where the baby will be sleeping. Although they do run off of batteries, it is so much better to use the supplied adaptor and plug it into the mains. So find a spare socket and position the monitor. I do keep batteries in mine but use the mains. This means if for any reason there is an interruption to the power supply then the monitor will still be working. Every few weeks I also check the batteries just to make sure they are fine. Then for the parents monitor its just a question of doing the same, putting in the batteries finding a suitable mains socket and plugging in. Then hopefully the only sound you will hear is your baby sleeping. You can adjust the volume, but not too quiet as it defeats the object of monitoring your baby at sleep. In brief its so simple add four AA batteries to both the monitor and the receiver, then plug into the mains and chill. If you need to wander then just unplug the receiver and wander around the house happily. I would say though I have found the life of even the best batteries is not that long, that is why I keep mentioning plugging into the mains supply as much as possible Another thing is you have two channels to pick from, this might sound silly but make sure both the monitor and the receiver are set to the same wavelength otherwise you might be listening to the neighbours baby and not y
our own. A couple of times I have had to change over channels because of interference, this means changing both the monitor and the receiver. I am not saying this is the best way of using them, I leave mine in the room I am in and attached to the mains, then if I need to go into another room, rather than have to switch it off and unplug it, all I do is disconnect it from the adaptor and I can walkabout, this really does make a difference. Here are the details of what you get and need. One monitor with mains adaptor, you will need four AA batteries, the monitor has two channels and a red light indicating it is on. One receiver with mains adaptor, you will need four AA batteries, the receiver has two channels and a red light indicating it is on. It also has a volume control and a set of red and green lights at the top, quiet noises show as green but the louder the noise the more red lights that become lit. It also has a clip on the back so you can attach it to a belt.
A totally portable, mains or battery operated baby monitor featuring a sound sensitive light display, two channels to avoid interference and auto or continuous sound options. Requires batteries for portable use. Range 100m.