When we first bought this at the Earls Court Baby Show before Lumpy was born I confess to having thought of I as more of a gimmicky gadget than a serious device. As a confirmed gadget freak and lover of any tech with an ‘i’ in front of the name, my dad was really taken with it, and the idea of being able to watch his grandchild from afar to see what she was up to, so he bought it for the nursery.
The iBaby monitor is quite simply a WiFi networked camera with built-in infrared for night vision. The beauty of it comes from the secure portal and apps through which it can be accessed however. There’s and iPhone and iPad app as well as a desktop web browser portal all of which require a secure ID and account specific to your camera to be able to access and view. On the mobile apps you can use touch gestures to move the camera around – it swivels through horizontal and vertical axis for a wide range of view but its downward tilt is limited due to the base of the unit and whatever surface you put it on, but it does come with a wall mounting bracket for more adjustment. On the desktop browser you have a set of arrows for moving the camera. On all devices you can also have various settings : brightness and contrast of the picture, sound volume, sound and motion alerts and take snapshots.
It took us some time to set up and get it working reliably through our Time Capsule WiFi router because although the mobile apps are currently only available for apple devices, the web portal seems to be geared more towards Windows users. Pretty much a swear word in our house.
By the time Lumpy arrived however the connection seemed to be much more stable, and we could all happily view the empty cot in the nursery as it filled and was emptied of ‘stuff’ I didn’t have time to tidy away. Lumpy of course was sleeping in our room with us. Now though, at 20weeks old, following a week staying with J’s mum where she slept til 6am each night in her fabulous Babyway Mimas Travel Cot, we have moved her into the nursery.
Immediately, despite the fact that we also have a Tommee Tippee audio and movement sensor monitor, the iBaby started to come into its own. I find myself watching her fall asleep with her teddies or check up on her to see if she’s turned over (a hazard of the current hot weather), or just watch her sleeping. I can even see her breathing. I can take pictures from the app on my phone of her not sleeping, but not whinging either. In short, I can spy on her when she thinks I’m not watching and I love it.
The only downside so far is on the alerts feature. Firstly, they come in as push notifications to your mobile and can e a little delayed from the actual event as opposed to the very real time nature of a standard digital monitor. Secondly, if you set alerts on one device, it affects all devices connected to the network, meaning that I can set an alert for me, at home downstairs while she naps but if she moves or cries, J and my dad will also get a notification to their phones or iPads, wherever they are. Not great if either were in a meeting.
On the whole, if you can get a deal on it, have gadget minded rellies at a distance, and have £100 to spend I think it’s well worth it. I’m not sure we would have paid the full £160 retail price for it however.