Friday, November 20, 2015

Shopping for a Video Baby Monitor at buybuy BABY

{Multi-tasking at it's finest - babywearing, nursing a sleepy baby and shopping!}

With our outdated audio baby monitor becoming increasingly unreliable, I recently began researching the world of video baby monitors. I must admit that sometimes I find electronics a bit overwhelming, especially when there are so many options to choose from. I suppose I'm a bit technology-challenged! Options are great, but only when you know what you're looking for. 

Knowing that buybuy BABY has not let me down in the past, I knew they could help me sort through all the video monitors. Product expert Desiree at my local buybuy BABY was amazing! She walked me through all the important features to look for and helped me understand each one so I could narrow down all my options. Ultimately I walked out feeling confident that I chose the best video monitor for my family. 

Buying a video baby monitor has been on my to-do list for a while now. The added security of real-time video is certainly comforting and definitely an overdue upgrade from our previous audio-only monitor. Although baby girl sleeps in our room, there are times each day that I'm not in there with her. And keeping the bedroom door open while she sleeps is just not very practical when big brother is busy playing and I have chores to tend to! I needed a simple video monitor that is practical for use during naps and at night for a couple hours before I go to bed. 

What features should you look for in a video monitor? I've gotta say that their are pros and cons to each of them, so it's important to consider your sleeping situation and decide what features you need before you buy. I'd recommend reading online reviews and asking your mommy friends about their monitors too. While all video monitors include pretty standard features, these are the features I found most important to consider. 

WiFi & HD - These are the two biggest things in the world of video monitors right now. With WiFi you can access the monitors feed through your smartphone via an app like Hubble for Motorola. This allows parents to use their smartphones as the parent unit from anywhere you get a WiFi signal. This might be a useful feature for parents who want to check in on baby while they're at work. If you have an unreliable WiFi connection at home you may not want to select a WiFi monitor. WiFi monitors also have HD, but there are HD options that do not utilize WiFi. Both WiFi and HD are more costly too.

Infrared Night Vision - This ensures a clear view of your baby at night, without any lights. In a dark room, this is a super important feature. 

Pan, Tilt & Zoom - While zoom is pretty standard, pan and tilt are nice to have. At this point I have only used the pan and tilt to set up our monitor in the right spot, but it will be awesome for scanning the room when my daughter's a toddler and sneaking out of bed to play during nap time.

Room Temperature Display - Keeping baby at a comfortable temperature is important for safety reasons but also to ensure restful sleep. I know in my home there are hot spots and cold spots depending on the time of day and also the time of year. This feature gives parents important information without having to go into baby's room.

Two-way Audio Communication
- Although I don't quite see the absolute need for this feature, some parents might like being able to talk or sing to baby without going into the room. 

Movement Detection & Sound Activation - Video monitors with these features will turn off the live video and/or audio after a designated period of time unless motion or sound are detected. This conserves the battery life of the parent unit, and also 

Screen Size & Clarity - Some screens on these video monitors are pretty tiny. I personally prefer a monitor with a 3-inch minimum screen size. Seeing video monitors in person at your local buybuy BABY is really your best bet to ensure you get a monitor with a good clear picture, although none that I saw were less than average. 

Additional Cameras - Some monitors allow you to add extra cameras if needed, and still view and control them with one parent unit.


I received complimentary product for review purposes as part of the babyhood Influencer Network. All opinions are 100% my own. 

After weighing all the great options at buybuy BABY, we chose the Motorola MBP36S digital video baby monitor. It features a decent 3.5-Inch Color LCD Screen, pan, tilt, 2X zoom, infrared night vision, room temperature display and two-way audio communication. The baby unit even has five lullabies to soothe baby (controlled by the parent unit), and has a large range of up to 600 feet. This monitor has the option of adding additional cameras if we need to add any in the future, and has a power-saving mode that can be set to turn off the live video portion after 5, 30, or 60 minutes so you don't drain the battery if not plugged in. There are alerts if you are out-of-range from the baby unit, and also if you have a low battery on the parent unit.

 

 
 {My view at bedtime. It appears blue in the photo but it's really black and white.}

This particular video monitor does not have are movement detection and sound activation. When the live video on the parent unit is in power-saving mode (audio will still be on), it will not automatically turn back on if movement or sound are detected. This could be a major drawback for some, but you have to just press the video button to turn it back on. 


The Motorola MBP36S has more features than I probably need for the little use I require, but I like the large screen size and the pan/tilt capability in particular. The video is really clear during the day and night. One thing that I don't like about this monitor is that the parent unit will beep when you turn it on if the baby unit is off. Ummm, that's no good. So we just keep the baby unit on all the time now to avoid waking up baby girl if we turn off the baby unit. Overall I do like this monitor though and I feel like this monitor is pretty intuitive, even for a technology-challenged mom like me. The price is also pretty reasonable for a video monitor. 

You can buy the Motorola MBP36S for $199.99 at buybuyBABY.com or shop at one of their 100+ locations nationwide. Find your nearest store location here.
 

34 comments:

Masshole Mommy said...

Video monitors weren't even a thing when my boys were babies. I wish I had one.

Elizabeth O. said...

I would've loved a video baby monitor when my twins were little. It would've helped me a lot!

LauraJJ said...

Oh the Motorola MBP36S you picked looks so neat! I love that it has the room temperature control, and the lullabies too!

Heidi Bee said...

Wow, things have improved so much since my kids were babies, loving this technology. Terrific post and thanks for sharing the features. Will be sharing this with some moms to be!

Michelle Mink said...

buy buy baby looks like the place to get it all

Literary Winner said...

That's a great picture on that monitor! Thanks for your buying tips :)

Mom Knows Best said...

I wish I had one when my boys were babies. I think I would have slept better.

Heidi G. said...

Wow night vision?! That's so much more advanced than any baby monitor I've ever seen!

Liz Mays said...

I would definitely want to access it through wifi on my phone with an app. That would be a definite must have.

Rebecca Swenor said...

Best Buy is the place to shop for all electronics. These are great tips for parents looking for a baby monitor. I love how advanced they are now and it is awesome that you can get them with more than one camera too.

Six Time Mommy TEST said...

I have heard such great things about BUY BUY Baby. I've also got a video monitor, and I love it. I've heard great things about the motorola ones too! - jeanine

tiarastantrums said...

Love that you are looking at Motorola - i used to work for them for over 10 years before I had babies!

Coach Donna Ward said...

Yes - things have really improved since my grown son was a baby - there were monitors, these are fabulous! Great list of what to look for - :)

Lexie Lane said...

This is perfect especially when I'm not around at home.

ana de jesus said...

A video monitor will make life a lot easier thanks for sharing

Deal Match Maker said...

Video monitor is very important, its a bit pricey but worth it

Claudette P. Esterine said...

My daughter has one of these and they work perfectiy.

LifeAsAConvert said...

This looks like a great baby monitor. I'm wanting to get something for my little kids room.

Ourfamilyworld said...

Baby monitors have improved a lot over the years. I wish I had this when my kids were babies.

Dagmar Lesher said...

Thanks for the review! I have really been going back and forth with whether I want video or not. Thanks again!

Shann said...

I love Buy, Buy Baby. Even though my boys are toddlers and older, I still love shopping there. I also love a video monitor. Great review.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Technology has come so far! I still remember the old walkie talkie style monitors :)

CourtneyLynne said...

I just love my video monitor! Swear I use it more now that my daughter is 3 than I did when she was an infant!

Anonymous said...

This is a very colorful and informative post. Congratulations! you seem very happy

Jasmine Watts said...

These are great tips for parents looking for a baby monitor...!!

Nikki said...

It was so disappointing when our second came along and they no longer sold the additional cameras for our first baby monitor. We now have two different monitors since that was cheaper then buying a new monitor and additional camera :/

Kelly OMalley said...

I think that all the recent news about how "anyone" can hack into the monitor and watch it is really scary. I think you certainly did your homework and saved me a bunch of time. I think that having a WiFi connection would be really nice. Being able to access the video in different locations would be really nice to have.

Amy Howard said...

I had such a hard time choosing! I loved the idea of additional cameras.

Jessica Cassidy said...

I never have those baby monitor when I had my babies. What a cool product to have.

Ashleigh Walls said...

I remember shopping with my best friend for a baby monitor. It's a lot of work to make sure you get what you want.

RICHARD HICKS said...

This is a really nice monitor. Every new Mom needs one

Kelly OMalley said...

You are such a cutie. I think this is a great post. I didn't even know pan/tilt was possible for a baby cam. I am in the market and now I feel like I have a much better understanding of my options. Thanks.

Caroline B said...

Fantastic post! My hubby and I are looking for a monitor and felt overwhelmed by the selection. Your tips sure will help!

Yor Trezure said...

HD, I had no idea. I figured mine was about as good as they get. I will do some serious looking before my next child arrives. I wonder if any of the HD allow 4 or more cameras.

A.L.