Video baby monitors are fast becoming the norm as people opt to watch as well as listen to their baby but this monitor from Tommee Tippee takes things a step further with a movement sensor pad to go under the mattress.
The sensor pad is highly sensitive and capable of detecting movement as subtle as breathing. Once set up and turned on it sounds an alarm after 20 seconds of no movement.
This is a reassuring feature to have, especially with very young babies, although you will need to make sure you have a convenient plug socket to plug in the pad separately – as well as safely deal with the trailing wires coming out of the bottom of the cot.
Some reviewers have reported false alarms, which result in both the parent and child units letting off a loud noise – not great if you’ve spent a long time settling a baby – although we didn’t experience this in our tests. It will also depend on personal taste as to where you want to draw the line between peace of mind and the chances of being woken up unnecessarily.
The camera performs well and is especially clear in daylight. Using the night vision gives you more than enough detail to see exactly what is happening and the sound also comes through clear – although even on the lowest setting the smallest noise is still very audible. The unit also helpfully provides a temperature readout for the room which we found was broadly in line with other thermometers, with the benefit of not having to go into the room to read them.
Our main issue with the camera is it is not as adjustable as some others with the lens able to angle up and down but only to a limited degree. This can make it a little tricky to get the right angle, especially if you want to have the camera above a cot pointing down. It has a tripod thread for screwing in place but no fixture for attaching it to walls.
Signal range and strength
Tommee Tippee claims a 300 metre range, although this will significantly be reduced by walls. Saying that we didn’t experience any signal issues and it definitely has one of the longest ranges we have seen with a baby monitor so is a good choice if you will be using it far from your baby’s room.
It also uses Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology (DECT) – which you may be familiar with from cordless phones – to minimise interference. It’s hard to tell how much of a difference this makes but both the signal and video quality remained consistently good in our tests.
Battery life of the parent unit when not being charged is good and we got around 8 hours of monitoring. The screen turns off when not in use but will light up again if there is significant noise in their room.
A nice feature that isn’t always available with other monitors is the ability to run the baby unit on 4 AA batteries rather than through the mains. This is particularly useful if you want to use it when on trips where you may not have convenient access to a power socket.
Like a lot of monitors it offers two way communication so you can speak to you baby through the parent unit, although it doesn’t have the ability to play music (or display a light show) like some rival monitors do.
It does have a subtle nightlight which can be controlled from the parent unit which lights up the wall behind the baby unit. It’s a nice addition but it isn’t very powerful so if your child needs a nightlight to sleep you may still need something separate.
Price and rivals
Costing around £150 it is far from cheap and is actually one of the most expensive monitors on the market – although there are other video monitors costing similar or even more that don’t come with a movement sensor pad. If you are willing to spend around this much and are not interested in the sensor pad it may be worth looking at something like the Motorola MBP853. If you have a smaller budget take a look at this Hello Baby video monitor.
While it doesn’t come cheap this is a very dependable monitor that does all the basics very well. It may not have all the bells and whistles (almost literally) that some other monitors do for entertainment purposes, but for simply keeping an eye on your baby and providing peace of mind through the movement sensor, it is an excellent choice.