With a baby in a more predictive sleep pattern (finally!), I’m thankful that I’m not spending my evenings and wee hours sitting on the edge of my bed staring down the baby monitor, as fun as that was. But for the climbing-out-of-the-crib stage of life, thankfully, there now a a couple of great baby monitors on the market that I have my eye on: the Motorola MBP36S wireless baby monitor and the iBaby M6 monitor.
Motorola MBP36S Baby Monitor
The Motorola MBP36S isn’t quite the catchiest name (like anyone with baby brain will remember “MPB36S” when we walk into a store looking for it), but it’s a really great quality monitor. The base unit, as you can see, is pretty compact and can fit nicely into the corner of any nursery.
I was impressed by the clarity of the picture, which is no big surprise considering it is made by Motorola. The 3.5-inch color screen on the parent unit is crisp, and you can also pan, tilt and zoom to follow your baby around the crib if you have a big mover on your hands, like I do. The sound is exceptionally clear and I really appreciate the range of the monitor, allowing me to take it outside and play with the kids while the baby is napping. Other monitors I’ve had say “lost connection” once it leaves the house, so that is a bonus for me.
Speaking of bonuses, Motorola has packed it with all those nice-to-haves like built-in lullaby music, the ability to talk to your baby through the parent unit, and a nursery temperature reading. You can also add additional cameras to the monitor, which is nice if you are monitoring multiple kids; though the general feedback is that add-on cameras get expensive and simultaneous viewing of multiple cameras on one screen is very hard to see. Also note that it doesn’t come with any kind of mounting hardware, which can make it an easy target for my handsy toddler. We were able to jerry-rig something far out of reach, but it would be nice if that were included.
Given the higher price tag of $239, I’d recommend this as a great monitor for a single baby, though its durability and high quality make it an investment that will last well beyond the crib years.
iBaby M6 Baby Monitor
For those of you who prefer a smartphone-enabled WiFi baby monitor, the iBaby M6 is another one I tested. For some reason, I have always preferred the more traditional monitors over WiFi-enabled ones. A small part of me just doesn’t want to hook anything baby-related up to the network, even though there’s such a miniscule chance of them being hacked, but it’s more just personal preference. Since I rely on my phone so heavily for work/personal use, I like having a separate monitor for watching the baby. Plus, I know that if I have constant access to her monitor feed, I’ll never get anything else done.
That said, the M6 definitely makes me reconsider. Not only does it look really cool and unlike any other baby monitor I’ve seen, the features are pretty outstanding. Instead of having a parent unit and all its features as a separate device, you have everything in the palm of your hand on your smartphone.
Using the iBaby Care app for iOS (Android should be available any day now), you have access to everything the camera sees, no matter where you are. Nice for me if I’m at work and want to make sure the baby is taking a good nap, or out to dinner and want to do a quick check-in to make sure the sitter has actually gotten him down.
I was surprised by the quality of the clarity on my smartphone, a real testament to how far app-based baby technology has come since the original grainy, spotty WiFi monitors. What’s even more impressive is that you can remotely adjust the camera angle, just by swiping your finger on your smartphone screen.
The app then serves as the central hub for all activity. In addition to viewing, you even get the features that other traditional monitors give, like being able to talk and listen to the baby, playing lullabies, even record video. Plus you’ll get some features that traditional monitors don’t have, like the ability to share the live video feed with family members (you know Grandma and Grandpa would be glued to that), and grabbing snapshots of cute moments right from the feed.
All of this can be done remotely, which is pretty amazing. And I’m hard to impress with this stuff.
Installation is really easy, too. I have had trouble testing out WiFi monitors in the past, entering security codes, WiFi passwords, SSID numbers and more–but the iBaby Care app makes it a cinch. Initial set up requires connecting the phone to the monitor…and you’re done in just a few minutes.
It’s great that these days, your choice of baby monitor all comes down personal preference– do you want to view your baby on a parent unit that stays within the house parameter? Or rely on your smartphone to check in from anywhere you are? Both of these monitors offer fantastic features and you can’t go wrong either way. Especially if you have a baby who sleeps.
The Motorola MBP36S is available for $239.99 from our affiliate Amazon.com.
The iBaby M6 monitor is available for $199.95 from the Apple store and works with iPhone 4 and up, iPad 1 and up and iPod 4 and up. The Android app is expected to launch in the next couple weeks, and we’ll keep our eye out!
Visit our archives for more great baby monitors.