The Motorola MBP36 Remote Wireless Video Baby Monitor with Infrared Night Vision and Zoom!!!
(I added in the !!!)
I think I'll stick with just "video monitor."
You might remember when I asked for video monitor recommendations after Baba G started pulling himself up in his crib. I was hesitant about getting one because I didn't want to grow obsessed with watching it, nor did I want to be freaked out by any Paranormal Activity-looking flickers or glowing eyes and whatnot.
Before I solicited advice, I didn't realize that the video screen can be turned off while the audio monitor stays on. Um, that's kind of a key feature! So just imagine this thing on my nightstand with a black screen, because that's what it looks like 95% of the time. If you want to turn off the audio, you'll still have the colored dots at the top that light up horizontally to indicate the noise level in the room. If all of them are lit, that means your kid's a-screamin' his head off. Ours normally has three or four dots lit because of the white noise machine we have in the nursery:
|His head's in the left corner + typical "booty-up" pose|
We ended up going with the Motorola version because I'd heard so many good things about it from others (and thanks to BG&Me commenter Cindy for her thoughts on this model as well). A close second was the Summer Infant monitor, but we liked how Motorola used a technology that was supposedly less likely to interfere with other signals in your house (more on that in a second) and also showed the room temperature. BG's nursery is unfortunately in the coldest room in our condo, so it was important for me to ensure he wasn't freezing down there. We've been able to adjust our furnace so that his room stays around 70 degrees even in the depths of winter (like right now).
Funny thing is, it also helped us realize that his room was way too HOT while on our disaster vacation to the Dominican Republic. Of the many things that went wrong on that trip, one of the biggest was that the air conditioning in our suite was broken (and it was around 95 degrees that week). We'd brought the monitor with us, and that's how we knew that despite setting up two extra fans in BG's room, it remained a stuffy 77 degrees:
|Before The Sickness struck!|
Here's a little video I took of Baba G walking around a bit before hitting the hay. I clumsily attempt to demonstrate some of the monitors features...
The bottom line: For us, a video monitor ended up being a must-have gizmo. Right now we're not on the same level as Baba G's nursery, and so it's key for us to be able to see what's going on in there before we open up the door and risk waking him up for good. A lot of times he's really loud when he's shifting positions, and if we couldn't see what he was doing, we might think something was wrong.
The monitor also came in handy when we finally broke down and decided to stop going in his room every time he cried, so as to get him out of the soul-crushing habit of wailing for us at 4 a.m. every morning for no apparent reason. The first night we didn't come in, we used the monitor to watch him get angrier and angrier and stomp around his crib for about 15 minutes. The next night, he protested for 5 minutes. After that, the few times he's woken up in the wee hours have been when he's actually sick.
I don't think I could do without a video monitor at this point, and would highly recommend one to anyone who thinks it might make their lives a bit easier. The best thing about the Motorola one is its ability to be remotely controlled. So we can be in our bedroom and pan the camera in all directions, as well as zoom in and out. The worst thing about it is that it definitely seems to mess with our wireless connection. Not the hugest deal, but we have to have the monitor completely off if we're planning on watching any streaming TV shows or movies.
It's also on the pricey side: about $240 on Amazon. For us it was worth it!