It’s no great secret that new parents are an anxious bunch. When we first brought our daughter home from the hospital, we stared at her tiny, sleepy face and wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. Mostly, we were scared. What if something went wrong? What if she stopped breathing? What if she spits up and started choking? The possibilities were overwhelming, and after all the horror stories we had read, we were beside ourselves with fear.
After a few nerve-wracking months, just as we were maybe beginning to think that we had our act together, we got a Monbaby smart baby monitor, and it was truly a revelation. This little device brought some calm back into our lives. In many ways, Monbaby is a brilliant idea wonderfully executed because it soothes every new parent’s fears, all in a small, easy to use, and fairly affordable package.
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Unlike in-room baby monitors, Monbaby is a smart monitor that your baby wears. And while your little one doesn’t interact with it — that’s your job, mom and dad — it provides incredibly helpful information about your sleeping and growing child.
Take, for example, the breathing check, an act that practically every new parent is guilty of committing. We did it countless times: we’d get right up close to our finally asleep and amazingly still daughter to see if she was still breathing alright, but in our efforts to make sure she was sleeping safely, we’d wake her up and be stuck with the task of soothing her back to sleep.
That’s not all, you also have the option of adding MonBridge to the purchase. It enables you to utilize home’s wifi network and make MonBaby work anywhere along with the benefit of premium customer support. The MonBridge tablet also features tips and e-books on best practices to adopt as a new parent.
With Monbaby, we didn’t have to do this again because it tracks our daughter’s breathing for us. It also tracks movement and sleep position, specifically if baby flips over to her belly while sleeping (something that pediatricians advise against). And, because it’s a BlueTooth smart monitor that works with an iOS and Android app, if anything is awry, we get a notification. Our daughter was just starting to roll over a lot in her sleep when we got our Monbaby, and the device told us every time she flipped. We’ll probably turn this notification off soon, though, as it’s becoming less of a safety concern, and she does seem to sleep better on her front. That’s another nice thing about the Monbaby app: you can choose which notifications you want to receive.
Another great thing about Monbaby is that while your baby can start wearing it as a newborn, it’s not just for infants. Once your baby is mobile, you can turn on proximity alerts so you’ll know if your baby has crawled a certain distance from you. (Yes, you should always watch your baby, but as all parents know, all it takes is one second of turning your head for your little one to take off.) There’s also a fall detection monitor, which is useful for toddlers learning to walk.
Plus, the sleep information that the Monbaby app aggregates is helpful so that parents can learn their baby’s sleep patterns and maybe (just maybe) understand why (oh why) he or she keeps waking up at three in the morning. In our case, we kept hearing about these babies that would sleep through the night at just a few weeks old, but our daughter did nothing of the sort. However, knowing that she would likely wake up at around midnight helped us to be proactive about keeping her asleep and snug.
It’s understandable that many parents are apprehensive about snapping any sort of small accessory on a baby, given all the warnings about injury or choking that moms and dads are bombarded with. But Monbaby is a little button that’s easy to snap on any outfit; we were able to slide the back of the device under our daughter’s onesie, and then snap the front in place.
One of the most convenient aspects of Monbaby is that it goes where you go. Unlike standard baby monitors, which have to remain plugged in and won’t go from room to room unless you physically move them, Monbaby moves with your baby.
As long as you’ve got your paired smartphone or tablet with you and the Monbaby clip on your baby, you’ve got a fully functioning smart monitor. The connection between the two maxes out at around 60 feet, which is admittedly lower than a lot of non-smart monitors, but should be a long enough range for an average size home.
Our biggest concern about Monbaby, or any other wireless device that we might use with our baby, was radiation. While it’s no secret that smartphones and other gadgets emit very low levels of radiation, we weren’t sure about exposing our child to these potentially dangerous emissions, especially when she was so tiny.
We were happy to find that Monbaby addresses these concerns on their website with some numbers and comparisons. Cell phones are limited to 1.6 W/kg standard absorption rate or SAR. The SAR of regular baby monitors is between 0.01 and 0.08 W.kg, and the SAR of BlueTooth devices is roughly 0.001 W/kg. Monbaby uses BlueTooth LE, which has a lower SAR than standard BlueTooth. The company assures its customers: “A BLE device like Monbaby has 10-80 times less radiation than a standard baby monitor.”
While we really liked using Monbaby as our daughter’s baby monitor, we quickly became aware of a few of its limitations. For starters, there’s no audio monitoring. We found ourselves wanting to hear our daughter’s babbling as she woke up, but there’s no microphone to give parents like us this small but meaningful indulgence. However, according to the Monbaby website, plans for the next generation of the product do include a microphone. Similarly, there’s no video monitoring, but again, the Monbaby website assures customers that plans are being made to integrate the device with a video monitor.
Finally, there’s no temperature monitor or heart rate sensor on Monbaby. The former could be helpful to help parents determine the ideal temperature for a good night’s rest, and the latter could help to let parents know that their baby might be getting sick or feverish. There’s no mention of these things on the Monbaby website, but it seems like they could be included in future iterations of the device.
Monbaby retails for $99.99 USD, which is somewhat high but still comparably priced with other high-end baby monitors. It’s definitely not too much to spend on a quality piece of baby tech. It’s powered by a cell battery that lasts about two months, and the button itself comes in white, pink, or light blue. We’ve really enjoyed using the Monbaby with our daughter, and we’ll continue to use it as she transitions to toddlerhood.