What: BT 350 Lightshow baby monitor vs Motorola MBP11 Digital Audio Baby Monito
Why: Two different types of baby monitors, audio only
Where: Any major retailers
Cost: RRP £69.99 (BT), £34.99 (Motorola)
When it comes to deciding what baby monitor to buy, it is a minefield. With so many different options to consider – audio or video, additional features, cost etc – my husband and I were left with a sense of trepidation whether our choice was actually right for us.
To start with, we purchased the Motorola baby monitor. Convinced we did not need a video stream that would become obsessive to watch, we thought we would go for a pretty basic model. The Motorola monitor has a light indicator to show how loudly the baby is crying and has a range of 300m. Setting up was easy as anything and once the batteries were charged for the walk-around set, we were ready to go.
Motorola baby monitor
However, in terms of monitors, this was a disappointing purchase and one we discovered where “you get what you paid for”. The massive power button on the walk-around set took ages to respond and even though the base unit was already on, it took even longer for it to link up. Secondly, the batteries did not seem to last very long (at one point, just a couple of days), despite being on charge and only being used for a few hours during the day. The straw that broke the camel’s back came from the fact the hand-set did not pick up Sophie’s crying. Despite being in range and fully charged, I could not hear Sophie at all from the monitor. She was certainly not being subtle about needing my attention and there was no reason why it would not come through the monitor. After unplugging both parts and checking the batteries, it worked again fine, but this was too much of a risk that I wasn’t willing to take. As such, we went for the more expensive option, the BT 350.
BT baby monitor
At first I was a little skeptical about how many additional features this monitor has, but we have come to use most of them and find them pretty handy. Firstly, the temperature sensor gives us another idea of how warm the room is (we also have a Gro Egg). Although this reads a couple of degrees higher than the Egg, it is comforting to have a second reading, and we have it placed in a different place in the room. There is the option to override the reading as a form of calibrating the thermometer, but we are happy with it being different.
Other features include a light show which projects stars and planets onto the ceiling, baby music and a talk-back feature. The light show and baby music have complemented having Ewan the Dream Sheep as you can set these options to last for a period of time and they can be switched on remotely from the main set. Whilst we haven’t had much success with soothing Sophie with the talk-back feature, I think it is one that will grow to be more useful as she gets older.
Charging the handset is no problem as the walk-around has a docking station and it is clear when the batteries need juicing up. The only downside is that there is no clip for you to attach it to your jeans, but there is an option to attach a cord (not supplied) should you need to. That being said, it stands up on its own and I quite happily leave it propped up on the table when I am doing the housework.
We have not had a single problem with this monitor and I am relieved we decided to spend that extra bit of money for this product. True, you can spend an awful lot of money on baby monitors and from that perspective, I think this is probably more middle of the range. The additional features have proven surprisingly useful so I would definitely consider this value for money.