Appy nap time

By Liann Bobechko »Liann Bobechko

No monitor? Don't panic

October 13th, 2011


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We used a baby monitor only briefly. We brought our little girl home from the hospital and dutifully plugged in the monitor so we could hear her if she needed us. It worked fine on the rare occasions when she was sleeping—we could even hear her when she made those sweet little smacking, cooing sounds that newborns make. This all ended when our tactful neighbours told us a funny story about how they had heard a strange cry coming from their daughter’s monitor in the middle of the night. In my sleep-deprived fog I eventually put together the pieces of what they were telling me: Our monitors worked on the same frequency. I quickly tried to recall if I’d said anything about our neighbours that would  have been broadcast into their house—had I complained about their always-tidy yard, or their polite and friendly children? Probably not. However, I figured we didn’t need to keep them up at all hours of the night, especially since our daughter seemed pretty good at getting our attention without amplification.

I recall this story because I wanted to post this letter from a blog reader, who wrote to share an app she discovered that saved her cottage weekend with baby:

On Thanksgiving weekend we were on our way to a cottage resort. While driving we realized we forgot the baby monitor. So much for any deck time while baby was napping. My husband quipped “there’s an app for that” and a quick search revealed that indeed, there are baby monitor apps for iPhones! I took advantage of the drive-time to research the apps, and the one we settled on was a steal at $2.99. Baby Monitor and Alarm (yes, that’s the name of it) allows you to set your phone up in the room with baby. You can set the time to exit the room from 8 seconds to up to 5 minutes. You can dial the sensitivity from low to high. And you can set the alarm time to go off mere seconds after the first squeak, or up to 3 minutes after squeaks turn to true cries. The alarm itself phones a pre-set phone number – another mobile phone, a land line, or another number. So you get notification by a phone ringing. Naturally in cottage country you’ve got to be pretty sure your cellular signal works. And of course it’s no substitute for direct supervision of your sleeping baby.

There’s even a feature where you can pre-record Mommy’s voice to playback a soothing incantation when the alarm triggers. That is almost too creepy-cool.

It gave us a bit of R&R time outside our room. Great app!

There are other apps that require two phones to keep an open line – one that stays with baby, one that goes with parent.

Thanks for the review and recommendation! One reviewer on the iTunes site points out that you can’t hear the baby in real time with this product, so it’s not a monitor really, but an alert. And yes, the mommy’s voice playback feature does seem cool, though yes, a bit creepy. But if you’re okay with both of these things, it might be a good one to check out. As this reader points out, there are many apps available, so read over their features to find the one you’re most comfortable with.

If anyone has any other parenting apps to share, send ’em over!


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Liann Bobechko