Baby Monitor Review: Project Nursery

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We originally had the Motorola 36S Baby Monitor, which we loved, but the cables ended up breaking on us, and since we are expecting our second child in April 2017, we decided it was time for an upgrade to a baby monitor that would support split screen capabilities.  For anyone interested in a basic baby monitor, the Motorola 36S is a great monitor, and we highly recommend it.  You can read my review on it here.

My brother purchased the Project Nursery Baby Monitor for us for Christmas, and also got us the extra camera (which is sold separately).  You can purchase this direct from BuyBuy Baby (and walk out of the store with it), or you can order it online either from Amazon.com or direct from Project Nursery.

The camera has quite the price tag on it, retailing at CAD$379.99, with extra cameras setting you back CAD$129.99.  With this however, you get a 5″ parent unit/screen, as well as the mini monitor which also comes with a watch strap or carabiner so you can either wear it or clip it on you somewhere (such as a belt hoop or something).   The mini monitor is a great addition to the overall baby monitor, as I find it super convenient if you need to do chores around the house (such as laundry, vacuuming, general cleaning), where you can’t be holding on to a 5″ parent unit.  The mini monitor basically allows you to be hands free, while still having your baby/child in sight.  This is a unique feature exclusive to Project Nursery, and is what I would consider the reason for the hefty price tag.  If you can afford it, or if you can request this monitor for a baby shower/gift from a loving relative, I would highly recommend it.

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Unboxing of the Project Nursery 5-inch Baby Monitor 

The overall unit is very easy to set up, you could do it without even reading the instructions, but instructions are always a good idea.  It comes out of the box basically ready to go.  You just have to plug it in and away you go.  The unit runs on its own secured network, meaning it does not run on wifi – which is more secure, and prevents other people/strangers/creeps from tapping in to your baby monitor and doing weird sh*t.  And apparently, there’s actually creeps out there who do this, and even go so far as to communicate with the baby by accessing the microphone on the units.  I legit did not think people did this, but I guess there’s all sorts of crazies out there.

The Parent Unit
The parent unit for this particular model comes with a 5″ screen, but is also available in a 4.3″ screen for CAD$249.99.  There’s pros and cons with the large 5″ screen.  The obvious pro is that its big – so you can see easily, you’re not straining to look at details, etc.  This is especially helpful when using multiple monitors on the split screen option, since you aren’t sharing the small space with multiple cameras.  The major problem that I have with the size of this monitor however, is that because its so big, its very bright.  We use the monitor primarily at night, so when my husband and I are sleeping, we have the monitor on.  When you have such a large screen, it gives off quite a bit of light or glow in a dark bedroom which can totally suck if you like a nice dark room.  Although there is an option to “dim” the brightness on the parent unit, when you do so, the infrared doesn’t seem to work as well and the whole screen almost goes blurry. There is also a button right on the parent unit where you can turn the video feature off, so the screen is black, but that kinda defeated the purpose of a video monitor for us.  You can still hear everything from baby unit though, so if your baby is crying, you’ll still hear that with the video turned off (not the monitor).  The other problem that I have with the parent unit is that it emits a fairly loud sound (probably from transmitting or some sort of interference).  This poses a problem when we are trying to sleep.  Its very annoying, and the only way to make it stop is to turn the sound all the way down.  When you do this however, you compromise the actual sounds coming from your child’s room.  When I contacted Project Nursery about this, their response was that they wanted to have a super sensitive microphone so that the parent unit would basically pick everything up.  I have posted a short video of the sound on YouTube here, so you have an idea what I’m talking about.  Its a 14 second video with our dog as the test subject (instead of our kid), and you can hear almost like a “ticking” sound coming from the monitor.  So, thats the pros and cons of the parent unit in a nutshell.

The parent unit is super easy to maneuver through.  There are buttons on the unit, and they are easy to figure out and use.  The main screen on the parent unit displays signal strength, room temperature, which camera(s) are connected, night time mode, and the time.  I love that it shows the time, as our previous baby monitor (the Motorola 36S) did not.  The battery on the parent unit lasts a long time which is a plus, especially if you’re a lucky parent who has a baby who naps/sleeps for long periods of time.  While we’re on the topic of battery life, the baby monitor comes with cables that are almost like a rope, rather than the usual plasticky cables.  I prefer this, as I find this “rope” material more flexible and more durable.  The parent unit also has alerts that you can set up, such as motion, sound, temperature and battery alerts.  Basically, if the temperature in the room falls below a certain temperature, or rises above a certain temperature, you can have the monitor alert you to this.  This monitor also supports an SD Card so you can record stuff if you need/want to as well.

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Project Nursery 5-inch Baby Monitor in Split Screen

The split screen capability on this monitor is the main reason we were interested in it.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, we are expecting our second child in 4 months, so we wanted to make sure that we had a monitor that would accommodate more than one camera, and not one that you had to scroll through.  This was huge for us, and I hadn’t seen any reviews about the split screen anywhere online, so I wanted to make sure that I posted a picture (above) so you can see what it looks like.  I only have the 2 cameras, but my understanding is that this monitor can display up to 4 cameras all on the one screen, without having to scroll between cameras.

The Mini Monitor 
The mini monitor is a great addition to this monitor, and personally I think is the reason for the extra money that you spend on it.  Put it this way, if you were to purchase a baby monitor and be able to purchase an extra parent unit, then it would probably all work out to around the same price.  The mini monitor is a little bulky to wear as a watch (and it does come with a watch strap), but if you don’t care what it looks like and you’re just into the practicality of it, then its awesome.

The Baby Unit
The baby unit or the main camera has a very good range of motion for the pan/tilt function.  It is much better than the Motorola 36S.  It also has better baby lullabies or white noise options if this is something of interest.  The zoom is about the same as the Motorola, basically showing the regular view, or a 2x zoom feature.  The baby unit also has a very bright blue light that comes off the camera (see picture below), and literally almost lights up the room, but they do provide stickers for you to place over top of this light if you find that it does bother your baby.

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Here is the blue light I mentioned, coming from the Project Nursery Baby Unit

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Project Nursery Parent Unit vs. Motorola 36S Parent unit. This is shown without the infrared, so the baby unit was filming in a well-lit room.  

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Project Nursery vs. Motorola MBPS38-2.  This was taken with the baby units in a completely dark room, with the infrared working.

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View # 2 of the Project Nursery Baby Monitor (behind) vs. Motorola MBPS38-2 (in front)

And that pretty much wraps up my review of the Project Nursery 5-inch Baby Monitor.  If you have any questions, or want more pictures/video, please feel free to contact me and I can provide those to you.  Also, if you have anything to add to this review, please feel free to leave comments below!  Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Baby Monitor Review: Motorola MBP 36S

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I’m on a mission to find the best baby monitor on the market.  We currently own the Motorola 36S baby monitor, and are very happy with it thus far.  It does the job for what you will need, and has some extra features that you wouldn’t think you need, but end up being pretty useful and you’ll be thankful are there.  This first review is going to be a basic review of the 36S, as we have the unit with only one camera, and one parent unit.  I’m hoping to eventually get another camera so that I can review this for parents with multiples, or parents who are expecting baby number 2 or more.

The Motorola 36S baby monitor runs on its on network.  In the beginning, I couldn’t have cared less about this feature.  But as time went on, I saw more and more articles popping up on social media and in the news about people hacking into wifi networks in regards to baby monitors, and watching your baby, and in some instances talking to your baby.  Creepy, I know, and again, at the beginning, I thought “yeah right, who would even care about your baby sleeping?!” but I guess there’s some crazies out there, or people who maybe have mental issues.  So, this feature is really not something to be overlooked, and is something you at least will want to consider when choosing a baby monitor for your baby/family.  The disadvantage to it not working on a wifi network is that you can’t use it with a smart phone or other similar device.

The camera itself was super easy to set up – no fiddling around with wifi networks or anything like that.  You basically take it out of the box, plug it in and its ready to go.  Easy as pie.  The range on the monitor goes up to 800 metres, which is fairly decent.  Our son can be asleep in his room, and I can take our dog out for a pee on the corner of the street and still be able to watch the parent unit without it cutting out.

The infrared on the camera is awesome.  It moves along with the pan/tilt/zoom features in the camera, meaning that when you’re using the camera at night, you’ll get good quality regardless of the position of the camera.  If you need to place the camera somewhere on a shelf for example, and tilt the camera downwards to be able to watch your baby who is positioned lower in a crib, or a toddler bed, the infrared moves with the camera, and the picture quality and lighting is not jeopardized.

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A photo of our 15 month old, asleep at night (this is the view with the infrared, in pitch darkness)

Video quality is far superior to some of the other brands on the market, particularly at night with the night vision or infrared.  The microphone on the baby unit is super sensitive, and you can literally hear a pin drop, which is awesome.  You can obviously turn the volume down if you need to, but you can hear everything from blankets swishing around to your baby sitting up (even if they’re quiet).  There is no audio or visual static interference, so you don’t get any annoying and unwanted sounds through the parent unit, which is a bonus if you’re using the monitor overnight when you’re trying to sleep.  The only noise you will hear from the monitor is your baby.

The camera comes with some additional features, such as temperature, lullabies, ability to speak to your baby from the parent unit, and alarms.  Although I have yet to see a review of this, I believe you can also purchase extra cameras to use with this model.  However, beware that the camera models are very particular, meaning if you have the 36S model, the camera for the 36 will not pair/work with the parent unit.  Also, my understanding of this baby monitor with multiple cameras, is that it does not offer up a split screen option, so you will have to scroll from one camera to the next, which may not be ideal when you’re trying to keep an eye on a newborn.

There are a few set backs that I’ve noticed with this particular unit however.  First of all, the screen on the parent unit only stays on for 60 minutes.  After that, it shuts off, so you’ll have to physically turn the screen back on.  This only happens when its not plugged in, so this isn’t an issue if you’re using the monitor over night and it remains plugged in.  The battery life doesn’t last very long even with a full charge, but so far, it has lasted longer than our 15 month old naps.  The other thing that I would like to have seen on the parent unit is the time.  It shows the temperature in the room, the signal strength, which camera it is looking at (if you have more than one paired), and it shows the battery life.  Lastly, after about 6-7 months of everyday use (overnight plugged in use, and probably a 2 hour/day nap, unplugged) the cable to charge the parent unit is starting to wear.  What I mean by this is, when the parent unit is plugged in, it’ll show that its charging, and maybe 10 minutes later, it will stop charging, and suddenly start charging again.  The best thing I can relate this to is when your iPhone cable is frayed and it keeps getting and losing a charge, even though it is plugged in.  This is a huge problem for us, since, as I mentioned just before, that the battery doesn’t last very long on the parent unit when its unplugged.  So, if the cable shorts out, and the parent unit isn’t being constantly charged overnight, when my husband and I are sleeping, we won’t know if/when the unit battery dies.

Overall, an awesome baby camera, on the top of our list for sure when it comes to baby monitors.  The only reason we are replacing it, is because we are expecting baby number two and we really want to get one that has a split screen option.

 

10 Month Update

This is a little late, but here is my blog post about our son’s development at 10-months.

Linden weighed in at 17lbs 13oz and 27.5″ at his 10-month check up with the doctor.  He is a little guy, but is growing well, and is healthy so we have nothing to worry about in that regard.  He is no longer breastfeeding – he is purely on puréed foods and drinking water (no milk or juice).  We do give him homemade popsicles made of apple or pear water (the left over water from when we steam his food) to help with his teething.  This also ensures he gets lots of fluids for these hot summer days.  Stopping breastfeeding was actually a lot easier than I had anticipated.  We were feeding him puréed foods 3 times a day, and breastfeeding pretty much just before bed to help him to fall asleep.  Usually, my husband gives him a bath before bed, and while he’s doing that, I’ll go have a shower.  One day, I took longer in the shower (or Linden was quicker in the bath), so my husband sat with our son, and Linden just fell asleep for the night.  And that was the end of breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding was always a horrible experience for me – it was painful and uncomfortable – so I definitely do not have any thoughts of missing the “bonding”.  Bonding – schmonding.  It hurt, it was a pain (literally and figuratively), and it just downright sucked. Good riddance to that!

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Family Photo at the Beach

He is still on puréed foods, which I thought he would be moving on to more solid foods by now.  I think he just got a slightly later start because he didn’t get his first tooth till he was 9.5 months old.  We have tried giving him small cut up pieces of soft foods (like banana and avocado), but he just swallowed them whole which almost ended up in a trip to emergency.  He managed to get it down though since it was a softer fruit, so all was good.  We have decided not to push the issue until he is ready.  He eats Baby Mum-mums though, and knows to chew those (although they mostly dissolve).  He didn’t take a liking at all to meats, so he’s eating quinoa mixed in with his vegetables, and flavoured tofu (an awesome suggestion from a friend of ours who had the same experience with their baby not liking meat).

He now has 4 teeth – 2 at the top, and 2 at the bottom.  The bottom ones came in first, and we didn’t even know they were breaking through until he put my finger in his mouth and bit my finger.  I was surprised to find two little teeth at the bottom.  They never seemed to really bother him.  The first top tooth however, bled a fair amount when it broke through the gum, and the second top tooth gave him a bit of a rough time.  Although after we saw it, we know why – the thing is huge!  He had a few restless nights because of that beast!  I’m sure every baby is different, they all get their teeth at different times/ages, and they all react differently when the teeth come through.  Linden (and we) were fortunate that they didn’t hurt him that much.

For those of you following my blog, we enrolled Linden in a Baby Sign Language program when he was 6 months old, and we have been going since then.  He absolutely loves the classes, and has (finally) made some progress.  His first sign was ‘milk’ (at about 8 months old), and he now can sign ‘light’, ‘dog’ (although since our dog’s name is Snowy, he signs ‘dog’ when you say ‘Snowy’), he waives hello and can clap.  We are currently working on getting him to sign ‘book’, and ‘thank you’.  He also loves music, and “dances” whenever he hears music or if you sing to him.


He is doing really well in swimming, and private lessons have paid off – although the
lessons were expensive, they were worth every penny.  We enrolled Linden in private swim lessons with Swim Clo Aquatics since they were the only swim school I could find who would take babies under 6 months.  Now that he’s older and enrolled in public classes, he’s miles ahead of the other kids who are much older than him.  (I’m not trying to brag, I’m just explaining why the private lessons were worth it).  In the pool, he can swim (short distances, maybe like 5-7 feet) from my husband to me and vice versa, he can turn over from his back to his front and vice versa, he can be fully submerged, he kicks his legs (to actually swim), he splashes his hands on the surface of the water if you tell him to, and if you say “reach for the edge”, he reaches for the edge of the pool and hangs on.  The main difference between the private lessons and the lessons from the local community centres, is that in the private lessons, they focus a lot on water safety and actually getting your child to learn to swim and learn the basics.  Its very repetitive, but the results show.  In the community centre program, they’re more about having a ton of fun, lots of songs and games for the little ones.  They both run the same program (Red Cross Preschool program from Starfish to Whale).

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Linden’s First Canada Day (he didn’t consume any alcohol – the beer can is sealed).  Plus, we wouldn’t waste a beer on him!

Outside of the pool, he’s gotten really good at crawling, and can climb up 2 whole flights of stairs.  In fact, he loves to climb the stairs, that if you pick him up, he lets you know of his dismay.  So we just follow closely behind him and let him tire himself out!  He loves going to MyGym where he gets to sing and do circle time, and then I take him and let him climb up all their apparatus and crawl through wobbly tunnels, play on their swings, go zip-lining, climb ladders and go down slides, and then has his independent time (which he totally sucks at).  He does however, love to share, which we normally encourage, but he loves to share his food (particularly Baby Mum-mums with our dog Snowy), so although he don’t want our dog taking his food, we figure that sharing is a good thing for him to learn for now.

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Linden rock climbing at MyGym

Lastly, he’s sleeping through the night, from 8:30pm till about 6:30 (sometimes 7) am.  Its been so nice to be able to sleep again!

And thats about it for his updates!

Baby’s Eating and Sleeping Schedule

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Food purées for our 8 month old

Linden is now just over 8 months, and I thought I would write a post on his eating and sleeping schedule, since it seems to be a popular topic on my Instagram account.  At Linden’s 5 month check up with our family doctor, we were told that he was showing signs (whatever those were) that he was interested in eating.  So, we started him off with rice cereal or oatmeal cereal, and a couple of purées.  We were advised to introduce solids to him individually (in case he had any reactions to certain foods), and to make sure that he drinks lots of water throughout the day, so as to prevent the possibility of him getting constipated.

The first foods we introduced were pears, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal cereal.  We fed him once a day (in the later evenings), and he was still being breastfed throughout the day and night.  We just thought that if he had a full meal just before bedtime, he would be full throughout the night.  And we were mistaken.  Also, we noticed that with the once-a-day feedings, Linden was only pooping (on average) once a week, but he wasn’t constipated by any means.  We still thought this was odd though, since its not natural to only poop once a week, and also, he was being mostly breastfed, and when he was exclusively on breastmilk, he pooped everyday.  We didn’t realize until his 7 month check up, that all our concerns over were basically caused by us!   (Although, the whole pooping once a week thing was nice because it saved us a ton on baby wipes!!)  The pooping once a week thing is normal I guess if you’re only feeding one solid meal a day – I didn’t ask why, but our doctor said it was normal.

At the 7 month check up, since Linden was a little on the lower side of the weight scale, our doctor advised us to start him on 3 solid meals a day, which would have 2 effects: 1) he would sleep longer through the night; and 2) he would poop more often.  And both turned out to be true.  We were told that one big meal a day wouldn’t sustain a baby’s hunger, and that having 3 consistent meals throughout the day would fill him up, and therefore, he wouldn’t wake up hungry in the middle of the night.  This didn’t only make sense, it was true.  And now he also poops about once to twice a day.  Lastly, at this checkup, I asked our doctor when Linden would be able to start eating actual solid foods (not purées), and she said basically when he has teeth.  She went on to explain that she has resuscitated too many babies in the ER and its not a pretty site, so she advised against it until they have teeth and can properly break down food.  Made sense to me.  She said we can try giving him some of those baby crackers (and she made sure we knew to give him BABY crackers, not crackers for adults since their little organs can’t properly digest adult crackers), but when I bought a pack, they didn’t seem to dissolve all that quickly in my mouth so I was cautious about giving him any so I have held off on those for now.

So, if you’re wondering what our typical day looks like, here it is.  And keep in mind that we don’t actually have a “set” bedtime or nap time, because lets face it, life happens, but this is more or less how it is:

IMG_85607:30am – 8am  Linden usually wakes up for the day
8:30am               Linden eats breakfast (oatmeal cereal and 2-3 different fruit purées)
9:00am – 10am  Linden plays
10:15am-noon  Linden naps
12:30pm              Linden eats lunch (oatmeal cereal, fruit purée, veggie purée and sweet potatoes)
1-6pm                 Life happens, and he usually will have a (1 hour) nap
6:30pm               Linden eats dinner (oatmeal cereal, sweet potatoes, veggie purées)
7:30pm               My husband and I have dinner
8:45pm – 9:15pm  Linden plays
9:15pm                Linden has a bath (which is part of his bedtime routine)
9:30pm               Linden is breastfed and then goes to sleep for the night
9:45pm               Linden is usually passed out by now
6:00am               Sometimes, Linden wakes up for a feed, and then goes back to sleep until about 7:30 or 8am when he wakes up for the day.

 

Listed below are the foods that he basically eats, and the foods that we have tried feeding him:IMG_4016

Fruits

  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Mangoes
  • Kiwi
  • Prunes
  • Bananas*
  • Watermelon*

Vegetables

  • Zucchini
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Avocados*
  • Spinach*

Meats

  • Chicken*

Other

  • Rice Cereal (Stage 1)
  • Oatmeal Cereal (Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3)
  • Oatmeal Cereal (flavoured, banana, apple and raisin)

~All rice cereal is prepared with expressed breast milk~

*Starred items are foods that we made or gave to him and he doesn’t like them.

And when we make his purées, we normally just steam them, and if we need to liquify or soften it up, we use the water that the foods were cooked in.  If we need to soften the food before we feed him, then we will add either water or expressed breastmilk at that point so that the food lasts longer in the fridge.

So there you have it, our 8 month old’s eating schedule and sleep schedule.  I will post blogs with recipes of the purées that we make him in case anyone is interested in those as well.

Dock-A-Tot Discount

Get 10% off your Dock-A-Tot and any accessories you want to purchase, by clicking on this link.  It’ll take you directly to the Dock-A-Tot website and the 10% coupon code will be displayed.  Hope you enjoy your Dock-A-Tot as much as we do!

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