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.

 

Swimming Lessons for a Baby

Here is a bit of background information before I blog about our experience with swimming lessons with our baby:

When Linden was 3 months old, I started to realize how boring babies are, and was trying desperately to find something to do with a newborn.  He couldn’t sit up on his own, he couldn’t crawl – he couldn’t do much of anything, really.  So, short of circle time and rolling a ball to him and basically playing fetch by myself, I looked into getting him into swimming.  There was nothing available in my area at the time for babies under 6 months of age.  All the community centres started them at 6 months.  I was talking to my neighbour at New Years, and she suggested a place called Swim Clo Aquatics which is a private swim school in BC.  As soon as the holidays were over, I called them enquiring about whether they would take a 4 month old, and they did!  I got Linden enrolled (and by this time, he was just under 5 months), and we now had an activity!  Swim Clo works out of the Best Western hotel in South Surrey, and they offer private lessons, which was awesome for us, being new parents and all, and really not knowing what to expect in regards to taking a baby swimming.  It was comforting to know that we would be the only people in the pool, and both my husband and I were invited (and encouraged) to come in the pool with our son.  It was also a heated pool, which was really nice for our son since he was so young.  We started him out twice a week for the first few months, just so he would get used to the water, and then dialled back to once a week.  The lessons were good for Linden, and for us as parents, as we were taught how to properly hold our son in the water, how to properly submerge him, how to teach him to swim, proper water safety, etc.  It was very repetitive, basically swimming from one end of the pool to the other for more than half the class, then we would do “Humpty-Dumpty’s” which is when we sat him on the edge of the pool, did the Humpty Dumpty song, and then submerged him and taught him to swim back to the edge, and then finally we would end off with him playing with some water toys, which he absolutely loved!

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When he turned 9 months, we were able to get him into swimming lessons at the community pool near our house.  They follow the same program (the Red Cross Swim Preschool Program), but its a group session with kids ranging from 4 months to 36 months (I know, now they take 4 month olds!).  Linden was the second youngest in the class, with most of the kids being closer to the 30-36 month age range, and the youngest one being 5 months old.  The classes were super fun for Linden, lots of songs in the pool like Purple Stew, The Wheels on the Bus, Fishies in the Middle, Hokey Pokey, etc., which Linden just loved.  The songs are interactive and fun for the little ones, and the kids had a great time.  I did notice however, that they didn’t “teach” as much swimming stuff to the kids or the parents.  Although everything we did in the classes were safety related, teaching them to be comfortable on their backs, blowing bubbles, etc., they didn’t teach the fundamentals of each step, such as rollovers (how to get them onto their backs, and teaching the babies to roll onto their backs) for water safety.  This wasn’t a problem for us since we had already been taking lessons with Swim Clo, so this was actually good practice for us.  We did notice however, that the parents of the other baby in the class were kind of left out.  They didn’t really know what to do, and felt uncomfortable and nervous when we had to submerge our babies/kids because they had never done it before, nor been shown how to do so safely or properly.  Long story short, the community centre swim program is a great tool for practice, but not a great place to learn how to swim.

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When we look back now, Swim Clo was an expensive alternative at the time, but now that we see Linden’s progress and see him with
other peers in his “age group” (although most were older), we could see that he was actually better in some aspects than some of the 3 year olds.  Although expensive, Swim Clo was worth every penny, and I’m glad we enrolled him.  I’m not trying to show off that our son is better at swimming than the 3 year olds, because he’s not – he still obviously needs us to hold him – but what I am trying to get at, is he is comfortable in the water, he’s not afraid to do things in the water, and he knows how to do  things in the pool that I think other kids his age may not be able to do.  For example, he is totally fine with, and in fact enjoys getting his face wet.  There’s a lot of kids who are afraid of getting splashed in the face with water, or getting their faces wet, or dunked underwater.  Linden also (with the help and the consistency of Swim Clo), can kick his legs 100% on his own, can splash his hands in the water when you tell him to, and reaches for the edge of the pool when you tell him to (which is great for water safety).  He is even starting to try a swimming stroke with his arms now, which I think is awesome for an 11 month old.


He still can’t swim on his own, but I’m confident that day is coming soon.  What I can say though, is that he loves the water, and isn’t afraid of it, which is all I’m asking for.  Both my husband and I want our kids to grow up being active, playing outside, doing physical activities because we feel its good for them and important for their physical (and mental) well being.  We hope to be able to continue Linden in classes both at Swim Clo as well as at the community centre without getting too overwhelmed with all his other activities, and with him starting daycare when he turns 1!

 

Product Review: Nēnu Family (Teethers & Infant Cutlery)

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I was so excited to receive this package from Nēnu. I was especially looking forward to the baby spoon and fork set, and was extremely impressed with all their products.  Below is a full review of their line of baby products.

Nēnu Bud

The Nenu bud teether was amazing for our 6 month old son.  Our son has been teething since he was about 4 months, but hasn’t cut any teeth yet.  He drools so much, and I’m sure as parents, you can all relate with your own babies, that he also loves to put everything in his mouth.  The Nēnu Bud has to be one of his favourites.  I’m sure many of you when faced with a teething baby, will be willing to try pretty much anything to alleviate the discomfort your baby is experiencing.  We’ve tried every teether you can imagine, including homemade frozen breastmilk popsicles.  The Nēnu Bud has raised the bar.  I would even say that it “one ups” the famous Sophie (the giraffe teether).  Our son loves his Nēnu Bud – and will literally chew on it for over a half hour.  The top part of it is round and is perfect for him to hold on to, and wrap his tiny hands around it. He has no problems grasping it.  The leg parts of the teether have ridges on them, and are slightly longer than the arm sections, and our son loved that he could get it to the back of his gums to alleviate some of the teething pressure on his back molars.  I think thats been one challenge we’ve had – to find a teether for his back teeth.  We haven’t been able to find something that heIMG_5385 can really get to the back of his mouth, without him gagging or choking on it.  The  structure of the Nēnu Bud is also great, in that it doesn’t lose its shape, so our son doesn’t end up with a mouthful of teething toys.  It just targets the gums, rather than the whole mouth.  For example, we have a Chewbead necklace, but our son literally tries to put the entire thing in his mouth. He ends up choking on it sometimes and getting drool everywhere.  Because the Nēnu Bud is shaped properly, he’s not jamming the whole thing in his mouth and drooling all over the place.  Its seriously an amazing teether or chew toy for a teething baby.

Lastly, we have a shedding,  70lbs golden doodle at home, and the material on the teether prevents hair/fur from sticking to the teether like other toys.  If there’s a ton of hair/fur, some will stick, but not anywhere close to the amount from other toys.

Nēnu Bug

These are the perfect teethers for a 7 month old.  Our son has been teething since he was about 3 months, but still hasn’t cut any teeth yet.  He’s constantly trying to put things in his mouth, and chewing and sucking on everything in sight.  Enter Nēnu teethers.  They’re awesome.  The size of them is just perfect.  They are 100% made and designed in the USA so you don’t have to worry about any safety issues with them.  They are the perfect size and shape for our 7 month old to hold, grip, and chew on.  The Nēnu Bug has 4 legs on it, and each leg is about the width of his thumb (which he loves to suck, yes we have a thumb sucker), so it has a sense of familiarity to it.  We put it in the fridge so its nice and cold and probably feels good on his gums when he gets it.  They can also be used as a bath toy since they float!

Nēnu Spoon and Fork Set
IMG_5319I was so excited to receive the Nēnu Spoon!  I love the fact that the shape and girth (or width) of the handles emulate that of an adult’s finger, making it very easy for my 7 month old to handle.  (Our son loves to hold our finger when he is unsure of things, and often, holds my husband’s finger to help him fall asleep in the car.  He uses the familiarity of our finger to help sooth him).  Linden was stoked to be able to feed himself (although I think he gets more all over himself than he does in his mouth, but thats beside the point!).  He had no issues holding the spoon, and it fits great in his mouth, and holds a good amount of food (not too much, and not too little).  I also love that the spoon has little “legs” or nubs, on them, which can rest on a table without getting the table dirty.  This is actually a big deal, because when you’re feeding a 7 month old, they’re messy enough and they get food everywhere.  So, if you can prevent something from getting dirty, like a portion of your table, thats one less thing you have to clean.  And as a tired mom, thats something that I appreciate more than you know.  You can place the spoon down (with food on it), and it sits perfectly level, with the scoop part sitting above the table so it doesn’t get it dirty.  See pic below. The “legs” on the spoon and fork also allow you to “hang” or sit them on the edge of a bowl or plate, which is kind of nice.

The lone issue that I had with the fork and spoon set, was that the handles on them are too short.  The handle length is great if your infant is at the age where they can feed themselves.  But at 7 months, ours isn’t quite co-ordinated enough, so we still have to feed him.  The length of the handles were an issue because our son tries to feed himself, but he ends up getting food and drool all over the handle of the spoon, and all over our hands.  Because of the short handle on the spoon, he literally gets food all over it, all the way to the end of it, and it makes it very difficult for us to get a good grip on the handle to feed him.  I don’t know if its just our son, but he had a tendency to grab the spoon below the legs/nubs on the spoon (closer to the handle, further from the food), which was awesome, because it prevented him from grabbing the food before it got to his mouth!  So the legs on the spoon almost act as a buffer to prevent them from putting their hands all over the food.  But again, that may have led us to the problem where the handle seemed too short for both our hand, as well as our son’s hand.

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Overall, Nēnu is an amazing company for baby products.  All their products are designed in Seattle, and made in the USA.  With this, you know exactly what you’re purchasing, and can feel a sense of comfort knowing the materials are all safe, up to standard, tested and approved for babies.  Second, their customer service and communication far exceeded my expectations, and I would highly recommend them.  (These will also make a great baby shower gift package, in case you need ideas!)

Key Features of the Nēnu Products

  • BPA, Phthalate, Vinyl, Latex, Cadmium, and Lead Free
  • 100% made in the USA
  • FDA rated medical grade materials
  • Freezable
  • Floats (so it can be used as a bath toy or a toy in the pool!)

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Designed in Seattle, Made in the USA

If you’ve got a teething baby on your hands, and are in the market for some awesome teethers, Nēnu has generously offered you a 20% discount code at checkout direct from their website.  Their spoons and forks are also a hit with the little ones, so I’d totally recommend placing an order!  Seriously, give these teethers a try, you won’t regret it.  In fact, I’m off to place an order for my best friend who’s baby shower is coming up next month!  Click here or visit www.nenufamily.com and use coupon code WTFParent20 for 20% off and free shipping on your order (valid until March 23, 2016)!

*Disclaimer:  I was offered this product at little or no cost, in exchange for a review.  All reviews are based 100% on our personal experiences and I am in no way obligated to give a positive review.  

How To use the Owlet Baby Care Monitor

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I felt like I should write a post about how to properly use the Owlet baby monitor. I was reading and extracting information from various different blogs to try to figure out how to get the most out of our Owlet baby monitor, and thought I would write a “compilation”, if you will as a tutorial for the Owlet Baby Care Monitor.

Opening the Box and and Quick Start

When you first open the box, there’s a Base Station, 3 socks, the socks electronics (white thing that goes in the sock and is the essence of the Owlet), a power USB block, a USB power cable (for the Base Station), and a short micro USB cable, which charges the sock electronic (or sock) from the Base Station.

Once you’ve received your Owlet, head over to the iTunes App Store, and download the Owlet App.  Follow the instructions in the App to set everything up.  Its very easy, and very straight forward.

Charge and place the sock on your baby’s foot and connect through the app.  Your baby is now being monitored.  Its as simple as that.

Operating the Base Station

The Base unit is the “headquarters” of the owlet monitor and is your primary alert station.  The Base is the part that tells the end user (parent) if/when there is a problem – from the sock falling off, to not being able to get a proper read, to an actual problem with your baby’s vital signs.

The Base has both a light and alarm.  The alarm will sound if/when there is a problem.  The alarm can be turned off completely though the Owlet App, or can be customized to sound when certain things happen.  For example, we have configured it to NOT sound its alarm if the sock falls off, but we have it set up to set off the alarm if our baby’s oxygen levels or heart rate levels are not within the norms.  If you want to turn the alerts off without using the app, you can do so by pressing and releasing the Base Station until it beeps and the light turns off.

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Turning off the alerts without using the App

The Base also has different coloured lights that alert you to different problems when monitoring:
Green – General monitoring, everything looks good
Yellow – The sock fell off your baby’s foot
Blue – Sock is disconnected from the base unit
Red – There’s a problem!

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The light on the Base Station can also be dimmed by pressing and holding down the base station itself.  There is a brighter option for during the day, and a dimmer option for night time use.

If there is ever a problem with your baby’s heart rate or oxygen levels, and the alarm on your Base Station goes off, you can also just press the base station to turn the sound off – rather than unlocking your phone and logging into the app to turn the alert/alarm off.  Pressing it a second time will turn it back on and re-establish the connection.  This prevents you from having to fiddle with your phone and apps when an alarm is going off, potentially waking up your baby (or partner).

Using the sock

The sock is pretty simple to operate.  There’s a white device called “sock electronics” that fits into the sock, and that device is the part that monitors your baby’s vitals.  It is interchangeable from sock to sock as your baby grows.  You need to ensure that the sock fits properly in order to be able to retrieve an accurate reading from your baby.

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The sock should have a snug fit and the sock electronic (white monitoring thing) should be below the toe line

The socks come in 4 sizes – newborn (size 1), 2 standard sizes (size 2 & 3), and an extra large (size 4).  Sizes 1-3 come complete with the monitor, and you can purchase extra socks individually for USD$8, or USD$20 for sizes 1-3 (basically a replacement set), or for sizes 2-4, or for USD$25 you can get the whole set of socks from size 1-4.

The sock takes just over an hour to fully charge.  You will most likely need to charge the sock every day.  7 hours of usage (and monitoring) uses roughly 30% of the sock’s battery.  If the sock is not in use, you can turn the sock off by placing the bottom flat surface of the Sock Electronic (white monitoring thing) against the centre of the Base Station until the red light in the sock electronic turns off.  (See pic below).  To turn it back on, plug the sock electronic back into the base station.

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Turning the sock off when not in use

Hopefully this helps clear things up in regards to how to use the Owlet to its full potential. If you have anything to add, please feel free to add them to the comments below.  I’m assuming that if you’re reading this tutorial, you already have the Owlet monitor, but if not, you can click here to be re-directed to purchase one now.  All Owlet monitors purchased now will be compatible with both iTunes and Android Apps, and if you have neither, the Owlet will still work for you through the Base Station alone.

How to use the Yoomi bottle warmer

I thought I’d write this post because, when I first received our Yoomi feeding set, I was intimidated by all the stuff I had to do with it to get it working.  Then after  a couple of days of everything sitting on the counter, I decided to get started with it, and I regret not doing it sooner.

The instructions took me a while, so I thought I would attempt to simplify the instructions here.

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When the warmer is brand new (i.e. never been used or heated up before), place it in the warming pod, and stick it in the microwave for 60 seconds.  take the warming pod out, and shake it. If it rattles, continue shaking it for 30 seconds.  Then put it back in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Then take it out and shake it for 10 seconds.  Then its done.  Leave it alone for 75 minutes.  Or come back the next day and its ready to use.  DO NOT PRESS THE BUTTON ON THE WARMER – this will damage it, and its f***ed.  If you press the button while its hot, you will need to buy a new one.

I’ve added a 10 second video of me shaking the warming pod so you can hear the sound of the rattle that its supposed to make when you take it out of the microwave after 60 seconds.  (The video is meant for you to hear what the rattling sound is, just so you don’t have super high expectations of an amazing video review).  You will also see in the video, that the button on the warmer is a beige-ish colour.  (See pic below).

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This image shows the button in the beige colour – meaning it is NOT ready (or not charged) yet

When its ready to use, it will be orange/red in colour.  (See pic below)

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The button turns orange/red when its charged and ready to be used

Ok, your warmer is considered “charged” now, and when you’re ready to use it, place it in the top of the bottle (collar/nipple/teat part of the bottle), pour the cold breastmilk or formula in the bottle part, put it together and its ready.  Just press the orange/red button (through the silicone top part of the bottle), wait 60 seconds and its ready to use.  Its seriously, that simple.

When you are ready to use the bottle, and press the button, I find myself always questioning whether it is working, but rest assured it is.  Wait the 60 seconds, and then test it on your wrist, and you seriously won’t even feel the drop of milk/formula, the temperature is that perfect.

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This is the 8oz feeding system.  Complete with an 8oz bottle, the warmer (with the orange button on it), and the warming pod (microwave safe)

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The nipple/teat on the Yoomi bottle.  Shown without the warmer in it

IMG_4029Hope this helps.  I’ve also added a picture of the instruction sheet that comes with the Yoomi bottles in case you threw it out or lost it – something I do frequently.  If you want any other pics/videos/instructions, please post them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to try to answer them as best I can.

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The instruction sheet for the Yoomi 8oz feeding system

Lastly, if you’re interested in purchasing a set of these, I highly recommend it.  Plus, you can get 15% off by using this code BEINGAMUMMY at the Yoomi checkout.  Also, if you can’t decide which set or what to buy, I would highly recommend getting a set that has 2 warmers in it, since it takes a while for the warmers to cool down before you can actually use them.  This way, you’ll always have one ready to go, even if the other one is charging/cooling down.  In my honest opinion though, one or two bottles is more than enough, depending on how frequently you bottle-feed.  We usually bring it when we go out, so usually one feed is all we need, so one bottle is enough.

Product Review: Yoomi (self-warming) Bottles

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Yoomi bottles are revolutionary.  When we received the package, I’ll be honest – I was intimidated by the complexity of the pieces involved, and everything that we had to do to set it up before we could actually start using it.  Keep in mind, we’re pretty simple people – we like to be able to just pour expressed breastmilk into a bottle and away we go.  So, when I opened the package I wasn’t overly keen to start using them.

Then, I decided to just do it.  The instructions were fairly straight forward, but in case you are lost with them, I’ll make sure to add a small tutorial after this review, and hopefully get a YouTube video up on it as well.

The feeding system comes complete with everything you need to get going – a bottle, a charging pod (a plastic thing to heat the warmer up in the microwave), and the warmer (kinda looks like a bee hive).  First of all, I looked at the charging pod, and my first thought was, “that can’t go in the microwave, there’s metal in it”.  But I just followed the instructions, put the warmer mechanism thingie into the charging pod, put that into the microwave and prepared for the worst, but sure enough, everything went smooth!  You basically have to heat it up for 60 seconds, take it out of the microwave and shake it, and if it rattles, shake it for 30 seconds, then put it in the microwave for another 30 seconds, and voila, its done!  Then you leave it for 75 minutes to cool down, and you can use it anytime after that.  So, we took our son swimming, and when we got home, went to feed him.

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The metal piece in the charging pod that I didn’t think was microwave safe, but it totally was

The warmer has to be recharged after every use, but its pretty simple – basically you stick the warmer in the pod, microwave it, take it out and shake it and microwave it again.  Then you leave it to cool down.  Once its been charged, you can leave it until you’re ready to use it, push the orange button on it, and its ready to go within 60 seconds.  I found its best to recharge it before bed (it literally takes 2 minutes, if that), and then its ready to go the next day.  When my husband pressed the button on the warmer and it was ready to go, he was in disbelief.  He thought there’s no way it could warm up cold breastmilk (the breastmilk was in the fridge overnight) within 60 seconds.  We poured the cold/refrigerated breastmilk into the bottle, and took the bottle and baby upstairs for his feed.

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You will know the warmer is recharged when the button turns orange

I tested the milk on my wrist before we gave it to our 6 month old son, and I was amazed. My thought on it was that the idea of this hassle-free, one touch (practically instant) breastmilk/formula warmer was too good to be true.  But sure enough, it was the temperature of fresh breastmilk – all in 60 seconds.  My husband didn’t believe me so I squirted a couple drops on his wrist.  He was shocked.  His first thought was “how the heck have we been using a bottle warmer for so long”, not knowing about the Yoomi bottles.  Since my husband is usually the one who bottle feeds our son (when I’m at work, otherwise I would just breast feed him), he is the one who usually struggles with getting the perfect temperature for the milk.  We have a Dr Brown’s bottle warmer, but in our experience, it usually over heats the milk, so my husband just recently started warming up breastmilk the old-school way – by placing the bottle in hot water and waiting.  And I’m sure anyone who’s done this, knows that trying to warm up cold breastmilk (or formula) while listening to a hungry, screaming baby isn’t much fun.  Especially when you end up overheating the milk and you have to wait for it to cool down. So, the fact that it actually warms cold breastmilk in 60 seconds, is truly amazing.  It also lasts for about an hour, in case you press the button and your baby decides he/she doesn’t want to eat right away.  Yoomi Bottle 1, Regular Bottle 0.

The next thing we noticed, is that our son had to have a good latch on the bottle because the warmer is in the silicone nipple area of the bottle, so he can’t just suck on the teat part of it.  (See photo below).  This is one of the most important things for myself (as the person breastfeeding), because you don’t want to deal with nipple confusion – it hurts.  So, this bottle, to my surprise was actually just as good in preventing nipple confusion as the bottles we used before, the Munchkin Latch.  Ok, I’ll give both bottles a point here:  Yoomi Bottle 2, Regular Bottle 1.

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You can see my son’s latch on the bottle – he’s not physically able to just suck on the teat part because of the size of the warmer and where it sits in the bottle

Another issue we have with our regular bottles (the Munchkin Latch), was that the nipple/teat on the Latch bottles sometimes collapse inwards.  We noticed that this doesn’t happen with the Yoomi bottles.  My husband usually has to open the lid of the bottle to release some air in order to invert the nipple or pop it back out.  So its nice that he doesn’t have to take the bottle away from the baby to do that with the Yoomi bottles.  Yoomi clearly stands out in this category:  Yoomi Bottle 3, Regular Bottle 1.

The system itself is also very easy to clean – warm, soapy water does the trick for the bottles as well as the warmer.  The nipple actually detaches from the rim of the lid as well so you can ensure you get it really clean.  Its just as easy to put it all back together again as well.

If anyone is wondering, the warmer itself is not hot to the touch (at least not through the bottle), so its perfectly safe for your baby to handle or hold the bottle themselves.  The only thing you may want to keep in mind, is that the bottle is top heavy because of the warmer – which may be a little inconvenient for younger or smaller babies who are just learning or figuring out how to hold their own bottle.  Or, if you get these bottles from the get-go, getting your baby to learn how to hold their own bottle may take a little longer as they will need more strength to hold it.  Our son just turned 6 months old, and he had no difficulties at all holding the bottle (see pics), but I just wanted to point that out.

Overall, in all honesty, I would give this bottle a 5 star rating.  It does what it sets out to do and more.  Ultimately, it is a self-warming bottle (which it does perfectly), but it really hits on all the things that you would want out of a bottle – anti-colic vents to prevent bubbles thus causing gas, creates a proper latch removing possible nipple confusion, and the nipple doesn’t collapse into the bottle like some other bottles do.  We don’t typically take milk with us when we go out, but we have started to since we received this system.  The bottom line is, it is so easy to use, even men can operate and feed the baby.  I like to refer to it as “husband-approved”.  It is completely worth its money – if you’re going to spend money on a bottle warming device, save your money and just get this instead – it seriously saves you the hassle and the headache.  And if you are looking to purchase one, you can use the discount code BEINGAMUMMY at the checkout at Yoomi U.S. (And Canada), or www.yoomi.com, which entitles you to 15% off since you took the time to read this review!

If you have experience with this bottle, or others, please feel free to leave comments below.

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You can see the milk passing through the warmer which is how the milk is heated to the proper temperature before it gets to your baby’s mouth

*Disclaimer:  I was offered this product at little or no cost, in exchange for a review.  All reviews are based 100% on our personal experiences and I am in no way obligated to give a positive review.  

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For anyone looking to purchase any Ergobaby gear, use this link here to be redirected to the U.S. Ergobaby website and get 10% off and Free Shipping (both automatically applied at checkout), as a referral from my blog.  (I highly recommend their Ergobaby 360 carrier, and their nursing pillow).  Enjoy!

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Product Review: Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier

Keep Calm and (Baby) Carry On

A few blog posts ago, I did a bunch of research on baby carriers, and I was looking for one that would not have a negative effect on my baby’s physical development (such as hip dysplasia).

Here is my review on the Ergobaby 360 Carrier.

Ease of use:
Once you figure out how to use it, its actually quite easy to use.  You do have to get accustomed to all the straps and almost practice using the top clip in the back.  Like I said though, once you figure it out and do it a couple of times, its really easy to do it.  The velcro strap at the bottom is great – personally, I find that its very easy to put on and take off (rather than fiddling with a clip/snaps).  I know the velcro has gotten some negative reviews in the past because its noisy, but I haven’t felt its been an issue.  In fact, I feel that with the velcro, you can get a better fit, as its easier to adjust it than tightening straps and clips (like on the Baby Bjorn One).

Baby’s comfort:
Our son is 6 months old, and 25.5″ long.  He just barely comes up past the top of the front of the carrier (with the front folded down as low as it can go).  So, if you have a smaller or shorter baby, you may want to keep this in mind if you’re planning on baby wearing forward facing.  Once you’ve figured out what’s right for your baby (whether to wear inward or outward facing), the carrier seems to be very comfortable.  They sit well in the carrier, unlike in the Baby Bjorn One.  In the Ergo 360, they are sitting “froggy” style, with their knees at or above hip height (versus the Baby Bjorn One which looks more like the baby is “dangling” rather than sitting).  I go for walks with my baby (always outward facing, as thats his preference) and he loves it.  He loves to look around at stuff, and he seems very comfortable.  He never fusses in the carrier, and at times, we will go for over an hour.  Please keep in mind though, that you should lead up to this, gradually adding the amount of time they’re forward facing in the baby carrier.  Our baby has even fallen asleep while I was wearing him forward facing, so it must be fairly comfortable.

Parent’s Comfort:
Personally, I like the fit of the Ergobaby 360 carrier better than the Baby Bjorn One.  I feel the shoulder straps fit me much better, and it doesn’t seem as bulky as the Baby Bjorn One.  This could be a good thing or a bad thing – for example, my husband likes the Baby Bjorn One better because he has broader shoulders, so he feels the fit is better for him.  He also prefers to be able to slip our baby in to it, rather than to hold our baby against us while putting the shoulder straps on and ultimately getting the carrier on.  For example, with the Baby Bjorn One, you can put the whole carrier on, securely fastened and slip your baby in from the top – with the Ergobaby 360, you cannot do this.  You need to get the bottom hip strap on first, hold the baby against your chest and then do up the top and back straps.  I also feel that the weight distribution on the Ergobaby 360 is better – distributing the weight of your baby to your back and your shoulders.  I felt with the Baby Bjorn One, the weight was mostly in your shoulders.

Cons with the Ergobaby 360:
The main (and probably the only) thing that I don’t like about this carrier, is that the bib that you can purchase for it separately is quite costly.  The carrier alone is over CAD$200, and the bib is an additional CAD$35.  The Baby Bjorn bibs were most half the price at about CAD$18 which was nice because we bought 2 bibs – which we have actually had to use because as moms, I’m sure you know, babies spit up.  So, that added cost for the bib personally, is a bit of a rip off, but it is something that does come in handy.

If you’re interested in purchasing the Ergobaby 360 carrier (or any other Ergobaby product), feel free to use this link, which will give you 10% off and Free Shipping on your entire order (on the US Ergobaby site).  The discount will be automatically applied at the checkout.

If you have any input or comments on any baby carriers, please feel free to post them in the comments section!

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Product Review: Munch Mitt


This is probably one of, if not the best teether on the market today.  Our son Linden absolutely loves it.  He’s had it since he was about 3 months old and he’s almost 6 months and it’s still one of his favorite tethers.  And as a parent, it’s definitely my favorite too!

First of all, it goes on their hand since it’s a mitt, so you don’t have to worry about them poking themselves in their eye, or having to hold it for them, or worry about them dropping it on the floor.  Second, because Linden loves to suck on his thumb and stick not only his thumb and fingers in his mouth, but his entire hand, this product is perfect for him. Third, the whole Munch Mitt pretty much fits in his mouth, so he doesn’t get frustrated with it like he does with other toys and teethers. Our son also enjoys chewing not only on the “teether” silicone part, but also on the strap so it keeps him busy even if he gets bored with one end of it!

It comes in 2 sizes, the regular Munch Mitt which comes in 2 colours (a pinky-purple, and a green), and the Munch Mitt Mini comes in yellow.  Linden is 5 months old and the Mini still fits him.  It’s pretty pricey as far as teethers go, but if you don’t waste your money on other ones, this is the only teether you’ll need.

In Canada, you can purchase it at Westcoast Kids and at Baby’s World/Snuggle Bugz. And in the US, I know you can get it from Amazon.

If you have experienced with the Munch Mitt that you would like to share, post them in the comments below!