One of the most important purchases you will make as a new parent is a good baby monitor. It gives you a sense of security when you’re not in the same room as your little one, so it has to be a reliable and efficient model.
BT has an impressive range of baby monitors, which range in price from a more basic model at about £40, to the all singing, all dancing 7500 video monitor.
A household name, we have come to expect good quality products from BT, be it a telephone, television or baby monitor.
And now the brand prides itself on being at the forefront of the digital revolution and it produces an array of hi-tech parenting accessories.
You can buy the BT Video Monitor 7500 Lightshow on Amazon, at Argos, John Lewis or Toys R Us.
At about £179.99 the BT Video Monitor 7500 Lightshow offers a camera/video/lightshow features, ideal for parents like me with two little ones (a 2-year-old and a newborn.)
It has also a feeding timer, a thermometer, cry alerts, a 2 way talk back, a camera which can swivel and be controlled by the parent unit, infrared camera for when it is dark, a soothing nightlight, large lullaby selection with white noise, nature and womb sounds, a gorgeous starry nightshow, …phew!
You can also personalise it by adding your baby’s name, the time and set the tones, backlight and more. I mean wow!
Is it easy to use?
The user guide is so easy to read and follow and best of all, when you first use the monitor, it takes you through a step-by-step guide on how to use the monitor! You can control this by touching the appropriate buttons on the screen, so you can skip demos or repeat them where necessary.
Compare the BT Video Monitor 7500 with the BT Digital Baby Monitor 300
This is such a clever extra for anyone who might be feeling a bit apprehensive on how the monitor works, or if you are new to the world of baby monitors! As someone who has never used a video monitor before, I really appreciated being taken through the features step by step.
How is setting up the monitor?
Super easy! Once you have plugged the charging dock in, you need to charge your parent unit for about 5 hours, until the battery symbol on the screen is fully green.
According to BT, when a parent unit is fully charged, it should have around 6.5 hours of battery life in it. We tested this out and found it only had about 5 hours – but maybe that was just our particular unit or maybe because we were playing with it so much it ate up a bit more juice than normal.
You can charge your parent unit and use it at the same time, if you are stationary for a few hours (which, let’s face it, with a new baby is most likely to be the case!) Another handy little feature is that you can use other micro USB cables to charge the units, which is really useful if you forget your cable or are away from home.
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To set up the camera, it is advised to place the baby unit between one and two metres away from where the baby sleeps. You can either place the unit down on a surface OR you can mount it on a wall using the wall mount screws included in the box!
This is a good way to save space, as long as you are sure you want it in that position for the long haul…otherwise it might be best to keep it on a surface, but it is great to have the option if you want it.
What is the sound quality like?
The HD sound quality is brilliant on the 7500 Lightshow Monitor. You really can hear every breath and peep (if you want to), giving you total security that your baby is sleeping soundly…or maybe not!
We also really loved the talk back feature of the monitor. By pressing the “talk” button on the top of the parent unit, you can soothe your baby with the sound of your voice, by talking to him or her to comfort them.
BT recommends holding the monitor at arms-length and to speak clearly to ensure you sound as you normally do to your little one. This is such a handy feature, if all your baby needs to hear is the reassurance of your voice to settle them back to sleep – definitely worth a try before hauling yourself out of bed!
What is the camera quality like?
What a fab screen, the picture is really clear and it is so easy to use. You can pan, tilt and zoom your camera to focus on your little one as they sleep or play around in their cot. You can control it from the parent unit, and it’s so much fun!
The + and – symbols allow you to zoom in and out and the arrows around the screen allow you to pan and tilt as necessary. The picture is really clear and it is so easy to use.
The baby unit also has a night vision mode, which allows you to monitor your little one in dark rooms.
The baby unit has infrared LEDs, which are invisible to your baby, so they don’t disturb or distract them. You don’t even need to do anything to access night vision – the camera will automatically turn it on when the ambient light drops and the room becomes dark. You will know it is on because the screen will go black and white. It really is a pretty cool feature!
How does the parent unit work?
The parent unit allows you to monitor your baby through the live video stream. The screen has both a normal and an infrared camera for night time viewing…which is a little creepy looking at first (think Paranormal Activity!) but it gives an excellent view of your little one sleeping (or not sleeping) soundly. The picture quality is really amazing and clear.
It is touchscreen, so if you are used to this technology – which, let’s face it, in this day and age, do we ever use anything else? – Then you will love playing around with the monitor.
As well controlling everything remotely from the parent unit, you can also control some things from the baby unit. For example, the nightlight, the power, the lightshow and the lullabies. All you need to do is press the appropriate button. Useful if you run in, in the middle of the night and just need to lull them back to sleep with the lightshow or a lullaby.
How does the baby unit work?
The baby unit comprises of an audio monitor, a pan and tilt camera, a gorgeous star lightshow and music and sound player. It also allows the parent to communicate with the child via microphone should the child need comforting during the night.
If at any point the baby and parent unit lose the link or connection between them, the link light will flash and the screen on the parent unit will tell you that connection has been lost.
If after 30 seconds the link hasn’t been established – either because you hadn’t noticed or it just hasn’t been able to reconnect – an alert tone will go off on the parent unit. There is a troubleshooter guide in the set up manual, which tells you how to overcome this problem.
We tested it out by deliberately turning the baby unit off and sure enough, we heard the alert tone. Safety really is a key feature with this monitor!
Tell us about the lightshow.
It’s one of the things I love most about this monitor. You can even set a timer for how long you want the lullabies and the lightshow to go on for. This is really useful if your little one takes longer than 20 minutes to settle, as I have noticed that a lot of baby slumber aides seem to only last 20 minutes or so!
Once you have selected the lightshow function on the parent unit (by tapping the lightshow option on the main screen) you can then select your timer option and how long you want it to go on for. It really is as easy as that!
The lightshow itself is gorgeous. A gentle star show in soothing colours, which bob gentle above your bubba’s slumbering head. I love it. In fact, it helped me fall asleep a few times!
The lullaby option is equally lovely. You have choices ranging from fail safe lullabies, classical tunes, nature sounds and white noise – perfect for newborns! To access the music menu, simply tap the music note icon on the main screen and you have all the options to choose your music type, volume and timer! You can also set songs on repeat, if there is one which you little one really loves.
Tell us about the cry alert function.
As babies make so many noises during the night, the cry alert will tell you when your baby is properly crying, as opposed to just snuffling or babbling.
Great if you want to enjoy a full (as possible) night’s sleep, without being disturbed by every noise your baby makes. The cry alert feature gives you the option to have your alert as a beep, a vibration or a screen light or a mix of beeps and vibrations.
What’s the range like?
We wanted to test out the range between the parent and baby unit, as with our old monitor, this was something of an issue. BT claims that the maximum range between the units outdoors is about 300 metres and indoors about 50 metres.
We tested this at my parent’s abode, (as they have a bit of a bigger house and garden!) and after taking the monitor around the whole house and all the way to the back of the garden, we could still hear our little one sleeping peacefully. So, another big tick to BT!
So here is what you get in the box:
- Camera monitor for the baby’s room
- A touch screen parent’s unit
- Charger dock for the parents unit
- Micro USB mains adaptors
- Rechargeable battery
- User guide
- Wall mount screws
The monitor comes as a 2 piece product – as with all baby monitors – the camera/video/lightshow element, which goes in baby’s room, and the parent’s unit, which is a rather fab digital, touchscreen remote viewing station.
You also get your charging dock for the parent unit, USB mains adaptors, which makes it handy if you don’t have the mains charger and wall mount screws for the camera unit, so you can mount the camera on the wall.
This really is a nifty, easy to use and brilliant monitor, which covers all of the bases.
It ticks every box you would want in a baby monitor and has so many bonus features, that it will keep you playing around with it for ages – because it is fun, not because it is difficult to use! It is very user friendly, easy to set up and easy and fun to use.
If you are questioning whether or not you need a video monitor, then I would perhaps say they aren’t entirely necessary, but it is a great option to have, to ensure the total monitoring of your little one. After trying it out, I think a video monitor is more useful for a toddler than a newborn, as those little rug rats get up to all sorts during the night, and it is useful to monitor their sleeping pattern. Warning though – watching can get addictive! Hello Big Brother!
I would definitely recommend this monitor to anyone who has a baby of any age, as the additional features alone make it a brilliant choice…and the camera is a great bonus. It is pretty pricey, but if it lasts you for the amount of time you would want to monitor your little one, then it really is money well spent.