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The Graco i-monitor video vibe is a digital colour video baby monitor. It allows you to watch your baby in colour whilst she sleeps, and while HD TV this isn’t, the infrared means you can even see your little one when asleep in a darkened nursery.
Having lapsed out of using baby monitors with babies No. 2 and No. 3, we are now testing quite a few and Freya (aka Baby No.4) is the most monitored baby ever! The Graco i-monitor video vibe consists of mobile phone style parent unit with rechargeable batteries, a baby unit and base that plugs into the mains and contains the camera.
The i-monitor video vibe features an 180m range and clever technology that ensure a private signal so that no one else can see your baby. The lights on the top of the parent unit change from red to green to show that you’re connected.
What we love
The Graco i-monitor video vibe is fantastically simple to use once set up and provides a reassuringly clear picture of your baby even in pitch dark. This made grandparents who babysat for 8-week-old Freya really confident about just how distressed she was and when to go to her.
Setting up the i-monitor video vibe is easy, although easier with two. I enlisted Charlie, aged 8, to position the camera whilst I stood in another room with the monitor (being too close caused feedback). The camera swivels both vertically and horizontally so that you can get the best view of your little one.
The parent unit connects to the nursery almost instantly; the real time digital zoom enables you to get a really good-sized picture of your baby on the 5cm square screen. The parent unit folds in half to protect the screen and it fits in a pocket. Whilst in your pocket, it can vibrate – I found this was great for alerting me to the fact that Freya was crying even when I’d forgotten I had the monitor on me.
I found using a video baby monitor fascinating – I now know just how much my daughter moves about whilst asleep (that’s a lot) and consequently how much noise and movement she will make and then stay asleep. I realise now that I may have been rushing into comfort my first three children when in actual fact they were just making a lot of noise and wiggling in their sleep. More fool me, I may have even been doing the unthinkable – waking a sleeping baby!
All three of Freya’s big brothers loved playing with this monitor – putting different things in the path of the camera kept them occupied for ages!
What to watch out for
Positioning the camera required patience and two people. If like me you have a handily placed piece of furniture to place it on then it’s not such a long job. If however you need to use the brackets to fix it to the wall then it’s going to take longer. In my house with three boys charging about the camera did get knocked out of place a few times but we discovered yet another use for Blu-Tac and it stayed put.
The parent unit has a short battery life. One full charge barely lasted an evening so I often had to plug it in, rendering it less than portable.
Design wise the parent unit is a slightly odd thing – white and plastic like all other baby monitors but flip top like a phone. Graco says this is 40% smaller than other monitors, however in comparison to say a mobile phone, which contains similar technology, it’s very large in size and rather clunky feeling.
In spite of being a digital monitor the i-monitor video vibe emitted a constant sound. I don’t live in a silent house but other monitors I’ve used managed to be much quieter than this one.
Who is the Graco i-monitor video vibe best for?
Parents seeking extra reassurance their baby’s still asleep in spite of the noises they make or those with less than perfect hearing who find a picture is a better bet.
The Graco i-monitor video vibe is an interesting product that provides a brilliant view of your baby but it isn’t cheap, doesn’t stay charged for long and has a bit of noise. It is possible that the novelty of seeing your sleeping baby may wear off and/or a less costly model would do the job.