There’s tech on the blog, so it must mean that Adam is here again. I have been jumping head first into the world of home automation and with a new child on the way, it was time to put the NERD in NERDsery. #dadpun…
We purchased this product with our own money after far too much time spent on research. All opinions are my own, because who would pay me to write something?
Of all the new things that Sarah is wanting to do with Barrett’s room, I volunteered to choose some things that I’ve seen pop up since Adeline was born. There have been Alexa powered sound machines, ‘smart’ humidifiers, and Bluetooth changing cushions, but the one thing that we use the most is the monitor. I have been going back and forth with several monitors over the past few months and we have had more than a couple different ones on our registry at some points, but I finally pulled the trigger on the Arlo Baby Gen 2 monitor. Amazon was recently running a promo which included an Arlo Baby monitor along with an Amazon Fire HD 7 tablet. Since the monitor pairs well with Alexa, this was a great match. As I am with all new tech, I opened it as soon as it was on my door step and got it set up in minutes. After installing the app, setup was a breeze. I was streaming 1080p video of our dining room within about 10 minutes. Though there are some shortcomings in this monitor, that I will go over later, it is still the best choice for us.
We have only used this for about a month, so I’m sure there will be more quirks to pop up in the future, but we have loved it in the time that we have used it. The thing that stands out to us the most since the first time we turned it on is the video quality. You can adjust quality up to 1080p as your home network allows as well as change the angle up to 130 degrees. The angle we have set allows us to clearly see everything from her door, to our rocker, to her bed, and we can easily zoom in through the app to see which stuffed animals Adeline is holding or even to make sure she’s breathing! The Arlo app takes small snippets of videos when it hears sound or detects movement which is fun to look back on to remember what story I told Adeline or see what she read when I left the room. The picture is crystal clear in the day and still more clear than what we are used to at night on our old Motorola unit. There is about a 1-2 second delay with video and audio but that hasn’t really affected our use. On days that I go to my office early, I can chat with Sarah and Adeline as they are getting ready in her room which is nice. And on nights where Sarah runs out during bedtime, she can easily check the app on her phone to see how things are going. The unit also serves as a nightlight which can change to any color with the RGB color picker in the app. It also comes preloaded with lullabies and white noise.
One question I’ve received is related to the monitor not having a parent unit, like most standard video monitors. (Sarah was a little worried about this as well.) How do you make sure you don’t “miss” something or how do you still feel confident in making sure you know what’s going on at all times if you can’t look at a parent unit. One way to make sure you don’t miss anything is by checking the ‘Always on Audio’ which will cause audio to persist on your device even after you get out of the app or turn the screen off on your phone. The app also has built in notifications which can be modified from not notifying at all up to sending notification with every sound or slight movement. I found that the notifications could get a little annoying, especially if you get sound alerts when a loud car drives by in the afternoon or motion if the curtains blow. These can also be modified for timing so that they only notify between 7PM and 7AM or however you set it up. There are also alerts for if the unit notices that the temperature is above a certain threshold, the humidity is too high or low, or the air quality is abnormal. I haven’t found the air quality monitor to be much of a concern, but the temperature and humidity monitors send me notifications on my phone and email if they are abnormal so that I can go in and turn the AC down from my other smart home app. The Arlo app allows you to get a 7 day chart of the changes in Temperature/Humidity/Air Quality which is fun to look back on to see when the AC kicked on or when you had the humidifier running.
The Arlo hasn’t been perfect though. When trying to mount it on the wall with the included brackets, it wouldn’t click into place when turned into the lock position so it made mounting impossible. This didn’t change our use too much as we just put it on top of her dresser. There are also some issues when connecting through the app which is solved by closing then reopening the app on our phone. I’m sure this would happen eventually with any good Wifi enabled monitor though. That being said, we have had no issues when using the app on the Amazon Fire tablet that we got with the device. I’m not sure why it is happening that ways since it runs the same operating system as my phone, but it’s just what I have observed. I am planning on getting an Echo Show to set up by the bed so we can have persistent video/audio through that as a replacement for the lack of parent unit. Since there are ZERO reviews of this combination on line, I am not sure how well it will work out. We will see!
Overall, the Arlo Baby Gen 2 has been fantastic and is a giant leap forward from what we have been using. If you’re looking for more ways to “smarten” your home, the Arlo is a great addition. We bought this originally for Barrett’s room and have just been testing it out in Adeline’s. But, we love it so much, that we will be getting another one for his room and will just keep this one in Adeline’s.
- Amazing video quailty
- Great sound
- “Always On” audio
- Temperature & humidity monitoring
- Watch/Talk from anywhere
- User friendly app allows for manual recording, easy zoom, the ability to look back at snippets of time the monitor recorded for you, etc.
- Bonuses (night light, sound machine, lullabies, battery power)
- Fun character ‘costumes’
- Ability to pull up your kid’s room on another device. (Ex: when we’re downstairs we can say, “hey Google, or hey Alexa, show me Adeline’s room on living room tv” and we can instantly see a live feed from her room on our big screen!)
- Horizontal wall mounting not happening
- Intermittent connection issues
- No option for parent unit
Sarah’s thoughts – hello fellow mamas! I wanted to pop in and quickly share my two cents on this monitor, from a non-techy perspective. The one thing I was most apprehensive about is the fact that it does not utilize a standard parent unit, which is something I’ve grown very used to with Adeline’s old monitor. That thing stays on 24/7, and truth be hold can be a bit obsessive. With all the capabilities this monitor comes with though, and all the alerts and notifications you can set up, it really just made sense. Plus, I always have my phone with me and can pull up the app anytime, anywhere. Even when I’m out making a Target run late at night and Adam is handling bedtime. There’s no more worrying about whether or not the unit will reach out to your driveway if you need to step outside, or if the battery is dead or not. The video quality is amazing, and the other day I was able to record a funny moment between Adam and Adeline that I was creepishly watching. You could also hypothetically set any loved one up with an account and they could log into the app to check in on baby for you, like a grandparent, or like Adam mentioned, he can peep in on our morning routine from work. Once we have a newborn, I’ll have to re-share my thoughts I’m sure, but I really think between all of our devices, we’ll get it figured out just fine. We should also be able to easily integrate both kid’s monitors into the app, so that’s not a worry!
Do you have a smart baby monitor? Would you use something like this? Are you too old school to trust something like this? Do you prefer a more technologically advanced monitor or a simply sound only monitor?