The Angelcare movement monitor is one of those things I recommended in my can’t-live-without but optional baby items post.
As promised, here’s my review of the Angelcare movement monitor.Angelcare has a line of baby monitors that may include a movement pad, and/or color video monitoring. The monitor with a color video is more expensive (~$100 more) than the monitors with movement sensor pad only. The model I am reviewing is the one with movement sensor, and NO video (specifically model AC401).
While having a video monitoring would have been nice, I had read other reviews that stated the video quality was poor and that I would be better off purchasing a separate video monitor. I felt that because Chichi’s crib was in the same room as ours, that I didn’t really need to have visual on her all the time. I mainly wanted it for the peace of mind when I was sleeping, and couldn’t be checking up on her.
Installation of the monitor is fairly straightforward. You plug in the power and movement monitor to the base unit, and place the movement sensor pad beneath the crib mattress. The movement pad needs to be placed on a flat and firm surface. So, if you have a slat or spring based crib then you will have to place a board underneath the mattress for the sensor pad to rest on. For reference, I have the combination of Sealy Soybean Everedge mattress in an Ikea Gulliver crib and it works perfectly, no additional boards needed.
The most difficult part of installation is to set the sensitivity of the movement pad just right. There is a dial behind the base unit that you can turn to change how sensitive the movement pad is. This will vary depending on each individual mattress and room. The movement pad is so sensitive that it can detect small drafts, so where you’ve placed your baby’s crib in the room is going to affect how sensitive you want the movement pad to be.
I am very impressed with how much the movement pad can detect. It will go off if I take baby out of the crib without turning off the alarm. This was more of an inconvenience, especially in the middle of the night when I scramble to turn off the unit before it blares the alarm and wake hubby. By the way, the alarm will wake even the deepest sleepers, especially if you have the unit by your bed like I do.
If you have the sensitivity turned up too high, it will detect minute movements like people walking past the crib. If you have it turned down too low, it will be more prone to giving out false alarms.
Since I’ve had difficulty setting my sensitivity levels JUST right, I have mine on a slightly less sensitive setting. I would rather have it give a false alarm, than no alarm at all. If the sensor pad detects no movement, it will give a quick “beep” after 15 seconds of no movement, followed by an alarm in 5 seconds if it still detects no movement.
In the amount of time I have been using my monitor, I’ve had it go off perhaps 3 times in the middle of the night. In all the cases, it’s because Chichi had moved to the edge of the mattress and fallen to deep sleep. This doesn’t bother me, because I just check on her, and go straight back to bed again.
If Angelcare comes out with newer monitors with more sensitivity settings/increments, I would give the movement sensor pad an A++. For right now, I’d give it an A-. It’s still a very, very good product, and I am impressed that it can detect breathing movements in Chichi through a thick mattress.
The monitor comes with a handful of other nice features as well. It is also a voice monitor. You can choose to have either “continuous” or “voice activated” audio monitoring. It works really well, and the parent unit has an extremely long range (according to the manufacture, it is good up to 820ft or 250m).
There’s a “tic” feature, where it will emit a loud ticking sound for every movement by your baby.
The base unit also detects your room temperature, which your parent unit will display. You can set a high/low temperature setting, outside of which our monitor will notify you.
There’s 2 different alarm types: audio or vibrating. You can choose to have it audio or vibration only, or both.
The base unit has a small nightlight attached to it. It emits a soft blue light.
One other feature I appreciate is the fact that you can choose to have the monitor only detect movement, or only detect voice. I usually have my device set to detect both, but if ever your baby isn’t sleeping in the crib but is in the room without you, it is handy to know that it can convert to an audio only device.
I got my Angelcare on sale at Babies R US for about $100. I sleep much better at night with my Angelcare on. $100 for peace of mind sounds like a super awesome deal to me!