Baby Monitoring Technology
Once you bring your baby home, you're going to be concerned about monitoring them while they're (hopefully!) sleeping.
I was planning on just getting one of those inexpensive radio-based audio monitors that have been around for decades. Then I remembered we live in the smartphone age, so I decided it would be prudent to at least see what the state of the art had to offer.
The top smartphone-based baby monitors
There's quite a few options out there and plenty of review sites. So I'll just describe the two I was most considering: the Miku and the Nanit. These products do an excellent job of not only giving you audio and video monitoring, but they can also measure the breathing rate of your child, giving immediate alerts if they detect any anomolies. And rather than clunky receivers you have to carry around everywhere, you can just use your smartphone.
I was originally leaning towards the Miku as I really liked the ability to monitor our baby without having to wear special clothing and it seemed to be a bit newer and more polished. However based on reviews at the time, it just didn't seem to be as bug-free as the Nanit. In addition, I just could find enough information about the safety of it's radar approach to breath monitoring.
Don't get me wrong, I am by no means claiming Miku is unsafe. I studied electrical-engineering and have worked professionally with radar systems, so I know that radar can be perfectly safe and I have no irrational fear of it.
However, the device is by definition emitting radiation in order to do it's calculations and it's doing so on a rapidly growing living organism (my baby) so I think I'm justified in being a little extra cautious in this case. If Miku put a bit more information on their website about their radar system (e.g. frequency and power emitted) and their test and safety procedures around it, they probably would ease my concerns. Instead, the lack of transparency just adds to my hesitation.
My Final Choice
In the end I decided on the Nanit. Our daughter is now six months old and I must say I've been very pleased with the company. We had a few minor issues and the company has always been super responsive and helpful in trying to address them. Also the smartphone app has been extremely convenient as it allows my wife and I (or any other care takers we have) to easily minitor our baby from anywhere.
- If you're considering the Nanit and you have not yet given birth: They have an optional subscription service and will give you a free trial for it. This trial starts as soon as you go through the activation proceedure with your smartphone. So I suggest not activating it until you bring your newborn home.
- In addition to reviews on the products themselves, if you're getting a smartphone based product, it's also good to checkout the reviews on the app stores. It's useful to look at recent reviews as these companies may (hopefully) update their software often, fixing older bugs.