For E's arrival, TOMY sent us one of their video baby monitors to try out.
Obviously, your monitor comes in two parts; the camera and parent unit. It's really easy to set up. The camera operates using a mains charger and the parent unit is battery powered so that it can be carried around the house with you. The average battery life is around 4-5 hours but it also comes with a mains charger. The camera only has two buttons; and on/off button and a nightlight button. I love the fact that it has a nightlight. I believe every baby/infant needs a nightlight in their bedroom so this just kills two birds with one stone. You can change the brightness of the light by holding in the nightlight button and releasing it when you have reached the brightness level that you are comfortable with. The power button on the camera can be used to locate your parent unit if you have misplaced it. This is a godsend for me because I'd lose my head if it wasn't screwed on. This works by pushed the on/off button quickly three times then the parent unit will emit an alarm for 60 seconds.
On first glance, the parent unit has a scary amount of buttons but it's easy enough to get used to. On the left hand side you have a talkback option so you can speak to and soothe your child without having to go to their room and two volume buttons. The right hand side you have two zoom buttons, a menu button and arrows to navigate your way around the menu. The screen displays your signal strength, sound activation, lullabies, nightlight, battery level, volume display and the room temperature.
Your main menu is comprised of six options: remote nightlight (so you can switch the nightlight on and off through the parent unit), remote lullabies (so you can play a lullaby through to settle your child; there are three to choose from), sound activation (the camera will automatically display the image on the parent unit if there is a sound made, this switches that option on and off), screen brightness, and as you are able to connect up multiple cameras to the same parent unit, a camera management option and a camera select button.
This video monitor has been a great help with us. I've only been using it was C as I'm still a little worried about putting E to sleep upstairs while we're downstairs but as C has recently moved into his 'big boy bed' it's nice to keep an eye on him to make sure he hasn't fallen out. My favourite features of the monitor have to be the nightlight, the room temperature display and the fact that I can soothe him without having to go into his room.
It is easy enough rotate the camera into position but I would maybe like it to be a bit more flexible. I would maybe also like the display to be a bit more focused but it doesn't effect how the camera works as I can still see C clearly through it.
I'd prefer a video monitor over a regular monitor any day as it means that any time I hear a sound I'm not running upstairs to see what it was, I just have to glance over. I'd definitely recommend it to any new mum or even mums of toddlers.
The TOMY TFV600 video monitor retails at £99.99. You can find out more about TOMY at their website, Facebook and Twitter.
(Disclaimer: We received this monitor free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)