We held off on purchasing a monitor as long as we could. For the first few weeks of our daughter’s life, we were so protective and enamored, we could not tolerate the idea of allowing her more than two feet from our reach, so kept her snug in a bassinet by our bed. When I was about to return to work, we knew that we wanted to take the plunge and transition her to her own crib and room. When the opportunity to test a video monitor arose, we jumped at it.
The Graco True Focus Digital Video Monitor is incredibly easy to assemble and start using. Overall, we find it is a reliable and functional monitor. During the daytime hours, the picture is amazingly clear. At night, the picture is still impressive due to the infrared technology. The Graco True Focus has a zoom feature which allows you to magnify the image to two times its original dimensions. This is extremely helpful when the overprotective parent (me) wakes in the middle of the night, frantic for a reassuring picture of their child in mere seconds.
Setting up the monitor is easy—however, there is not a simple way to attach this monitor to the wall. For some users, this would not be a problem. For others, it is tricky to set up the monitor in a way that limits the future mobile infant from accessing the cord. On the bright side, the monitor is very mobile. We have traveled on two trips and the entire Graco monitor set up takes up minimal room in the suitcase. It sets up very easily in new locations and set up takes less than a minute, tops.
The monitor can either be plugged into the wall or rely on the battery. The battery is long lasting although does not quite make a 12 hour stretch. We would recommend you place the charger near your bed so you can charge it while sleeping. One excellent feature of this monitor is a loud beep when the battery is low. It is difficult to sleep through this, assuring you will know when you need to plug in your monitor.
The monitor has worked well throughout our house without problems no matter the distance. We have not tested this monitor by leaving the house, but it does work when we are in the basement and our daughter the second floor. There is a convenient belt clip in case you are moving far away and want to carry the monitor with you. Occasionally it seems there is a few second delay on sound, although this typically has not been a problem for us.
One problem we have found with this system is that you cannot completely turn the sound off. The lowest setting is very quiet but there is always sound. If your heartstrings tug as mine do in the first few minutes you place your child to bed and they cry, it is painful to hear even the faintest of cries. We will turn the monitor off completely for five minutes, but I wish there was a way to keep the video component on but mute the sound for these times.
The second issue we have with this monitor is more theoretical for our family. It has the ability to connect up to four video devices in the case that you have more than one child. This is impressive and attractive to my husband and me. However, Graco does not yet offer the video monitor device alone. You would have to purchase the entire set for a second child. This seems redundant and inefficient.
Overall, we are currently very happy with our Graco True Focus Digital Video Monitor. It is easy to use (even though we are horrible with technology!) and has been very reliable. That being said, when we have a second child we will likely purchase a different system that more easily allows us to link two rooms and also allows us to turn the volume off completely.
To buy: amazon.com