Over the last seven years and three kids, we have used a number of monitors with various features, including voice activation and video. By the time baby number three came along, most of those had either broken, been given away or had lost a crucial piece—so I was thrilled to be given a chance to try out The First Years Crisp & Clear audio monitor.
Given that I’ve been through many monitors, I figured I could just rip this out of the box and set it up without looking at the manual. And I was right! This monitor is very intuitive and very simple to set up. Honestly, my only complaint is that batteries weren’t included, although I was still able to use it immediately by plugging in the parent unit. (I did eventually look at the manual and it was clearly written and includes a chart of troubleshooting tips, which is nice.)
This monitor meets the main criteria for both my husband and I . He wanted one that didn’t have a lot of static noise and beeping, because he finds that hard to listen to when it is by our bedside and he’s trying to fall asleep. This is quite quiet and only picks up baby noises. Plus, it doesn’t seem to go haywire with all our wireless devices, which happens with some monitors.
As for me, I was most concerned about how it would function at naptime. I need something that I can take with me around the house and yard and something that picks up her cries, even when the older two boys are loud and distracting! This is lightweight and has a good range, so it can travel with me to the garden or street. And yet, even with the hustle and bustle of our house full of kids, I still hear any noise she makes up in her crib, which is comforting.
I would totally recommend this monitor for any family. It’s a good reminder that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get this particular job done.
Price: $20 for single monitor, $30 for double
To buy: target.com