Ask my wife and she’ll tell you that I love playing with the latest and greatest gadgets, so when it came time to equip the nursery my mind went immediately to all the new tech toys we could cram in there. The monitor is definitely an important item on the list.
My first impression of the Nanit is that it’s a very sleek, modern and attractive piece of equipment. Setup is a breeze and the instruction manual definitely conveys that. Getting started was as simple as opening the app and following the guided steps. Once the stand and camera were all assembled and connected (about 5 to 10 minutes, tops), the app walked us through connecting to the Wifi. The instructions ended with the camera helping make sure the crib was positioned correctly and a two minute video explaining all of the features in the app. Given that the camera does stand against a wall and over the crib, there is a small bracket included to secure it to the wall with a couple of screws. This also means that you get an overhead view of the entire crib area, which means your baby is always in view.
While the setup was easy, this is where my first set of gripes comes in. As I said earlier, the camera looks great; however, the build quality of the stand is so-so. The pieces are simply painted metal and plastic pipes that screw together. The pieces at the bottom to cover the wire feel cheap and are entirely unnecessary in my opinion. I now have a pile of plastic tubes under the crib because the outlet is so close that I don’t need them to connect and stretch very far to plug the monitor in. Furthermore, the legs at the base of the stand are at an angle (kind of like a tripod, but with only two legs because it also braces against the wall) causing our crib—which is not a particularly low sitting model—to be pushed about 3 to 4 inches off of the wall to accommodate the stand. Our nursery is a small room, so every bit of space counts; plus, it just looks odd to have the crib so far off the wall. I’d love to see adjustable legs in the future, knowing that not all cribs are created equal.
On to the Nanit app … this thing is great. It’s extremely well designed and is easy to use. The first thing you see upon opening the app is a live feed of the crib, along with temperature and humidity from the built-in sensors. From there you can expand that view for controls to zoom, mute the sound, turn the night-light on/off and play a series of included lullabies. It’s easy to take and save screenshots, invite family members to join the camera feed and reposition the crib view, if needed.
The app also features an activity feed and dashboard powered by Nanit Insights. The Insights power things such as catching when the baby falls asleep or wakes up and can provide expert tips for improving baby’s sleep based on movements and other information from the Nanit’s sensors. You also get time-lapse videos and history, similar to Nest cameras. You do have to pay an annual subscription to use the Nanit Insights tools (ranging from $100 to $300 for one year), which I was not expecting. It is a little disappointing that after you’ve already invested in the monitor itself, you still have to pay additional fees. Although, you can still use the monitor as a standard video monitor without the subscription. You just won’t have access to some of the advanced features that really set Nanit apart.
The Nanit site talks about the safety of the monitor from the construction of the product to the storage of your video on their secure servers; however, I think one glaring miss is the security of the app. I’d love to see the option to add a passcode/fingerprint step to access the app.
To be honest, traveling with a monitor isn’t something that crossed my mind, and definitely isn’t possible with the standard Nanit setup. That being said, they do sell an additional Multi-Stand for $40 that turns the monitor into a tabletop camera. Obviously, it doesn’t float above the crib with this secondary stand, but it can be used to look over a bassinet or even monitor an entire room.
Overall, the Nanit is an impressive piece of tech and definitely is not an eyesore in the nursery. If they were able to change a couple of items such as adding adjustable legs, improving build quality, and perhaps eliminating the subscription fee (or at least lowering the cost), this would be a near-perfect monitor that I’d recommend to anyone.