When it comes to baby monitors, there are no shortage of options, but there is one that has been getting the lion’s share of attention for its innovative design and ease-of-use: the Summer Infant Babble Band Wearable Digital Audio Monitor.
What sets the Babble Band apart from the baby monitor crowd is its ultra-convenient wearability. Yep, that’s right. It’s the first (and only!) wearable baby monitor. No more worrying about leaving that traditional, hand-held monitor in another room or wondering where to stash it in your yoga pants.
When the Babble Band first arrived at my doorstep, it had my approval in seconds. The reason? It comes ready to use straight out of the box (minus a 4-hour charging period for the band). There is no War and Peace-sized manual or cumbersome set-up process. The instructions are two pages with an additional one page of troubleshooting tips. You simply plug in the baby unit, turn on the band, and you’re ready to go. In a world of high-tech (read: high-maintenance) baby products, the ease-of-use was a dream for this sometimes sleep-challenged mom of three kids 4 and under.
After plugging in the monitor, I dutifully set the band to charge then came back at the end of the day to test it out. I loved what I found: The watch is made of a soft, silicone-like plastic, so it’s pleasant to wear (even for a non-watch-wearing-type like myself). Like a traditional watch, the Babble Band also has an adjustable strap which allows both my hubby and I to wear it comfortably.
With one large, single button on the baby unit—the power button—and a main button on the band itself, the Babble Band is made for the bleary-eyed parent. It’s also easy on the eyes. Its simple, unobtrusive design means I don’t mind it sitting in a prominent spot in my living room, kitchen or bedroom.
Of course, comfort and design aside, the most important question with any baby monitor is “Does it work well?” and this one passes the functionality test with flying colors. The band itself has three monitoring modes: audio, vibration, and sound lights only. During “audio mode,” the sound to the watch though the audio transmitter is clear, and the watch offers volume controls. On “vibration mode,” the watch gives off a quick buzz with each noise that is emitted from baby’s room. And, in case you don’t want an audible distraction—say, you’re watching a movie or having dinner with friends—“sound light only mode” features lights that flash to alert you of any noise. During any of the three modes, you can determine whether baby is babbling or full-on crying based on how much the sound indicator lights up.Another feature to love—the Babble Band functions on 100 percent digital technology to ensure an interference-free, private and secure connection to baby. No worries about your Wi-fi going out or being hacked. It’s old-school (if a watch that emits sound can be called old-school) in a totally great way.
When you’re a mama, peace of mind is priceless, and wearing the Babble Band has helped give me just that. With a range of 800-feet, the monitor allows me to move freely throughout our house or even play with my other kiddos on the back deck while still monitoring baby in his upstairs room. And, I never have to wonder when the battery is nearing its life. After 8 hours of continuous use, the rechargeable watch will emit an alert. The audio transmitter serves as the recharging station, so there are never any worries about running to the store for extra batteries or fumbling with extra cords or wires. An LED light on the baby unit shows either green or red depending on the charging status of the band.
So far, the hardest part of owning the Babble Band has been keeping it away from my 2- and 4-year-olds who think it is the world’s coolest gadget. (Granted, they may be right.) And, speaking of my older kids, the monitor has had an unintended use for our family. Originally, I planned on using the band during the day to keep an ear out for our newest little one while he napped upstairs or while I took a shower, etc. Turns out, the band has been our new best friend while putting our oldest two down for the night.
Our new routine consists of leaving the band in their room and plugging in the monitor downstairs. Then, when (not if!) we hear the patter of little feet leaving their beds, we can direct them back to bed through the monitor. It’s been a significant improvement over our previous, super-high-tech system of yelling up the stairs.
Whether we’re using it to keep an eye out for our baby or keep our older kids in check, the Babble Band has made our lives a little easier. It combines the best of modern technology with ease-of-use. Plus, we can’t help feel a little bit like Maxwell Smart while we’re using it. In our parenting playbook, that’s a win.
To buy: amazon.com