I’ll be honest: Before I received the Baby Touch WiFi, I was a firm believer that video monitors were a little over the top. Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but much like wipes warmers, I walked right past these high-tech monitors when I picked out what I deemed to be nursery necessities. Then, lo and behold, I ended up with the Summer Infant Baby Touch WiFi Video Monitor and Internet Viewing System—which is a really long name for “the monitor that does everything except change your baby’s diaper.” And I’m glad that I did! But I was skeptical at first. Although I’m moderately tech-savvy, the thought of setting up and troubleshooting a lot of James Bond-esque baby-watching machinery was a bit intimidating. However, Summer Infant had users like me in mind when it made this product. It’s streamlined, intuitive, and easy to handle straight out of the package.
The box includes six items:
- WiFi enabled camera for the nursery
- 3.5” touchscreen monitor
- A recharge base for the monitor
- Two AC adapters (one for the monitor, one for the recharge base)
- An optional “hanging kit” for the camera that includes a screw, anchor, and six cord security clips
- Instruction manual
Setup is so easy a baby could do it! Ok, not really, but it’s pretty close. The manual is ridiculously thorough and guides you through each step using written descriptions and easy-to-interpret pictures. (Bonus: If you get lost or you have questions the manual doesn’t address, there’s a helpful FAQ page just for this system.)
The first step is downloading the free app using your WiFi. My husband and I both have iPads and iPhones so we used those with success, but this system is also Android compatible. Then, once your app and the camera connect, you can set up the hand-held viewing monitor. The monitor has to be charged before you can use it, but connecting it to the camera is a quick process.
Setting up the camera in the nursery takes two people — one to view the picture on the monitor while the other adjusts the camera to get the best view of your little one. For us, this was fast: Our baby’s dresser offers a great view into the crib, so we just sat the camera there. But if you don’t have this option or you’d like a different view of the room, then the hanging kit will come in handy.
Our favorite features:
- Visibility. Being able to see my baby gives me a lot of freedom. I can keep an eye on her without dropping everything and running up the stairs to check on her every time she peeps.
- The Internet viewing system. It sounds kinda creepy, but I love being able to whip out my phone and check in on our little one when she’s home with a sitter. My husband is looking forward to using this feature when he’s traveling for work too! Plus, we allowed access to some out-of-town family, so they can log in and see her from time to time.
- Intuitiveness. The touchscreen monitor is easy to understand and use — even in a sleep-deprived state.
- Looks. It looks, well…like a digital baby monitor. But the parts are sturdy and the actual camera is very discreet, and at 3.5” the display screen is impressively compact as well.
- Security. We live in a fairly active area, and we didn’t want a stranger — accidentally or otherwise — to be able to watch our baby. We have peace of mind knowing that you need a username and password to have access to the live viewing screen and the signal is encrypted to prevent someone from hacking in.
- It can grow with our family. We may not take advantage of this, but it’s nice to know that we can purchase a second camera to place in a separate room and watch both video feeds on one split-screen. It’s also an option to “upgrade” the app for more services and to provide access to additional people.
- Display. The color and “crispness” of the viewing monitor is good, but it’s definitely not great.
- Speed. There’s a couple seconds of “lag time” between the camera and viewing monitor. This isn’t such a big deal when we’re viewing the feed from our mobile device away from home, but it’s awkward to hear a baby cry in the other room and then ( … wait for it … ) hear the same scream a few seconds later from the monitor.
- Signal issues. The camera needs to be within 150 feet of a wireless router—and if the signal is bad, the video will be, too. This could be what causes our “lag time” problem.
- So many features! I’m not sure if this is really a drawback, but I can say that aside from playful curiosity, some of this system’s tools will remain unused in our household on a day-to-day basis. We love the sound lights, multi-level zoom, motion tracking, internet status lights, and night vision features; however, the temperature monitoring isn’t really beneficial for us, we don’t use the pan/scan option (even though it’s nifty), and we find the two-way communication feature to be a bit strange—it’s nice if my husband wants to tell me something while I’m in the middle of a diaper change, but it’s not soothing to our baby.
All in all, there’s nothing I’d change about this monitor. Is it pricey? Yes. Is it a definite must-have for your nursery? Probably not. However, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this product to parents who want a reliable, high-end video monitoring system. The Summer Infant Baby Touch WiFi has all the bells and whistles tech-loving parents are looking for—and then some!
To buy: summerinfant.com