My wife Kate and I travel a lot so we are always testing out new gadgets and software to make things easier for us with our 22-month-old toddler Max. Things have changed quite a bit since our parents had little kids so they are often shocked by the things we can do with the technology that is out there. At home, I have installed a mydlink webcam as our baby monitor which Kate and I can log into from our phones, tablets, or any computer. When the sitter comes we have a closed circuit standard baby monitor that is great – we also have used it in the past when we travel. The mydlink camera is perfect for the house but isn’t very versatile for mobility as you have to reprogram it once you switch to a different WiFi network Standard video monitors are more mobile, however, you are still limited by the range of the camera to the unit which we found annoying last year when we went to the beach and couldn’t go anywhere for 2-3 hours at a time when Max would nap after lunch. There had to be a better way! There is…and here is what we have had great success with:
Best Baby Monitor was developed by Martin Man and has a 4+ star rating on iTunes. After using it on a few trips I can tell you it is genius! We have it on our iPhone and our iPad or you can substitute a laptop or desktop as well. What we did was set my iPad as the baby unit next to Max once he was asleep in the hotel room. We set my iPad to wait for 20 seconds of crying before activating…at which point it places a Facetime call to Kate’s iPhone. You can also set it to voice call any phone so if you have an iPhone you can use that as the monitor and set your neighbor’s home phone as the number to call. Get a call from a crying kid? Your kid is up. You can also set the devices to look for each other over the same WiFi and use the cameras as a standard baby monitor.
While in Kansas City we had friends come visit after dinner. Max was asleep and our hotel room was on the 4th floor, so we did the baby monitor setup and went down to the lobby bar and were able to see friends, feel like adults, have a cocktail, and keep an eye on Max real-time. Later in the trip we were just down the hall so we set the iPad to Facetime Kate’s iPhone if Max woke up. He never did but we tested it out before hand and it works perfectly. You can even turn on your microphone and talk to your little one since they can see you too.
Now, I’m not saying we should use technology like this to ditch our kids and go to the grocery store but if you are like us and want to snag a drink at the hotel lobby bar…this was awesome. Also, no extra stuff to carry around with us. So before you invest hundreds in a video baby monitor for travel, consider spending $3.99 on iTunes instead and get a tool that is versatile enough to adjust to what your needs are wherever you travel to.
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