Recently, I was asked if I’d like to test and review a selection of the new Motorola Smart Nursery range. If you’ve stumbled across this review, and you’re new, I have a little girl, called Daisy, who is now 15 months old, and she also has an older brother, Bill, who is five. When it comes to sleeping and safety, we can trust Bill, however, his sister is at that age where we can often be up and down, to check on her, especially when she’s teething.
A bit of background too – Daisy was also born with a syndrome that meant that, when she came home from NICU, aged six weeks and one day old, we couldn’t get any rest at night without things like monitors. She was in with us for a while, but when we moved her into her own room, we actually had two monitors to keep an eye on her. Why? Well, she used to have a sats monitor from hospital that told us that she was breathing okay, and without that, I needed extra security. We had a video monitor – incidentally a Motorola one (we like the brand a lot), and also a mattress sensor monitor too.
Now she’s 15 months-old, I’m a little less panicky over how safe she is at night. She’s healthy, absolutely fine, and developing exactly as she should be. But, I’m also a bit of a tech fan, and I will never turn down an opportunity to try out some new gadgets.
We were sent to review:
- Smart Nursery Cam Portable Wi-Fi Video Baby Camera
- Smart Nursery Dream Machine
- Smart Nursery Humidifier+
- Smart Nursery Baby&Me Scale
- Smart Nursery Alert Sensor (Twin pack)
I have to say that this app is quite impressive if you want absolute control over your baby’s nursery, their safety, and their health. You can sync up all of the devices mentioned below, and from your phone, wherever you may be, see how your baby is doing. It tells you the temperature of your baby’s room, the overall humidity, and you can start devices, turn them off, and change their settings, remotely, with just a few taps on your smartphone or tablet.
So, to make this easier for you to read, I’m now going to go through each item individually, and let you know what we thought and whether we think you’ll find it useful.
So first up is the Smart Nursery Cam Portable Wi-Fi Video Baby Camera. This camera is also available in a set, which includes a monitor as well (Smart Nursery 7 Portable Wi-Fi Video Baby Monitor), if that is something you might prefer. Otherwise you hook the Baby Camera up to you phone via the Hubble for Motorola Monitors app (again available for free via the iTunes Store, or Google Play), which is what we did.
So, firstly, the Smart Nursery Cam Portable Wi-Fi Video Baby Camera is brilliant quality, I will say that right off the bat, because the clarity of what we could see on my phone screen was incredible, in daylight in particular. It performed well at night too, but it was so detailed in the day, that I could pick out patterns on a blanket, and really see everything clearly in full colour, which I loved. I know that, for the most part, that you would use a monitor at night, or during nap times, while your baby sleeps, but if you did have multiple monitors around the house, it would be a great way for a family member who isn’t present (perhaps a parent who works away a lot) to get a real insight to their baby’s life, which is lovely.
I also think, when hooked up to the Hubble for Motorola Monitors app, that this would make a great gadget for parents who are anxious about leaving their baby. Say for a first date night after baby is born, or to check-in while baby is with a babysitter. It gives you the opportunity to parent remotely, and see that baby is okay. Plus, your phone sends you alerts when there is movement in your baby’s room, which you can always click on and check to see if it’s baby moving around, or someone else, say a babysitter, or older sibling has entered the room instead.
One downside for me personally was that the app was a little clunky at times. For example, when I wanted to move the camera’s view, which you can do with a up, down, left, right menu, it would often freeze and instead of moving just one movement to the right, it would keep moving until it couldn’t move anymore, and then my viewpoint would be of the door rather than my daughter’s cot. This could have just been an issue with my camera, or my phone, but it always did this, and I found it so frustrating!
That said, the app also allows you to zoom in and out, talk to your baby, and also play a soothing melody from a selection, should your baby begin to cry. All nice things to be able to do from the living room, or even from your favourite local restaurant!
So the Smart Nursery Dream Machine was something that I didn’t expect to like that much, as, somethings like baby monitors, as an example, are things that I think every parent needs when expecting a baby. But then other things depend on your budget, your needs and your baby too. But I have to say that I really loved the Smart Nursery Dream Machine.
It’s basically a projector, that comes with three different scenes, that you can pop in and change like an old-school projector, which I loved! There is an animal scene, a space scene and an underwater scene. And we actually all lay on the floor of Daisy’s bedroom and watched them with her when we first used it. She clapped and said: “Yay!” and it was lovely to see and quite soothing, even when lying on the floor.
You can also choose from five different lullabies to play to your baby, and there is the option to download more from Hubble, which I thought was great, especially if you and your baby have a favourite lullaby to sing together, as that would be an extra bit of comfort.
The Smart Nursery Dream Machine also features a mood light/night light, with changing colours, to help soothe your baby to sleep. And you can also talk to your baby to settle them too, which is a lovely addition.
Like I said, I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did, and my five year-old loved it too. It’s one of those things that no one needs – if we are honest with ourselves, our babies and children actually need very little – but as something fun, helpful and different, I really enjoyed the benefits it offered. I think, sometimes, especially at Daisy’s age, baby’s (or should I say toddler – as she can walk!) can get used to old habits, and are quite clever at getting their own way (at least my daughter is) and sure, if she needs us, she has us in an instant, because nothing can replace a parents’ comfort when teething or unwell, but when she’s just being stubborn (something we pick up on very easily) something like the Smart Nursery Dream Machine is a great distraction.
Next up is the Smart Nursery Humidifier+, which is essentially what it says on the tin. You can increase the moisture in your baby’s nursery with four levels of cool mist diffusion. It features a 1 gallon water tank and 10 hours runtime, which is convenient as it should last you most of the night. It also has a double filter, which helps purify both the water in the humidifier and the air in your nursery, helping your baby breathe better. Now, this is definitely not something I think you need for a day-to-day basis, but, if your baby suffers regularly with colds or chest infections, then it may be quite useful.
Daisy, as I mentioned earlier in this post, was poorly when she was born, and actually came home with a nasopharyngeal airway, which is a tube inserted down her nasal passage to keep her airway clear, so she could breathe. This would regularly get blocked with secretions and gunk, and this would have been something that the Smart Nursery Humidifier+ would have really helped with. It’s also nice to see a humidifier made specifically for babies and young children, because it gives that extra peace of mind.
Again, the Smart Nursery Humidifier+ can be used remotely with the Smart Nursery app, so you can always turn it on without disturbing your baby.
Next up is the Smart Nursery Baby&Me Scale, and honestly, when this arrived, I was quite surprised as I never expected this to be something I’d test. I didn’t actually know that things like this existed!
So, I feel like, as a mum, the first thing I would say is that a scale like this should never replace proper weigh-ins with your health visitor, and these should always be done and recorded in your baby’s Red Book. But, as your baby reaches the age of one, you’ll find that you weigh your child far less than you used to. And I think parents of multiple children will agree with me that this is something that gets worse and worse with every child you have to!
It’s a great way to see how your baby’s weight is progressing, and it allows you to input their height and age as well, so you can see their stats in full spectrum, rather than just isolated. There are two modes to use the Smart Nursery Baby&Me Scale in – you can weigh your baby in the safety of your arms (Mother & Baby mode), up to 330 lbs. Or switch modes and use as normal family scale as well, which is handy as it works as an all-in-one for everyone and you can also add different profiles in the Smart Nursery app as well.
So, if you were wanting to track your postpartum weight-loss, then this scale would be perfect for that and would log your weight over time, along with your baby’s, which would be a nice record to have for motivational purposes, but also as a nice little memory when it comes to watching your baby grow.
If your child is under or overweight, then it may prove useful there too, but, as a mum of two, I don’t know how I feel about making frequent weigh-ins a feature with my children. What I will say though, is, as Daisy was tube-fed for the first five months of her life, her weight was always a big focus, and the Smart Nursery Baby&Me Scale would have been useful for me to see how she was progressing in between medical visits or appointments. This would have been especially true for us when her feeding tube was removed and we had to track and make note of what she ate and drank and make sure she was still gaining weight.
As an overall product, I think that the Smart Nursery Baby&Me Scale is a great thing to have as a family scale that is also developed to be able to weigh babies and small children too. But I don’t think it can beat having proper developmental check-ups for your baby or child.
Finally, is the Smart Nursery Alert Sensor (Twin pack). These are essential sensors that let you know when your little one is getting into mischief. So you could place it on a door, window, drawer, baby gate, or more and receive notifications to your smartphone or tablet when it opens or closes. So, for example, the fridge would be a fun one as my five year-old is always ‘just having a look’!
Now, I am going to be very honest when I say that I don’t think that these are something you need as a parent. At least on a very basic level, but, if you do have a meddler on your hands, especially one who has recently gone from the cot to bed transition, then this would be a great way of knowing that they had snuck out of their room, or were causing mischief upstairs. I actually think these would be more useful for toddlers and young children than babies, but you could also put one of these on any main doors in the house and keep an eye out for any intruders, or even any teenagers sneaking out.
They come with batteries, which I loved, and also 3M sticky pads to affix to wherever you would like them to be. Something I also loved because SO OFTEN you buy things these days and they don’t come with batteries or ways in which to use them. The only struggle I had was that the instructions were quite minimal so I wasn’t quite sure how to fix them and where, and I also found it hard to find the pairing button to pair the sensors with the app. So it’s always worth bearing in mind that this isn’t something to do half an hour before your child goes to bed!
The Smart Nursery Alert Sensors (Twin pack) are a useful gadget to have if you require something like this, and I wonder if I will find them more useful as Daisy grows? Again, you can hook them up to the Smart Nursery app, and you will be notified when one of the sensors picks something up, which is great, particularly if you have gone out for the evening and want to keep an eye on the goings-on in your home.
So, the Motorola Smart Nursery range, in a nutshell, allows any parent to have total control over their child’s health, wellbeing and safety. The range aims to make normal situations much more easy to manage – no more traipsing up and down stairs at night, or worrying when you leave your little one with a baby sitter.
Do I think you need all of the range? Probably not – but every parent, every baby, every child, every family, is different. I really liked the Smart Nursery Cam Portable Wi-Fi Video Baby Camera, Smart Nursery Dream Machine, and, for certain situations, the Smart Nursery Humidifier+. But I’m not sure that the Smart Nursery Baby&Me Scale and Smart Nursery Alert Sensor (Twin pack) would be items I would use as often, though I can still appreciate their value too.
I would say that, if you like the idea of being able to keep an eye on your baby or child, wherever you are, then you’d really benefit from trying the Smart Nursery range, mainly so you can make use of the apps, and feel a bit more secure about the wellbeing of your little ones. The great thing about the range is that you can pick and choose elements that work for you, and add to what you need, as and when you might need it.
It does allow you a lot of extra control as a parent, but you do need to remember that your phone or tablet will take a hit with battery life, and you do need to keep it charged and close by at all times, to make sure your little one is safe. I didn’t get to try the Smart Nursery 7 Portable Wi-Fi Video Baby Monitor, but I wonder if that would be a key piece to have so you can monitor your baby the traditional way too.
I hope you found this review helpful and that you got to learn a little more about Motorola’s Smart Nursery range. I have to say, while I might not use every item regularly, I have to applaud Motorola for stepping it up a gear when it comes to baby monitors and your child’s safety and happiness. Definitely the brand to turn to if you want the latest technology and ultimate peace of mind.
You can find the full Motorola Smart Nursery Range at John Lewis, with prices starting from £34.99.
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post.