Baby monitors are evolving all the time. Long gone are the days of basic functionality and audio-only monitors. As technology continues to progress, parents are demanding much more from their baby monitor.

A review of the Nanit Plus

We take a look at the latest baby monitor on the block, the Nanit Plus. The HD 960p overhead video camera does so much more than letting you keep an eye on your baby. It’s part of a wider system that enables you to monitor your baby’s breathing, movements and sleep patterns.

The slick-looking high resolution camera is of high quality, providing a crisp image of your baby’s cot during both night and daytime. The 10-infrared LED light array night vision is preset to activate in low-light conditions.  There’s a nightlight that can be activated via the app on top of the camera, in case your baby prefers to sleep with a little light in the room. The nightlight doesn’t impact on the quality of the image being streamed to your app.

The camera can be positioned over the cot, or it can also be installed using a wall mount, each option includes casing to hide all wires. The camera picks up all the action within the cot, and the area just outside – aka the Parent Pick-Up Zone.

The Nanit companion app

The Nanit Plus camera works via its companion app. As app-based monitors go, this one’s head and shoulders above the rest. The app’s background audio lets you hear your baby while in other apps, or even when your screen is locked.

The app has a night mode with a dimmable screen, so you can also enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.

The Nanit Plus is supported by apps on both Android and iOS and setting up the camera and the app via Wi-Fi is really simple. The only downside is that at present, there isn’t an option to view the stream via a desktop.

Sleeping and breathing monitoring

The Nanit Plus comes with one year of free ‘Insights’.  Insights effectively “supercharges” your camera using advanced algorithms. With it, you’ll have access to timelapse footage and summaries, age-based comparisons of how your baby is sleeping, tips to improve your baby’s sleep, as well as a real-time activity feed. Yep, it carefully watches over your baby, capturing timings and footage of wakeful periods during naptime and nighttime.

With Insights, this piece of kit is pretty much the ultimate at sleep tracking and breathing monitoring.

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Using data to tweak your baby’s routine

Nanit’s sleep tracking is really useful for parents to get a good overview of their baby’s sleeping habits and current routine. When I first starting using the Nanit Plus my 7-month-old baby was still stirring up to three times in the night. Each wakeful moment was cured by a quick insertion of his dummy (apart from the times I’d find myself blindly hunting around under the cot for it in the dark. Note to self ALWAYS keep a spare on the landing!!).

I found it really useful looking back on footage from the night before, as my husband would ask me ‘how many times were you up in the night?’ Urgh… I was half asleep for at least two of those visits, it was often hard to remember, and I’d never keep an eye on the clock.

Helpful tips to help your baby sleep

I found this aspect of the baby monitor particularly useful in identifying what was going on during those bedtime hours.

I used the time-lapse feedback to figure out how to minimise his wakeful periods by tweaking his daytime routine.

It was really interesting to see that the natural increase of food he was eating at dinnertime as he became fully weaned, coupled with the dropping of the 10.30 pm dream feed meant his wakeful periods are now ones in which nobody has to intervene. He may change positions quietly, but he’s now sleeping through. 7-6.30am. Et voila!

Nanit Insights Subscription Service

After the first year, you will have to sign up in order to continue to receive this in-depth sleep data, but personally, I think that many parents find the first few months the most unsettled and worrying, and after that time, you might not necessarily need to fork out for the extras.

Nanit’s Breathing Wear

If you’re looking to buy the Nanit Complete Monitoring System you’ll also receive a patterned swaddle and a band that the baby wears when sleeping.

Once your child is wearing the breathing wear and all ready for bedtime in their cot, all you have to do is press the ‘lungs’ icon in the app and watch the bottom of the screen pulse green – simulating inhalation and exhalation.

The camera tracks the patterns on the sleepwear (without using any electronics) and hey presto, by doing so, monitors baby’s every breath. If anything’s amiss, you’ll be sent a swift alert via the app to your phone.

Nanit’s Red Alert

The breathing wear plays a loud alarm on your phone and on the camera if more than twenty seconds pass without a detected breath from your baby. The alarm is designed to wake both you and your baby.

Other important features

There’s two-way audio, as well as a selection of nature sounds including the very popular white noise. You’ll also find the advanced user permissions really handy for the times when your baby is left with another caregiver.

Conclusion

With one year free of Insights, the Nanit Plus is a no-brainer purchase when it comes to your newborn’s first year of sleep. It’s one of those sanity-saving purchases that will give you peace of mind during both naps and nighttime.
There are lots of products on the market that enable you to track your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels, and of course, many fantastic monitors to choose from, but if you’re looking for an all-rounder, this is the device for you.

The Nanit Plus is a baby monitor that currently, goes above and beyond anything else currently on the market.

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