We have clearance, Clarence.

Since V. moved into her own room last week, we’ve been putting a baby monitor through its paces. This gadget was leant to us by my sister and it does make a world of difference to our domestic life, knowing we have an attentive little device keeping watch over the baby. However, one or two problems have emerged. So before you buy one yourself, read on.

Our monitor consists of a Baby unit that stays near the sleeping baby – basically, a microphone – and a Parent Unit; the speaker. The Parent unit sits in a cradle and needs recharging in that position every few hours. We’ve found that, to keep the Parent unit charged and with us at all times, we have to keep unplugging the cradle and carry it from room to room. From the kitchen, to the front room and then to the bedroom for overnight use. Are we the only ones who find this very annoying? Ideally, the Parent unit ought to stay charged enough to stay out of its cradle for several hours. So I would recommend finding a Parent unit that either guarantees 9 or 10 hours of charge time away from its cradle, or have a Parent unit that works on replaceable batteries.

And while you are at it, find a talkback function that has volume control. We use ours so that mum and dad can communicate with each other when one of us is in the nursery. But if V. is asleep in the same room, that communication becomes one sided because the talkback function is so loud. (Admittedly this hasn’t stopped me signing off each sentence with “Roger, Over.Kercchh.” when I’m on the mic.)

Finally, I recommend getting a Parent Unit that has a belt clip. Ours is shaped like an egg. I’m sure it was designed to look nice, but is a royal pain to carry around with you.

If anyone knows of a monitor with these functions, let me know! “Over.”

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