Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Summer Infant Babble Band Review

Wearable technology has another gadget in town, the Summer Infant Babble Band. We were kindly sent a Babble Band in return for our honest opinion, so I hope you enjoy reading this review.

What is it?



The Babble Band by Summer Infant is a wearable, digital audio monitor.
First Impressions:

It is unlike a baby monitor I have ever seen before. It has a discreet design featuring tones of white and soft grey with the Summer Infant logo. I wondered whether it would be complicated to use, but the buttons appear to be in plain sight and clear from what I can see through the clear section of the packaging. The box itself is fairly small with plenty of bright images of the product inside and its main unique selling points in several languages. I feel that the eye-catching box is the perfect size to reflect the innovative monitor inside, after all, Apple watches don't come in huge boxes do they?



What is in the box:

1 x portable nursery unit
1 x wearable wristband
1 x pair of mains adaptors
1 x mains cord and plug
1 x instructions manual




Assembly:

The assembly was pretty straightforward seeing as there is only one charger required but with the option of using a three-pin connection (UK) and two-pin connection (Europe). The individual plug pin panel simply slides into the main body of the plug. If there was an additional arrow to suggest which way to slide it in (i.e, towards the wire),that could be helpful. I did try to put it together the wrong way round, I blame baby brain! The wristband conveniently drapes over the top of the main unit and adheres using magnets. When plugged into the mains, the main unit's LED light turns red and blinks and once fully charged the red light is static. The instructions are clear and suggests that the charging time is 5-6 hours, however I found the main unit to have charged in less than two on my first use.


The Lowdown:

  • The Babble Band is one of the first wearable digital baby monitors on the market. Many monitor parent units have a clip to attach to a belt, but can ultimately be uncomfortable, whereas the adjustable Babble Band wristband has been designed to fit with comfort.
  • It has 3 monitoring modes; audio with volume control, vibration and sound lights only
  • The baby unit doubles up as the charging base for the wristband and a full charge will provide 8 hours of continuous use
  • The monitor has a range of up to 800 ft (243.84m)
  • The Babble Band has a low battery and out of range alert


How we got on:

As baby monitor newbies, I can only compare the Babble Band to our first ever monitor which is an static, bedside Angelcare sound and movement monitor. The conventional parent unit of most baby monitors has a clip, presumably designed for the unit to be attached to a belt. In my experience of this design, I have found the unit difficult to attach to my waistband, not to mention uncomfortable. It is no wonder Summer Infant saw a gap in the market and produced this clever wristband to make daytime naps easier.

I can simply set up the Babble Band monitor beside Freyja whilst she is napping and I can get on with my jobs around the house, my own work, and having some time with her big brother.

Whilst I have been vacuuming the sound-activated visual lights from the wrist monitor alert me to when she is stirring. I love the fact that in order to crack on with other activities I no longer have to flit my eyes from my chore to the standalone monitor positioned on a table. When the weather requires the lawn to be mowed and allows laundry to be dried outside, the 240m range will allow me to keep an eye and an ear out for her.



The Babble Band will definitely prove to be a useful tool to take on short-breaks and it is also simple enough for Freyja's grandparents to use as well. With three children our car can get pretty full when we stay away from home, so the lighter we travel the better. No additional chargers and cords are required with the Babble Band as the nursery unit doubles up as a charger for the wristband. Charging can occur overnight or at any spare moment when the monitor isn't in use.

Pros -  lightweight, sensitive, vibration mode is great if you are particularly busy and distracted, main unit can charge the wristband. 1 year warranty is an advantage too.

Improvements - the Babble Band could be improved further if the main unit was wireless in addition to the wristband, so the monitor can be used wherever the baby is sleeping, whether it be in a bouncer or a swing. As it is, the main unit needs to be plugged in and kept a metre away from the baby. Whilst the Angelcare movement monitor is particularly ideal since Freyja sleeps on her front during the night in her Bednest, but for naps out of the Bednest  a completely wireless, portable Babble Band would be very advantageous. As it is incredibly light (~100g) it is very little effort to move and plug in and position near to the baby due to the long cord.



Price and where to buy:

The Summer Infant Babble Band retails from £47.49 and you can purchase it directly from Summer Infant, Toys R us and Tesco Direct, to name a few store.

Would we recommend the Babble Band?

Absolutely! If you want to be able to monitor your baby from anywhere in the house or garden, no matter what you are doing - working out, hanging laundry, vacuuming, then the Babble Band wearable digital audio monitor is for you. No wonder it is in the shortlist for the Mother & Baby 2017 awards.




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