Thursday, December 9, 2010

Product Review II: Tommee Tippee Monitor

I may as well write something informative on this blog.  And this here's going to be another rant, I'm afraid.

The Frog's concerned grandparents wanted to get me a monitor - one of those things that have a pad that slide under the mattress and beep alarmingly when your baby doesn't move for 20 seconds, or something like.  The local baby department store had 2 brands, the Tommee Tippee "Suresound Ultimate Monitor" and another one (I forget its name).   The sales lady didn't really push either one, so we just chose the Tommee Tippee at random.  Boy, but I wish I'd done some proper research.

Turns out that the alarm system seems to be some kind of scatter-brained nursemaid: "Watching baby, watching baby, watchi-  Ooooh! What's that out the window? Ooooh .....  pretty colours ......  Lovely swishy sounds ... Lalalala ..........         OMG! I forgot to watch the baby!!  Has it been 20 seconds???  I don't know!!!  WAKE UP EVERYONE!!!!! BABY IS DYING!!!!!!!"

This can happen at any time, but seems to specialise in hitting that sweet spot at about 3am when I'm deep in REM sleep, and trying to work out how to put on my shoes when they're full of hedgehogs.

So I leap up and stagger to his room, to find the Frog deep in slumber.  And as I stare bleary-eyed at the monitor, the Frog heaves a huge sigh of somnolent contentment, to rub it in.  And it's just as well really, as noone appreciates being visited by a sleep-deprived zombie potato in the dead of night.

The alarm has gone off so frequently, that we now just don't bother to set it, because after about the tenth over-enthusiastic wake-up call, Hubs and I had stopped leaping up, stopped nudging one another ("YOU go", "No, YOUR turn"), stopped midnight games of rock-paper-scissors, and in fact barely registered that the monitor was making a sound at all.  Turns out you can sleep through these alarms pretty well.  So not much use there.

My second issue (yes! I have more than one!).  Was the design of the parent-side unit.  Don't know if you've checked out the link, but the parent-side monitor looks like a high-tech egg nestled in its cup.  And it's about as stable.  Seriously, this is the most touchy and poorly designed bit of baby-safe technology EVER.  To begin with, it takes multiple attempts at placing the 'egg' in the cup so that it actually starts receiving information from the baby-side.  Maybe you have to turn it to face Mecca, or magnetic North, or place it on a ley-line?  All I know is that it usually takes me three goes just to get the buzzy static that lets me know that we have a connection.
But having a connection is only half the battle.  Keeping it is the other half.  Honestly, I think you'd have a better chance at maintaining full contact with an Apollo space mission.  If anything disturbs the precise balance of the egg, it stops transmitting.  This can be the cat brushing past, a light wind blowing, or even a particularly vigorous yawn might suck it a fraction of a millimetre out of alignment.  Either way, there have been a few mornings I've woken up after a lovely sleep-in, to see the monitor lights dead, and hear the distant caterwauling of a Disconsolate and Lonely Frog.

Nuff said.  Buy another brand.

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