I’m a new dad. I’m also a geek (as my joy at my daughter’s Princess Leia hat demonstrates). Combine these two and you’ve got something special.
Before Amelia was born we bought a baby monitor. The Tomy Digital Plus TD350* to be exact. It is quite swish, with talkback, temperature display vibrate mode and a remote controlled nightlight that cycles through the colour spectrum. Geeky dad heaven. However, it is the addition of something else that makes it more new-fangled and geeky; an integrated mattress monitor.
The Tomy Movement Sensor TSP500* is a panel that sits under a baby’s mattress and detects their breathing, with a base station that glows and clicks with every breath. If it doesn’t detect anything for 20 seconds an alarm goes off. We got a mattress monitor for Amelia after a recommendation from a friend about the peace of mind they give you, and with such a worrier for a wife, I jumped at the chance to placate her mind. We chose the Tomy TSP500 as it integrated with our existing setup.
It’s a blessing. It’s also an absolute nightmare.
The overall concept of the sensor is fantastic, but there are a few flaws that make it hard work to like as a product.
The first problem is when you turn it on. You’ve just spent a fair chunk of your precious evening, missing the Grand Designs episode with the Irish castle you’ve been looking forward to for ages, to get your precious baby to sleep. You settle them into their cot. You turn on the mattress monitor. BEEEEEEEP goes the base station. BEEEEEEEEP goes the monitor handset. Yes. Cheers Tomy. I didn’t want to see Grand Designs anyway.
The second is the alarm. It is very sensitive. Granted it’s got quite a complex job to perform, but it’s the boy who cried wolf. Instead of a boy shouting “Wolf” there is an inanimate object tugging at your heart strings by suggesting your baby is in trouble. Our daughter can be quite a shallow breather, so the monitor doesn’t pick it up, and goes of. On average, it probably does that about 5 times a night. The villagers got annoyed and ignored the boy to his detriment, whereas I spring into action every time, only to find Amelia sleeping soundly when I get there.
For those who don’t have the TD350 monitor to plug it into, this is useless as you would have to be in the room to use it and it’ll only run on batteries. If you don’t have the Tomy TD350 monitor or one similar in the Tomy range, then I’d be tempted to say you should look at the Angelcare AC401* instead.
I sadly won’t be recommending this to anyone, but we will continue to use it every single day because as soon as you get that peace of mind, you can never live without it.
* Amazon Associate link