I received this item at no cost to facilitate my review. All opinions remain my own.
Despite dealing with generalized anxiety disorder from a very young age, I am not an anxious parent. I never experienced the “is my baby breathing” paranoia that I know can plague new parents, even when they have a baby with no unusual health risks.
A video monitor was not something we ever needed with Cub. In fact, we had an audio monitor only because it was on a list of must-have items. We never used it. We lived in less than 800 square feet, so I could pretty much hear him breathing from the kitchen anyway.
With Little Miss Cub, we now live in a townhouse with three floors. Little Miss has barely been out of arm’s reach since she was born: she’s slept in bed with me, been in the carrier, or napped during the day nearby in her rocking chair.
Bedtime when you co-sleep is definitely different than when baby sleeps alone in her crib. Up until recently, Little Miss hasn’t really been “put to bed,” I’ve just brought her up to bed with me whenever I’m ready to go to sleep, whether it’s 8:30 PM or midnight. Once Cub’s in bed (usually by 8 PM), I attempt to work until at least 10 PM. Little Miss usually sleeps next to me in her rocking chair, or else I’m wearing her or holding her in my lap.
Now that she’s nearing four months old, it’s time for her to sleep away from me sometimes, and get into a more of a bedtime routine. Even though I plan to continue co-sleeping, I want her first stretch of sleep to be away from me so I can have a break. Our Snuza monitor has made this possible!
We have Little Miss’s Guzzie & Guss Habitat next to our bed, so the first night I tried the “sleep away from Mommy” strategy, I nursed her to sleep and settled her in there. With the Snuza camera peeking in at her, I went downstairs to sit at my desk.
She woke up crying within twenty minutes, but rather than bring her downstairs, I decided to stick to it being “bedtime,” and nurse her back down lying on our bed. This time, I left her in the middle of the bed in her sleep sack, cuddled by our firm nursing pillow, which must make her feel like she’s not lying there all alone. I’m not comfortable leaving her sleeping like that without being able to see her, so I’ve got the Snuza monitor right next to my computer monitor.
I had to go upstairs one last time until she was fully settled and fast asleep. Then, with the monitor in my line of vision as I worked, my little girl slept all by herself in our bed until I was ready to join her and give her more milk. (She’s typically hungry between 11 PM and midnight, which helps me remember not to work into the wee hours of the night.)
The next day, she napped again in our bed, again with the nursing pillow snuggling her like Mommy does.
In her playpen or crib, I’m not worried about constantly checking the video monitor. I do want to make sure I can hear her, though, since I am no longer always within earshot. Being very lazy, I do not want to be running up the stairs two at a time unless it is necessary. Living in a townhouse, there are lots of noises coming from our neighbors which would have me sprinting up the stairs in a panic were it not for the Snuza. Any noise detected turns the video on if you’ve got it on audio-only mode. (You can adjust the sensitivity of the noise-activation function.) When I hear a thud, and I see Little Miss still peacefully slumbering, it’s a total sanity saver.
Since Little Miss doesn’t yet move around in her sleep, once the camera is aimed at her, I don’t need to move it around. But the fact that I can move it around if I want to is pretty darn cool. For now, this function serves more to amuse Papa and Cub when they are “spying” with the Snuza. I can also click to zoom in on her. (Also not a feature that I’ve needed yet, but I think it’s pretty snazzy!)
I love the temperature monitor, not because I’m particularly worried about the room temperature, but because we have central heating and I have no idea what the temperature is in each of our rooms. (In our apartment, each room had a thermostat.)
Setting up the Snuza was ridiculously easy, straight out of the box. In fact, Papa Wolf, who is usually nonplussed by the items I receive for review, came home to find the Snuza box and had promptly set it up and told Cub it was the “Avengers” camera and that they were going to be spies. I went out to the dentist and came home to the faint sound of the camera turning to look at me and Cub’s voice over the intercom screeching “Hi Mama!” with giddy delight.
Little Miss is now going to bed before me every night, and Papa Wolf and I have had our first movie night sans bébé thanks to the Snuza!
My favourite features of the Snuza Video Monitor:
- Extremely clear image, even in the pitch dark;
- Noise-activation turns the video feed on for you when there’s noise detected;
- Temperature monitor is handy, and will probably be more useful in checking if the room is too hot in the summer;
- The monitor has a rechargeable battery, so you can bring it anywhere with you (the battery was down to 30% after 3 hours, but that was with the video feed on the entire time);
- So easy to set up and use that my three-year-old can do it (which may be a bad thing, now that I think of it!);
- Possibility of adding up to three additional cameras;
- Included wall-mounting accessories if you want the camera in one, permanent location;
- Volume control from 0-8;
- Talk-back function so I can try to soothe baby with my voice, or so Cub can delight in talking to me from a distance.
Snuza Canada actually sent me the Snuza Trio Plus for this review, which also comes with the “Hero,” a portable abdominal movement sensor that clips on to baby’s diaper.
What does the Hero do?
- Detects abdominal movement
- Alarms if all movement stops
- Clips onto diaper for total mobility – no cords, wires or pads
- Vibration stimulus after 15 seconds of no movement
- Alarms after 20 seconds of no movement
The Hero and the video monitor can be used completely independently, and the Hero isn’t something that we feel we need. That said, I had a reader share with me why she chose to use the Hero for her daughter. Catherine told me:
“I love love love Snuza. Would have gone crazy without it!!! I bought it when my first was 6 weeks and turned blue suddenly in my arms (the doctor never found any reason). She wore it any time she was sleeping until she was 13 months. My son wore it everyday of his first year! After that initial incident it happened a second time when she was 8 weeks. She was napping in the park and play. The Snuza went off. I got to her and she was just starting to turn blue again!!! That time we found out she had choked on her reflux, but I got to her quickly enough so she was fine. I can’t even imagine what could have happened if the Snuza had not alerted me as it happened.”
Shop & Connect:
The Snuza Video Monitor can be purchased with or without the Hero abdominal monitor.