Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sunday supplement

Two items up for review today, neither of which any parent of a newborn can easily do without. First, a baby monitor. Charlie's old one stopped working properly several months ago, so we were delighted to be asked to try out the new Samsung Digital Video Monitor. Alongside (now) standard features such as two-way sound and lullaby player are such goodies as a digital thermometer and - of course - the 3.5" LCD screen which combined with the latest GFSk signal technology allows an interference-free picture of your sleeping darling. And if the monitor isn't quite your cup of tea, the system integrates with applications such as Skype and MSN to allow you to broadcast a live video stream of your little one should you want to. But would you want to? What you might find useful, however, is the ability to connect to your computer, giving you the chance to see what's happening from almost anywhere in the world! And although I haven't (yet) tried it, that might just be necessary because, so far, we've found the Samsung's range to be just a little bit limited.
No such problems with the new tommee tippee® Digital Movement & Sound Monitor however. This system comes with optional sensor pad allowing you to monitor the baby's movements as well as listening to her cries. There is a talk-back feature which means you needn't leave the sofa if all your baby needs is to hear the soothing sound of her parent's voice, and this machine comes with a range we've yet to find the limits of. The blurb says it transmits up to 300 metres, which should be enough for all but the most capacious dwelling, and the Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology (DECT) offers completely interference free monitoring. If I was forced to choose just one baby monitor, this would be it.
Next, perambulators. From birth to about the age of twelve months Charlie's means of transport was the Britax travel system I bought several years ago for Sally and it served him well. It didn't serve us quite as well, being both rather large and heavy and having low, non-adjustable handles. So as soon as we could we bought him a pushchair. Unfortunately that was rather mangled by a certain airline, and we were on the look out for a new one. So when MacLaren asked if we'd like to try the XLR buggy we were only too pleased, because the XLR is suitable from birth. It comes with adjustable handles making for back-ache free pushing even if, like me, you' re 6' 3". It's also light, folds easily and to a small size and yet seems sturdy enough and flexible in terms of its settings to accommodate a tiny newborn baby. I probably wouldn't have chosen this if we'd been shopping for a brand-new set of wheels. Instinctively, I might have plumped for something bigger, stronger, more like the Britax I bought several years ago. But having tried it out we won't be changing anything. It couldn't be more comfortable to push, it's feels safe and secure and yet folds easily away into the boot of almost any car. Highly recommended. 

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