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Video Baby Monitors and SlumberPod ... which brands work best?
So you have your SlumberPod or you are interested in purchasing one — and want to know how a baby monitor works with it. It’s relatively simple, as our team member, Lindsey, demonstrates below -- with a tip for placing the monitor in the pouch sideways (horizontal to the floor).
To be transparent, some video monitors perform better than others and for various reasons. We have surveyed over 2,000 customers who had received their SlumberPod to gather feedback about the video monitor they used with their SlumberPod. The surveys had a great response --- providing details about what worked well and aspects of using particular models that didn’t work so well. From this information, we reached back out to customers to get additional information that will help other customers, as well as our product development. (Looking for tips for first use? We've got you covered! Check out our first use tips blog here).
A summary of the top results
Monitors reported being overall compatible with SlumberPod:
- Dragon Touch DT50
- Hello Baby (great picture)
- Infant Optics (great picture - see above and below)
- Moonbaby Split Monitor
- Nest (great picture - see below)
- Summer Infant (good picture - see below)
- Vacos Baby Monitor (great picture)
- VAVA (great picture - see below)
- Wyze (good picture - see below)
Some of the above were perfect for all aspects, and some of the above brands were only reported by a few but received very positive remarks.
From the beginning of developing our blackout canopy, we knew that caregivers would enjoy having a way to monitor their little one while using SlumberPod, similar to how babies are monitored when they sleep in a separate room at home. How did we know? SlumberPod was created by a mother-daughter duo who have nine children between them — so they knew first-hand that this feature would be important. They also conducted focus groups and product input surveys to confirm the importance prior to finalizing the initial design.
You may be wondering why more video cameras weren’t included in the initial development. Actually, we did test quite a few models back at the start of our idea (summer of 2016), but cameras have evolved and manufacturers have added features that weren’t as mainstream back then.
(Pictured Above - Infant Optics)
(Pictured Above - Wyze)
Our product development team is analyzing different ideas that could be incorporated in the design to enhance using all baby monitors. It will likely be a while before the ideas go into production, so we appreciate your patience.
In the meantime, please contact us if you have any ideas that you’d like to share with us to improve SlumberPod — for the video camera or for other enhancements. We love hearing from our customers!
(Pictured above — The Nest)
- If purchasing a video baby monitor to use with SlumberPod, look for models with a wide-angle lens.
- Check to see if your camera lens has a protective vinyl covering. If so, peel it off so that the camera lens is exposed with no covering.
- Make sure the zipper on the monitor pouch is zipped completely shut as any light will increase glare or cause blurriness.
- Keep in mind that the temperature reading on your baby monitor may show up to 10 degrees warmer than actual as the gauge is impacted by being included in the monitor pouch.
- If your video monitor has auto-focus, turn it off if possible, otherwise it will focus on the clear vinyl.
- Position the camera horizontally in the camera pouch so that it will capture the entire sleeping area.
- Position the camera lens as tight against the clear vinyl as possible with no wrinkles to reduce glare.
- Cover up the night vision sensor with duct tape or electrical tape.
- Put the camera inside the pouch upside down or sideways (sideways helps the view to include most if not all of the playard).
- Really helped to smooth out the pocket from the inside when adjusting the camera so there wasn’t a glare. Messing with it from the inside made it easier!
- Turn the monitor with the power light facing away from baby to keep it extra dark.
- Special thanks to Steven in the comments: "For those with Nanits, the clicking sound is the infrared (night vision) mode turning on and off, not auto-focus. Simply go into your advanced settings in the Nanit app and switch your night vision to on or off vs auto, and it’ll solve the problem."
- Place your Nanit in the pouch horizontally (fits easier with the stand) and after each adjustment, wait for the wifi to catch up to show the new view. In the same section in the Nanit app where you can choose to adjust the night vision, you can choose "Crib Left" or "Crib Right." These settings help adjust the view of the monitor without actually having to move it.
- For those with Nanit: It's best not to use the stand. You can plug the usb-c directly into the back of the camera which makes it so much easier to sit flush against the plastic.
Five Tips for Safe Sleep — Celebrating Baby Safety Month
22 Years Later — Elizabeth Kurz Rekindles Her Passion
Elizabeth Kurz was a gymnast ever since she could walk.
So it should come as no surprise she set some personal bests at a gymnastics meet in early March — unless you know she’s 34 years old and recently started competing again after a 22-year break.
She’s happy to be a mom and wife. But after two decades of not competing, she’s also proud to call herself a gymnast again. She’s hoping others like her find their passions along with the demands of parenting and everyday life.
“As adults, we are conditioned by society or our own general thoughts to believe we can’t do something because of our age,” Kurz said. “I just felt if I could give so much in one area, no one could take it from me. It’s mine and mine alone. I said, “Let’s see if I could do gymnastics again.”
A born gymnast
Kurz started gymnastics when she was about 5 years old. And until the age of 12, gymnastics was her life. In 1997, despite success (she had made regionals — a step above state championships — a couple of times), she decided to walk away. The “normal” life of a teenager beckoned — more time with friends, school-based sports and other interests. That led to a lengthy gap in her gymnastics career, though she wouldn’t know it yet.
During those years she met and married Matt, a member of the Army. They eventually had Oskar, now 2. The duties of being a military spouse and the mother of a young boy came first.
"The main thing that makes Elizabeth so special to Oskar and I is that she is simply so committed to us as a whole, Matt said. “She obviously wants the best for Oskar, and that can be seen on a daily basis. For example, she has already gotten Oskar into gymnastics. She is an excellent mother, and I'd be lost without her.” Matt deployed to Iraq when Oskar was 2 months old. Matt said he knew it was difficult for her, but she was determined to make it through. Matt had seen her determination many times before. She worked two jobs to make ends meet earlier in life. She braved Northern Virginia traffic so they could see each other often early in their long-distance relationship because he was stationed in Pennsylvania.
“Throughout the years, I've seen her determination come out in many other aspects of her life, but it has been most apparent in her dedication to health and fitness,” he said. “Since getting back into gymnastics, I've seen her determination soar to a level that I wasn't even aware she had in her.”
‘Things will unfold’
While Elizabeth loves her family, she soon realized something was missing from her life. Like many parents, she had the urge to do something for herself again.
“There was no one specific thing (that happened),” she said. “Last year, I decided to stop trying to find the perfect size and just get started. I thought, ‘Things will unfold.’”
She started with tumbling classes, a class she also took before becoming pregnant with Oskar. After doing the class for 30-minutes once per week, she realized that was not enough. “I wanted the physical challenge,” she said. Kurz moved from tumbling class to full gymnastics. She signed up for a local program and worked with a coach.
She competed five times from January to March. Her scores were good enough to qualify for the state competition later in March. She’ll compete against the best gymnasts in North Carolina with a chance to move to a regional competition — the same level she competed at when she was a kid.
“There are numerous reasons why Elizabeth has enjoyed getting back into gymnastics, but I think the most important one is that she simply finds it incredibly gratifying to see that she can still do it,” Matt said. “In addition to that, I feel like she still held some regret about stopping when she did — like she had not yet reached her prime when she was competing as a child. I know there's also got to be that aspect of a sense of belonging and acceptance that you find doing any kind of activity with like-minded people.”
Though she’s comfortable with competing, she said she draws curious looks from onlookers. However, everyone she’s spoken with has been supportive and encouraging.
“We think we are too old,” Kurz said. “I knew I had to get over the stigma of this. When I do something, I have to be all-in. I have great intensity and have to be really good at it.”
No more sleepless trips
Kurz knows it’s tough for parents to get away to pursue something that’s not related to children, work or home life. She says she’s lucky to have good daycare centers in her area. Matt has supported her, she said, and his job flexibility has allowed him to either travel to meets with her or stay home with Oskar.
Kurz also credits her SlumberPod. She can take Oskar to meets, and he’ll sleep soundly despite the action around him. “I am obsessed with the product, Kurz said. “It has solved so many problems for us.” Kurz bought SlumberPod shortly after she had spent a sleepless vacation at a family member’s house.
“I took it on my next trip, and Oscar was out like a light,” she said. “For every mom that follows a sleep routine, it’s the answer to our prayers.
And it’s never far from her. She’s used SlumberPod to safely sleep Oskar in a downstairs hallway during Hurricane Florence in September 2018. On a trip, she got a surprise visit from a curious security guard at Heathrow Airport during a flight delay. She used her SlumberPod so Oskar could take a nap while she did some stretching for her gymnastics regime which caught the eye of airport security.
Kurz has also made a few friends along the way, including Katy Mallory and Lou Childs, co-creators of SlumberPod.
The three have never met, but that hadn’t stopped Kurz from sending notes of encouragement when Mallory and Childs were trying out for Shark Tank. Or sending messages of her gymnastics success and demonstrating for people how SlumberPod can make a difference.
“Elizabeth has been an inspiration to us,” Childs said. “She doesn’t let normal life things get in the way. She has energy, tenacity, and she shares that with the world.”
Kurz knows firsthand what it’s like to sometimes feel confined when you are a mother to a young child. She says it’s important for mothers to explore what made them happy in the past because it just might help them live a fuller life now.
“If we find ourselves in the monotony of everyday life, it’s important for moms and women to look back to childhood and explore what made them happier,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be gymnastics. It could be swimming. It could be karate. Maybe reflect on what happened in life and see if it brings you joy again.”
NOTE: This is the first article in a series that highlights SlumberPod customers. Don't be shy! Nominate yourself by sending us an email (and include pictures) to email@example.com. And please share this article to inspire others to attain their dreams.
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