Withings Home – An Innovative Baby Monitor Reviewed

Even as a security camera, Home by Withings is a pretty innovative device; however, when used as a baby monitor, it’s got some features that are downright ingenious.

Taking full advantage of the “there’s an app for that” age, Home completely eschews any sort of buttons or clunky remotes and receivers. Simply download the app to your Apple or Android device and never be without access or control. I love the way that the app control allows Home to have a very sleek design while boasting a whole suite of interesting features.

The Features

Wide Angle Lens

I hate it when I lay the baby down, angle the baby monitor so that I can see them clearly, then head for the living room, but by the time I get there, my ninja baby has already rolled to the side of the crib that I can’t see! Home boasts a 135-degree field of vision with no fisheye effect which makes it easy to get the whole crib in the shot.

Pan & Zoom

As we’ve all come to expect from images on our phones, the app will allow you to pan and zoom within the image. The cherry on top is that the camera will digitally enhance the image after you do, allowing you to see crisp details.

Night Light and Lullaby

The baby monitor contains a built-in LED night light in the base. What’s better it also has a number of lullabies that you can choose from that interact with the light to soothe your baby to sleep.

Two Way Speaker and Microphone

There’s nothing more frustrating than when I hear the baby start to cry, and I can tell that they’re starting to get worked up, but I can’t get to their room fast enough to quickly get them back to sleep. With the Home’s two-way speaker and microphone, I can immediately start talking to the baby to calm them down while I’m on my way to the nursery.

Air Quality Monitor

More than just your average security camera, Home can actually monitor the air quality for harmful substances and give you parts per million measurements of what’s in the air that your baby’s breathing.

Alerts

The baby monitor can also automatically send noise, motion, and air quality alerts to your phone. Through the app, you’re able to customize the sensitivity levels to meet your needs.

Our verdict:

Clearly, Home excels as a baby monitor, but it also has enough versatility to still be a useful security camera even after the nursery has become a bedroom or study.

What We Liked

  • Easy to setup
  • Easy to use
  • Goes beyond your basic needs
  • Alerts and air quality features give you total peace of mind

What We Didn’t Like

  • Records time lapsed photos, but not video
  • Wood grain design may not fit a room with modern decor, but is quaint enough to fit almost any nursery

Top 5 Reasons to use a Travel Crib at Home

It was almost time. The nursery was all ready. The brand-spankin’ new clothes were hanging on their brand new hangers, and the crib was made just perfect.

When we brought our little bundle of joy home from the hospital, we wanted everything to be perfect.

We visited his cousin, born two weeks earlier. I was surprised, when I visited, to see that her bed was nothing but a Pack-and-Play travel crib. I said nothing, but my perfectionist mind was thinking, “No crib? Can my baby sleep safely in a travel crib at home?”

How much I had to learn.

Why a Travel Crib Is a Perfectly Acceptable Bed for Your Baby

1. It allows naptime to be consistent yet portable

In case you weren’t aware, one of the most crucial aspects of parenting is conquering naptime. Sleep is paramount, both for you and baby, and much of that depends on a good place to sleep.

Travel cribs like Pack-and-Plays are perfect for naps because they facilitate a long-term consistency that isn’t possible with traditional cribs. Using a travel cot or crib, you can move it out to the garden where you’re working, into the kitchen, or to the trunk for a trip to Grandma’s. Since the bed is familiar and cozy, your baby knows exactly what’s supposed to happen there. Naptime.

Now, whether or not your growing infant will be pleased with the idea is another conversation altogether.

2. It’s much more economical

A new Pack-and-Play can be a fraction of the cost of a new full-sized crib. Combine with that all extras like full-size crib mattresses, bedding, and bedskirt, and you’ll quickly see that a portable crib is much easier on the pocketbook.

3. It can be safer

Although cribs are getting safer and safer—or so they tell us—there’s always the possibility of a growing child getting stuck between the slats or learning to crawl over and escape. With mesh-sided travel cribs, that factor is eliminated, and a child would have to be pretty old—or talented—before he could vault over the side of a Pack-and-Play.

4. It’s versatile

A Pack-and-Play isn’t just for sleep time. It’s a great way to contain toddlers at play. It’s a perfect solution when guests bring over their roaming anklebiters who haven’t learned to keep their sticky fingers to themselves.

5. It’s easier to resell

When it’s time to move to a “big kid bed,” it’s usually easier to sell a well-cared for Pack-and-Play than a full size crib. Many places won’t even allow you to sell used cribs due to the potential liability involved in older models.

While first time parents like myself have the best of intentions, they don’t always have the most sense. I thought I was such a great parent for having a top-of-the-line nursery, when my sister-in-law had the right idea all along.

Fast-forward to today. My youngest child just woke up and smiled at me from the Pack-and-Play where he loves to sleep every day and every night. He is healthy, happy, and just as wonderful as my oldest child.

And his room isn’t nearly as crowded.

For more on making sure your baby sleeps safely, visit our guide to crib and sleep safety.

Travel Cribs We Love

Child Proofing with Safety Gates

When your baby starts to crawl, explore, or use a walker, it’s time to install safety gates wherever potential hazards may be present around your home. At the top of stairs, at the bottom of stairs, and in between rooms, safety gates act as barricades that communicate which areas are off-limits for your little scooter. When purchasing safety gates for your home, there are several things to keep in mind: types of gates, features, and safety.

Types of Safety Gates

Pressure-Mounted Safety Gates – The two sliding panels of a pressure-mounted safety gate adjust to the dimensions of the doorway and a locking mechanism supplies the force to wedge the gate in place. These safety gates are typically used between rooms, but should not be used at the top or bottom of stairs.

Wall-Mounted Safety Gates – This type of safety gate is mounted with screws directly into the wall and therefore has the ability to withstand more than pressure-mounted styles. Some styles have a special swing-stop mechanism to prevent the gate from swinging out over the stairs. Wall-mounted safety gates can be used at the top and bottom of stairs and at window openings.

Yard Gates – Yard gates have expandable panels to form a fairly large area for your child to play in and are perfect for creating an exclusive area for your toddler outdoors. Typically, every other panel of a yard gate opens for easy access. We recommend the Superyard XT from North States Industries, it even comes with a handy portable carrying strap.

Features To Look For

  • One-hand release allows you to open and lock a gate with one hand. This is great for times when you are carrying a baby (and that is sure to be often).
  • Dual-direction swinging allows you to open the safety gate in either direction.
  • Expandable safety gates can fit doorways and openings of different sizes.
  • See-through safety gates allow you full vision of baby through widely spaced bars or mesh for better supervision.
  • Installation kits help in mounting safety gates on various surfaces.
  • Extension kits allow gates to expand to fit openings larger than standard-size doorways and windows.
  • Safety gates come in various materials that complement any d�cor–wooden, plastic, plastic-coated steel, and soft mesh.

Safety Tips

  • Do not install pressure-mounted safety gates at the top of stairways, as they cannot withstand as much pressure as wall-mounted safety gates.
  • Choose a safety gate with a straight top edge and rigid bars or a mesh screen, or an accordion-style gate with small (less than 1.5 inches) V-shaped and/or diamond-shaped openings.
  • Discontinue using safety gates when your child is 36 inches tall or is 2 years old. A safety gate should never be less than three quarters of your child’s height, since they can probably climb a safety gate that is not high enough.
  • When installing safety gates with expanding pressure bars, install the bar side away from baby, since pressure bars can be used by children as toeholds to climb over a gate.
  • Follow installation instructions and anchor the safety gate firmly in the doorway or stairway.
  • Always close the safety gate behind you when leaving the room and never leave your child unsupervised.
  • Do not use older models of safety gates that are not certified for safety. They are more prone to be hazardous.

Our Favorite Safety Gates

Baby Proofing Guide

General Safety

Thinking about baby safety doesn’t necessarily come naturally to parents and, in fact, might seem like yet another overwhelming and intimidating task related to bringing up baby. Fortunately, babyproofing is something parents can–and should–take care of before baby even arrives, when you do not yet have the day-to-day care of a new infant as your first priority. You might consider it as the warm-up before the big game–a time to get into the right mindset for parenting and get comfortable with your equipment and strategy. Like many things, you should rely on instinct, but here are some general guidelines to help you make your home a safer place for your bundle of joy.

The guidelines below contain very specific suggestions about how to babyproof your home. However, it’s also helpful to keep some basic things about baby development in mind as you consider ways to make baby’s surroundings safe:

  • A new infant, though not mobile, requires safe equipment (car seats, cribs, strollers,monitors).
  • Once a baby can push herself up on her hands or roll over (around 3 to 6 months), you will need to make sure there is nothing within her reach in or above the crib or on a playmat that may be hazardous.
  • When a baby learns to creep or crawl (around 7 to 9 months), the area in need of babyproofing expands exponentially. You may have to develop babyproof “zones” in highly frequented areas of the home–rooms that are safe for baby and are blocked off from the rest of the home by gates or other equipment. Staircases now become a hazard, and some experts suggest that the bathroom and kitchen should be completely off-limits to mobile children, due to the difficulties involved in making those areas safe for baby.
  • A walking child can get much farther than a crawling child and can do so much faster. At this stage of the game (around 10 to 14 months) you will need to be especially vigilant about watching your child and making sure off-limits areas are well guarded by gates or other barricades. An upright child can also reach much higher than a crawling toddler, so the area that must be babyproof expands vertically as well as horizontally.

Basic Household Safety

“Better safe than sorry” is the best approach to adopt when it comes to making your home a safer place for your baby. The best way to assess what could pose potential hazards for your child is to see your home from a child’s point of view, quite literally. Start by getting down on your hands and knees and explore your home from that vantage point. When you view things from this perspective, it will probably become quite obvious to you just how dangerous that coffee table corner is or how easy it would be for a baby or toddler to stick curious fingers into an electrical socket. Below is a checklist of things you should do in every room in your house.

  • Use socket guards for all unused electrical sockets.
  • Use safety locks on all windows.
  • Put coins, keys, matches, batteries, paper clips, ashtrays, purses, and other small items out of your child’s reach.
  • Place safety latches on all cupboards and closets.
  • Install smoke detectors in all sleeping areas.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Use corner cushions to protect your child from sharp corners.
  • Use cord shorteners to avoid exposure to window cords and wires in the house.
  • Secure gates at top and bottom of all stairways.
  • Eliminate baby’s access to the bathtubs, showers, toilets, swimming pools, and hot tubs.
  • Make sure cosmetics, perfume, aftershave, and other toiletries are out of reach.
  • Position pet food and the litter box out of baby’s way.
  • Post the number of your local poison control center next to telephones along with a list of other emergency numbers–such as the ER, pediatrician, grandparents and other close relatives, and neighbors. You can print our fridge sheet of useful numbers.
  • Stow cleaning products, paint, electrical tools, and exercise equipment out of baby’s reach.
  • Keep plastic wrap and plastic bags out of baby’s reach.

Living Room/Family Room/Nursery

  • Place knickknacks on a high shelf.
  • Use a fireplace screen that a baby cannot tip over, store fire utensils and matches out of baby’s reach, and cushion the corners of fireplace edges with padding or guards.
  • Use socket guards for all unused electrical sockets.
  • Cushion the edges of tables, desks, or other furniture with padding or guards.
  • Do not hang mobiles or other toys over the corner or sides of a playard once baby can push up on her hands, as this could present a strangulation hazard.
  • To prevent your toddler from hurting themselves climbing into or out of a playard, don’t leave them in a mesh playard with the drop side down, and keep the drop side of a playard up even when your child is not in it. Do not leave children unattended in a playpen.
  • Do not use use a playard with holes in the sides, as this could entrap a child’s limbs or head.
  • Avoid locking mechanisms on toy chests that could lead to pinched fingers or accidental closures.

Bathroom

Many experts suggest that babies and toddlers should not be allowed in the bathroom at all (except at bathtime or potty training sessions), as young children can drown in even the smallest amounts of water. However, because toddlers and crawlers are quite curious once they are up and moving on their own, experts suggest that you take the following safety precautions:

  • Keep the toilet lid down and secure it with a latch and do not allow children to play with the water in the bowl. An open toilet bowl presents a potential drowning hazard (not to mention a germ hazard).
  • Do not leave water in the bathtub when it is not in use. Children can drown in as little as 2 to 3 inches of water.
  • Do not leave a child unattended in the bathtub or rely on an older sibling to supervise.
  • Use nonskid mats in the bathtub to prevent slipping.
  • Check to see that the suction cups on a bath seat are securely attached to the bath seat and tub surface.
  • Never use the baby bath seat in a non-skid, slip-resistant bathtub because the suction cups may not adhere to the bathtub surface.
  • Do not rely on bath seats to keep baby safe in the bath.
  • Keep the medicine cabinet locked and keep all medications in childproof containers.
  • Move all soaps, shampoos, bath gels, razors, and other toiletries out of reach of children.
  • Before placing your baby in the bathtub, make sure you have everything you need to bathe your baby near you to prevent having to turn away from baby to fetch it later.
  • Test the temperature of the water before bathing your baby by using your wrist or elbow, and remember that babies may not be able to tolerate the same water temperature as an adult. The correct temperature should be between 96 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place soft or inflatable covers over tub faucets to prevent bumps and bruises.

Dining Room

  • Always use all restraining straps provided on a highchair–both the waist strap and the strap that goes between the legs. Injuries or even strangulation can occur from unrestrained children slipping down under the highchair tray.
  • Make sure that the locking device on a folding highchair is fully engaged.
  • Don’t allow your child to stand up in a highchair or an older child to hang onto a highchair while baby is in it.
  • Place the highchair far enough away from the table, counter, or wall to prevent the child using that surface to push off and tip the chair over.
  • When seating a child at a table, use place mats instead of tablecloths, in case they succeed in pulling the tabletop items off the table.
  • Add sharp knives to place settings only after adults are seated.
  • Use plastic plates and glasses for children.
  • Be sure that your china and silverware are stored away from your baby’s curious grasp.

Kitchen

The kitchen, like the bathroom, is full of potential hazards. It may be best to block access to the kitchen with a safety gate.

  • Never leave babies or toddlers alone in the kitchen.
  • Do not let your baby play on the floor by the stove while you are cooking.
  • Use the back stove burners when possible. When using the front burners, turn the pot handles toward the back of the stove so that children cannot grab them.
  • Install cabinet and drawer latches and locks to prevent your child from finding items that may present a choking hazard.
  • Keep all dishwashing liquids and cleaning agents in locked or latched cabinets.
  • Keep sharp and potentially dangerous items out of reach.

Safety Gates

When your baby starts to crawl, explore, or use a walker, it’s time to install gates wherever potential hazards may be present around your home. At the top of stairs, at the bottom of stairs, and in between rooms, safety gates act as barricades that communicate which areas are off-limits for your little scooter. When purchasing gates for your home, there are several things to keep in mind: types of gates, features, and safety. We recommend you check our complete guide to choosing safety gates for your home.

Baby-Proofing Products