Thursday, August 15, 2013

NextStep Baby Monitors: Next Step IP Review

Thank you NextStep Baby Monitors for the NextStep IP to help with this review

NextStepBabyMonitors is a family owned and operated business based in Southern California, founded in 2004. We've used our products with our own children and only carry systems we would use in our own home. 

I've had my eye on a NextStep Baby Monitor for a while. Once I knew I was pregnant with baby #4, the thought of a camera monitor was even more profound because I'd have a baby and a toddler sharing one room. Since we've had Macyn, we've only used a sound only baby monitor, but with her being 18 months old now, I wanted to get a good reliable monitor so I could see her, make sure she's safe in her crib, and know that the item was made to last for years to come. 

Since we are expecting another little girl, we're in the middle of moving rooms around so this camera is a temporary spot, but as you can see in the images above, it has amazing picture quality.

The top left picture is at night and I can still easily make out where she is and how she's doing. You'll also be able to see that her BFF Gizmo enjoys himself as well during nap time. I had no idea he was sleeping in her room at nap time because I didn't always see him when I'd lay her down, but the first full day I had the camera on I heard a noise and popped up the screen on the lap top to see that the sound I heard was him jumping in her crib. 

The images you get from the lap top are so crystal clear and it makes my job of seeing so much easier. With this angle the night vision is a little harder to see, but I think that's because the rails are in the way and its close to her bed. If I move this across the room I'd probably be able to make her out better since there would be a gap and I could see through the rails. 

The above images are from my IPhone. Another special feature that I love about this system is that your Iphone and Android phones turn in to a baby monitor! As you can see from the top loft photo, when you pull the video up on the app you buttons to rotate the camera, flip the screen, and even change resolution. 

Just like with zooming photos on your phone, you simply pinch the camera view on the app and you can zoom in like the two right photos you see above. Since Macyn's so quiet when she first wakes up, I loved being able to zoom in on her sweet face happily sucking her thumb and playing with her belly button while she woke all the way up. 

The bottom left photo is the same as the bottom right, so you can fully see the zoom feature. While it obviously will get grainy as you get closer to the subject, you can clearly see her position in both photos, what she's doing, and that she's awake. 

As you can see above, this monitoring system is hands down, the best out there! Not having to worry about carrying a monitor up and down the stairs is my favorite feature, and being able to watch her on my lap top while I work couldn't be any easier. 

I did have trouble getting it work on my lap top, but one quick call and they helped me through it and I was on my way. Adam was my phone tech and he couldn't have been any nicer, and did exactly what his job entailed. Since I had him on the phone, I also paid the $3.99 for the IPhone app and he help me set them up as well. I will note there's a free version but it doesn't let you move the camera and stuff that their app lets you do. 

Occasionally the App makes a ticking sound or the sound will temporarily fail, but I chuck that up to modern technology. Nothing is 100% all the time and I'm ok with that. 

My ONLY negative I'd say is that the monitor can almost be too touchy. If the older girls are downstairs in their playroom and screech, Macyn's monitor picks it up. She is upstairs and door closed so I don't know if she can actually hear it but the monitor can. Since there's a slight delay from when I hear the noise in real time and the monitor picks it up, I know to expect that its coming, rather than thinking its her and needing my assistance. 

If you have a baby monitor question simply visit the "Ask an Expert" widget and type it in followed by your email. NextStep will deliver a detailed and helpful answer directly to you. You can also click "See Recent Answers" to see if your question has already been answered.