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There are two types of baby monitors: traditional ones that let you listen while your child is sleeping in the other room, and newer connected ones that monitor your child's vitals and send mobile alerts if something goes wrong. I love that technology has increased safety for kids and peace of mind for new parents. But here's a question for these high-tech monitors: Can the new features justify the raised price?
Developer Mondevices makes one of these connected gadgets called the MonBaby Smart Button, a wearable for your infant. MonBaby pairs simple motion-sensing hardware with algorithms to track children's breathing, overall activity and physical orientation. The app notifies parents if the device detects any concerning change (like halted respiration or a child lying on their belly).
Mondevices' product is well designed. It snaps onto your kid's clothing and connects to your phone via Bluetooth. MonBaby's measurements are pretty reliable, but because they all depend on motion-sensing, they can be inaccurate if used with certain sleepers or rockers.
Accessing the information on the app is quick and easy. You can personalize when you receive notifications and also track your child's activity levels over time on the Android app (this feature is coming for the iOS version within a few months, according to Mondevices).
At $170, MonBaby is a little more affordable than some of its competitors, but it certainly isn't cheap. And it falls into the same trap as other devices like it: It can't replace traditional monitors, and its added smarts won't justify the price for many parents. MonBaby is nice to have around, but not necessary for most kids.