Review: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Monitor & Sensor Pad

When Tommee Tippee (TT) asked me if I wanted to review a monitor I was chuffed. It was the one thing we hadn’t managed to get picked up yet and so handy. When it arrived I got a hell of a shock. Monitor? This is the Uber Monitor, and looks something like you’d see on Star Trek – very swish. First thoughts? “How the hell am I going to set THIS up?!”. Luckily this nifty bit of kit comes with idiot-proof instructions and we soon had it up and running.

This set includes:

  • 2 way monitor including talk-back
  • Sensor pad
  • Digital room temperature monitor
  • Nightlight.

Monitor: The monitor  at first I thought was broken. You can touch a button to hear the babies room but thats no good for me, what if I get distracted and forget to press & check regularly? Rubbish! THEN I realised the monitor was activited by sound (and you can set the sensitivity of this!). Absolutely excellent ,no listening to that “fuzz” sound trying to pick out whether that was a snort or not. When there is sound coming through a light shows too, (the louder the noise the more lights light up), very handy when Taylor was in his cot upstairs and I was cleaning in the kitchen with the washer and dryer on!

*Please note that when setting up the monitor for the first time, it is inevitable that someone will try being Darth Vader from Star Wars…. repeatedly.

Sensor. Again ridiculously easy to set up and understand and a very reassuring piece of kit for many. I however am not now using the sensor pad simply because it makes me feel paranoid! Silly I know but that is just me. Luckily you can purchase the monitor separately  if you choose so you have both options.

Digital room temp monitor. Another useful bit of kit. The temperature is displayed in both the nursery and on the parent unit.

Nightlight. A reassuring glow which you can turn up and down or even on and off remotely using the parent unit.

Packed with extra features such a a 300m range, adjustable settings so you can personalise the way the unit works for you, a paging function so you can find the missing parent unit, and a recharging docking station for ease of use, this is the sensible and in my opinion, best choice for a new parent.

The unit can be purchase (both with or without the sensor pad) from Argos , and will be available from Mothercare, Boots and direct from the Tommee Tippee website by the end of the month. The set with sensor is currently retailing at £99.99 and without £64.99.

** Obviously baby safety is a serious issue but I have to say I had a hell of a time tormenting Kieran with the 2-way talkback on the monitor. I was in the nursery mumbling when I heard a voice (from up the stairs).

  • Kieran: Hello, who is there?
  • Mummy: It’s meeeee
  • Kieran: Who is me>
  • Mummy: I am the Voice
  • Kieran: What are you doing in the walkie talkie Voice?
  • Mummy: I am making sure you are behaving yourself.
  • Kieran: Oooh, I am!
  • Mummy: Have you got your shoes on? (which I asked him to do before I came up)
  • Kieran: Oh yes Voice!
  • I heard Roy from downstairs say “No you haven’t, don’t tell fibs” so….
  • Me: DON’T LIE TO THE VOICE! (I boomed).
  • Well I could hear him scuttle off to the shoe cupboard with a yelp from upstairs. I was laughing so hard by the time he came back!
  • Kieran: Mummy? Is that you laughing in the Walkie Talkie?
  • Mummy: (Sob!) Um yes!
  • Kieran: Oh Mummy! You tricked me!
  • And as an afterthought:
  • Kieran: But I DO have my shoes on now 🙂

Whatever next.. A Virtual Learning Platform

I’ve just come back from my son’s school having attended a meeting about Fronter, which is the school’s Virtual Learning Platform (VLP). Already rolled out in thousands of schools across the UK our school goes live properly on Monday.

Every child will have their own password and username, and their own “section” ie Reception, Year 1 etc and the information within each section so far looks great. Obviously there isn’t a huge amount of content yet but so far it ranges from website links to approved pages for work the class are currently tackling, to homework, maths and literacy help, news and more. There is also a social element to it where children can use stickies to leave messages. In additional to this work will be uploaded ie a particularly good poem or picture so a kind of portfolio will be there for us as parents to see and for the children to have as a record.

Everything is strictly monitored by the teachers/staff and children have already been made aware of the consequences of abusing the system.

I am ridiculously excited, sad mare that I am! Kieran is in Reception, so he will “grow” with the platform as it grows. He will be able to navigate a growing network of information, network with other children safely, show ME and Daddy what he is working on and what he is doing next…. the possibilities are endless.

There is also a parent section in which key information is available, forms will be downloadable (ie holiday requests etc), and a parent forum where we can discuss/organise etc anything we as parents wish to discuss with others.

Don’t get me wrong – I strongly believe that young children should be playing outside in mud, scraping their knees, tearing clothes, getting into “mild” mischief and overall just being children, not stuck in front of a computer. That said, IT is not going away – it has affected the way everything is run, from services to schools and the influence IT has on our children’s lives will be immense, regardless of what they choose to do workwise. I think it’s great that our children are being taught e-safety now, responsibility for their own actions (ie when posting messages), and great IT skills so early.

There was a lot of grumbling about lost passwords, swapped passwords, this and that but by and large the parents were very supportive and I look forward to seeing how the VLP pans out.

Does your school have a virtual learning platform, and if so , what do your kids think of it, how do you find it?

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