August 5, 2014

Productivity with a New Baby - Levana Ayden Video Monitor

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine. I checked out the Levana Ayden video baby monitor and I cannot wait to use it with baby Blake! #DoMore

In the past, my husband has made fun of me for over using/abusing the word "daunting." However, I'll stand my ground and say that when you enter the world of baby gear, the choices are daunting to say the least. I mean I play with these things every day for work and I still found myself a little overwhelmed when choosing an infant car seat and a video baby monitor.

With Kayla, they were pretty new technology and we went with a very well known brand. In the first year we had 2 different units spontaneously die on us and getting them replaced was fairly frustrating. This time around, with a little bit second time parent wisdom and some nice advances in technology I had a much better idea of what to look for beyond just a brand name.

As parents, we buy or register for these video monitors as a way to get peace of mind and so we can hopefully be more productive. With Kayla, she had such bad reflux that I watched her throw up while positioned on her back as she was supposed to be and went running into her room to make sure she didn't choke. Suffice to say I was very grateful for video technology at that moment!

With baby #2 (who really needs to make an appearance soon) I'm looking at a video baby monitor as a tool to hopefully give me the freedom to get more done. Over the last couple of years my blogging and social media business has grown to include doing a TON of consulting for marketing firms in the influencer space alongside managing my own blog. Not to mention the whole wife and mother thing. Life is pretty busy! So I excited when Levana sent me their new Ayden video baby monitor to check out.

First things first, let's talk price. Maybe it's just me, but in general I find video monitors to be really expensive for what they are. You can easily spend $200-$300 on a pretty basic digital video monitor. This Ayden monitor retails for $119.99 Which would probably imply it's short on features that other more expensive monitors have. Nope! I think it's got some really great ones - certainly enough to keep me happy and you know how stinking picky I am...

I love that from just a few feet away, the camera (which also has night vision) provides a great, wide view of the crib. I can see almost the entire area, so I don't see any reason to have one of those more expensive zoom and pan cameras. The picture is crystal clear on the 3.5" screen. In comparing other monitors, I've noticed that to get a screen that size you need to be prepared to spend a fair amount more.

There is a Talk to Baby feature so you can say something reassuring to your baby in the middle of the night. It's also fabulous for playing practical jokes on your spouse. Not that I would ever do that. Ever. On a more serious note, the sound is very clear and nice. What's very impressive is the lack of sound or static when things are quiet in the baby's room!

The Ayden monitor is expandable, which means you can add additional cameras for alternate angles if you feel you need them or to monitor multiple young children. Personally, I think the unit will serve our needs as is. There is even a temperature monitor on it so you can see the temperature of the baby's room.

We had a separate $30 gadget for that in Kayla's room, which meant one more cord, one more plug and one more thing, plus I could only view it when I was walking by the room. I couldn't see it from my desk or bed at night. Living in San Diego and having a baby in August, this is an important feature to me to ensure the room isn't too hot during naps.

Which all comes back to that whole peace of mind thing. I love the idea of being able to watch and listen for our new baby from my home office, while knowing that the temperature is okay in his room and that if I need to I can talk to him and reassure him that mom is there...even if she's attacking a spreadsheet on the other side of the house. Or poolside in the backyard when weather permits. Hey, I live in San's one of the perks :)

Having all of these features in a relatively inexpensive monitor is pretty tough to beat. It's almost as if a parent invented it. And that's probably because Levana looks to real moms like you or I for advice on what they need in a monitor and unlike some baby product companies that make a slew of products, some of which are amazing and some of which are well...less than stellar, they make one thing and do it well. So basically, I'm really excited to put the Ayden monitor to work with baby Blake and I can totally see giving it as a gift to other expectant moms without completely breaking the bank.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.

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