At Fathercraft, my partner John and I get the opportunity to try out lots of baby monitors in support of our baby monitor reviews. After all the monitors we’ve tested (and just used personally — we have four kids between us), the Nanit always comes out on top.
It’s also the monitor that both of us use with our youngest kids (Ruby, who’s now almost 2, and Calvin, who just turned 1).
We did an in-depth Nanit review on our site, but here we thought we’d share just a bit about why the Nanit Plus is the ultimate gift for the tech-savvy dad-to-be in your life, based on hundreds of nights and naps using the Nanit across two households.
Fatherhood — the end of cool toys?
When we have frank conversations with dads-to-be, one of the concerns they often share with us is having less fun, and having less budget for ‘cool toys’. Whether it’s the latest iPhone, a Nest thermostat, or a drone, guys (and yes, we know we’re stereotyping a bit) like their tech. And when most guys think about ‘baby stuff’ they think about diapers, bottles, and onsies — stuff that’s decidedly low-tech.
The baby monitor is often the highest-tech item on registries. But, until recently, the baby monitor, which was invented in 1937, has felt like it was stuck in a previous decade of technology. In fact, we started our review of the Nanit Original by saying that all baby monitors we’d previously tried existed on a scale from “very bad” to “doesn’t completely suck”.
In the last couple of years, a couple of companies have tried to change this. And we’ve tested those monitors. What we’ve found is that even when you include modern technology, it’s hard to get it right. For example, we’ve tested monitors with great picture quality that have such a cluttered smartphone app they’re rendered nearly useless.
So, how does Nanit get it right? Let’s dive in.
What makes the Nanit the ultimate techie-dad gift?
That hard to describe, “this is what technology should be” factor
If you remember way back to the first time you held an iPhone, you’ll probably remember the feeling — almost like magic. And not the magic of ‘this is so complex I’m going to need a 50-page manual to figure it out, but the ‘wow, this is so powerful, but so easy.’
The Nanit has that same effortless powerful-yet-simple feeling. It’s also got the clean look of good tech.
Unlike other monitors we’ve tested, Nanit Plus isn’t stuffed to the gills with features, and it doesn’t need to be. There are really only a few things a monitor needs to do, and do well.
We’ll highlight just 2 of them here.
Bird’s eye view. I can’t emphasize enough how revolutionary the Nanit’s overhead view is. It sounds hyperbolic, but it’s a game changer. With a traditional monitor sitting on a dresser pointed at your child’s crib, there are inevitable blind spots, and the crib bars prevent anything close to a good picture of anything on a small scale, like your child’s expressions.
Neither of us can imagine going back to a traditionally-set-up monitor after experiencing this.
Photo sharing. I live in Denver, my extended family lives mostly in St. Louis. It can be hard to be that far away from grandparents, uncles and aunts. But the joy of sharing pictures of Ruby with her grandparents and great grandmother was truly priceless.
Smartphone & tablet integration
The first baby monitor my wife an I owned was a video monitor that billed itself as having great screen resolution. Great was a matter of perspective, I suppose. But we ended up spending a good chunk of time squinting at it, trying to figure out exactly what our daughter Kenzie was doing in her crib.
In contrast to this, the Nanit uses latest version of that iPhone (or Android if you’re into that sort of thing :)) to power the “parent unit” of your monitor. Which means images of your child come across in crystal-clear HD with all the glory of your smartphone or tablet screen.
Ease of use
The first time I opened the Nanit app, I knew exactly what to do, and exactly where to find the info I wanted. No choosing between 35 different alert settings (just a few, intuitive ones), no hunting for how to do key things, no icons that didn’t make sense, just a clean, easy-to-navigate interface.
The same was true of setting up Nanit in Ruby’s room, and connecting it to our wifi for the first time — the process was exactly what you’d expect from well-designed modern technology, and in stark contrast to the setup of a few other ‘smart’ monitors we’ve tested.
What you buy keeps getting better
I remember the first time I held an iPhone, but I also remember the first time my iPhone got a software upgrade. It was another magic moment. This concept is one of the big reasons Tesla is the envy of the car industry — a physical object you own can get better over time through software updates.
Nanit uses this same magic to improve a physical item. It’s the opposite of depreciation.
To wrap it all up… wrap up a Nanit.
So, got someone on your holiday shopping list who fits the bill of tech-savvy guy on the road to being a dad? Consider gift-wrapping a Nanit — coming from two guys in that demographic, he won’t be disappointed. (And neither would she, for that matter — plenty of tech savvy moms-to-be out there, too!)
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