We’re no strangers to Oricom monitors, having previously used the Oricom Secure705 but the Secure870 is rich with features our previous monitor didn’t have.
This includes things such as lullabies, a colourful light show projection, cry alerts, touchscreen, feed alerts, split-screen view for additional cameras, and automatic tilt/pan.
When choosing a monitor before our baby was born, we decided against a breathing monitor like the Babysense 2 as she was going to be sleeping in our room for at least six months until the critical SIDS period had passed. However, at less than four months old, bubs outgrew her bassinette, prompting an early move into her cot in her own room. Cue – parental anxiety and a rethink of our previous decision! Luckily, the Oricom Secure870 Monitor and Babysense2 come in a handy value pack!
It’s super easy to set up and pair the camera to the monitor. You just have to ensure you charge the parent unit for at least five hours before the first use.
To perform at its best, the 870 is designed to be sat on a flat surface away from the cot, rather than mounted to the roof or a wall, so the light show can project on to the roof. It is not recommended to mount the monitor to the cot so the cord does not pose a safety risk to baby.
At this stage, we don’t use the lullabies or light show features, as we feel they’d be too distracting to our baby, but I can see them coming in handy when she’s a little older. The fact that you can turn them on remotely via the parent unit means we might be able to glean a few extra minutes of peace in the mornings!
If you’re anything like me and too impatient to read the user manual because you just want to play with your new ‘toy’, the 870’s quick-and-easy digital introduction is great. It runs through all the monitor’s features and how to use them and is easy to access from the main menu if you need a quick refresher at any time.
The touchscreen is very easy to see, use and is very intuitive. It’s well laid out and user-friendly.
The temperature monitor is one of my favourite features. As an added bonus, the temperature display is colour coded so you can tell at a glance if the temperature is suitable or not.
Extra cameras/split view
Although we don’t need them yet, the ability to pair extra cameras and see vision from all cameras simultaneously in a split screen view will be very useful in the future.
The movement of the 870’s camera is second to none, especially compared to the 705, which could only zoom in slightly and had to be tilted manually. The 870 swivels a full 180 degrees and has an excellent zoom range. I can see this being extremely useful once bubs starts moving around the cot!
The Parent Unit can charge on the charging dock or directly from a mini USB charging cable, which is great because you don’t need to cart the charging dock around from room to room. The unit allegedly has a battery life of six hours but we haven’t tested this out as we leave the unit largely on the charging dock.
The feature I was most looking forward to was the ‘Cry Alert’. It allows you to have the parent unit on ‘mute’ and the screen turned off (perfect for overnight use) but will alert you (through a chosen combination of beeps and vibrations) to your baby’s cry only, rather than every grunt and groan they make.
The audible alarm from the Babysense2, which activates if your baby stops breathing, was also not loud enough to trigger the 870’s cry alert. Unfortunately, this means we’ll have to keep the volume on the monitor at all times – and all night.
Our baby sleeps with white noise and our previous monitor would register the noise as a constant and put itself into ‘sleep mode’ regardless (thus turning off the sound and screen until the baby cried). But the white noise keeps the 870 active at all times and there’s no way to adjust the vox or sensitivity on this model.
The 870 is purported to have a range of 50m inside and 300m outside – in ‘optimum conditions’. Our long, not-open-plan house is obviously not ‘optimal’, however, the range does reach from one end of the house to the other – vital because our room is at one end and the baby’s room is at the other end!
Babysense2 Breathing Monitor
I expected the Babysense2 to be complicated to set up and use but nothing could be further from the truth.
You literally lift up the cot mattress, place one sensor pad (or two if your baby is on the move) on the base, feed the cord through the bars and plug it into the monitor, which hangs off the side of the cot.
Our first test without bubs in the cot worked perfectly. After turning the monitor on and leaving the room, it started ticking and sounded a loud alarm within 20 seconds, as expected.
Once bubs was in the cot, it stayed quiet but the monitor light showed us everything was ok. When we took her out of the cot and left the unit on, the alarm sounded once again – proving that it was working correctly.
The manual states that environmental factors such as an open window, fan, air-conditioner or mobile can interfere with the Babysense’s effectiveness and while we didn’t have any problems during our test, I wonder how well it will work when we use a fan on hot days.
One pad or two
If your baby is not crawling, you only need to use one sensor pad, however, two are provided for when bubs does get moving. This doubles the covered area for extra peace of mind.
Alarm not loud enough to trigger monitor
While the alarm is loud when you’re inside or just outside the room, we found it was not loud enough to trigger the Secure870’s ‘cry alert’. This was surprising, considering the products are sold together in a pack. Nor could we hear it from our bedroom at the other end of the house. However, it can be heard if the monitor is left (not in ‘sleep mode’) so we’ll just have to do that.