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Product Review: AngelCare AC017 Wireless Movement Monitor

When you think of baby gear that is a need or a want what do you think of? What were some things you needed when you had a new baby or things that you thought were not useful?

What about baby safety and parent peace of mind? What items did you find useful in ensuring your household was safe for the baby and what items did you find that give you as a new parent (or a veteran parent with a new baby) peace of mind and allowed you to sleep easier?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS is a worry in many parents minds. To help lower the chance of SIDS there are numerous things you can do such as ensure the sleeping area is free from blankets or bumpers. Places or things that can cover the baby’s face. Even if everything has been cleared away there can be still a possibility and that is where a baby movement monitor can help. There are numerous types of baby monitors on the market today and we have used or hear about a few of them.

One item that has given us more peace-of-mind than any other product has been our baby monitor system from AngelCare. In particularly, the AngelCare AC401, which is a system that includes a nursery monitor, a parental remote monitor and of course the movement or breathing sensor pad. Though there has been a bit of a downside to the AC401 and that is the wires.

Yes, wires. Wires from the wall to the nursery unit (power of course) and then there is a separate wire that goes from the nursery unit to the movement sensor pad. It is not the easiest thing to hide and you need to ensure you can route it correctly so that there is no way for the baby to tangle themselves in it. I know my wife main concern was ensuring the wire was in no way near the baby or the baby could never be able to access the wire. Luckily, the movement sensor pad is designed to be placed under the mattress of the bassinet or crib.

AngelCare AC017 – Removing the Wires!

This is where the AngelCare AC017 Wireless Movement Monitor comes into play. AngelCare has gracefully allowed me to get my hands on their latest movement monitor and guess what? They have removed the wires! There are no wires on the nursery unit and there are no wires at the movement sensor pad. Both items now run off of batteries!

Lets Open The Box!

There really is not a whole lot in the box for the AngelCare AC017 but that is okay because this model has one primary function, baby movement monitoring. That aside for now, what does come in the box?

Inside the box of the AC017 you get the following items:

  • Wireless Movement Sensor pad
  • Nursery Unit
  • Nursery Unit Stand
  • Movement Sensor Pad battery (CR3032)
  • Instruction Manual (not pictured above)

Look and Feel of the AngelCare AC017

The two main parts of the AngelCare AC017 are the Movement Sensor Pad and the Nursery Unit.

The Nursery Unit is circular and fairly lightweight plastic. On the front are 3 status LEDs; the large ring to show you what is going on in terms of the Movement Sensor Pad, then two smaller ones to tell you the state of the unit itself, low battery, power on etc.

Turn the Nursery Unit over to the backside and you can see the battery compartment (the unit takes 2x AAA batteries which are not included), the sensitivity selector, the mounting holes for the table stand. The power button and hold button are located on the side of the unit.

You do require a screwdriver to gain access to the battery compartment.

Mounting the table stand for the Nursery Unit is really simple. One notch is a different size so you can align the stand in the proper position, insert and give it a little twist and it locks into position.

Wired versus Wireless

I mentioned at the top that we currently use the AngelCare AC401 which is a wired baby monitor. The Nursery unit is wired to an AC outlet, the Movement Sensor Pad is wired to the Nursery Unit.

As seen in the above image (the Movement Sensor Pad for the AC401), there is a fairly long cable running from the Movement Sensor Pad out of the playpen (yes our littlest is currently in between the bassinet and regular crib) to the Nursery Unit. It does pose as a safety hazard even when the mattress sitting on top, which has always been a concern for my wife. You will note the two large tiles that the Movement Sensor Pad sits on, this is because the bottom of the playpen is fairly soft and you need a solid surface for the sensor pad to sit on.

The AngelCare AC017 is completely wireless. No wires to the Movement Sensor Pad, no wires to an AC outlet. Both items are battery operated.

Now, there is a big difference of course between the AngelCare AC401 and AC017 besides the wireless capability and that is the additional features of the AC401. The AC401 has a built-in Audio monitor as well as a Temperature sensor, the AC017 is strictly a movement monitor.

The being said, the AngelCare AC017 is a great addition to an existing baby monitor as well as being used on its own. If your current baby monitor is only audio-based, then adding the AC017 and its Movement Sensor pad can add another level of peace-of-mind for you and your partner.

The AngelCare AC017 is also great for travel too. Without wires needing to be connected or finding a suitable AC outlet, you just place the Movement Sensor pad down in your travel crib, or in our case the travel pen and rest assure that your little one is being monitored for movement and breathing.

Performance of the AngelCare AC017

Now that we have talked a little bit about the AC017, how does it perform in a house under general use?

According to AngelCare, the transmission range is about 20 feet (6 meters) and is designed to sit near (but not next to) the Movement Sensor pad.

To set up the AngelCare AC017, follow the instructions. You might have noticed in my images above the AngelCare Movement Sensor pad was placed on top of two piece of tile. This is because the pad needs to be on a flat and hard surface.

Status LEDs

When you go to turn on the Nursery Unit, the little LED on the top left will flash green and the larger circular LED will flash blue when it has found and sync’d with the Movement Sensor Pad.

From the point forward, the Movement Sensor pad will be doing its thing and sending data back to the Nursery Unit.

If all is good and your baby is breathing nicely, the Nursery Unit will be pretty passive. It is only when there is an issue that your Nursery Unit will set off a beep-style alarm and light up the circular status LED.

After 15 seconds of not being able to detect movement, the Nursery Unit will beep loudly and flash the LED once in red. If the baby hasn’t moved in another 5 seconds the beeping will start and be continuous and the LED will flash red.

When you go running into the room (because who wouldn’t be doing that to check on their precious little), you can press the Hold button. The beeping will be silenced and the LED will flash periodically white. The hold button allows you to pick up your little one while not completely turning off the Nursery Unit.

If you happen to move the Nursery Unit too far away from the Movement Sensor pad, then it will beep and flash the LED light blue like in the above photo. You will need to bring the Nursery Unit closer to the Movement Senor pad so that it can re-sync with it.

When I tested the distance of the Nursery Unit, it could still keep in sync with the Movement Sensor pad in the next room. But if I moved it any further than that, then it would loose sync. The Nursery Unit is designed to be kept within the same room as the Movement Sensor Pad.

Little Parental Hack

If you have an audio monitor, like in the case of our AngelCare AC401 you can sort of “extend” the range of the Nursery Monitor of the AC017 buy placing the unit next to the AC401 Nursery Unit. This would allow you to make use of the Parental Unit on the AC401 in a different room, a different floor or even outside.

This would work with any other baby audio monitor too. Just place the AC017 Nursery Unit next to the audio monitor and now you can ensure you can hear the alarm no matter where you are in your home.

Battery Life

Let’s now talk about battery life, granted I have had the unit only for a little over a week, but according to AngelCare, the battery within the Movement Sensor Pad should last up to 4 months. There is a smaller unit, the AngelCare AC027 (set to be released later this year) which has a smaller Movement Sensor Pad allowing that battery to last up to 8 hours.

It could be a dealer breaker for some parents, but 4 months (even the 8 months) is pretty good for this sort of application. When the battery does start to get low, the Nursery Unit will definitely inform you.

Though, because both the Nursery Unit and the Movement Sensor Pad are battery operated, it is a great travel accessory if you are travelling with an infant and want to help monitor their breathing. The Nursery Unit is fairly small and easy to pack when you remove the table stand, and of course, the Movement Sensor Pad is thin and can easily slide into your carry on or between clothing in a suitcase.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a baby movement and/or breathing device that the baby itself cannot remove (I’m looking at you monitoring sock!) and one that can work with a pre-existing baby monitor then I would recommend checking out the AngelCare AC017. It allows you to keep wires away from the sleeping surface of your little one and give you a bit more peace-of-mind when it comes to them sleeping in a different part of the house (such as nap time or in a bassinet next to your bed).

You can also take it traveling with you! I know we never thought about bringing our other baby monitor because of the wires, but the AC017 being wireless, it is a lot easier to bring along and set up! No need to search the room you are staying in for an acccessible AC outlet!

There is not really a downside to the AngelCare AC017. Some might think that a 4 month battery life might be a strike against it, but button batteries allow the Movement Sensor Pad to be thin and portable. Having something like AAAs would make the pad too bulky. If you want a longer lasting battery life then AngelCare will offer their AC027 that will last up to 8 hours.

You can pick up your very own AngelCare AC017 at online retailers such as Amazon or directly from AngelCare themselves!

Pros

  • Nursery Unit and Movement Sensor Pad are wire-free
  • Take it Travelling
  • Works with existing baby monitoring devices

Cons

  • Battery can last up to 4 months (CR3032 button battery)
  • Wireless range of Nursery Unit approximately 20 ft (6m)

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