Cocoon Cam is a little different than other baby monitors on the market. It provides a major advantage over other audio/video monitors with its built-in breathing monitoring feature. Best of all, nothing needs to be touching the feature for it to work — in fact, the fewer things touching baby, the better it works.
Cocoon Cam ($150) was created by a tech startup, and the focus is more on the app than the hardware itself. The physical setup of this monitor is very simple, but it does require mounting on a wall near the crib, as there is no base for it to stand on — two screws are used for mounting. The ball and socket arm on the infrared camera allows users to turn it in a complete 360-degree circle, and angle it in a variety of directions, in order to find the best vantage point. All movement must be done manually, however, as there are no controls from within the app, except for a zoom function. The zoom function is utilized with a fingertip squeeze motion, and zooms in pretty tight, while still maintaining a high-quality picture.
After mounting, installing the Cocoon Cam app is a breeze, and connecting is very simple. Cocoon asks for some basic user information during a quick registration process. Following that, connecting the monitor and app to one another through an ethernet cable (which the company recommends) or “sonic waves” (which worked well in our testing) gets users into the app and monitoring baby in a snap.
The app is thorough at keeping users posted about what’s going on with baby. It notifies users when baby goes to sleep, wakes up, moves, or cries. Two-way communication is also included. This app finds a good balance between basic and advanced to make it interesting and unique, but not overwhelming.
Upon opening the app, users must choose if they would like to turn on breathing monitoring, which gives users the option of utilizing only the video camera (users can choose to stop monitoring while in the app via a Stop Monitoring button). At the top of the app, the camera indicates it is functioning with a red LIVE indicator. A breathing graph then scrolls across the bottom to indicate that breathing monitoring is on and that baby is engaged in restful sleep. When baby moves, the monitor then keeps an eye on baby to determine if he or she is waking up. Once the baby has quieted back down, the graph resumes.
The app lets users know when baby’s position makes it difficult to capture breathing movements via pop-up alert. This is just one of many helpful notifications the app sends to users, which really help to give great peace of mind. During sleeping sessions, users will receive notifications (if enabled) such as:
“Looks like baby went to sleep”
“Looks like baby is waking up”
“Sounds like baby is crying”
The app will even ask you if the baby has been removed from the crib.
Users will need to turn on the audio function each time upon opening the app. The audio function stays on, even when you’ve exited from the app, until you mute it again. This is particularly helpful if you don’t have a device dedicated to the app and want to run audio in the background and still use your device. Couple the audio-only option with the real-time alerts, and users don’t need to keep the video on all the time.
But if you are using video, the HD camera is very clear, which is a necessity to monitor breathing strictly through the camera. The app shows users which areas on baby it is monitoring for movement via purple circles. Subtle light changes can make it difficult for the monitor to keep track of baby’s breathing, but these typically come during the day, so it’s easier to watch baby via the video monitor to ensure all is ok. The pinch-to-zoom function is also excellent and allows users to get a closer view of baby.
The infrared camera works very well, though the small infrared lights are a bit bright, in addition to the small nightlight on the back. There is no switch to turn the camera off.
In addition to Cocoon Cam’s monitoring functions, the app allows users to monitor sleep analytics through “swaddle stories,” a time lapse video of all the times the camera was activated by movement. These are timestamped and make for a great way to monitor baby’s sleep and wake cycles, or just to watch how cute your baby is. These stories are saved within the app for seven days, and can be downloaded or shared from the app. Users can insert an SD card into the camera for added storage space, as well.
The activity logs are also a good tool to analyze baby’s sleep and wake cycles, as they reflect a timeline of the notifications that users receive, including when baby is sleeping, waking, and crying. Additionally, within the app you can invite other caregivers, including friends and family, access to the app to view baby. This monitor can also be linked to a smartwatch.
The Cocoon Cam website ensures users that “data is kept safe in the app and the cloud with fully encrypted data streams, unique cloud container structure, and active password management.”
Who It Might Be A Good Fit For
- Users of young babies who only want to monitor within the crib
- Users who want to monitor baby’s breathing without having to place a wearable on them
- Users who want to track and monitor baby’s sleep through analytics and recorded video
Who It Might Not Be A Good Fit For
- Users who want to monitor baby around a room
- Users looking for a lot of varying features outside of the app
- Users looking for a well-established brand
The Cocoon Cam is easy to set up and use, and the video and breathing monitoring functions are by and large, impressive. Overall, this camera and app combine to do a great job at monitoring your baby’s breathing, giving parents peace of mind without having to worry about a wearable coming off or malfunctioning. (We’d like to note, however, that you shouldn’t be completely reliant on such a device. Don’t ignore your parental instincts to check in your baby.)
However, this isn’t the kind of camera you can use all around the house—it’s best for monitoring young infants in a crib, so its overall lifespan of actual use will be limited. It’s a great option for in-crib monitoring, but if you buy Cocoon Cam, it probably won’t be the only monitor you buy.