The first few months of your child's life are always hetic and worrying, so any device that aims to buy you back some spare time to have to yourself has got to be worth its weight in gold.

Philips believe its baby monitor will give you that extra spare time. Why? Because it sports a host of features that work remotely.

The main crux of the system is a DECT monitoring device (the same technology found most cordless phones) that has a clear and hiss free signal up to 300 metres in range.

Testing around our home, and friends' homes we never once had a problem with getting a clear reception from the base unit to the remote parent unit.

But just as a mobile phone is no longer just for making calls, the Philips baby care monitor SKM7489NC sports many more features.

Temperature gauge, light and the ability to play lullabys all from the press of a button show that it isn't any tin can and a piece of string apparatus.

The temperature gauge does what it says on the box - gauge the temperature, while the lullaby mode allows you to play one of five tunes to try and sooth your little one into a false sense of security. Unfortunately in practice it's not as great as it sounds. The tunes are remarkably short and while there are five, which automatically rotate, by the time our Chief Tester Emily had just about drifted off to one tune it changed. As for the light - well I wouldn't bank on it making much difference.

And so to the parent unit from which all this can be controlled. Small and compact, the unit not only allows you remote control over the base unit, but also vital stats like temperature and noise levels. The unit also features a talkback button so if the light and the lullaby has failed and you really can't be bothered to get off the sofa you can attempt to talk them down just like a hijacker with hostages.

However, what the unit misses is a clear and easy way to see the noise levels. On previous baby monitors we've tested. Most notably from Tomy there is a clear led light system which goes from green to red a la Mission Impossible. Here is a dim orange all the way through.

Price when reviewed:

While on the surface the Philips baby care monitor SKM7489NC seems to offer an impressive set of features, once you get past the improved and excellent DECT quality signal things start to go a rye.

The parent unit might offer remote access, but the lights are too dim to notice, especially in the summer months. Likewise while we like the light and lullaby features in principle in practice they don't really cut it.

This is one case where so much promise just doesn't live up to the hype.