Having a baby is amazing, miraculous and, let’s be honest, downright terrifying. They’re so innocent and precious that letting them out of your sight for even a moment can be stressful. You don’t have to though if you have a baby monitor.
As their name states, baby monitors help monitor babies. They let parents and caregivers keep an eye on kids day or night, whether they’re just in another room or across the globe. They help provide parents with a bit of peace of mind and offer them a glimpse into their child’s world when they’re away.
Today, there are more options than ever when it comes to baby monitors, and the features range from basic listening capabilities to Wi-Fi-enabled models that provide a high-def view from anywhere in the world. To help you narrow down your choices, we reviewed some of the best baby monitors on the market. Here are our five favorites.
1. Nanit Plus Baby Monitor
This isn’t your mother’s baby monitor. Okay, your mother probably didn’t even have a baby monitor, but if she did, this one from Nanit would certainly blow it out of the water. It has bells and whistles galore to help you monitor your baby’s every gurgle and grin, anytime and anywhere. Beyond giving you a high-def view of your baby, it can track and notify you of temperature and humidity changes in your baby’s room, track their sleep and even provide sleep guidance. It gets rave reviews across the board and was named one of the best inventions of 2018 by Time magazine. Of course, it’s also quite a bit more expensive than most other baby monitors (more than double most of the others on our list), but if your budget allows and you want top-of-the line technology and lots of features, this is a great choice.
- WiFi-enabled: Nanit is WiFi-enabled so you can keep an eye on your baby from anywhere without worrying about being limited by cords.
- High-quality images: With HD 960p video, Nanit provides nice, clear, high-def views of your baby.
- Sound, motion, temperature and humidity sensors: Beyond just a peek at your baby, Nanit also gives you more insight into what’s happening in their room and will alert you to noises as well as to changes in the temperature or level of humidity.
- Expensive: At $299, Nanit is definitely on the pricier side when it comes to baby monitors.
- Limited view: Nanit doesn’t have remote pan and tilt options, so it doesn’t provide as much flexibility to see the entire room as some other options.
- ALWAYS BE CONNECTED: Get a crystal clear HD bird's eye view of your baby, day or night from anywhere on your iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, or...
- SLEEP TRACKING & GUIDANCE: Nanit gives you your baby's sleep stats each morning, plus a timelapse highlight reel of their sleep, so you can...
- MAKING MEMORIES, MADE EASY: With Nanit Memories, your Nanit camera captures your baby’s finest moments automatically right in your app....
- SAFE, SECURE, AND HSA/FSA APPROVED: 256-bit encryption keeps your data safe, and two-factor authentication keeps your account secure. Invite...
- AWARD-WINNING: CES 2020 Innovation Award, 2020 Business Insider's Best Video Baby Monitor, 2019 Forbes' Best Baby Monitor, 2018 TIME's Best...
2. The Infant Optics DXR-8 Baby Monitor
The Infant Optics DXR-8 Baby Monitor is a solid, mid-priced option with some useful features that parents really appreciate. It doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that some monitors do, such as Wi-Fi monitoring or high-def images, but it provides reliable video monitoring while you’re in your own home. What sets it apart from other models are its interchangeable lenses that are simple to swap out depending on your needs. It comes with a zoom lens for those times you want an up-close view of your baby, and you can purchase a wide-angle lens separately ($11.98) for when they’re on the move and you want a panoramic view of the room.
- Optical zoom lens included: The optical zoom lens lets you get a close up look at your baby and what’s happening in their room.
- Strong battery life: This monitor requires 2 AAA, which are included. The battery life is strong (10 hours), which is great if you want to frequently move it about without plugging it into an outlet.
- Solid range: This transmission range is up to 700 feet with no obstructions.
- No Wi-Fi connectivity: This isn’t for on-the-go monitoring, rather just for keeping an eye on your baby while you’re in your house.
- Night vision needs improvement: While this monitor does boast night-vision technology, users report that it could be much clearer.
- 2020 AWARD WINNER: Babylist Best Baby Monitors of 2020 *(awarded on January 8, 2020)
- PERFECT SIZE & WEIGHT RATIO - no large batteries to power energy-hungry large screens. The DXR-8 is light-weight and portable, designed for...
- FULL VIEWING CONTROL - The DXR-8 is a baby monitor with camera features such as pan/tilt/digital zoom and interchangeable lens. Fit the zoom...
- ROBUST AND MATURE HARDWARE - the DXR-8 is fine tuned and refined over years of iteration from feedback of real users. Trusted by over a...
- PRIVACY GUARANTEED - Video and audio is transmitted via a secure 2.4GHz channel with FHSS technology. This ensures no data is shared through...
3. Eufy Spaceview
This baby monitor from Eufy is a solid, mid-priced option with most of the features parents want, including night vision, pan and tilt capabilities and sound sensors that alert you when your baby is crying. It’s not Wi-Fi-enabled, but the coverage area reaches up to 460 feet. A 110-degree lens is included as well to cover more of the room when your baby is old enough to move about the room.
- Good range: This monitor will reach up to 460 feet.
- Clear images: With 720p HD resolution, the images on the monitor are crisp and clear.
- Pan and tilt capabilities: Pan and tilt options allow you to easily focus in on various parts of the room.
- No Wi-Fi connectivity: This monitor doesn’t provide Wi-Fi Connectivity, so it’s not a good choice for parents who want to monitor their baby while away from the home.
- No video saving capabilities: Video footage can only viewed in real time.
- No motion detector: Unlike some other monitors, you won’t receive an alert if any motion is detected in the room.
- Sweet Dreams on the Big Screen: The large 5" 720p video baby monitor display shows a sharp picture with 10 times more detail than ordinary...
- Ready for Their First Steps: When your baby starts to walk and run around, just attach the included lens to expand the view to 110°. No...
- Pan from Pillow to Pinky Toes: Pan the lens 330° to see corner-to-corner and tilt 110° to see floor to ceiling.
- Instant Alerts: Get alerted immediately from the video baby monitor when your baby is crying, even when you're sleeping.
- Be Mobile: The 460 ft - 600 ft range-coverage area allows you to watch your little one rest peacefully in real-time wherever you are in your...
4. Arlo Baby Monitor
This Arlo baby monitor definitely wins when it comes to cuteness with its rabbit-shaped design, but beyond that, it also is a good, relatively inexpensive baby monitor option. It provides high-def video, both live and recorded, and it’s Wi-Fi-enabled so you can monitor your little one from wherever you may be. It also comes with features like night vision, two-way audio and a lullaby player.
- Wi-Fi-enabled: Arlo is Wi-Fi-enabled so you can peek in your baby anytime, from anywhere.
- Two-way audio: Two-way audio lets parents talk and listen to their children and caregivers.
- Ability to record videos: Seven days of cloud storage for footage is free. Longer storage is available with paid plans.
- No pan or tilt capabilities: It doesn’t offer the same flexible viewing options as some monitors that feature pan and tilt options.
- Fee to save images and videos longer than a week: While seven days of storage is free, if you want to save footage longer, you’ll have to pay for one of their premium storage plans.
- 1080P HD video quality - View live or recorded videos in excellent detail and rich Color, from anywhere in the world
- 2-way wireless talk - Comfort and talk to your baby from anywhere, whether you’re at the office or in the living room
- Advanced night vision - Near-invisible Infrared LEDs let you see your baby clearly even in total darkness
- 2 way wireless talk - Comfort and talk to your baby from anywhere
- Works with Alexa, Apple home Kit; Google assistant, IFTTT
5. VTech DM221
The VTEch DM221 Audio Baby Monitor offers an excellent option for parents who want an affordable, frills-free baby monitor. There’s no video, but it does let you listen in on what’s happening in your baby’s room. If you don’t want to listen, you can also monitor the graphic bars on the display of the parent units while the monitor is on mute. It features two-way talk so you can soothe your baby or sing to them from afar. It comes with one monitor and two parent monitors. The range is about 150 feet indoors or up to 1,000 feet outdoors.
- Affordable: This is one of the most affordable baby monitors on the market, with a full retail price of just $50. At the time of publishing, it was available on Amazon for just over $30.
- Reliable: While it doesn’t have a lot of frills, it does what it’s designed to do—monitor your baby’s room—well.
- Two-way audio: Two-way audio lets you both listen and talk to your baby or their caregiver from the monitor.
- No Wi-Fi: With no Wi-Fi connectivity, monitoring is limited to your home.
- No video: This monitor only lets you listen in on what’s happening in your baby’s room, but it provides no sweet peeks or visual reassurance.
- CLEAR AUDIO AND LONG RANGE - DECT 6.0 technology provides clear audio transmission, eliminating annoying background noise while allowing you...
- 5-LEVEL SOUND INDICATOR AND 2-WAY TALK-BACK INTERCOM - LEDs on the parent unit indicate the level of sound in your baby's room so you can...
- NIGHT LIGHT ON THE BABY UNIT - A soothing light on the baby unit gently illuminates a dark nursery. Both the parent unit(s) and baby unit...
- SOUND SENSITIVITY OF THE BABY UNIT - You can choose to hear sounds from the baby unit all the time, or to hear sounds that exceed a certain...
- The parent unit runs on rechargeable Ni-MH battery or AC power. To continuously monitor your baby, make sure you use both battery and AC...
What are the different types of baby monitors?
- Wireless network monitors
- Baby monitors that connect via Wi-Fi allow you to check in on your baby from anywhere in the world via your phone or other electronic device. They offer both audio and video capabilities. They offer the most flexibility, though some parents don’t like the potential security holes Wi-Fi may open and prefer those that use radio signals instead.
- Audio-only monitors
- Audio-only baby monitors let you listen in on what’s happening in your baby’s room. Some also provide visual alerts that indicate sound if you want to put the monitor on mute, but they don’t provide video images of the room.
- Audio/Video monitors
- Audio/video monitors transmit via Wi-Fi or radio signals and let you see and hear what’s going on in your baby’s room in real time. Some offer the ability to record the footage as well.
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What features should you look for in a baby monitor?
- Wi-Fi capabilities
- Wi-Fi-enabled baby monitors let you connect and control your monitor via your phone or another electronic device. They provide the most flexibility as they can be used anywhere.
- Night vision
- Instead of just seeing murky shadows, monitors with a night vision feature provide a clearer view when all the lights are off.
- Want a close-up look of that sweet little face? Monitors with zoom features allow you to hone in on what’s going on when you’re not there.
- Good range
- How far the receivers can be from the monitor is an important factor when it comes to radio monitors, particularly for those who have large houses with multiple levels or those who want to monitor their child from outside. For extra-long range, however, Wi-Fi-enabled monitors are the best bet.
- Two-way audio
- Two-way audio features let parents chat with their kids or even sing a lullaby from afar.
- Sound and motion sensors
- Sound and motion sensors alert you when there’s noise or movement in your baby’s room.
- Room temperature sensor
- Monitors with a room temperature sensor alert help you know if it may be too warm or cold in your baby’s room.
Buying a baby monitor: The bottom line
A baby monitor is one of those things you don’t necessarily need, but it can certainly help make parenting a little less stressful and help you stay connected to your child when you’re away. They’re not fail-proof, nor are they a substitute for careful adult monitoring, but the peace of mind they provide is priceless for many.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.