Keeping a watchful eye on your precious baby is easy with a baby monitor. Whether in the day or night – you can make sure that your baby is safe and sound just by turning on the monitor wherever you are.
When you are running a quick errand or even when you are at work, your baby is just a click away.
With the right monitor, you’ll never need to peek inside the nursery to see what your baby’s doing. Temperature sensors, automatic mobile notifications and two-way audio are just a few of the baby monitor features that help parents stay connected to their bundle of joy.
Today, we look at some of the best baby monitors on the market. From audio monitors to wireless, touchscreen, and video monitors, we’ll be covering the details and important features that make these devices standout.
Why do you need a baby monitor?
It will give you peace of mind – Knowing that you can see what your baby is doing makes you feel more peaceful when you have to leave him or her alone. For new parents, you may feel anxiety when you have to leave your baby’s side even for a minute. With a baby monitor, you will be more willing to create a healthy distance between you and your baby at necessary moments.
Helps you monitor your baby anytime and anywhere – Luckily, the advancement in technology means we can see our baby in real-time no matter where we are. With a WiFi baby monitor, distance will not separate you from your baby. You can check in on him or her when you are at work or just outside running some errands.
Helpful in sleep training your baby – Babies cry pretty often. As parents, we are attracted to their cries like bees to honey. However, it isn’t healthy to always respond to their cries for attention as it may form an unhealthy habit and could affect not only his or her sleep patterns but also yours. With a baby monitor, you can check up on your child when he or she cries.
Can be used even as your baby grows up – A baby monitor will not be redundant even after your baby grows up. If you get a video and WiFi-enabled model, it will continue to be very useful.
Are baby monitors safe?
As with any internet-connected device that watches or listens to your home, it’s not out of the ordinary to be somewhat wary of a smart baby monitor.
All Internet of Things devices are potential soft spots for hackers to monitor you. Anything you network can possibly be compromised, and while you shouldn’t be afraid of an epidemic of camera breaches, you should always weigh the convenience of these devices against the risk of someone getting control of the feed.
If you want a connected baby monitor or home security camera in your home, at the very least you should diligently keep its firmware updated, along with your router’s firmware and security features.
Types of baby monitors
When buying a baby monitor, you have to understand that they’re not made equal. But that’s a good thing as you can get which you think suits your needs best.
- Basic – this type of baby monitor allows you to hear everything going around in your baby’s room. It’s ideal if you share the same room with your baby and only need to know how he/she’s going when you go outside to prepare food or use the bathroom.
- Two-way – this type of baby monitor allows you to communicate with one another. It’s almost the same as giving the baby a spare phone but it’s consistently on call.
- Portable or Wireless – this type of baby monitor is usually just a basic baby monitor but doesn’t require to be plugged in. It’s best for traveling or when you live in a huge house.
- Baby monitor with a camera – this type usually has all the perks of the previous types of baby monitors but with video recording, so you can see how your baby is doing.
How we test baby monitors
We tested monitors daily over a period of several months, in three houses: one nearly 100 years old with plaster walls, a newer home with standard drywall construction, and a two-level 1960s home with a driveway on another level from the kids’ rooms.
To evaluate range, we pushed the non–Wi-Fi monitors to their geographical limits, testing each separately (with others unplugged at the time to control for interference).
In additional tests, we set up baby units in several different kids’ bedrooms (and in a basement) then started walking and compared the distances at which connections got spotty.
To test battery life, we ran down the fully charged batteries, mostly in audio-only mode (with a few peeks at the video here and there) over several nights, and considered which ones lasted through the night and how long they made it the next day before being fully depleted.
For a more extreme test, we set up the cameras in a windowless room in a basement with a towel blocking light from the door.
5 best baby monitors for 2020:
|Safety 1st HD WiFi||3 x 7 x 8.5 in||1000 feet|
|Philips Avent Digital Video||4.2 x 8.7 x 7.3 in||1000 feet|
|Infant Optics DXR-8||19.3 x 13.4 x 6.5 in||700 feet|
|V-Tech DM111 Audio||1.9 x 4.6 x 2.6 in||1000 feet|
|Kodak Cherish C525 Video||9.4 x 8 x 3.9 in||1000 feet|
There are a few things you can demand from a decent HD video baby monitor, like a crystal clear image and good night vision capabilities.
And there are things you can expect of a good Wi-Fi-enabled monitor, like easy remote access from a smart device with real-time streaming audio and video.
Then there are things you might hope for from a baby monitor, like two-way talk and solid battery life.
Finally, there are features that you probably never even thought of but that you’ll get with the new Safety 1st HD WiFi Streaming Baby Monitor, and they’re features you will never want to live without once you grow accustomed to them.
- Excellent visual quality
- Temporary access control
- Pairs with multiple camera units
- Learning curve involved with use
Philips Avent Digital Video Baby Monitor is one of the brand’s most well-known products. It’s regarded as one of the best baby monitors because its features overtake those of most competitors.
It has infra-red night vision that will let you monitor your baby for the whole day and night, for example. The screen also automatically activates when there’s a noise in your baby’s room.
For the connection, it has private and automatic channel selection. That ensures a secure connection between your baby and you.
The portable unit for the parent is cordless too, so you can go around your place and do some household chores without ever losing sight of your baby. It can also help your baby sleep soundly with its built-in soothing lullabies and night light.
All of these qualities will surely help you do your duties and responsibilities as a parent.
- Round-the-clock monitoring
- Easy recharging
- High-resolution screen
Infant Optics delivers a decent, simple baby monitor with the DXR-8. The optical zoom lens is a stand-out feature that adds flexibility.
The second monitor from this San Francisco firm, the Infant Optics DXR-8 has one obvious gimmick to recommend it—an optical zoom lens—as well as some less-obvious virtues that make a stronger case for going with this recent entrant to the monitor market.
The VGA camera on the DXR-8’s base unit, which is 4 inches tall and just over 2.5 inches wide, features the usual pan, tilt, and digital-zoom capabilities, as well as an array of eight LED sensors for night vision.
But you can also pop in a 2x optical zoom lens, included in the box, if you need or want to park it farther from the crib.
If the baby’s room is on the expansive side, Infant Optics will sell you a 170-degree wide-angle lens for $11.99. A slot in the back lets you mount the camera unit on the wall, and there’s a screw and drywall anchor included in the box for that.
- Useful optical zoom lens
- Simple setup
- Great battery life
- Easy recharging
- Glitchy reception
- Limited features
If you are looking for a digital sound monitor, the V-Tech is your best bet. This unit uses DECT 6.0 technology which transmits sounds with ultimate clarity.
You will hear every slight movement that can indicate how well your child is sleeping. It saves you from hearing the annoying white noise usually associated with analog devices.
It doesn’t matter how far the laundry room is, with 960ft range, a secure connection will always be achieved.
By using DECT technology, the V-Tech Baby monitor transmits an encrypted signal to the parent unit. This means you are the only person who can listen in on your baby. It keeps you and the baby safe.
You can increase and decrease the volume to suit your listening needs. Since it does not have the static feedback, there’s no need to worry about missing cries when the volume is low.
- DECT 6.0 technology
- Long battery life around 20 hours
- 5-level sound indicator
- Volume can be controlled for personalized listening
- Some parents say it is loud even on the lowest volume setting
The Kodak Cherish C525 comes with a parent unit with 5in display and the ability to access video of baby via the dedicated app.
Aesthetically, this device is one of the more stylish and compact pieces in our test, and its camera comes with a remote pan, tilt and zoom feature and 85-degree viewing angle, which is quiet in use.
The device also has two-way communication, infrared night vision and sound as well as motion notifications. You can view the sound and motion notifications via your smartphone app, which appears in a coherent timeline so you can analyse sleep patterns if you wish.
Overall we were impressed by the picture and video quality on the parent unit. Using the Kodak Smart Home app you can save footage in the cloud or on the built-in SD card.
- Parent unit
- Sound and motion alerts
- AES encryption
- Took a few attempts to set up and connect to app
Being a parent is a fulfilling role, it has its challenges and pleasures, too. However, you don’t have to do it on your own. Aside from asking help from your extended family, a baby monitor will also do wonders for you.