As much as new parents want to be in the room with baby at all times, sometimes a baby monitor is necessary (like when you’re having a dinner party — or just want to watch Insecure in the next room). To help navigate the vast, confusing universe of baby monitors, we spoke to Lauren Kay, the Bump’s deputy editor, and Dave Baldwin, Fatherly’s former gear-and-tech editor and current play editor, about their recommendations, from traditional video monitors to smart-tech-enabled devices that can even track how your baby is sleeping. Add one of these to the baby registry.
WiFi Baby boasts a secure and clear connection to your baby through its high-quality camera. Using a WiFi or 3G/4G network, you can access the password-protected stream directly from your Mac or PC, or through several third-party apps, on an iOS or Android device. Like the Dropcam monitor, WiFi Baby has a video recording function that gives you the option of reviewing past footage, which comes in handy if you end up using it as a nanny cam or security camera for the house. Using the WiFi Baby-compatible apps, you can stream live video and audio feeds of up to four cameras simultaneously.
The MoonyBaby Monitor has a large 4.3-inch display, but we dismissed it because the camera can’t pan or tilt throughout the room. The company does offer a model with a pan/tilt function, but with only two reviews so far (and only 36 on the more popular fixed-camera option, as of September 2018) we can’t recommend either without a longer record of reliability.
It should come as no surprise that we selected Nanit as the best baby monitor overall—after all, it was the winner of The Bump Best of Baby Awards this year. Nanit gives you both a clear, unobstructed view of baby thanks to the over-the-crib mount as well as sleep insight reports and nightly sleep scores via an app. You not only see how baby sleeps, but learn how to help baby sleep better.
The Video Baby Monitor 6000 is BT’s most expensive video baby monitor, and replaces the brand’s Video Monitor 7500 Lightshow model. Although it features an increased screen size of 5 inches (up from 3.5 inches), it no longer boasts a light show and 19-strong selection of lullabies along with nature sounds, womb sounds and white noise. In this respect it isn’t much different from the cheaper models, the 3000 and the 5000, apart from the larger display.
This is our favourite audio monitor due to the strong signal coverage and battery life – which easily lasts a day – and the fact that it still works after being knocked, bumped or dropped. You can chat to your baby when you’re not in the room and there are a lot of features for the price, including temperature display, nightlight, paging feature, warning light for low battery or poor range and belt-clip so you can wear your monitor. Unlike with many monitors, there’s no interference from other devices, although we found we had to have the volume on high at all times and if there’s background noise going on, the clarity isn’t quite as good.
Great battery replacement for the one that came with our unit - we finally can unplug AND use it for more than 2 minutes. The battery fits and works perfectly with the unit, and the only reason that I did not give a 5 star is that I just wish that it charge would last longer - about 45 min to 1 hour and a half depending on use (screen on or off). But for the price, there isn't much we could complain. Shipped and arrived fast. Would recommend and buy again.
Great baby camera with a lot of options. The camera is very clear and available in 1080p. It even can sense the air quality and alerts you. Negative is that the new firmware has issues with the speaker. The speaker is very glitchy and will not work at times. I hope they fix the issues with the speaker. Has free cloud service so that you can store the video for a week.
Keep an eye (and ear) on baby with an audio, visual or movement detecting monitor. Choose from products that feature compact cameras, infrared night vision and high-sensitivity microphones - to alert you to a variety of sounds, no matter how small. Some models are designed for travel or the car, while others come with integrated lullabies to help soothe your child back to sleep.
If you want to be as streamlined as possible and happen to have extra Apple devices hanging around, the Bump recommends the Cloud Baby Monitor app, which turns your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch, and even your laptop into a secure Wi-Fi baby monitor. Use one device in the nursery as a camera, then have high-quality live video and audio transmitted to a secondary device, or even a third or fourth. Using the “parent unit,” you can talk to your child through two-way video and audio, turn on lullabies or white noise, and adjust the night-light on the other side. The app will also alert you to any noise and motion occurring in the other room.
Traditional versus Wifi Baby Monitors: Starting around 2010, parents began to switch from using baby monitors with a yoked camera and screen, to using wifi cameras that can stream over smart phones, tablets, and personal computers. At the time, there weren't very many wifi cameras aimed towards the baby gear market, so people were going with familiar wifi camera brands like Nest and Samsung. Over the next few years, companies slowly began introducing baby-themed wifi cameras onto the market. While even high-quality HD wifi cameras can be found for under $50 (like this one) nowadays, companies began to realize they could package a wifi camera as a baby monitor, change the colors and themes of the app, and charge 3-4 times the price. And they continue to use this strategy to this day! So which is better? Well, this really comes down to one thing: do you want to be able to view the nursery while you're not at home? If you answer yes to this question, then you need to use a wifi monitor as opposed to a typical baby monitor. A wifi baby monitor (or any wifi camera) will connect to your internet (some are wired, some through wifi only) and stream live (well, slightly delated) video to an app on your phone. That will work in the house or out of the house, as long as you have a fast internet connection. So you can simply BYOP (bring your own phone) and leverage 20th century technology! That seems really appealing, and we highly recommend some of the newer ones (like the Cocoon Cam, Lollipop, and Nanit), but there are some things to keep in mind when figuring out the type of monitor to buy: