Every parent wants to protect their baby, and while you can’t always be by your child’s side, an extra pair of eyes watching over your baby gives you peace of mind. Baby monitors are convenient devices that ensure you can keep a safe eye on your child even when you are away from them.
If you are a new parent, you may find yourself going into a panic whenever you leave your baby alone to sleep. It’s a common feeling, but you know that things must continue to get done and you can’t watch your baby 24/7. Finding the perfect baby monitor for you will take off some of the anxiety during the baby’s nap time and help you get a better night’s sleep. Here are our picks for the best baby monitors in 2020.
While baby monitors can be worthwhile, many parents have observed common problems – like batteries that run for a short time, static, privacy interference, and poor audio quality. Today, we look at some of the best baby monitors on the market that overcome these issues and offer outstanding features for the modern parent. From audio monitors to wireless, touchscreen, and video monitors, we’ll be covering the details and important features that make these devices stand out.
- The factors to think about before buying a baby monitor
- Top 10 Best Baby Monitors 2020
- 1. Best Overall Baby Monitor: Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor with Interchangeable Optical Lens
- 2. Best Premium Baby Monitor Nanit Plus
- 3. Best Budget Baby Monitor SereneLife Wireless Video Baby Monitor Dual System
- 4. Best 5” Handheld Baby Monitor VAVA 720p HD Video Baby Monitor
- 5. Best Heartbeat Monitor Owlet Smart Sock Baby Monitor
- 6. Best Audio Baby Monitor VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor
- 7. Best Wi-Fi Baby Monitor Wansview Wireless 1080P IP Wi-Fi Home Surveillance Camera for Baby
- 8. Best Smartphone Baby Monitor iBaby Care M7 Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Digital Video Baby Monitor
- 9. Best Night Vision Baby Monitor BabySense Video Baby Monitor Digital Camera with Night Vision
- 10. Best Audio Monitor with Night Mode Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor with Night Mode and Temperature Sensor
- Guide to Buying the Best Baby Monitor
The factors to think about before buying a baby monitor
Screen Size and Audio Output
It’s important that you ensure the audio is loud enough for you to hear the baby clearly. The screen should also be large so you can see the baby’s sleeping position. Your baby’s monitor should not be susceptible to too much interference especially if you live in an apartment or in urban areas.
This feature is important to help parents maintain the ideal sleeping conditions for the baby. They allow you to make changes such as turn on the cooler when it’s hot or turn on the heater when it’s too cold.
How far can the signal reach? Most baby monitors have a range of around 600-900ft. This should enable you to step away as far as possible and still be connected to the baby’s transmitter.
For parents who still want to see their baby when sleeping without having to turn on the baby’s room light. A baby monitor with night vision makes this possible.
Some baby monitors are so loud that they can become a nuisance while some are so quiet they are hard to hear. That’s why you’ll want to make sure your baby monitor has proper volume controls so you can turn it down to your ideal sound level.
Some monitors allow you to add additional cameras or receiving units. An expandable monitor comes in handy when you want to monitor more than one baby.
Analog vs. Digital
Analog monitors send signals directly to the monitor while digital monitors encrypt the signal before sending it. Digital monitors are more secure as they are less susceptible to hacking. This additional security feature on digital monitors helps keep your baby safe from people who could be listening in on your baby.
Top 10 Best Baby Monitors 2020
1. Best Overall Baby Monitor: Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor with Interchangeable Optical Lens
Our top-rated baby monitor is the Infant Optics DXR-8 Model. This unit speaks of functionality and performance at its best. The DXR-8 provides the convenience of listening and watching your baby without ever entering the nursery. Its wide-angle lens and its ability to zoom in and out means you can know when someone else enters the room.
The Infant Optics DXR-8 is the first ever baby monitor with the ability to change the lens. You’ll have to buy the interchangeable lens separately, but if you do, it gives you the chance to customize the zoom without turning the camera tilt angle.
The included lens provides both regular viewing and a zoom option while the wide-angle interchangeable lens offers the personalized view. The panoramic view comes in handy when your baby starts to move and play. It means you can always monitor their playtime as they move about the room.
We were impressed by how accurately the temperature sensor reports the temperature of the baby’s room – allowing parents to make adjustments as they see fit.
Turning the screen off and switching to audio-only mode with the screen off reduces battery consumption by up to 50%. This is useful for monitoring when you are not able to look at the screen. When the volume is turned down, a row of LEDs will light up ensuring you don’t miss when the baby is crying.
In addition, you can talk into the monitor. This assures the baby that you are around, and you can soothe them back to sleep.
Do note that you won’t be able to take snapshots with the camera or even record video. We like that this monitor is not very loud so it won’t startle you awake in the middle of the night. Overall, the Infant Optics VXR-8 is our top pick for new parents.
- High-quality videos and sound clarity
- Wide angle lens provides all-around viewing of baby’s room
- The monitor is expandable to handle four cameras
- Uses secure 2.4GHz band connection
- Wide 3.5-inch screen
- Does not record video
- It cannot be used with a smartphone
One of the most advanced baby monitors you can buy, the Nanit Plus is a wall-mounted HD camera meant to give you a bird’s-eye view of your baby as they sleep. Allowing parents to monitor their babies using their smartphone, this high tech monitor offers a ton of advanced features like night vision, sleep tracking, and more.
This is an ideal baby monitor for parents who want to keep track of everything. In addition to offering the perfect vantage point for watching your little one sleep, you will be able to use the included app to gain insight into your baby’s health like never before. You will be able to track their sleep patterns and identify problems in their sleeping behavior as early as possible.
The Nanit Plus has more features than any other baby monitor we reviewed. Not only do you get the perfect angle for watching the crib and standard features like night vision, but you also get features like breathing monitoring and sensors that track temperature and humidity.
Parents we talked to felt perfectly comfortable relying on their Nanit Plus for their infant’s safety. The Nanit Plus is more expensive than many of the alternatives, but its performance and feature set are unmatched.
- Most advanced baby monitor we reviewed
- Provides perfect vantage point for watching your sleeping baby
- The included app tracks your babies sleeping habits and helps you identify problems early
- Most expensive baby monitor on our list
3. Best Budget Baby Monitor SereneLife Wireless Video Baby Monitor Dual System
Day and night monitoring of your baby becomes easier as they grow up. But the first few months are hectic, and if you are overly panicky, you may never get anything done around the house. The SereneLife Wireless baby monitor provides both audio and video output, allowing you to go about your chores during the baby’s nap time.
A 3.2-inch wireless screen provides digital video via the 2.4GHz frequency band. The rechargeable monitor offers wireless use as you can take it anywhere around the house, up to 850ft. Better still, you can wear it on your body making it easy to carry as you go about your day.
A built-in rechargeable battery comes in handy for long hours of use. You don’t have to keep charging this unit as it provides longer battery life than regular replaceable batteries. A built-in thermometer shows how hot the room is. This ensures your baby sleeps in the ideal conditions.
The SereneLife Wireless Video Monitor is one of the less expensive devices. It provides outstanding performance from the 2.4GHz band connectivity to the built-in rechargeable battery, and wireless operation. It is a top performer in this category.
- 360-degree camera viewing angle
- Button controls activate lullabies and melodies
- Built-in thermometer
- Wireless connectivity
- Secure via the 2.4GHz band
- Melodies are loud
- The backlight is bright such that it loses charge first
4. Best 5” Handheld Baby Monitor VAVA 720p HD Video Baby Monitor
For parents looking for a video monitor that allows them to tilt and pan to look around a room, the VAVA 720P HD Video Baby monitor delivers crisp, real-time images with an impressive level of detail. At 5”, the screen is much larger than most other video baby monitors. When operating in video mode, the handheld display can last for up to 12 hours at a time using the rechargeable battery.
The VAVA Baby Monitor has an impressive array of video features that allow you to pan, tilt and zoom the camera wirelessly using the handheld display. You can also turn off the video feature and listen in on your baby using audio-only mode. This extends the battery life considerably. There are also 7 volume level indicators on the handheld monitor so there is a visual cue when your baby starts making noise. You can’t mount this camera to the wall though, so it’ll have to be placed on a surface.
The VAVA 720p helps you monitor your baby effortlessly with a screen much larger than most other video baby monitors. The camera can be totally controlled remotely by the handheld monitoring unit.
The VAVA 720p HD Video display monitor transmits crystal-clear video up to 900 feet in your house. We found the notification functions to be reliable and loud enough to wake up even heavy sleepers.
- Large 5” handheld video screen for HD video monitoring
- Tilt, pan, and zoom camera remotely using the handheld monitor
- The stable wireless connection delivers crisp video up to 900 feet away
- Does not mount to the wall
5. Best Heartbeat Monitor Owlet Smart Sock Baby Monitor
The most unique monitor on our list, the Owlet Smart Sock is a wearable monitor that tracks your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels. If the Smart Sock detects something is wrong, it will immediately notify you via a notification on your phone as well as lights and sounds that come from the base station in your baby’s room.
Parents we talked to loved feeling like they could be confident that their baby was okay because their vital signs are being constantly monitored. Knowing that the system is actively monitoring them while they sleep is comforting, but the lack of video or audio monitoring does make it difficult to use the smart sock as your only baby monitor.
The Owlet Smart Sock is designed to be worn around a baby’s ankle and foot. It uses proven technology to track heart rate or oxygen levels and relay that information to the base unit. The most important feature is that it instantly notifies you if there is a problem.
Most parents reported that the Owlet Smart Sock works as intended, though thankfully many of them have not experienced the alarm saying their baby’s heart rate or oxygen levels are getting dangerously low. One performance issue experienced by a few parents was the sock disconnecting from the base, triggering the notifications and alarm – which can be frightening.
- Smart monitor keeps track of vital signs to ensure your baby is healthy
- Get better sleep knowing your baby is okay
- Notifies you the moment there is a problem
- Sounds a loud alarm if the Smart Sock disconnects from the base unit
- No audio or video so unlikely to be your only monitor
6. Best Audio Baby Monitor VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor
While video monitors are gaining popularity, many parents still prefer to keep tabs on their babies using a traditional audio monitor. The VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor is the clearest sounding baby monitor we tested. It also allows parents to talk back to their babies through the parent monitors. One major advantage of an audio-only monitor is battery life. The parent monitoring unit in this set can run for up to 18 hours on a single charge. When buying, you can choose to get either one parent monitor or two.
Featuring an impressive 1000 foot range, another benefit to an audio-only baby monitor is that they are considerably less expensive than a video monitor. We especially like the vibration feature that makes it easy to notice when your baby begins to stir.
The VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor has quite a few innovative features. There is a nightlight on top of the transmitter that emits a pleasant glow at night. There is also an intercom feature that allows parents to talk back and soothe their babies.
Thanks to DECT 6.0 digital technology, the audio is crystal clear and even the faintest sound can be heard. There is a long, 1000 foot radius on the signal and it is encrypted and interference-free.
- The rechargeable battery lasts up to 18 hours on a single charge.
- Intercom system lets parents talk back
- Visual sound indicator and vibration
- Large savings over a video baby monitor
- Does not capture video
7. Best Wi-Fi Baby Monitor Wansview Wireless 1080P IP Wi-Fi Home Surveillance Camera for Baby
It is hard trusting someone else to look after your baby. But when duty calls, you’ll want to know that wherever you are, you can check-in and see your baby. The Wansview baby monitor connects wirelessly via android/iOs mobile devices, Apple Mac Software, and PCs. Amazon also offers this product with Alexa as the two work together, but it is not necessary to have one when purchasing. That said, if you own Alexa already, this could be a tempting option. This is more of a general-purpose camera than an explicit baby monitor, but it gets the job done way beyond their infant years and can be put to alternate use too.
This camera records in 1080 pixels. It provides high-resolution videos meaning you won’t miss a thing day or night. The camera allows you to quickly access it using the Wansview app anywhere and at any time. After it connects to your home Wi-Fi, the device can start recording 24-hour surveillance footage onto your PC.
The Wansview App allows you to speak to your kid and hear their input through the two-way audio feature. When you want to know how your baby is doing, just watch them via the app. Even when you are in another room; you will keep tabs on how your kid is interacting with various toys.
The Wansview lets you feel that you are with your baby when away from home. The camera provides high-quality video recording on PC software. It also supports recording a maximum of 128GB data on a micro SD card. Together with the two-way audio, this monitor makes for an excellent pick for older babies.
- 1080 pixels pan and tilt camera
- Night vision capability up to 20ft
- 4x digital zoom
- Wireless connection for remote access
- Allows taking of snapshots
- Not ideal for detecting baby movements
- It does not connect via the 5GHz band
8. Best Smartphone Baby Monitor iBaby Care M7 Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Digital Video Baby Monitor
The iBaby Care M7 is the new model of a monitor that allows watching your baby from the convenience of your smartphone. This device takes the shape of a tilting snowman, and it even includes a moon and stars night light to help calm down fussy babies.
This monitor houses a camera in a white plastic enclosure. It is aesthetically appealing and will go hand in hand with any décor. At the base of this monitor is a motor which the camera to rotate for full room panning. It also tilts to 100-degrees by simply touching the screen of your smartphone.
The M7 is Wi-Fi enabled that will connect to your home network via a 2.4GHz or 5GHz band. You will need to download the iBaby App which lets you stream and record live videos. It delivers 1080p video quality at 30fps. The monitor also provides night vision at a detection range of up to 20ft. Be warned though, it will guzzle your data if not on Wi-FI, and your Wi-FI needs a strong signal for it not to lag.
iBaby uses built-in microphones and speakers which alert you when the baby starts to cry. It even includes two-way communications so you can sing and lull the baby back to sleep. The iBaby monitor allows you to play pre-programmed lullabies or music directly from your phone.
What’s more, it includes sky projections like the moon which creates an exciting but soothing atmosphere for the baby.
iBaby explores advanced technology to make watching the baby hassle-free. You can now go about your daily tasks knowing your baby is sleeping peacefully in the nursery and that you don’t have to peek in the door every 5 minutes.
- Offers both iOS and Android compatibility
- Works with secure 2.5GHz and 5GHz bands
- Remotely accessed from anywhere
- Allows setting diaper change and feeding alerts
- Smart sensors for temperature, air quality, and humidity
- It has high data usage
- Wi-Fi must be excellent for the app to work effectively
9. Best Night Vision Baby Monitor BabySense Video Baby Monitor Digital Camera with Night Vision
Baby monitors are not just sound-enabled anymore. With technology comes the capability to watch your baby’s movement on a screen. The Babysense Video Baby Monitor brings this convenience and so much more, with a stellar night vision mode to keep tabs on your baby even in the dark.
The parent unit comes with a portable device that you can take around the house. You will like that it is lightweight and it uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. You get to watch the baby on a large 2.4-inch screen. It also provides a 2x digital zoom. It’s not as impressive as the best monitor out there, but it still allows you to see your baby up close for those precious moments. Plus, it’s far cheaper than that option.
This monitor also provides long-range coverage with a 900ft detection distance. It allows you to go about your daily life without having to worry that if you stray too far you won’t hear the baby cry.
You have a device that provides alerts when the room gets too warm or too cold. Babysense uses a temperature sensor that activates an alarm system when the room goes over 90F or below 55F. This way, you don’t just see a number on the screen; you’ll know exactly what to do.
Apart from the temperature sensor, it has pre-programmed polyphonic lullabies to lull your baby to sleep. Not to mention, it allows two-way communication, enabling you to soothe your baby before you can get to them.
However, the baby’s camera will only tilt 60-degrees. This means you have to be smart about where you mount it so that it can look down on the baby at the right angle that will allow you to see correctly. Furthermore, the camera’s cord is short, so you may need to use an extension cord if the power outlet is far from where the baby’s crib is located.
Nevertheless, Babysense is a remarkable video monitor that does what it intended to accomplish. From the secure connection to the ECO mode, you’ll have an easy time taking care of your baby.
- Infrared night vision for night monitoring
- Crystal clear sound quality up to 900ft
- Pre-programmed lullabies
- 2x digital zoom
- Portable and rechargeable parent monitor
- Two-way talk back communication
- Short baby camera’s cord
- Camera head tilts up to a specific range
10. Best Audio Monitor with Night Mode Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor with Night Mode and Temperature Sensor
The Philips Avent Baby Monitor offers you value for money in a device that will be useful over a long-range. With 900ft detectable distance, this monitor allows you to step out of the house while giving you peace of mind when the baby is asleep.
This monitor comes with a 1.6-inch LED screen. It displays the signal strength, room temperature, and battery level. When the baby cries or moves, the parent unit is activated, and it vibrates and lights up. The more movement there is, the more lights will be displayed.
This unit operates using 2 AA rechargeable batteries. It gives you up to 18 hours of battery life which provides you with hours of use without worrying about a low battery.
If you worry that using a monitor may result in an invasion of your privacy, Philips Avent is an ideal pick. The company promises 100% private connection which is also crucial for baby security. This keeps away people who could hack into your system and spy on you and your baby.
It uses DECT technology to provide secure, crystal clear sound of every baby’s movement.
The Philips Avent allows you to step into the laundry room, clean the yard and never miss a single cry. After all, if you are not going to see your baby through a monitor, you might as well get the best sound.
A talkback feature enables you to comfort the baby. It can play lullabies for 15 minutes so that they will feel your presence and snuggles back to sleep. What’s more, the Philips Avent has a temperature sensor. You can keep track of the environment of your nursery so that you are assured your baby is sleeping peacefully.
This is an overall high-value product. It has the ideal range for you to complete work around the house without losing connection with the transmitter. It offers 100% privacy and improved security for the baby.
- Talkback feature allows you to soothe the baby
- Temperature sensor guides on ideal sleeping conditions
- The LED screen lights up when baby makes sounds
- DECT technology provides zero privacy interference
- 900ft outdoor range
- It does not offer video monitoring
- Night mode makes the display dim
Guide to Buying the Best Baby Monitor
Whether you are a new parent or preparing for a new baby, this guide will point the way to finding your ideal baby monitor.
What is a baby monitor?
This is a device designed to transmit movements and sounds that a baby makes. The first baby monitors only allowed transmitting of audio, but recent developments have allowed them to send and record video. Baby monitors give parents live audio and video feeds of the baby’s room so that they can be aware of their movements.
Who should use a baby monitor?
You might be wondering if you need a monitor in the first place. If you can always see your baby, say you live in a small apartment or the baby’s crib is in your bedroom, you do not have to rely on a baby monitor.
But if your baby sleeps in a nursery, you’ll love the convenience brought about by a baby monitor. If you are a heavy sleeper, you may not hear when the baby wakes up, especially from several rooms away. As such, a baby monitor will alert you when your child is awake.
Advantages of a Baby Monitor
They can help train your child to sleep
Although not scientifically proven, many parents find that they can hold out on picking up the baby every time they cry, as they can wait for the baby to self-soothe before they intervene.
Video monitors, in particular, provide parents with the input they need to determine whether to walk into the nursery or not. If the baby is standing in the cot, for example, they may not go back to sleep until you intervene but if he/she is still lying down, chances are they might go back to sleep on their own.
Allow parents to take on regular household duties
Taking care of a family comes with completing chores. But if you have to walk in the nursery hour every single hour, you may end up wasting too much time and not getting anything done. With a baby monitor, you can establish a connection with the baby’s room and only attend to your baby when it is necessary.
Keep track of the baby’s sleep pattern
Knowing whether the baby is getting enough sleep is important. Some babies do not cry when they wake, and audio monitors will not tell you that they are awake. Video monitors, on the other hand, allow you to see whether the baby is asleep or just playing with their feet. Some of the more recent monitors allow you to record video using voice commands.
Security for your baby
Baby monitors transmit sound and movement so parents can know when someone else walks into the baby’s room. Even better, with a video monitor you can see when the baby is trying to get out of their crib, thus preventing future falls.
Disadvantages of Baby Monitors
Some monitors are overly sensitive and can pick up every single sound in the room. Instead of helping you sleep, you can spend time awake responding to every single movement that a healthy baby makes in their sleep. There is also fear of hacking, but it would take a committed person to try and a good baby monitor will offer some security features, and there are steps you can take to defend yourself.
What to look for in a baby monitor
Minimal Audio Interference
The common challenge in finding baby monitors is getting one without static, irritating noise, or static. Many monitors can pick noise from nearby electronic devices like washers which can drown out the baby’s sounds.
Monitors that use the 2.4GHz frequency band tend to be culprits of interference as the band is shared by other public airwaves like microwaves and laptops.
Manufacturers that use digital transmission like Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology (DECT) can provide better audio performance. This is because they transmit encrypted data that cannot be intercepted.
Type of Baby Monitor:
These models have sensors that detect sound and transmit it to the parent monitor. They can have temperature sensors to monitor baby’s room conditions and an LCD screen to display readings. They are generally inexpensive but the price increases with improved features.This is our favorite audio monitor.
Apart from audio, the video monitor will provide a live feed of the baby via a camera. They can connect wirelessly or via a wired connection. These devices can also allow connecting with smartphones and other mobile devices. Video/audio monitors have a higher price tag thanks to the additional advancements. Our top pick is a great video monitor.
You’ll want a device that does not run out batteries as soon as the first alarm goes off. Baby monitors have either corded or cordless usage. Rechargeable batteries provide portability while AC connections limit movement. Look for units that can offer either capability; or at least 7 hours on rechargeable batteries.
All the extra features that come with baby monitors are intended to make life easier. Some important features that you’ll want in a baby monitor include; night vision, temperature and humidity sensors, lights, out-of-range indicators, low-battery indicator, expandability to include additional cameras, and volume control.
Baby monitors are a blessing. We all know the joy and hassle of watching a baby in their first few months, but that doesn’t mean being stressed out of your mind. Let these baby monitors lend a helping hand by being the third eye as you go about your day.
We’ve reviewed every baby monitor we could find, and now you hopefully have the information you need to pick the right one for you.