Best baby monitor

Nursery

While baby monitors can give parents peace of mind, they can’t protect your baby. Follow all safety protocols when leaving your baby alone in their room.

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Which baby monitor is best?

It can be bittersweet when your little one is finally in a room of their own. You may even be tempted to stealthily tip-toe into your baby’s room to see how they’re doing. Luckily, having a baby monitor can let you know exactly how your baby is doing without the threat of waking them up. 

Baby monitors come with so many features, and it can be confusing to choose which one is right for your family. However, if you’re looking for a portable video baby monitor with additional camera features, the Infant Optics DXR-8 3.5-Inch Video Baby Monitor is an ideal choice.

What to know before you buy a baby monitor

Who needs a baby monitor?

Baby monitors generally come with a baby unit that sits in their room and at least one parent unit, which can listen or watch. If you sleep in the same room as your baby or have a small house, you could probably get away without purchasing a baby monitor, although some parents or guardians with a small house still get a baby monitor for peace of mind. 

However, if you have a multiple-story house or want to do chores or catch up on your favorite show while your little one is sleeping, a baby monitor is a smart choice for you.

Types of baby monitors

There are several different types of baby monitors suitable for different needs.

  • Audio baby monitors only relay noise in your baby’s room, such as crying, laughing or talking. They don’t come with any screen or video capabilities. Audio baby monitors are the most inexpensive. Most audio monitors are sound activated and only turn on when there is noise.
  • Audio and video monitors come with a camera to place in your baby’s room so you can watch them at all times. Some parents are more comfortable knowing they can see their baby at all times. 
  • Breathing movement monitors are the newest type of baby monitor. These track baby’s vitals, including breathing, heart rate, oxygen saturation and sometimes room temperature
  • Wireless network baby monitors utilize a camera that streams directly to your smartphone, tablet or computer. These are convenient if you want to look in on your baby when they’re home with the babysitter. However, the downside of being run on Wi-Fi is that it doesn’t work if you have slow Wi-Fi or your Wi-Fi is down. 

What to look for in a quality baby monitor

Power source

Almost all baby monitors plug directly into the wall. However, some baby monitors have a battery backup, which is convenient if the power goes out. 

Light indicator

A light indicator has a series of lights that flash when the baby is making noise. This feature lets you know when there is sound in your baby’s room, even when the volume is off. 

Night vision

If you’re going to have a video monitor, you’ll want to ensure it has night vision or an infrared feature so you can clearly see your baby at any time of the night. 

Talk-back communication

This feature allows you to talk to your baby through the monitor. Sometimes parents and guardians can soothe their baby without going into their room by using the talk-back feature. 

Range

If you have a large house or multiple stories, it’s essential to be aware of the range. You’ll want your baby monitor to work clearly, regardless of where you are in your house.

How much you can expect to spend on a baby monitor

A baby monitor costs $30-$400. This cost variation is based on brand, features and whether the monitor offers audio or video.

Baby monitor FAQ

Can your video baby monitor be hacked?

A. While it’s possible for a video baby monitor to be hacked, it’s extremely rare, and the majority of users never experience that issue. 

Do baby monitors emit radiation?

A. If you get a baby monitor with FCC certification, you can be certain your monitor is safe for your baby and meets all safety requirements for electromagnetic radiation emissions. 

What’s the best baby monitor to buy?

Top baby monitor

Infant Optics DXR-8 3.5-Inch Video Baby Monitor

Infant Optics DXR-8 3.5-Inch Video Baby Monitor

What you need to know: This lightweight and portable video monitor allows adults to keep an eye on their little one while moving around the house with a range of up to 700 feet.

What you’ll love: Camera features include pan, tilt, digital zoom and come with interchangeable lenses to zoom in or out. This system can accommodate up to four cameras with night vision, temperature display, LED sound display and talk-back.

What you should consider: This is one of the pricier baby models on the market.

Where to buy: Sold by Buy Buy Baby and Amazon

Top baby monitor for the money

VTech Digital Audio Baby Monitor with Talk-Back Intercom

VTech Digital Audio Baby Monitor with Talk-Back Intercom 

What you need to know: With two parent units and a talk-back feature, this baby monitor is one of the best options for an affordable price.

What you’ll love: This baby monitor has clear audio and a long-range of up to 1,000 feet. LEDs on the parent unit indicate the level of sound so you can visually monitor the noise level. The parent unit can also adjust the sound sensitivity. 

What you should consider: It can lose connection often, and it doesn’t have video monitoring.

Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond and Amazon

Worth checking out

Owlet Smart Sock 3 Wearable Baby Monitor

Owlet Smart Sock 3 Wearable Baby Monitor

What you need to know: This smart sock tracks the most important indicators of your baby’s health, including heart rate and oxygen level.

What you’ll love: Instead of just relying on sound or video, this smart sock immediately sends a notification if the baby’s readings leave the preset “safe” zones. In addition, the secure and encrypted data means only select people can access readings from the sock.

What you should consider: Video is only included with a purchased subscription, and this unit is already pricey.

Where to buy: Sold by Buy Buy Baby and Amazon

 

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Bre Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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