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Nervous when you don’t have your eyes and ears on your baby at all times? Baby monitors are an excellent way to ease your fears when your bundle of joy is in the nursery and (slightly) out of your reach. But with so many choices on the market, how do you know which ones are reliable and within your budget? Here we break down the best baby camera monitor by categories to help you make the right choice.
What Are The Best Baby Monitors?
We’ve done our research and give you our recommendations based on features, pricing, consumer feedback and more. Since there are so many types of top-rated baby monitors, we’ve chosen several “best of” winners to help you decide, based on what’s most important to you. Click on the one you’re most interested in to jump to our review:
Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor is the first of its kind with interchangeable optical lens capability. What’s the benefit? You can customize your viewing angle, and remote pan, tilt and zoom for optimal visual monitoring of your baby. Use the close-up lens when your baby is an infant, and when she grows into a toddler you can swap out for a wide-angle lens to see what she’s getting into in her room! The Infant Optics DXR-8 is loaded with a ton of great features.
- Interchangeable lens capability
- Real-time video streaming to a compact 3.5″ full-color LCD display
- Sound-activated LED display
- Remote pan, tilt and digital zoom
- Battery life up to 10 hours
- Infrared night vision
- Two-way talk
- Room temperature sensor
- Expandable up to 4 cameras
Video Baby Monitor Runner Up: Philips Avent SCD630
The Philips Avent baby monitor features a 3.5″ high-resolution screen and has a unique “Eco mode” that reduces the power used during quiet times, so the monitor battery will last longer unplugged. There is a built-in thermostat that monitor’s the temperature of the room and can send an alarm if it gets too hot or cold. The lack of a high angle lens kept it firmly as our second choice.
Note: Phillips sent us an Avent monitor to test. Overall we found it very easy to use. While our child was napping in the middle of a recent heat wave, we were surprised to find that the baby’s room was much hotter than we realized (76 degrees), so the built-in thermostat was very useful. Our only disappointment was the minimal amount of tilting and panning that the monitor offered – the viewing area is restricted to where it is initially set up.
- Secure streaming connection with Adaptive-FHSS technology
- Eco mode reduces power consumption
- Five lullabies, a night light and remote microphone that can be used to soothe your baby
- Temperature monitor
- Indoor range of 170 feet
One of the biggest complaints about audio baby monitors is sound interference from neighboring transmitting devices. But The Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor is a parent favorite for its zero interference and privacy encryption. This monitor also has an excellent range, battery life and other features that make it a winner in our book!
- DECT technology guarantees zero interference from other monitors, cell and cordless phones
- Private connection with data encryption
- Customized temperature sensor with vibration alert
- Nightlight and lullabies
- Talkback feature
- Range of up to 1,082 feet
- 18-hour battery life
- Low-power and out-of-range alert
- Sound-activated lights
Although not technically a baby monitor, the Nest Cam Security Camera is a highly popular option for new parents who want a WiFi baby monitor that doubles as a security camera. Nest Cam, formerly known as Dropcam, has a ton of great features that make it a solid choice for a baby monitor. With Nest Cam, you get 24/7 live video streaming to all of your devices — PC, tablet and smartphone — and you can control your camera from anywhere.
Warning: A WiFi camera would not be our first pick for a baby monitor because of stories like this where someone could hack into it. As always, do your own research and do what’s best for your family.
- 1080p HD video with image sensor and 8X digital zoom
- Eight infrared LEDs — see the entire room at night
- Talkback capability
- Motion and sound alerts on any device
- Nest Aware subscription allows you to get 24/7 continuous recording and personalized alerts (30-day free trial)
- Nest Cam stores your video history in the cloud for anytime access
- Make video clips and time-lapse recordings
- Nest Aware subscription is $10 per month for a 10-day video history or $30 per month for a 30-day video history
The VTech VM321-2 Safe & Sound Video Baby Monitor with Two Cameras is an affordable and reliable option if you have twins or two young children. The cameras can be set up in the same or separate rooms, and the parent unit gives you a split-screen option so you can keep an eye on both kids at the same time. And the VTech has some great features for the price, including camera zooming from the parent unit, temperature monitoring, night vision and more.
- High-resolution 2.8″ color LCD screen
- Automatic infrared (IR) night vision
- Two-way talkback and five preset lullabies
- Adjustable camera lens
- Transmits audio and video up to 1,000 feet
- Adjustable beep alarm for temperature outside of your customized zone, lost transmission, and low battery
- 6-level LED sound indicator when unit is muted
Turn your existing smartphone (or tablet) into a portable viewing device that allows you to watch your baby from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. Snapshot to capture your baby’s special moments and save them directly to your iPhone. Its sleek design will be a modern addition to any nursery, and it is adjustable, allowing you to place or mount it at a desirable angle. It’s easy to plug and play, connecting via your home’s existing wifi signal, so you can start monitoring in no time. The system is backed by Phillips customer service support team in case you run into any issues.
Testing Note: Phillips sent us a uGrow monitor to conduct a personal test. We were impressed with the packaging and easy set up (Just connect to a power source, turn on and scan the QR code to connect the camera). We did notice the signal was a bit weak (even with a wifi extender) so we recommend putting the camera as close to your router as possible. Overall, for the quality and features, we were impressed. So if you are more tech-savvy and want the ability to have your aunt, uncle and others view your cutie pie from afar, the uGrow is a suitable choice for your family.
- Up to 720p HD display
- Infrared night vision
- Up to 10 cameras supported and users to view (3 simultaneously)
- Room humidity and temperature monitoring and recording
- Multi-color nightlight and lullabies you can turn on/off from your phone
- Two-walk talkback feature
Yes, there’s an app for baby monitoring! The Cloud Baby Monitor App is an unlimited range video baby monitor for iPhone that utilizes WiFi, 3G, LTE, and Bluetooth technologies. All you need to do is set up an iPhone or another iOS device in your baby’s nursery as the camera, download the app on that device and onto your parent device. Cloud Baby Monitor works with any Mac, iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. If you have old devices sitting around, this is an unbelievably inexpensive way to go for a wireless baby monitor. It’s also an excellent way to have a baby monitor with a camera while traveling.
- Live 24/7 video streaming anywhere
- Super sensitive audio
- Noise and motion alerts
- White noise and lullabies included (or create your own playlist)
- Nightlight, remotely controlled
- Two-way talk
- Connection and battery status indicators
- $3.99 on iTunes
Video: Are Monitors A Great Way To Bust Your Kids?
While conducting our research for these baby video monitor reviews, we came across this video that highlights one of the best reasons to set up a video monitor in your nursery. The great twin escape!
Even the best-rated baby monitors don’t replace good old common sense when it comes to the welfare of your baby. It’s always a good idea to check on your baby periodically, especially when they’re very young. And, as is the case with all products for children, make sure there hasn’t been a recall issued for the monitor you’re considering. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has published a thorough list of all baby product recalls.
Monitor More Than Just Your Baby
Using a baby monitor gives you greater peace of mind for keeping an eye on your little one. But what about the rest of your house and beyond? Learn more about how to monitor other aspects of your home and life by reading our home security basics, the best outdoor security cameras and the most affordable self-monitored systems. These tools will help you keep your entire family protected.
What is the funniest or most special moment you’ve captured with a baby monitor?
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