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While there’s nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby, every parent needs to catch up on their to-do list — or get some much-needed sleep themselves! It can be hard to leave that tiny new bundle alone in the crib, but video baby monitors can help provide peace of mind when you aren’t in the room.
Video baby monitors allow you to see and hear your baby from a distance. This can not only provide valuable info when you need to settle them back to sleep, or get them up for the day, but it can also alert you to any distress your baby may be in. I will never forget the first time I heard my little one vomiting on the baby monitor — I’ve never run up the stairs so fast.
Each family has different needs for a video baby monitor, so we’ve gathered our top 8 picks in various categories to help you choose the best fit. We’ve also included some tips for keeping your home safe while using monitoring technology.
Not everyone may choose to use a video baby monitor. Some parents prefer the simplicity (and price point) of audio-only monitors, while others don’t feel the need to check on their baby’s every move. If you ask around, many older parents will reassure you that their kids “turned out just fine!” without being monitored.
Overall, the vast majority of parents do prefer the peace of mind that comes with having a monitor. Some babies with medical conditions may actually need constant monitoring, so having an extra eye on them at all times can be extremely helpful.
Additionally, Wi-Fi based cameras allow you to check on your baby from work while they’re with a caregiver. Some child care providers are even implementing day care cameras so that parents can take a peek at their little one from time to time during the work day.
Lastly, it is not always possible to share a room for the first 6 months to a year of a baby’s life (per the American Academy of Pediatrics’ SIDS prevention guidelines), so a video monitor allows you to see and hear almost like you’re in the room.
While high-tech baby gear allows you the peace of mind that comes with seeing and hearing your baby from a distance, you’ll will want to take precautions to protect your home from intruders. In some cases, hackers may be able to invade baby monitor cameras.
That sounds pretty freaky, but there are some simple steps you can take to protect your child and your home:
- Look for an FHSS radio monitor — these monitors skip radio frequencies at a very fast rate, which helps prevent hacking.
- Choose a digital, rather than analog, monitor. (All the picks on our list are digital).
- Keep your software updated.
- Secure your home Wi-Fi network with a secure ID, password, and wireless encryption.
We were not able to personally test every single option (although we did test several), and we weren’t given any products in exchange for reviews. In addition to testing, we scoured online reviews, polled parents, and evaluated manufacturer data to determine our top picks for video baby monitors.
- $ = under $100
- $$ = $100–$200
- $$$ = $200 –$300
- $$$$ = over $300
Google Nest Cam Indoor
Technically an indoor security camera, the Google Nest Cam Security Camera can also be used as a video baby monitor. Plus, it can be integrated with your entire Nest smart home system.
Some features parents love about this camera include that you can place multiples around the house, and that it live streams straight to your phone. You don’t need a separate viewing monitor and you can check the footage anywhere.
With this camera, you’ll be able to watch live footage on your phone (if the app is running) and rewind to watch back footage from the past 3 hours. If you want to record footage for longer periods of time, you can subscribe to the Nest Aware service.
As with all Wi-Fi monitors, it’s advisable to keep your firmware up to date and be sure that your network is secure.
Babysense 2.4 Inch Video Baby Monitor (V24R)
Another parent favorite (at a very affordable price point) is the Babysense Video Baby Monitor. This simple monitor is easy to use and comes with features such as zoom, pan, tilt, wide-angle lens, night vision, two-way talking, built-in lullabies, and a temperature gauge that makes it easy to keep your little one safe and comfortable.
The latest version has even more features, including a 900-foot range and built-in night-light option. Plus, this monitor runs on FHSS radio signals, so it may be more secure than Wi-Fi based cameras.
Eufy SpaceView Video Baby Monitor
The Eufy SpaceView Video Baby Monitor, a newer addition to the baby monitor scene, has garnered rave reviews from parents. It includes all the features of other top rated monitors, but at a more affordable price.
The Eufy has a 720-pixel, 5-inch HD screen (this is on the large side for video monitors), which gives you an incredibly sharp picture of your little sleeper. Great zoom, pan, and tilt features allow you to see every last detail.
Bonus features include extra-long battery life, night vision, two-way talk, instant alerts if your baby is crying, an included wide-angle lens, wall mount, thermostat, and easy setup. If security is a concern, this is also an FHSS radio monitor, rather than Wi-Fi supported.
If optionality is your top priority, the Motorola Halo+ Over the Crib Baby Monitor could be the monitor for you. This space-age baby monitor features a detachable camera that can sit on any surface or be held in a “halo” that attaches over your baby’s crib. This crib attachment feature is super easy to install, and allows a perfect aerial view of your baby.
You can see your baby either via the Hubble app on your phone, or the included monitor. This allows you to use the separate monitor when you’re at home, but check in when you’re out via the app.
The Halo+ is also equipped with a lightshow that projects onto the ceiling above the crib, lullabies, two-way talk, temperature gauge, and infrared night vision. Although one of the pricier options on our list, the Halo+ still garners very high parent satisfaction ratings for flexibility and the many features it offers.
Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor
If you’re all about the numbers, the Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor could be a great choice for you. This high-tech video baby monitor uses computer vision to track and evaluate your baby’s movements and sleep patterns.
All of this data is logged in an app on your phone and allows you to see your baby’s sleep trends. Based on these trends, the app will offer personalized sleep suggestions for your baby — if you’ve been in tears trying to figure out why your baby only sleeps when the moon is full and the temperature is precisely 72°F, this app could be a lifesaver.
Like the Halo+, the Nanit can stream to an app or detached video monitor, which allows flexibility for checking on your baby at home or while you’re away.
You do, however, need a subscription to the Nanit Insights service to access all of these statistics. You receive 1 free year with your device, and then pay around $100 per year after that. Combined with the price of the monitor itself, this is one of the most expensive options on this list.
Infant Optics DXR-8
For several years, the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor has been one of the top rated baby monitors — almost all parents just love this thing.
A favorite feature of the DXR-8 is the remote control of the camera, which allows you to pan around or adjust the camera angle (this is especially great if you have littles sharing a room). This FHSS radio monitor includes all the high-end features you could want, while remaining easy to use.
Many parents continue to use this monitor as their child moves into toddlerhood since purchasing the wide-angle lens allows you to see the entire room (great for when your mischievous 3-year-old is unloading their toy box and not sleeping).
Worth noting: Some parents reported getting an “out of signal coverage” message when the monitor was near their cell phone or a Wi-Fi router.
For under $100, the HelloBaby Monitor provides many of the features of pricier monitors, such as a “pan, tilt, and zoom” camera, two-way talk, night vision, temperature monitoring, and pre-loaded lullabies. While not as well known as some of our picks, it is rated well overall by parents.
Worth noting: Some parents reported a loss of battery life over time. And this monitor also has a smaller screen compared to some others, at 3.2 inches.
Owlet Monitor Duo
While this monitor tops our list in terms of price, that price buys you a ton of amazing features. You might have heard of the Owlet Smart Sock, which is a soft sensor held onto your baby’s foot by a sock. In this version, the addition of a monitor takes that concept to the next level.
The sock’s sensor monitors your baby’s vital signs, such as heart rate and oxygen level — although, while this information can be comforting to new parents, the Owlet should not be used as a medical monitor for babies with health conditions.
For healthy babies, though, it’s a tech-savvy parent’s dream. In addition to the vitals data from the sensor, the camera streams to the Owlet app so you have all of your real-time info in one place.
The Owlet camera gets good reviews, and many parents appreciate the peace of mind that accompanies both the visual and data monitoring for their baby. Additionally the Owlet cam includes many safety features, such as AES 128-bit encryption to ensure a secure Wi-Fi connection.
For checking on your baby when you’re not in the room, a video baby monitor may be a valuable tool.
There are a variety of options, from the very simple to the very high-tech. Depending on how many cameras you want, your budget, and whether you want the camera to stream to your phone or a separate monitor, there is a video baby monitor to meet your needs.
We hope these reviews help you pick the best video monitor for your family, and wish you and your little one a peaceful night’s sleep! (One can dream, right?)