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You’ve spent 9 months with your baby tucked safely in your (or your partner’s) belly and are used to feeling every kick and wiggle.

Once you bring that tiny newborn home, you may opt to have your baby sleep in your room or their own nursery. Even if your baby starts out in your room (see here for the SIDS prevention guidelines regarding room-sharing), odds are at some point he or she will move into their own space.

While you may be thrilled to (hopefully) start sleeping more, somehow leaving that tiny bundle alone in their room can just tug at your heartstrings.

Enter the baby monitor! (*trumpet fanfare*) These handy devices allow you to see or hear your baby from anywhere in your home (and outside — see if you can lounge on your neighbor’s back porch or relax in your garden if that’s your thing).

The tech boom hasn’t left out baby monitors, and most now come equipped with some pretty nifty features. They aren’t going to find lost pacifiers in the middle of the night or clean up diaper blowouts, but it is definite progress in the right direction.

Read on for our top 9 baby monitor picks in various categories, as well as recommendations on how to choose a baby monitor.

We weren’t given any products in exchange for reviews, nor were we able to personally test every single option (although we did test some). Online reviews, the opinions of experienced parents, and manufacturer information regarding features and capabilities all factored into our rankings.

We tried to select monitors that had the best combination of desirable features, a good value, and high parent satisfaction ratings.

We also took into account the longevity of the equipment. For instance, there are a number of monitors with similar features, but we ruled out those that quickly began to lose battery life or are more difficult to set up.

We hope this helps you on your journey of safe, healthy, and sleepy parenthood!

Best of the best baby monitor

Best video baby monitor

Best ‘not a baby monitor’ monitor

Nest Cam Security Camera

The Nest Cam Security Camera is not officially a baby monitor. It’s an indoor security camera that can be integrated with your entire Nest smart home system.

The things parents love about this camera are that you can place multiples around the house (so it can be a sleep monitor, nanny cam, and security camera all in one) and that it livestreams directly to your phone. No separate viewing monitor is needed, and you can check the footage anywhere.

You can watch live footage on your phone (although the app always has to be running) and even rewind and watch back footage from the past 3 hours. If you want to be able to record footage for longer periods of time, you can subscribe to the Nest Aware service.

Some parents do have concerns about the security of Wi-Fi monitors. It’s worth keeping your firmware up to date and ensuring that your network is secure.

Price point: Mid-range
Transmission: Wi-Fi
Range: No limit while connected to Wi-Fi
Power source: Outlet
Two-way talking: Yes
Mount options: Table or wall
Bonuses: No separate viewing monitor (uses your phone or other device), can have multiple cameras around the house

Best baby monitor for travel

Best baby monitor for twins

AXVUE Video Baby Monitor E612

A number of the monitors we reviewed have the option to add more cameras, so you could use most of them successfully with twins or if you have a baby and young toddler who both need to be monitored.

However, if you have twins, you have enough things to buy in double, so we found a monitor that is very highly rated among parents, has a high screen quality, and comes with two cameras right off the bat.

The AXVUE Video Baby Monitor E612 is easy to set up and can be used if your littles are in separate rooms or if they are sharing but you want a cam spotlighting each crib.

Good battery life, range, temperature reading, and two-way talk are some other features parents love.

Type of monitor: Video, 4.3 inch LCD screen
Price point: Mid-range
Transmission: Radio frequency
Range: 800 feet
Power source: AAA battery
Two-way talking: Yes
Mount options: Wall or table
Bonuses: Comes with two cameras in the base package

Best audio baby monitor

Best budget baby monitor

Best vitals-tracking baby monitor

Best smart baby monitor

Price guide

  • $ = under $150
  • $$ = $150-$200
  • $$$ = over $200
BrandPriceScreen sizeSignalRange
Eufy Spaceview$$5 in.Radio frequency460 ft.
Infant Optics DXR-8$$3.5 in.Radio frequency700 ft.
Nanit Plus$$$Cell phoneWi-FiUnlimited
Owlet$$$3.5 in.Wi-FiUnlimited
Nest Cam$$Cell phoneWi-FiUnlimited
Babysense$3.5 in. Radio frequency960 ft.
AXVUE E612$$4.3 in.Radio frequency800 ft.
VTech DM223$n.a.Radio frequency1000 ft.
Lollipop$$Cell phoneWi-FiUnlimited

Not everyone may decide that they need a baby monitor. While in our tech-driven world a monitor is usually a “given” on the baby registry, just ask any older mom or grandma, and a bunch of them will tell you they raised five happy, healthy kids without a single baby monitor.

If you live in a smaller space where you can hear most sounds from room to room, you may find a baby monitor unnecessary.

There are also some baby sleep experts who feel that baby monitor usage can actually interfere with babies’ developing healthy sleep habits.

While there are certain medical conditions that make close monitoring desirable or necessary, Nicole Johnson of The Baby Sleep Site says, “When it comes to sleep training, the moment where baby monitors hinder your progress is that you can hear every sniffle, moan, and fuss. Having a fuss or cry magnified on a monitor may make your heart beat twice as fast… for the average healthy baby, we don’t need to hear every little noise the baby makes. In fact, that may make you get in your own way of having your baby sleep through the night. Fussing and crying a little between sleep cycles is normal and expected, in fact. Go in too quickly and you may even wake your baby up!”

Despite this, the vast majority of parents do prefer the peace of mind that comes with having a monitor.

Additionally, it is not always possible to room share for the first 6 months to a year of a baby’s life (per the SIDS prevention guidelines), so a monitor allows you to see and hear as much as possible.

There are a number of monitor types you can use to know if your baby is sleeping safely.

We have the classic audio monitors (picture a set of walkie-talkies) that allow you to hear, but not see, your baby.

There are also the video monitors with cameras and screens that allow you to both see and hear your little one (which, in addition to giving you more information, is just downright adorable).

Some video monitors are equipped with temperature gauges so you know how warm or cool your baby’s room is, play lullabies, have a two-way talk feature so you can reassure your baby with your voice, or a nightlight.

A few monitors even have extra components to help track your baby’s heart rate, temperature, breathing, and movement. These are known as vitals tracking monitors.

Many monitors use radio-frequency transmission, while some run on a wireless network (Wi-Fi) signal.

Wi-Fi cameras can be connected to your phone via an app, so that you can access the camera feed anywhere, anytime.

There are so many options that we couldn’t evaluate every single monitor out there, so here are some things to consider when doing your research and choosing the monitor that is best for your needs.

  1. Battery life. Do you need the monitor to be able to function without charging for an entire night or day?
  2. Portability. Do you want to easily be able to move it around the house, pack it up for travel, or just have a camera that transmits to your phone?
  3. Quality. How high is the sound or video quality? Is it important to you to see little details, or is a general picture OK?
  4. Safety. How secure is the monitor? For Wi-Fi monitors in particular, you’ll want to keep the firmware updated and have a strong password on your home Wi-Fi network.
  5. Extras. Is it important to you to be able to go back and watch video footage from when your baby was sleeping? Or to be able to track your baby’s vital signs?
  6. Budget. How much money do you want to spend?
  7. Longevity. Do you plan to use this into your baby’s toddler years? Or for more children? You may want to look for a monitor that can add more cameras without carting around an additional monitor screen.

A baby monitor can help provide peace of mind for you and possibly extra safety for your baby.

There are audio and video baby monitors. Some monitors also come with technology to track vital signs or sleeping patterns.

Some factors to consider when choosing a baby monitor include price, battery life, screen size, audio quality, range, connection type, connection security, and whether you want to be able to stream footage on your phone.

We know the options can be overwhelming, so we hope these reviews have been helpful! Cheers to a good night’s sleep (someday, right?).