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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 sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) prevention guidelines regarding room-sharing), odds are at some point they 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 10 baby monitor picks in various categories, as well as recommendations on how to choose a baby monitor.

There are many 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 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 signal.

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

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 considered the longevity of the equipment. For instance, there are 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 restful parenthood!

  • $ = under $150
  • $$ = $150-$200
  • $$$ = over $200

Best all-around baby monitor

eufy Security Spaceview Video Baby Monitor

  • Price: $$
  • Transmission: radio frequency
  • Range: 460–1,000 feet
  • Power source: rechargeable battery
  • Two-way talking: yes
  • Mount options: wall or table (wall mount kit included)
  • Bonuses: large screen, remote pan and zoom, wide-angle lens, longer battery life

An up-and-comer in the baby monitor world, the eufy Spaceview Video Baby Monitor has surprised us with how awesome it is. Basically, everything fantastic about Infant Optics’ DXR-8 (which is another included top-rated video baby monitor below), this monitor has, but better.

With a 720-pixel, 5-inch high-definition (HD) screen, the video quality is incredibly sharp — you can view more with this monitor than most other radio frequency monitors. Great zoom, pan, and tilt features allow you to see every detail.

This monitor also features extra-long battery life, night vision, two-way talk, instant alerts if your baby is crying, a wide-angle lens, wall mount, built-in thermostat, and easy setup.

This model takes all the desirable video monitor features up a notch and manages to keep the price very reasonable. Additionally, if you want the great camera optics but to use your phone as the monitor, you can purchase the camera-only version, which is slightly less expensive, works with your phone, and has some upgraded camera and security specs.

Pros

  • long battery life
  • high video quality
  • remote pan, tilt, and zoom camera
  • large screen

Cons

  • a bit pricey
  • range may not be as large as some other options

Best smart baby monitor

Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor

  • Price: $$$
  • Transmission: Wi-Fi
  • Range: unlimited while connected to Wi-Fi
  • Power source: outlet
  • Two-way talking: yes
  • Mount options: wall (floor stand can be purchased separately)
  • Bonuses: gives you a ton of sleep information, can provide personalized sleep suggestions for your baby

If knowledge is power, the Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor might be the most powerful thing out there.

This high tech video baby monitor uses computer vision to track and evaluate your baby’s movements, sleep patterns, room temperature and humidity level, and how many times you go into the nursery.

All this data is logged in an app on your phone. This frees you up to not worry about tracking (let’s be real, the days and nights start running together) and allows you to see your baby’s sleep trends.

The app will also provide personalized sleep coaching based on your baby’s specific patterns. For all the exhausted parents who have been trying to figure out how to get that precious little nocturnal creature to sleep, here’s looking at you.

The stat tracking runs through the Nanit Insights subscription service. You receive one free year with your device and then it’s around $100 per year after that.

This camera can stream both to a video monitor and to the Nanit app, so you can see your baby sleep anywhere. The Nanit garners rave reviews from parents and is our top pick if you want a monitor controlled by a smartphone app rather than a traditional camera/monitor setup.

Pros

  • super sharp video quality
  • option to use phone or separate screen as a monitor
  • provides smart data: temperature, humidity, movement, sleep quality, and duration
  • Wi-Fi connectivity means you can check on your baby from anywhere

Cons

  • may be information overload for some parents
  • higher price tag

Best video baby monitor

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

  • Price: $$
  • Transmission: radio frequency
  • Range: 700 feet
  • Power source: rechargeable battery; 6 hours with screen on, up to 10 hours in power-saving mode
  • Two-way talking: yes
  • Mount options: table or wall (has a cutout under the camera to hang on a nail or screw)
  • Bonuses: wide-angle camera lens available, can use up to four cameras with one monitor, reads room temperature, night vision, lasts well for multiple children

Both in our polling of experienced parents, personal experience, and online reviews, the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor stands out. Almost everyone just loves this thing.

It has some high end features like sharp video and audio quality, great battery life, a two-way intercom so you can talk with your baby, night mode, digital audio-only mode, a wide-angle lens (sold separately) so you can see the whole room, and remote control of the camera so you can pan around and see everything or adjust the camera angle.

Other favorite features of parents we talked with were the option to connect multiple cameras (up to four), and the ability of the camera to swivel and zoom so you can see everything (even the pacifier that your baby tossed out of the crib and is now screaming for at 2 a.m.).

Many parents also love this monitor as their child moves into toddlerhood since the wide-angle lens allows you to see the entire room (and you know the 2-year-old is probably unloading their bookshelf and not sleeping).

You can also easily add another camera if a baby sibling comes along, without having to get an extra screen unit.

The DXR-8 offers high quality and the features most parents want but at a reasonable price. It also uses a radio frequency transmission, so you don’t have the same security concerns that may accompany Wi-Fi monitors.

The newly updated pro version offers even better camera and screen specs, although you pay a bit more.

Pros

  • remote control of the camera angle
  • ability to connect multiple cameras to one monitor
  • lots of features for the price

Cons

  • decreased battery life over time
  • some reports that the monitor suddenly quitting after a few years

Best smart home baby monitor

Google Nest Cam Security Camera

  • Price: $
  • 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

The Google 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. Nest has well-rated customer service and timely software updates, so if you need help securing your cameras, they should be able to help.

Pros

  • integrates with your phone and other smart home devices
  • no separate monitor needed
  • lower in price than others

Cons

  • function depends on Wi-Fi connectivity
  • requires subscription for access to all video history

Best baby monitor for travel

Lollipop Baby Monitor

  • Price: $
  • Transmission: Wi-Fi
  • Range: no limit while connected to Wi-Fi
  • Power source: outlet
  • Two-way talking: no (but can play lullabies)
  • Mount options: table or wall
  • Bonuses: no separate monitor (uses your phone or other device), can have multiple cameras around the house, small and easy to set up, audio-only night mode

The Lollipop Baby Camera is about the cutest thing we’ve ever seen (besides your baby, of course). It actually looks like a little silicone lollipop with a camera built in and comes in multiple fun colors.

The Lollipop is an app-based Wi-Fi video monitor, so the camera runs through your wireless network and does not have a separate monitor base.

Some standout features include an audio-only night mode, an alarm if your network is disconnected, and no monthly fee for an app that tracks your baby’s sleep stats and crying.

The main reason we selected it as the best monitor for travel is that it is tiny, just requires the camera, and the “stick” of the Lollipop can bend or twist around almost anything. So, setting it up in new places is a snap.

The one caution regarding this monitor for travel use is that you will have to set it up with a Wi-Fi network wherever you are staying. It is important to ensure a secure and trusted connection when using Wi-Fi for your baby’s monitor.

Because of this concern, many parents prefer a radio frequency video monitor for travel, even if it is bulkier or harder to position. But if you’re staying with friends or family this could be a great option.

Pros

  • small and portable
  • easy to set up anywhere
  • cute

Cons

  • uses Wi-Fi for video transmission
  • requires a subscription for access to video history

Best baby monitor for twins

AXVUE Video Baby Monitor E612

  • Price: $
  • 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

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 good 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.

Pros

  • affordable
  • base package includes two cameras
  • positive reviews

Cons

  • not quite as high tech as some of the other options
  • not the highest quality materials on our list

Best audio baby monitor

VTech DM221 Audio Monitor

  • Price: $
  • Transmission: radio frequency
  • Range: 1,000 feet
  • Power source: outlet (baby unit), battery or outlet (parent unit)
  • Two-way talking: yes
  • Mount options: table (baby unit), belt clip or table (parent unit)
  • Bonuses: budget-friendly, simple to use, your preschooler will want to use it as a walkie-talkie

If you’re looking for a basic audio monitor that will let you know if your baby is rustling, fussing, crying, or babbling, the VTech DM221 Audio Monitor is hard to beat.

It’s budget-friendly (and the lowest-priced option on this list), has clear audio transmission, minimization of “fuzz” and background noise, and an amazing range. This model also features a handy belt clip, so you can carry the parent unit around hands-free.

A parent-favorite feature is that this audio monitor comes equipped with two-way audio (which many audio-only monitors do not) so you can talk with your baby from the parent unit.

This monitor can also be a great option for travel — or to have at a grandparent’s house for occasional naps or overnight stays.

Pros

  • inexpensive
  • simple (aka low stress)
  • grandparent-approved

Cons

  • does not provide video footage of your baby
  • can be prone to fuzzy audio over time

Best budget baby monitor

Babysense Video Baby Monitor

  • Price: $
  • Transmission: radio frequency
  • Range: 960 feet
  • Power source: rechargeable battery
  • Two-way talking: yes
  • Mount options: wall or table
  • Bonuses: pan, tilt, zoom, night vision, can add more cameras, can play lullabies and white noise

For about half the price of video monitors with comparable features, the Babysense Video Baby Monitor is another parent favorite.

It is well-rated and includes features such as good video/audio quality, zoom, pan, tilt, wide-angle lens, night vision, two-way talking, and a temperature gauge that makes keeping your little one safe and comfortable a breeze. You can also add multiple cameras to the same monitor.

All these features packed into one monitor at a reasonable price make the Babysense Video Baby Monitor a great choice.

Pros

  • good functionality
  • lower cost
  • large range

Cons

  • lower quality components
  • smaller monitor screen than most

Best luxury baby monitor

Miku Pro Smart Baby Monitor

  • Price: $$$
  • Transmission: Wi-Fi
  • Range: no limit while connected to Wi-Fi
  • Power source: outlet
  • Two-way talking: yes
  • Mount options: wall mount with cord hider
  • Bonuses: monitors baby’s breathing without any wearable devices, provides tons of data via the Miku app, customizable notifications, 256 bit encryption and a crypto chip for extra secure connection

Not only is it sleek enough to fit perfectly into a modern nursery, but the Miku Pro Smart Baby Monitor is also about as high tech as it gets.

It features impressive specs from a video and audio quality perspective and connects with the Miku app on your phone for continuous baby monitoring. Unlike other smart cameras, you do not need to pay a subscription fee to access your data. So although the Miku tops our list as far as initial cost, it may come out in the wash all things considered.

One standout feature of the Miku is the monitoring of your baby’s breathing rate and rhythm without any kind of wearable device (like a sock or strap). The camera is equipped with AI sensors that enable it to count your baby’s respirations and show their breathing pattern in real time. This can provide peace of mind for a lot of parents (haven’t we all laid awake listening to our newborn’s every tiny gurgle and breath?).

It is also much simpler to use than other monitoring devices, given that there are no additional pieces to attach to your baby. Just the camera and your smartphone.

Pros

  • super high quality audio and video
  • monitors baby’s breathing without an attached device
  • provides a lot of information with integrated app
  • no subscription fees
  • will accept HSA/FSA funds

Cons

  • expensive

Price guide

  • $ = under $150
  • $$ = $150-$200
  • $$$ = over $200
BrandPriceScreen sizeSignalRangeHighlights
eufy Spaceview$$5 in.radio frequency460 + ft.good video quality for the price
Infant Optics DXR-8$$3.5 in.radio frequency700 ft.long lasting, good with multiple cameras
Nanit Pro$$$cell phoneWi-Fianysuper high quality video, smart data
Google Nest$cell phoneWi-Fianyintegrates with smart home
Babysense$3.5 in. radio frequency960 ft.good budget pick
AXVUE E612$4.3 in.radio frequency800 ft.comes with two cameras
VTech DM221$N/Aradio frequency1000 ft.audio-only, inexpensive
Lollipop$$cell phoneWi-Fianyflexible setup
Miku Pro$$$cell phoneWi-Fianymonitors breathing, sleep stats

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, baby monitors hinder your progress as 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 get in your way of having your baby sleep through the night. Fussing and crying a little between sleep cycles is normal and expected. Go in too quickly and you may even wake your baby up!”

Despite this, many 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 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.

  • Battery life. Do you need the monitor to be able to function without charging for an entire night or day?
  • 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?
  • Quality. How high is the sound or video quality? Is it important to you to see little details, or is a general picture OK?
  • Safety. How secure is the monitor? For Wi-Fi monitors, you’ll want to keep the firmware updated and have a strong password on your home Wi-Fi network.
  • 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?
  • Budget. How much money do you want to spend?
  • Longevity. Do you plan to use this in 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.

Are baby monitors safe from hacking?

Unfortunately, if a device is connected to the internet, it can be hacked. Even radio frequency monitors could be hacked by someone tuning into the same frequency. But this usually requires proximity to the actual device (remember messing with your neighbor friend’s walkie-talkie as a kid?).

Wi-Fi monitors are only as safe as the internet connection you are using. So if you are keeping your home router up-to-date and password-protected, your monitor is more likely to be protected. You may need to take extra precautions if you are checking your monitor from other locations and on other networks, such as while traveling or at the office.

There are also settings you can check on the monitor itself to ensure optimum security.

Do baby monitors emit radiation?

Baby monitors of all kinds fall into a category known as extremely low frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields (EMF). ELF-EMF devices are extremely common in the modern world — almost everything uses electricity and produces some tiny amount of radiation into its environment. However, there is no known risk of small amounts of exposure to these devices.

Many raise concerns regarding the cumulative effect of being surrounded by so many electronic devices, particularly for fetuses and young children, who are growing rapidly and may be more susceptible to harm.

The World Health Organization has had task forces in place since the 1990s to study electric and magnetic fields, radiation levels, and long-term effects on health. The current results of their studies are still inconclusive.

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?).