7 Best Baby Monitors of 2019

Best Baby Monitors of 2019

July 2, 2019

Best Baby Monitors of 2019

Babylist is the baby registry that lets you add any item from any store including the best baby monitors. Read our unbiased reviews on top rated baby monitors for baby safety.Best Baby Monitors of 2019

Gone are the days of silently tiptoeing into the nursery to peek on your napping baby, only to be thwarted by that creaky floorboard or a stumble in the dark and then…whoops! You accidentally woke them up. A baby monitor can help you avoid that, helping to reassure parents with a 24/7 view of your little one no matter where you are in your home.

In this article:

How We Chose Our Best Baby Monitors

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the baby products they love the most, then took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight to tell you about the best video monitors.

Best Baby Monitor for Big Houses

Why We Love It

From remote tilt and pan to capture that perfect view to lullabies at the push of a button, this monitor offers lots of convenient features. But the most impressive of all is its 1,000-foot range—the highest of all video monitors on this list. Other useful features include a room temperature display, up to three hours of plug-free viewing, and a freestanding monitor that can be set on top of a dresser or grip to shelves or brackets.

“Great picture, sounds clear.”

Keep in Mind

You can connect up to four cameras, which is great for watching multiple kids in multiple rooms. But beware the loud beeping sounds the monitor makes when you turn it on—keep it out of earshot of sleeping kids. Also, some parents say the battery life wears out quickly.

What Babylist Parents Say

“We have two children under 15 months old, and this monitor is great for checking on both of our girls. It has a good image, and the reception is strong. I love that we can talk to our girls through the monitor, too.” -Jacqueline C.

“I love this monitor! I own two cameras and one monitor. It’s easy to switch between cameras one and two. I also love that the display gives you the room’s temperature.” -Jaclyn J.

Additional Specs
Type of Monitor Video; 5-inch color screen
Range 1,000 feet
Power Source Rechargeable battery; 9.5 hours battery life
Transmission 2.4 GHz FHSS
Two-way Audio? Yes
Mounting Wall or table

Best Baby Monitor for Zooming In

Why We Love It

Need a closer look? This monitor is known for its interchangeable lenses and includes a zoom lens right in the box that lets you see baby up-close even if you need to position the camera far away from the crib. (There’s also a wide-angle lens sold separately.) You can use the monitor to remotely adjust the camera, and you don’t have to worry about plugging it in overnight—it can sit on your nightstand for up to 12 hours in the power-saving audio-only mode and up to eight hours with the display screen constantly on.

“Awesome monitor—great picture, great sound, love the temperature gauge.”

Keep in Mind

While you can talk to your baby through the monitor, it doesn’t have recorded lullabies. There’s also a room temperature display..

What Babylist Parents Say

“The Infant Optics monitor gets the job done with decent picture and sound quality. The rotation functionality is great, and the price is good, too.” -Drea S.

“I love that the room temperature is displayed on the Infant Optics monitor, and that I can still hear my baby when the screen is off. I also like the option of talking to my baby through the monitor.” -A.W.

Additional Specs
Type of Monitor Video; 3.5-inch color display
Range 700 feet
Power Source Rechargeable battery; 6 hours and up to 10 hours in power-saving mode
Transmission 2.4 GHz FHSS
Two-way Audio? Yes
Mounting Wall or table

Best Budget Video Baby Monitor

Why We Love It

This monitor packs a lot of the same features as more expensive options—a big screen, zooming capabilities, a rechargeable handheld monitor and even a built-in nightlight—but at a fraction of the cost. It can be used on a flat surface or mounted to the wall, and works with up to four cameras.

Keep in Mind

The video quality isn’t as good as some other monitors, so you won’t see sharp details.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I like being able to turn on the video. I also like that there is a light that indicates noise level in case I have the volume down.” -Meghan N.

Additional Specs
Type of Monitor Video; 5-inch color screen
Range 800 feet
Power Source Rechargeable battery; 6-8 hours battery life
Transmission 100-percent digital technology
Two-way Audio? Yes
Mounting Wall or table

Best Baby Monitor Plus Home Monitoring

Why We Love It

Nest Cam isn’t technically a baby monitor—it’s an all-around home protection device. But that doesn’t mean it’s not great for keeping an eye on your little one (or on your nanny), especially when you can’t be at home. You can watch live streaming from your smartphone, and even rewind to view photos or activities that took place over the last three hours. (To access longer time periods, you’ll need to subscribe to Nest Aware.) It also senses motion and sound and sends a phone alert or an email to you when something is detected.

“I like that I don’t need another device aside from my phone or tablet to see what’s up.”

Keep in Mind

You have to keep the Nest Cam app open and running constantly on your phone or tablet, which acts like a handheld monitor. Also, some parents report you can no longer disable and turn off the green status light on the camera, which can be a problem for some babies and toddlers.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I love being a peeping mom while at work. I can hear and talk to my son.” -Scarlett L.

Additional Specs
Type of Monitor Video; Cell phone: iOS and Android app (requires Bluetooth)
Range As long as it’s connected to WiFi, there is no limit
Power Source Needs to be plugged into an outlet
Transmission WiFi
Two-way Audio? Yes
Mounting Wall or table

Best Baby Monitor for Sleep Stats

Why We Love It

Analytics-lovers, listen up. The Nanit Plus uses computer vision to learn how your baby moves, then analyzes those patterns to provide you with insights into your baby’s sleep development. From the time it took for your child to fall asleep to how many times you went into the nursery, Nanit keeps track of your baby’s sleep so you don’t have to. The app even provides customized sleep coaching tips that are based on your baby’s unique sleeping patterns. Nanit streams live video and audio both on the baby monitor and right to your phone, so you can check on your kiddo when you’re away from home. And soon, they’ll be even more data coming your way. The new Nanit Complete Monitor System with Breathing Motion includes a special breathing band that wraps around a swaddle and uses a custom-designed pattern to detect your little one’s breathing motion and alert your phone and your camera to any irregularities.

“I like the Nanit’s ability to play back the day.”

Keep in Mind

All stats are a part of Nanit Insights, a subscription-based service you get through the app. A one-year trial comes with your initial purchase of the camera. Afterward, or for unlimited access to video and sleep data, it costs $100 per year. Also, you have to wall mount the camera or pay an additional $50 for the floor stand.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Every morning I love reading the summary of the night before and the ratings on how he slept. It’s also great that we can use our phones to monitor, and I’ve even put the app on an iPad that sits in the main room.” -Jessica M.

Additional Specs
Type of Monitor Video; Cell phone; iOS and Android app
Range As long as it’s connected to WiFi, there is no limit
Power Source Needs to be plugged into an outlet
Transmission WiFi
Two-way Audio? Yes
Mounting Wall (table stand available for $50)

Best Baby Monitor for Vitals Tracking

Why We Love It

The Owlet takes the baby monitor to the next level, tracking your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep and notifying you if something is off. Just download the app to your phone and slip a comfortable sock-like wrap over your baby’s foot (there are three different sizes included to grow with your little one, and they work under footies—we tried!) and you’re good to go. For an extra level of reassurance, there’s the Owlet Smart Sock + Cam bundle that includes the wearable monitor plus a video/audio monitor.

“It allows me to sleep and not get up a thousand times each night to see if my baby was breathing.”

Keep in Mind

Though it can alert you to potential problems, this monitor has not been tested to prevent SIDS. You can also use your FSA or HSA funds to purchase an Owlet.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I sleep so much better knowing she has the Owlet on. After she gets vaccines or is sick, I feel better knowing her heart rate and oxygen is being monitored. I can check it and tell if she’s awake or asleep by her heart rate.” -Taylor W.

Additional Specs
Type of Monitor Vitals and Video (with Cam); cell phone: iOS and Android apps
Range 100 feet from sock to base
Power Source Rechargable battery; needs WiFi to connect to app; sock charge lasts up to 18 hours; Cam has a power cord
Transmission WiFi
Two-way Audio? With Cam
Mounting Cam: wall; sock attaches to baby

Best Basic Audio Baby Monitor

Why We Love It

If audio-only is what you’re after in a monitor, this budget-friendly VTech option is your best bet. Featuring crystal clear transmission, a rechargeable parent unit with a backlit display, and up to 1,000 feet of range, this back-to-basics monitor gets the job done without breaking the bank.

Keep in Mind

Unlike some audio-only options, this monitor does feature two-way talk through a built-in intercom, a feature many parents find to be extremely useful.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Easy “old school” monitor, lets you talk back, has a vibrating option and lights up to noise, which helps with the hard of hearing.” -B. Gray

Additional Specs
Type of Monitor: Audio
Range: 1,000 feet
Power Source: Needs to be plugged into an outlet
Transmission: DECT 6.0 digital technology
Two-way Audio? Yes
Mounting: Table

Baby Monitors We’re Keeping an Eye On…

Four new-to-market monitors have caught our attention recently (and came up in our Babylist parents’ survey).

  • The Arlo Baby ($199.99) is a smart monitor with amazing HD video and advanced night vision, a custom music player, a multi-colored night light, rechargeable batteries and air sensors.
  • The Nanit Complete Monitor System with Breathing Motion ($379.99), a step up from the Nanit we know and love, now offers breathing motion monitoring in addition to crystal clear video and sleep tracking.
  • Snuza ($104.99) makes a line of wearable monitors that monitor your baby’s sleep patterns as well as their breathing.
  • The Eufy ($159.99) has night vision, room temperature and an extra lens for a wide room/zoom.
  • The Wyze Cam ($25.98) features enhanced night vision and a unique, flexible camera design with a magnetic base that mounts anywhere, no screws required.

Do You Need a Baby Monitor?

If you sleep in the same room as your baby or live in a small space where you can always hear or see what your baby is up to, you probably don’t need a monitor. Otherwise, most parents enjoy the convenience a baby monitor provides—instead of needing to stay close to the nursery or constantly checking on your child, you’re free to rest, catch up on Netflix or get things done around the house anytime baby is catching some zzs. Monitors can also double as a nanny cam to keep an eye on your child and their caretaker when you’re not at home.

What Type of Baby Monitor is Best?

It really depends on what makes you feel the most comfortable. There are:

  • Audio monitors that allow you to listen in on baby
  • Video monitors that keep an eye their every move
  • Wearable monitors that track vitals like sleep and breathing

How to Choose a Video Baby Monitor

Determining what monitor to purchase depends on which factors are most important to you, such as:

  • Display quality/screen size: Some video monitors have larger screens with higher resolutions that offer a clearer image. Others come with smaller screens, and still others rely on an app you view on your cell phone—which may not make for the greatest viewing, depending on the size of your phone, but is great for portability.
  • Range: How far away you can be from the nursery and still get uninterrupted monitoring varies. This is an especially important factor to consider if you live in an older home with thick, plaster walls or a home with multiple floors.
  • Portability: Some cameras must be wall mounted while others can stand alone and travel away from home.
  • Two-way communication: This popular feature lets you speak to your baby over the monitor.
  • Battery life: This determines how long you can carry the monitor screen around before having to plug it in to charge.
  • Remote adjustments: The ability to use the monitor to remotely adjust the camera’s view can come in handy.
  • Wireless encryption: This ensures that no one else can tap into your monitor’s “feed” and see what’s going on in your house. WiFi-enabled monitors are great for portability and range, but may be more susceptible to hacking. If you go this route, be sure to secure your home wireless network and keep the monitor’s firmware updated. Otherwise, look for digital monitors with a 2.4 GHz FHSS wireless transmission.
  • Specialized features: Besides watching your little one, some cameras also monitor the room’s temperature and your baby’s vitals.

Do you think this content is helpful? Let our editors know!

Best Baby Monitors at a Glance
Brand Price Range Screen Size
Motorola MBP36XL Baby Monitor $179.99 1000 ft. 5-inch
Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor $164.99 700 ft. 3.5-inch
Summer Infant In View 2.0 Video Monitor $99.99 600 ft. 5-inch
Nest Cam Security Camera $175 Unlimited (thru WiFi) Cell phone
Nanit Plus $279 Unlimited (thru WiFi) Cell phone
Owlet Smart Sock 2 and Cam $399.99 100 ft. Cell phone
VTech DM223 Audio Baby Monitor $38.39 1000 ft. NA (audio only)

Choosing the Right Baby Monitor for You

Keep your home and lifestyle in mind when choosing a monitor. Living in a small city apartment? A long-range monitor probably isn’t a must-have, but one that minimizes background noise might be. Work out of the home? Then you may want the option to check in on your little one via your smartphone. Consider what will make parenting easier and your family the happiest, and you can’t go wrong.

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