When you're outfitting your home for a new baby, you probably put a high emphasis on items designed to keep your child safe. Outlet guards, baby gates, cabinet locks — it all keeps your little one away from dangerous situations that could cause them harm. But what about smart tech designed to keep your child safe?
Gone are the days of crackling baby monitors that make it difficult to hear if your baby is crying or if you just hear some static. Gone are the days of baby monitors that show blobby (and somewhat creepy) forms moving around your nursery. Tech has evolved, and with it, so have baby monitors.
Take advantage of all the smart features available and go with a baby monitor that keeps your baby safe, the modern way. Here are 12 of our favorite smart baby monitors.
Smart Baby Monitors
Technology has come a long way in recent years, so check out these 12 modern baby monitors to keep your eyes and ears on your little ones at all times.
The Nanit Smart Baby Monitor (and upgraded option, Nanit Plus) has received high praise from several parent-geared publications. While it's a bit pricey, at around the $300 mark, you get a lot for your money. The wall mount allows for a perfect, over-crib view of your child, but that's not what makes it special.
Beyond the high-quality video that's delivered straight to your phone, Nanit provides you with extra info via a smartphone app, giving you reports on your baby's sleeping habits; it even "scores" how well your baby sleeps each night. This allows you to create the best sleeping arrangement possible for your child, so you can help them build healthy sleeping habits that last well into adolescence.
Nanit runs off your WiFi and is also super-portable, making it a good pick for parents who travel with their infants on a regular basis.
Beloved by Amazon shoppers, this option from Infant Optics doesn't work via an app, but that's no problem. It comes with a compact camera and easily portable screen and speaker combo that you can take with you anywhere else in the house you might go. Once you're away from your baby, you can use the small screen to control the camera in your baby's room, zooming, tilting and panning so you can see every nook and cranny of the nursery.
The audio is two-way, and the monitor even shows you the nursery temperature, so you can ensure that it's cool enough to keep your child sleeping well through the night. Plus, you can purchase additional cameras to keep an eye on other areas of your house or other children.
Powered by WiFi, the Miku Smart Baby Monitor is a boon for parents who find themselves constantly, obsessively worried about their baby's breathing throughout the night, and that's because the Miku baby monitor actively monitors your baby's breathing patterns.
The camera mounts above the crib and streams video and other information straight to an app on your phone. While the video isn't the highest quality, the audio is, thanks to dual Ole Wolff speakers.
In addition to allowing you to speak to and hear your baby, the speakers also play white noise to lull your child back to sleep when needed.
What makes the Miku special? All of the data, analytics, charts, and graphs it compiles about your baby's behavior. You'll find daily and hourly information on your baby's breathing patterns, movement and sound. You'll also find data on the nursery's temperature fluctuations throughout the night.
The iBaby M6 is a cute baby monitor that looks a little bit like a Star Wars droid. WiFi-powered, it streams information to your iPhone or tablet and allows you to share the stream with other people in your family, up to four individuals. It also takes photos and stores them while allowing you to share the photos with others.
The iBaby M6 is capable of swiveling, tilting and panning for greater views of your nursery and the two-way audio allows you to hear and speak to your child as needed.
Okay, so the Owlet Smart Sock is definitely not your traditional smart baby monitor. Still, it is one to consider if you already have a pretty standard, low-tech video monitor and you just want some added safety features. The Owlet Smart Sock is all about monitoring important medical info, primarily your baby's heart rate and blood oxygen levels.
The fabric-wrapped monitor is designed as a wearable that your baby has on their foot. From there, the monitor tracks not only sleeping patterns but also those all-important oxygen levels and heart rates. If anything drops or climbs into a dangerous area, parents receive a notification on their phone. You'll also be able to see data on these measurements via the device's app.
The Cloud Baby Monitor app is also pretty unique in that it doesn't require you to buy any smart hardware to monitor your baby. Instead, all you do is buy the very affordable app and then use existing devices in your home to monitor your baby. The app works with your phone, tablet and computer.
Just place one device in the nursery and take the other device with you on the go. You'll enjoy high-quality audio and video, but also extra features, like the ability to play lullabies or white noise for your child or to turn on a nightlight.
If you don't trust your WiFi connection to remain stable constantly, or if you don't like the thought of someone being able to hack into your WiFi-enabled device and creep on your baby, you may want to try a non-WiFi option, like Eufy Spaceview.
Rather than operating via your WiFi, Eufy Spaceview works on a radio frequency. This makes the device a little less "smart," but if you're going no-WiFi, this is about as smart as you're going to get.
You get high-def video, a 5-inch handheld screen from which you can watch your baby, a 15-hour battery life for the screen, a night vision feature, two-way audio, a temperature monitor, white noise feature and zooming and panning features.
Another baby monitor that focuses on your baby's breathing patterns, this option from Angelcare features a smart pad that you place underneath the crib mattress. From there, the pad monitors movement, or lack thereof, to alert you if something dangerous is potentially going on.
Of course, beyond that, the monitor also features a camera and handheld screen for your traditional audio and video monitoring.
This fairly budget-friendly baby monitor packs a lot into its small size. The unique design allows you to position the baby monitor in a range of different ways, so you can use the 720p HD camera exactly how you want to. The Sony two-way speaker also features a white noise function.
The Lollipop streams video and audio to an app on your phone, but do note — you have to pay extra in order to gain full access to the app above and beyond the free basic plan (the more expensive your plan, the more video you can store via the app).
In addition to monitoring video and audio, Lollipop also monitors room temperature, humidity and air quality.
This baby monitor features 15 feet of infrared night vision, two-way audio and a portable audio unit, in case you want to keep in contact with your baby, but you don't necessarily want to keep your phone on you at all times. Just plop the portable audio unit in your bedroom or the kitchen or wherever you spend most of your time while the baby's sleeping.
The monitor stores 24 hours of video in the cloud for free, and you can give others access to the video storage, as well as take images from the storage and share them with friends and family or on social media.
This monitor is so much more than just a camera. The 1080p, 180-degree camera is pretty nice, though, giving you a great view of the entire nursery. But beyond this, the monitor comes with a sleep sensor clip, which, when paired with Lumi by Pampers diapers, tracks sleep and anytime your baby needs a diaper change. The monitor also tracks temperature and humidity in the nursery.
If you use the app beyond just monitoring your baby and the data the monitor feeds to you, you'll find a range of parent resources, from sleep coaching resources to suggested parent-baby activities.
While it's not a traditional baby monitor or even marketed as a baby monitor at all, that doesn't make it any less useful as a baby monitor. Great to use alongside your Amazon Alexa products, the Nest Cam gives you high-def video, two-way audio and ease-of-use that you just can't beat. Plus, thanks to its versatile design, you can use the Nest Cam long after your baby is grown in other areas of your home.
What to Think About When Shopping for a Baby Monitor
There are many baby monitors out there (both smart and not-so-smart), so what should you really consider when you're shopping? Here are a few important factors to keep in mind.
Functions and Features
Most parents agree that you need a baby monitor that comes with the bare-bones features: video and audio, usually including two-way talk. But what about all the other special features? Consider what you really need, not just what you think you might need or what seems "cool."
Do you really need to monitor the humidity in your nursery? Do you need a temperature sensor? Do you need to be able to share clips of your baby's sleep pattern with grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends? Do you want a monitor that comes with an app, so you can easily watch your baby anytime, anywhere, versus being tethered to a handheld screen?
Look at the functions and features that best suit your family's needs.
Smartphone vs. Handheld
While, traditionally, baby monitors are handheld, featuring a unit that goes in the nursery and then a parent unit that you set down or carry around with you, in order to see and hear your baby, more and more smart baby monitors eliminate that second handheld unit completely, and instead, stream information straight to your smartphone.
Consider which option you want as you shop around for baby monitors. Both options come with their own pros and cons.
Video and Audio Quality
Of course, none of these functions and features matter if you don't get great video and audio quality from your monitor. Most parents prefer an absolute bare minimum video quality of 720p. However, most monitors come with much higher quality, around 1080p HD video.
Unfortunately, hacking baby monitors is on the rise. Baby monitor manufacturers have realized this, and they're changing their products to protect your family better.
WiFi-enabled baby monitors are at the most risk for hacking. If you want a WiFi-enabled baby monitor, though, you can take some extra precautions to protect yourself and your family, such as protecting your devices and your WiFi connectivity with strong passwords and changing those passwords on a regular basis. You can also use a virtual private network for extra protection.
If you're fine not using a strictly WiFi-enabled baby monitor, you can also look for monitors that use cloud computing or FHSS transmission, both of which are methods that are far less likely to be hacked.
Do You Even Need a Baby Monitor?
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The 12 Best Smart Baby Monitors: