From a pure imaging standpoint, night vision is vital for watching your baby sleep from another room and is standard for most baby monitors. Motorized pan and tilt (which lets you swivel the camera from afar) isn’t quite as common but is very welcome if you have a toddler and want to scan an entire room. High-definition is a nice plus, but you don’t need the highest-resolution sensor to keep tabs on your baby—most of the monitors we test use 720p cameras rather than 1080p.
Top 5 Baby Video Monitor
- [HIGH-QUALITY COLOR LCD SCREEN] - This unique baby monitor features a High Resolution Display with...
- [HIGH-DEFINITION NIGHT VISION&TEMPERATURE MONITORING] - This digital camera has 8 infrared LED...
- 2018 AWARD WINNER: Popular Mechanics Best Baby Monitor, 9/25/18
- Interchangeable optical lens capability: allows you to customize viewing angle and zoom
- HAVE A SENSE OF CALMNESS knowing your little angel is safe & sound with the hellobaby high...
- CALM, COMFORT & SING TO YOUR BABY with your own voice using the most advanced 2-way talkback...
- ♥ 2.4 Inch High Quality LCD Display & 2.4GHz Wireless Digital Transmission ♥ Provides high...
- ♥ Long Distance Transmission & Infrared Night Vision ♥ Long distance max to...
- REMOTE PAN TILT and ZOOM &3.2" LCD DISPLAY: Remote control camera rotate 355° in horizontal and...
- EASY and CONVENIENT to OPERATE: Setup is simple just like plug and play. The Parent Unit powered by...
Do You Need a Dedicated Baby Monitor?
Your baby needs constant attention, but you can’t be in its room every hour of every day. That’s what baby monitors are for. What started as audio-only infant care devices to let you listen in on your child from another room, have since added video cameras and connected features to the mix so you can always keep an eye on your little one. There are still some great audio monitors out there—here we’re focusing on models that also provide some form of video feed.
What Should You Look for When Buying a Baby Monitor?
Watching your child from moment to moment is far more important than going over footage from previous nights, so baby monitors don’t usually make a big deal about saving video for later, whether using built-in storage or through a cloud service. They can take snapshots and short clips when they detect movement, but they don’t offer time-lapse videos of entire nights or let you page through hours or days of footage. Those features are useful for identifying burglars, but they don’t really help you watch your child unless you’re in a Paranormal Activity sequel.
The Baby Delight monitor is unique in that it both comes with a tablet and doesn’t have an app at all; you watch it through the included tablet, but there’s no way to monitor it with your own mobile device.
Are Baby Monitors Safe?
As with any internet-connected device that watches or listens to your home, it’s not out of the ordinary to be somewhat wary of a smart baby monitor. All Internet of Things (IoT) devices is potential soft spots for hackers to monitor you. Anything you network can possibly be compromised, and while you shouldn’t be afraid of an epidemic of camera breaches, you should always weigh the convenience of these devices against the risk of someone getting control of the feed.
If you want a connected baby monitor or home security camera in your home, at the very least you should diligently keep its firmware updated, along with your router’s firmware and security features.
Other Ways to Track Your Baby
Baby monitors are just one way to keep track of your little one. For newborns, the Snoo Smart Sleeper is a bed that gently rocks your baby for better sleep, and connects to an app on your phone that lets you receive alerts when your little one needs attention. The Owlet Smart Sock 2, meanwhile, is a connected pulse oximeter that allows you to check on your baby’s vitals any time through an app and will notify you automatically if there’s a problem. The Sproutling from Fisher-Price is a motion and heart rate sensor that straps to the back of your baby’s calf and collects data while he or she sleeps.
How Much do Video Baby Monitors Cost?
You can expect to pay between $30 and $200 for a dedicated video baby monitor, with most branded units costing around $100 on average. Units that allow you to remotely reposition the camera with pan-tilt-zoom functionality are more expensive than those with a fixed view. Wi-Fi video baby monitors don’t generally cost extra, because the lack of a specific parent unit balances out the costs of adding Wi-Fi functionality.
Video Baby Monitor Basics
Beyond the specific features we tested, here are a few other things to consider:
Viewing Your Baby
Every camera we tested has night vision, which lets you observe your baby in a dark nursery without disturbing them. This is because night vision uses infrared light, which is invisible to human eyes. Most baby cameras can attach to the wall to keep them away from curious fingers and for an improved view of the crib or play area. Also, most monitors we tested let you remotely move the camera’s lens to get a better view.
Video baby monitors have a sleep mode that turns off the screen when there’s no activity in your baby’s room. If your baby makes a loud sound, the screen turns on or you get a notification on your phone. Some monitors also use vibration or flashing lights as notifications so you can turn the audio off for a quiet time. You can press a button on the parent unit or mobile app to talk to your baby and soothe them back to sleep.