Why are monitors important?
Families often go back and forth about whether or not they need a baby monitor for their new addition. Many comments that I’ve heard are: “Do I really need one?”, “My house isn’t that big”, “I can hear baby without one”. Honestly, I was especially on the “I don’t need a video monitor, I just need to hear my baby” train. I figured if I could hear baby, that’s all I needed right? Then I was gifted a video monitor and it changed my life. Seriously!
We kept our sons in our room with us, in their co-sleeper, for several months. When we transitioned them to their big boy nursery (at around 3-4 months), I was so nervous about not being next to them, hearing them breathe, making sure they were OK. Having a video monitor was a GAME CHANGER! I could see them tossing and turning, breathing, moving and waking up. It gave me SO MUCH peace of mind while they were sleeping, and it saved me sneaking into their room and placing a hand on their chest multiple times during the night to make sure they were alright. Yes, I was that mom!
How to choose the best monitor?
There are so many baby monitor options available on the market right now. Products range from only sound, to video, to video with health monitoring. It’s important to consider what you need to attain the best peace of mind, so that both you and baby sleep well at night. Other things to consider are range, are they expandable, WiFi capabilities, notifications, 2-way talk, add-ons like a built-in sound machine/night light, night vision, warranty, video quality, battery life and others also.
That being said, we’ve compiled a list of our top picks for baby monitors (with a few honorable mentions) that will give you peace of mind, no matter your budget or needs.
Our Top 3 Best Baby Monitors
- Dr. Rachel | Baby Logic TOP PICK: Owlet Cam + Sock Duo Smart Monitor System
- BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Lumi Smart Baby Monitor by Pampers
- BEST BUDGET FRIENDLY: Summer Baby Pixel Cadet Video Monitor
- BEST SOUND ONLY: V-Tech DM221
- Honorable Mentions: Nanit + Monitor
BABY LOGIC | TOP PICK
The Owlet Cam + Sock Duo Smart Monitor is my TOP MONITOR for many reasons. It’s the one I currently use with my youngest (he graduated from the Sock, so now we just use the Cam). It gave me all the peace of mind I needed to know my baby was safe so I could focus on other things. I loved how I could get the whole health picture with my son; O2 monitoring, heart rate, room temperature and sound/video monitoring. Here are some other features that make it stand out:
- Smart Sock gives you real-time heart rate and oxygen level readings.
- Base station and Owlet app alert parents if levels fall below the “safe zone”
- App monitors sleep trends and tracks quality of sleep, total hours slept, number of wakings, etc.
- Smart Sock is suitable for babies 0 – 18 months
- Battery lasts 16 hours and has a wireless quick charge feature
- View your HD video feed from anywhere on a secure network
- App sends sound and motion alerts to your phone or tablet so no need to run app constantly
- Cam features wide angle view, 2-way talk, room temperature reading and 4x zoom
- HSA/FSA approved
- Expandable and can be used with multiple cameras and socks (great for multiples!)
The NEW Lumi by Pampers Smart Baby Monitor gives you a lot of bang for your buck! It’s reasonably priced, allows you to monitor your baby from anywhere with a secure connection and is also loaded with features. I love that you can run the app in the background and not have to rely on alerts. It also allows you to track baby’s sleep patterns, diaper changes and more to customize your parenting experience and get a good schedule going. Here are other awesome features:
- 1080p HD camera is super clear
- Sleep tracking with personalized insights based on baby’s behavior/needs
- Camera has 3X zoom and ultra-wide lens
- Monitors room temperature and humidity
- Two way audio
- App can run in the background of your tablet or smartphone so you can always here baby, even when phone is locked
- The Wonder Weeks program tracks your baby’s development and shares tips from their expert team
- You can add users from your app and modify permissions
- Night vision camera
- Camera can be wall-mounted to sit on a dresser/table
- Lumi Lookback allows you to view 60 seconds of the previous night so you never miss a thing
- Unlock even more sleep patterns and diaper changes with the Lumi Smart Sleep Kit.
BEST BUDGET FRIENDLY
The Summer Baby Pixel Cadet Video Monitor is a great option for budget minded families that still want quality and more than the basic features. I love this system because you can pan, scan and zoom the camera so you always get the best view of baby. I also love that it still features 2-way audio and plays white noise/ lullabies. It packs a lot of punch for its smaller price tag. Here are some other great features:
- SleepZone Virtual Boundary alerts you when baby moves out of the “safe zone”
- Pan and scan the room
- 3 level digital zoom
- Night vision
- Expandable up to 4 cameras
- Camera plays white noise and lullabies to soothe baby
- 1000 ft range
- 2-way talk feature
- Sound-activated LED lights
- VOX voice activation wakes the screen when a sound is detected
BEST SOUND ONLY
The V-Tech DM221 also is a great system for families that don’t need all the bells and whistles of the more comprehensive video monitors. It is the only one we’ve mentioned that does not feature video. It brings you back to basics with audio monitoring but it also adds a 1000 ft range, LED sound indicator and 2-way talk. It has a built-in nightlight and the sound sensitivity can be customized. Here are some other great features:
- 2 way talk
- 5 level sound indicator
- Rechargeable batteries or AC power
- Adjustable baby sensitivity
- Up to 16 hour battery life
- Both parent unit and child monitor pair automatically in under 1 minute
Although this monitor didn’t win any Baby Logic awards, it is still worth noting based on its performance and features.
The Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor offers HD video with audio, sleep tracking with a highlighted time lapse reel of their sleep and allows you to share memories with friends and family. It features room temp/humidity readings, 2-way audio and you can add sensor-free breathing motion monitoring with their unique pattern recognition. You can even use your FSA/HSA account!
If you love baby gear and want to keep your life simple by making smart gear choices, read our article on the TOP BABY REGISTRY PICK: The DockATot!