7 Best Baby Monitor Cameras

7 Best Baby Monitor Cameras

26
Hours
Researched
46
Products
Evaluated

After 26 hours of research evaluating 46 products, we picked Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor as our top choice.

There is nothing in this world more adorable than a sleeping baby. With their chubby cheeks scrunched up against the mattress and their face as peaceful as an angel, it is a truly wondrous sight.

But:

To be able to go about your day, you need a way to keep an eye on your little one from a far. So finding the best baby monitor can do wonders for your piece of mind.

Let me explain:

The best baby monitors can make sure your little one is sleeping soundly, and let you know the moment they wake up. And the great thing about a video baby monitor is that you will have that instant video monitoring that your parents never had.

We've evaluated hundreds of wifi baby monitors, read thousands of baby monitor reviews, and compared all of the top-rated devices to find the ones that provide optimal safety and assurance.

Why trust us: Faveable has spent thousands of hours researching, interviewing experts, and testing products to come up with carefully selected lists trusted by millions of consumers since 2013.

Best Baby Monitors

  • 7. Nest Cam WiFi Capable Video Baby Monitor
  • 6. Philips Avent SCD-630 Video Baby Monitor with FHSS
  • 5. iBaby Monitor M6S 1080p Baby Monitor
  • 4. Babysense Video Baby Monitor with Two Digital Cameras
  • 3. Nanit Smart Baby Monitor and Wall Mount
  • 2. VTech DM221 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor
  • 1. Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

Best Multi-Functional Baby Monitor

#7

Nest Cam WiFi Capable Video Baby Monitor

Best Multi-Functional Baby Monitor: Nest Cam WiFi Capable Video Baby Monitor
Display
8.0
Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source
8.0
Mounting
8.0
Add-ons
9.0
Extra features
9.0
Value
8.0
Overall
83%
83 % Editor Score
80 % User Score
162 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Easy setup
  • Two-way communication
  • Improved app and "baby monitor" functions make this a treat

  • Connects via Wi-Fi for consistent, reliable connectivity free of radio frequency interference
  • Excellent camera with an extra-wide viewing angle
  • Easy to set up and start using immediately
  • Streaming suffers with slower internet connections
Expert Ratings

Display

8.0 / 10

With your cell phone via the iOS or Android apps

Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source

8.0 / 10

Two-way audio: Yes

Range: Limitless, as long as it's connected to WiFi

Transmission: WiFi

Power source: You'll need to plug it into an outlet

Mounting

8.0 / 10

Table or wall and mounting brackets are available

Add-ons

9.0 / 10

It's a Nest product that's Alexa enabled; what can't you add on to this?

Extra features

9.0 / 10

The camera can be tilted, panned, and zoomed to adjust the picture. The device comes with two-way talk, and you'll find that the video quality in low-light settings is well above average. The WiFi won't interfere with any other radio frequency devices at home (garage door openers, cordless phones, etc.). Best of all, you can be connected ANYWHERE in the world that has Wi-Fi. Simply log onto the mobile app and access your monitor online to see what's happening in the little one's room.

Value

8.0 / 10

This comes in at a reasonable price and perhaps can be used elsewhere when you no longer need it as a baby monitor. It comes with the option for cloud storage, but you have to pay a minimum of $99 per year. Thankfully, this feature is optional, but either way, the cost is a tad high.

Overall Editor Score

8.3 / 10

If you want a high-tech WiFi baby monitoring device that will integrate with your connected home, this is the one for you! It's designed for quick setup (60 seconds to get started), and you can begin streaming your video and audio live from the high-quality video camera to any iOS mobile device or computer in your home. The video is top-quality, with crystal clarity rivaling any HD camera. With a 130-degree field of view, you can see everything that's happening in your child's room.

Best Basic Video Baby Monitor

#6

Philips Avent SCD-630 Video Baby Monitor with FHSS

Best Basic Video Baby Monitor: Philips Avent SCD-630 Video Baby Monitor with FHSS
Display
8.0
Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source
8.5
Mounting
8.5
Extra features
8.5
Value
8.5
Overall
84%
84 % Editor Score
82 % User Score
82 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Good screen resolution which is decent in night vision mode
  • Impressive sound quality
  • Strong range with a reliable signal at all times

  • Local connection only prevents images stored on WiFi or dropped signals
  • Serious range that works even in large houses
  • Perfect sound quality so you can really know what's going on
  • A few quality control issues with the plug (customer service is, however, excellent if you notify them)
Expert Ratings

Display

8.0 / 10

Video display with 3.5" color screen

Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source

8.5 / 10

Two-way audio: Yes

Range: 984 feet

Transmission: Adaptive FHSS

Power source: The child monitor must be plugged in, though the parent unit has a rechargeable battery.

Mounting

8.5 / 10

Table or wall and mounting brackets are available

Extra features

8.5 / 10

Temperature display, video zoom, and swift alerts are really the only extra features, but the monitor is such high quality for the price that you probably shouldn't expect more.

Value

8.5 / 10

This particular baby video monitor may not have the bells and whistles that come with WiFi models (though it does seem to offer extra security for some parents), but it's serious quality - making the price tag perfectly reasonable.

Overall Editor Score

8.4 / 10

If you want complete peace of mind and a sturdy video baby monitor, you may want to go with this one. It doesn't have a lot of the extra features that others do, but it's very good at doing the job it was designed to do: allow you to monitor your baby remotely. 

The sheer range of this is impressive (nearly 1,000 feet outdoors, and you'll still get a solid range indoors). And, for many parents, the internal transmission that doesn't allow for hacking or images posted on the web is a big plus. 

Plus, this company has a responsive customer service department; if you run into a problem, let them know and they'll do everything they can to fix it.

Best WiFi Baby Monitor

#5

iBaby Monitor M6S 1080p Baby Monitor

Best WiFi Baby Monitor: iBaby Monitor M6S 1080p Baby Monitor
Display
9.0
Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source
8.5
Mounting
8.5
Add-ons
8.5
Extra features
9.0
Value
8.5
Overall
87%
87 % Editor Score
85 % User Score
72 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Awesome resolution - even in night mode
  • Free app with nice temperature features
  • The tilt and pan controls from your phone are awesome

  • Reasonably priced camera with stellar resolution
  • Packed with features including 2-way communication and alerts
  • Monitor any time, anywhere
  • You'll need amazing (not just good) WiFi in your home
  • The mounting bracket is almost a requirement, yet seperately sold
  • Android users haven't felt the love that Apple users get
Expert Ratings

Display

9.0 / 10

Cell phone or tablet with 1080P full HD video

Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source

8.5 / 10

Two-way audio: Yes

Range: Limitless as long as it's connected to WiFi

Transmission: WiFi with dual band router support (2.4GHz, 5.0 GHz)

Power source: You'll need to plug it into an outlet

Mounting

8.5 / 10

Table or wall and mounting brackets are available

Add-ons

8.5 / 10

You can add as many cameras as you like to the account; wall mounting kits are also available.

Extra features

9.0 / 10

You can get information on temperature and air quality, plus alerts on your phone, even if you're on a call. Monitors can pan 360° and tilt 110°, plus (obviously) night vision. You can record your voice for playback or choose a lullaby to soothe your baby. There's also no charge for the app and you can invite as many users as you wish to join your feed.

Value

8.5 / 10

The MSRP of $180 is reasonable for the features you get. Better still, you can often find it for less than $120, making it a very reasonably priced baby monitor.

Overall Editor Score

8.7 / 10

Okay, this particular baby monitor does have some mixed reviews. But, if you're looking for one that works over WiFi and comes with a range of tech-savvy features, we're guessing you've got an awesome home network. If you do, this could very well be the baby monitor you've been looking for. 

On the other hand, if your internet is on the slower side, you really should press on. 

But, let's be honest, the sheer range of features you get with this, including the ability to pan and tilt when controlling the camera through your phone is pretty amazing. And, you can invite anyone you like to look in on your baby - all they need is the free app and your details to make it happen. It can also record video and has temperature sensors for a very reasonable price.

Best Value Baby Monitor

#4

Babysense Video Baby Monitor with Two Digital Cameras

Best Value Baby Monitor: Babysense Video Baby Monitor with Two Digital Cameras
Display
8.5
Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source
8.5
Mounting
8.5
Add-ons
8.5
Extra features
8.5
Value
9.5
Overall
87%
87 % Editor Score
88 % User Score
119 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Great value, especially for families with multiple kids
  • Amazing customer service
  • Clear sound, decent picture, and a useful ECO mode

  • Easy setup and control of multiple cameras
  • ECO mode is a real power saver and allows you to be as vigilant as you like
  • Great built-in features
  • Some connection issues (a lot rides on your home network)
Expert Ratings

Display

8.5 / 10

Video display with 2.4" color screen

Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source

8.5 / 10

Range: 900 feet

Transmission: 2.4 GHz FHSS

Power source: Rechargeable battery

Mounting

8.5 / 10

Table or wall and mounting brackets are available

Add-ons

8.5 / 10

Add-on camera units (up to 4 total), plus a variety of mounts.

Extra features

8.5 / 10

The cameras have a 2x zoom function which works from the monitor and you can pan and tilt as needed. The ECO mode also allows for sound activation. Plus, you get temperature readings.

Value

9.5 / 10

For $100 - as the MSRP - you're really getting value for money here.

Overall Editor Score

8.7 / 10

If you have twins or a couple of young kids, you know that you'll need more than one camera. And, it makes sense to go with a baby monitor unit that basically starts with that assumption. You get two camera units with this - and you can add another two if you like (though you can also pay a little less and get a single unit model and grab another camera if you need it later. 

This baby monitor works on its own frequency with great range, so you don't have to worry about security issues. You'll be able to flip back and forth between kids as you please and talk to one that needs to be soothed through the two-way audio feature. It's a solid bet, especially for the everyday low price you're going to pay. 

Best Baby Monitor for Sleep Tracking

#3

Nanit Smart Baby Monitor and Wall Mount

Best Baby Monitor for Sleep Tracking: Nanit Smart Baby Monitor and Wall Mount
Display
9.0
Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source
8.5
Mounting
8.5
Add-ons
8.5
Extra features
9.0
Value
8.5
Overall
87%
87 % Editor Score
91 % User Score
111 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Easy to set up and super easy to use
  • Get insights that lead to more sleep
  • Listen to the audio while doing other things on your phone

  • Much more than a monitor; you get sleep insights, notifications, and can actually see how much your baby is sleeping
  • Clear audio and video
  • A handful of extra features no one else has
  • It's not cheap
  • You'll need to make sure your router is close enough to your child's room
Expert Ratings

Display

9.0 / 10

Video or with your cell phone via the iOS or Android apps

Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source

8.5 / 10

Two-way audio: No

Range: Limitless as long as it's connected to WiFi

Transmission: WiFi and it works even when the internet is down

Power source: You'll need to plug it into an outlet

Mounting

8.5 / 10

Wall, though you can buy a table stand for $50.

Add-ons

8.5 / 10

You could purchase the table mount if you need it, or subscribe to the Nanit Insights platform to learn more about how your baby sleeps and the environment in the room.

Extra features

9.0 / 10

The view itself is probably worth it, but then there is the super-safe cable system and the monitors that tell you what you want to know about the temperature and humidity in the room. The apps allow for multiple user logins - and that's before you get into the Insights platform, which really lets you track and monitor like nothing before.

Value

8.5 / 10

It's definitely one of the more expensive models out there, but it does so darn much that you'll be tempted to splurge.

Overall Editor Score

8.7 / 10

If your baby is battling to sleep (meaning you're not getting any sleep either), you may want to invest in one of these baby monitors. In addition to the views and the alerts that you would expect, this one actually does some sleep tracking - and provides advice on helping your little one to get a little extra shut-eye.

Sadly, some of those features come with a subscription, which can make this a serious investment, but many parents claim it's totally worth it. This baby monitor does require wall mounting, but it will give you an impeccable view - and, perhaps even more importantly, you can still see the feed on the monitor, even when the internet goes down. Useful, right?

Best Audio-Only Baby Monitor

#2

VTech DM221 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor

Best Audio-Only Baby Monitor: VTech DM221 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor
Display
7.0
Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source
9.0
Mounting
9.0
Add-ons
9.0
Extra features
9.5
Value
9.5
Overall
88%
88 % Editor Score
94 % User Score
106 Bought

Why People Love it

  • The two-way communication feature is awesome
  • Great range, sound and sensitivity
  • Perfect for monitoring recovering patients or elderly parents

  • Very cost effective
  • You still get two-way talk and a night light feature for this price
  • Crystal clear sound
  • A few users report issues with the devices pairing to each other (contact customer service straight away if you notice this)
Expert Ratings

Display

7.0 / 10

Audio only

Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source

9.0 / 10

Two-way audio: Yes

Range: 1,000 feet

Transmission: DECT 6.0

Power source: Rechargeable battery which lasts up to 18 hours. Or, use 2x AAA batteries.

Mounting

9.0 / 10

Table, though parent units can be clipped to a belt.

Add-ons

9.0 / 10

You can order a set with an extra parent monitor which is useful when you primarily use two different spaces of your home while your baby sleeps.

Extra features

9.5 / 10

The loop on the baby unit can function as a nightlight. It's also possible to set the parent monitor to mute while keeping an eye on levels with the light display or with a vibration alert. Though there isn't much call for it, you can set the display language to French or Spanish.

Value

9.5 / 10

Going audio only really does allow you to save some bucks. Though you can find the single receiver unit for under $40, you can get two parent monitors plus a single baby monitor for $50. Not bad at all.

Overall Editor Score

8.8 / 10

There are a few reasons you may want an audio-only baby monitor. Some parents don't want to get too fussy, but still want the freedom to roam around the yard or take showers while their baby sleeps. Others are worried about the security of video cameras (especially those with WiFi). A few more like them as backup or travel devices. And then there's the price. 

Whatever your reasons, if you're going audio-only, this is a solidly built device that still offers plenty of the basics (like notifications that you're out of range). And, the sound is crystal clear.

This is often the baby monitor care givers choose when an adult family member has limited mobility or other health care concerns. In part, this has to do with the privacy an audio monitor provides without sacrificing two-way communication when needed. 

Best Baby Monitor Overall

#1

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

Best Baby Monitor Overall: Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor
Display
9.5
Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source
9.5
Mounting
9.0
Add-ons
9.0
Extra features
9.5
Value
9.0
Overall
93%
93 % Editor Score
97 % User Score
282 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Great resolution and night vision
  • Amazing range and long battery life
  • Useful features: extra charging cable, notifications, noise lights, and the every useful pan and zoom video controls

  • Video camera is top-of-the-line; offers excellent quality picture
  • Adjustable camera makes it easy to monitor everything in baby's room
  • User-friendly and reliable
  • Screen is smaller than other options
  • Can't check in on phone / computer
Expert Ratings

Display

9.5 / 10

Video display with 3.5" color screen

Two-way audio, Transmission & Power source

9.5 / 10

Two-way audio: Yes

Range: 700 feet

Transmission: 2.4 GHz FHSS

Power source: Rechargeable battery. You'll get 6 hours on normal use, though you can get up to 10 hours in audio-only mode.

Mounting

9.0 / 10

Table or wall - and mounting brackets are available.

 

Add-ons

9.0 / 10

Wide angle lens, add-on camera units (up to 4 total), and a variety of mounts.

Extra features

9.5 / 10

The USB cable makes it easy to plug the devices into your computer or USB wall charger, keeping the battery charged at all times. You get excellent battery life - 10 hours with just audio or 6 hours with video. The camera comes with three interchangeable lenses (normal, wide, and optical zoom), giving you total control over your monitoring. The in-room temperature display keeps you updated on how cold or hot baby's room is, and the two-way talk allows you to talk back to your little one.

Value

9.0 / 10

At $229, it's one of the highest-priced products on this list. However, there are two things that make it a good option: 1) Amazon is ALWAYS running sales on this best-selling product, so you can often find it as low as $150; and 2) few monitors come with the same features and the same high quality. It may be pricey, but it's absolutely worth it.

Overall Editor Score

9.3 / 10

If you want a high-quality baby monitoring device, this is one of the best around. Not only is the picture quality superior to most competing products, but the audio quality (on both receiver and transmitter) is excellent.

The wide-angle camera lens allows you to see everything going on in the baby's room, and you can pan, tilt, and zoom the camera using the 3.5" LCD screen built into the parent unit. It uses 2.4 GHz radio frequency to stay connected, and it has an excellent range.

Faveable Ratings: 7 Best Baby Monitor Cameras

7 Best Baby Monitor CamerasDisplayTwo-way audio, Transmission & Power sourceMountingAdd-onsExtra featuresValueOverall
Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor Thumbnail
Best Baby Monitor Overall
#1Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor
9.5
9.5
9.0
9.0
9.5
9.0
93
VTech DM221 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor Thumbnail
Best Audio-Only Baby Monitor
#2VTech DM221 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.5
9.5
88
Nanit Smart Baby Monitor and Wall Mount Thumbnail
Best Baby Monitor for Sleep Tracking
#3Nanit Smart Baby Monitor and Wall Mount
9.0
8.5
8.5
8.5
9.0
8.5
87
Babysense Video Baby Monitor with Two Digital Cameras Thumbnail
Best Value Baby Monitor
#4Babysense Video Baby Monitor with Two Digital Cameras
8.5
8.5
8.5
8.5
8.5
9.5
87
iBaby Monitor M6S 1080p Baby Monitor Thumbnail
Best WiFi Baby Monitor
#5iBaby Monitor M6S 1080p Baby Monitor
9.0
8.5
8.5
8.5
9.0
8.5
87
Philips Avent SCD-630 Video Baby Monitor with FHSS Thumbnail
Best Basic Video Baby Monitor
#6Philips Avent SCD-630 Video Baby Monitor with FHSS
8.0
8.5
8.5
8.5
8.5
84
Nest Cam WiFi Capable Video Baby Monitor Thumbnail
Best Multi-Functional Baby Monitor
#7Nest Cam WiFi Capable Video Baby Monitor
8.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
83

Faveable Expert Tips

Baby Monitors 101

A baby monitor is, at its core, a simple radio system that transmits sound via radio waves from the transmitter (the unit in the baby’s room) to the receiver (the unit with the parents). This allows the parents to hear if the baby is awake, and thus they can go pick up their no-longer-sleeping infant before they start crying.

Some baby monitors have two-way talk, with built-in transmitters and receivers on both handsets. Some even include video, with a video camera integrated into the transmitter to allow the parents to watch their baby sleeping.

Types of Baby Monitors

When looking into baby monitors, you’ll find there are two different types available on the market:

Audio Only – This type of baby monitor will only transmit sound between the handsets. The receiver will usually switch on when the baby begins to cry, and send the signal to alert the parents the child is awake and fussy. These tend to be cheapest and simplest, though you can find some audio-only baby monitors that include a wide range of useful features.

Audio and Video – This type of baby monitor can transmit not only audio, but also video. Many video-capable baby monitors will have not only a built-in camera, but also night vision capabilities. After all, the baby is likely to be sleeping in a dark room, so you’ll need to be able to see when the baby is moving around or trying to climb out of bed. Thanks to the night vision/IR feature, you can watch your baby even in low-light environments. They tend to be pricier, though, so be aware that you’ll spend more for the device.

Baby monitors transmit the sound and video in one of two ways:

Analog – Analog baby monitors use a continuous signal (audio and/or video) and use a series of electronic pulses to beam the signal from the transmitter to the receiver. The signal is broken into individual components, transmitted, then reassembled so it seems like one continuous signal of voice and video.

Digital – Digital baby monitors encrypt a video or audio signal, scramble it into a series of codes, then use radio frequency waves to transmit that series of codes to the receiver. The receiver simply picks up the signal, puts the codes in the proper order, and plays the signal. 

A new type of digital baby monitor has begun to appear on the market: wireless network monitors. Essentially, these are connected via your home’s WiFi to your tablet, smartphone, or computer. There is only one handset, the receiver, and you simply log it onto your home’s wireless network.

Once it’s connected, you use your mobile device or PC to connect to the device’s website, app, or IP address, and you’re able to monitor your child from wherever you are around the house.  

Baby Monitor Features to Consider

When you are looking into buying a baby monitor for your infant, here are a few of the most important features to consider:

Corded or Cordless – While it’s always easier to simply plug the monitor into a wall socket, the last thing you want is for a power-outage to shut off your monitor. It may be easier to work with a monitor that is both corded and runs on battery power. However, be warned: monitors that run only on battery power will burn through even rechargeable batteries fairly quickly.

Screen Size – The size of the screen determines how clearly you’ll be able to see your baby. A larger screen, obviously, gives you a bigger, and often clearer, image of your child, so you can see if they’re sleeping comfortably. However, larger screens (built into the parent-held receiver unit) will typically be pricier, so you’ll end up spending more on the baby monitor set.

Color or Black and White – Many of the lower-budget baby monitors transmit video in black and white, which is clear enough to help you see your child sleeping or moving around. However, many parents prefer the color screen, which gives a clearer picture of your infant. Be aware that color screens tend to cost more than black and white.

Movement Monitor – This is a very nifty add-on that only comes with specific baby monitor sets. Essentially, this is a motion-sensitive pad that you insert beneath the baby’s mattress. When the baby is sleeping, the pad will monitor the mattress for even the slightest bit of motion. If there is no motion for 20 seconds, it will set off the alarm built into the receiver unit so you know your child may not be breathing or moving. For parents worried about SIDS, breathing issues, or any other sleep-related problems, it may be a good idea to consider a movement monitor.

Night Vision – For a video monitor, night vision is definitely a good feature to have. It films the sleeping child in infrared light, so you’ll be able to see them clearly even if the room is very dark or has little light.

Portable Parent Unit – The lower-budget baby monitors are usually designed to be plugged into a wall both in the child’s room and wherever the parent is. However, some of the pricier models include a mobile, battery-operated parent unit that can be clipped to the belt or carried in a shirt pocket. This allows you more freedom of movement while the child is sleeping so you can clean, exercise, shower, or move around the house.

Lights and Sounds – For restless infants, this can be a very useful feature. Some monitors come with built-in night lights to provide a gentle glow to light up a pitch black room. Built-in sounds and songs can help to soothe the child back to sleep when they wake up.

Two-Way Talk – All baby monitors transmit the sound from the baby’s unit to the parent’s unit, but two-way talk reverses the signal and allows you to talk to the baby. If they get fussy, the sound of your voice can help to calm them down, perhaps even enough to lull them back to sleep.

Temperature Sensor – While you may have the thermostat in your home pre-set to a specific temperature, it might be a good idea to monitor the temperature in your baby’s room as well. A built-in temperature sensor helps you know just how hot, warm, cool, or cold it is. It’s recommended that you maintain a temperature between 68 and 72 degrees F to encourage more comfortable sleep for your child.

Sound Activation – This is a handy feature that will prevent excess ambient noise from filtering through the baby monitor. Basically, this is the audio version of a motion detector, and it will only switch on when it detects an actual sound. This is great for helping you to sleep well through the night, yet still hear your baby crying.

Out of Range Indicator – Most baby monitors have a limited range (30 to 66 feet on average), but thick walls and floors can interfere with the connection. With a built-in out of range indicator, you’ll know when you’re too far away or in a room that doesn’t have a signal to the transmitter in your child’s room.

Volume Control – This is definitely a feature you want! A built-in volume control allows you to adjust how loud the sound coming from the parent unit is. If you’re trying to talk, watch TV, or relax, you’ll want to turn the sound down low. If you’re a deep sleeper, you may want the sound way up so you can hear it the moment your child cries.

Low Battery Indicator – If you’re using a battery-operated monitor, you’ll want to know when it’s running out of juice. An alert, light, or sound that lets you know when the battery’s in need of charging is a very handy feature to have!

Multiple Units – Most baby monitors come with two units: transmitter for the baby’s room and receiver for the parent. However, some can have multiple parent units connected so both you and your partner can monitor the child from wherever in the house you are. This is not a necessary feature, but it’s definitely convenient!

How to Choose the Right Baby Monitor For You

When shopping for a baby monitor, obviously you want to consider all the nifty features mentioned above. However, first there are a few more important things to consider:

Digital vs. Analog – Analog baby monitors tend to be cheaper, but digital tends to be safer. As the digital signals are encoded, there is less risk that they will be accidentally picked up by other baby monitors or radio enabled devices in your area.

Frequency – If your baby monitor operates on the same frequency as another device—say a cordless home phone or walkie talkie—it’s possible there will be static or cross-talk.

Before shopping for a baby monitor, check your other cordless devices to see what frequency they operate on. (You should be able to find it on a sticker in the back or beside the battery.) That way, you can be sure to choose a monitor that operates on a different frequency.

Or, buy a DECT-compatible monitor. DECT technology ensures that the monitor operates at 1.9 GHz, a frequency reserved by the FCC for voice-only applications.

Sound and Video Interference Filters – These built-in filters are designed to get rid of any extra ambient noise, as well as sharpen the video image you see on your receiver unit. These filters are very handy for blocking out “white noise”, making the sound from your monitor far less annoying—not to mention a whole lot clearer!

Number of receivers – If you have a small house, a single-unit receiver is more than enough. However, if both you and your partner work from home or you have an extra-large house, it may be a good idea to look into a multi-unit set, including portable monitors. That way, it’ll be easier to keep a close eye and ear on your baby no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

Range – The package of the baby monitor sets will usually come with clear details on the monitor’s range, which will help you figure out how well it will work in your home. After you’ve bought the monitor you think works, set it up in your home and test it to see if the signal reaches the rooms you need it to. If the range isn’t great, consider spending a bit more for a monitor with a broader range.

Signal Encryption – This is necessary for two reasons: 1) it ensures that no other monitors in your neighborhood are picking up your signal, guaranteeing privacy; and 2) it prevents interference or cross-talk that could stop you from hearing your baby crying. Digital monitors are the only ones that offer signal encryption, so they may be the better choice—even though they end up costing you a bit more than analog.

Are There Any Dangers of Baby Monitors?

There are a few things to be aware of, and potentially concerned about, when buying and using a baby monitor in your home.

First, there is the risk that someone will be able to overhear what you’re saying in your home. This primarily occurs with analog monitors, though some digital monitors may be vulnerable as well. The fact that your monitor doesn’t have any built-in security features may mean that burglars can hear what’s happening in your home and know when you leave so they can rob the place.

One 2014 study found that children are more prone to absorb microwave radiation than adults, thanks to their thinner skulls and more absorbent brain tissue. Wireless devices like baby monitors emit microwave radiation, so many parents worry that the Wi-Fi signal could harm their child’s brain.

All monitors emit non-ionizing radiation, which can have two effects on the body: 1) a thermal effect, essentially heating up the tissues in our brains and bodies; and 2) a non-thermal effect, molecular changes that are much smaller but may be linked to a number of health problems ranging from reproductive defects to genetic damage to nervous and immune system dysfunction to cancer.

However, the World Health Organization has made it clear that there have been no adverse effects of baby monitors detected to date. The thermal effect of the radio waves is absorbed and diffused by the skin and superficial tissues, while the non-thermal effect has not yet produced any recorded side effects.

Are baby monitors 100% safe for use at home? The evidence points to yes in most cases, but it’s still important you’re aware of the potential dangers they pose.

Baby Monitor Safety Tips

If you’re going to use a baby monitor at home, it’s important to use it right! Here’s how to make it as effective as possible while still keeping your infant (and other children in your home) safe:

Place it on a solid surface – Make sure the baby monitor is someplace where it will stay steady and upright, and where the child’s movement won’t knock it over. The last thing you need is baby waking up crying, and with a bump on their head, because the baby monitor dropped on them while they slept.

NEVER put the monitor in the crib – Yes, the picture would be clearer, but there is a risk that your child can get tangled in the cord and suffocate. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, seven children have died since 2002 as a result of strangulation by monitor cords. Even though the chance of that happening is miniscule, don’t risk it! Make sure the monitor, even a wireless one, is well out of reach of your infant.

Be wary of cables and cords – If you’re using a corded baby monitor, make sure to tuck the cords safely out of reach of younger children. Your infant may not be at risk if the monitor is away from the crib, but your toddler or small child may be. You could also trip over an improperly-placed cord, which could damage the monitor.

Don’t rely on a monitor completely – If you’re worried about SIDS, respiratory issues, or other problems that have the potential to be serious, you can’t trust any baby monitor fully. Even motion monitoring pads aren’t fully reliable, so you should always be ready to check on your child yourself if you’re worried something might be wrong.

Check in regularly – Pop into the child’s room at least once every 15-30 minutes just to make sure all is well. Baby monitors aren’t a replacement for proper adult supervision, so use your eyes and ears to check on your child in person. Poor video quality and ineffective sound sensors may stop you from hearing your child moving or crying. 

Keep away from liquids – Make sure not to place cups of water near the monitor, as a spill could short-circuit the wiring and cause a short that could electrocute you. Be wary of using it in the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room—anywhere there’s a chance it could get wet.

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