The best baby monitors let you watch, entertain, and soothe your child from afar. Check out the top-rated baby monitors we've tested to determine which is right for your little one.

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 smart models that also provide some form of video feed and connect to your phone.


Do You Need a Dedicated Baby Monitor?

Most smart baby monitors are effectively just home security cameras—devices that let you watch another location with color video, night vision, and sound, so you can tell if anything is amiss. Because baby monitors are used to keep an eye on your little one rather than on your home and property, they prioritize different features than security cameras.

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.

safety 1st hd wifi baby monitor with smart audio unit, motorola halo+ over-the-crib baby monitor, smart home, home security cameras, cubo ai plus smart baby monitor, lumi by pampers smart baby monitor and smart sleep system, infant optics dxr-8 pro baby monitor, nanit pro complete monitoring system, motorola connectview65 plus - 5-inch wi-fi video baby monitor, papalook bm1 baby monitor, miku pro smart baby monitor

Motorola Halo+


What to Look for When Buying a Smart 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.

Instead, baby monitors offer more options for letting you know when something might be wrong at that moment. Temperature and humidity measurements are common among high-end monitors, along with alerts and notifications for when movement or a lack of movement is detected.

All of the monitors here are internet-connected, letting you watch infant with your phone or tablet through an app just as if you were checking a home security camera. Because of this, you might not actually get a standalone display to go along with the camera. They aren’t out of the question, however; some camera-only baby monitors offer viewers as an add-on or in a bundle. And if there aren’t any available, you can simply get an inexpensive tablet to use as a dedicated viewer.

safety 1st hd wifi baby monitor with smart audio unit, motorola halo+ over-the-crib baby monitor, smart home, home security cameras, cubo ai plus smart baby monitor, lumi by pampers smart baby monitor and smart sleep system, infant optics dxr-8 pro baby monitor, nanit pro complete monitoring system, motorola connectview65 plus - 5-inch wi-fi video baby monitor, papalook bm1 baby monitor, miku pro smart baby monitor

Nanit app


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 are 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, 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.

With that in mind, these are the best baby monitors we’ve tested. If you’re interested in keeping an eye on your whole home and not just your child’s room, check out our list of the best home security cameras for more flexible surveillance options.

For more, see the Best Video Baby Monitors and the Best Wi-Fi Baby Monitors at What to Expect.

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