Best Baby Monitors for your nursery
Baby Monitors have moved on in leaps and bounds since I first went looking just over 6 years ago. I don’t recall video monitors being as commonplace, and were certainly out of my budget. Smart phone monitors certainly didn’t come on my radar, and as with almost every baby product going, the choice just wasn’t as vast. In some ways, that made things much easier! We went to a shop, chose a simple product from a limited range, and didn’t worry too much that we had made the ‘wrong’ choice. We had BT audio monitor, which served us perfectly fine for 3 babies.
Types of Baby Monitor
Nowadays, baby monitors come with a range of extra functions alongside the basic function for which you buy it – to enable you to keep an eye on baby when they are not in the same room as you!
- Audio monitors – the most basic baby monitors just rely on audio to alert the parent/carer.
- Video monitors – baby monitors that have a video camera and plays both video and audio to the parent unit
- Breathing/movement sensors – monitors baby’s movements and breathing via a special mat and alerts the parent/carer if it does not detect for a certain amount of time, around 20seconds. (NB – these are not proven to reduce SIDS and may create a false sense of security – check on your baby regularly).
- Smartphone monitors – monitors which work via an app on the parent’s smart phone
Baby Monitor Features to look out for:
- Nightlight – some baby units feature soft nightlights, can be reassuring and soothing
- Night (infared) vision – to view baby clearly at night on video monitors
- Battery life – parent units are often portable and rechargeable
- Talkback function – two way communication to soothe baby remotely
- Lullabys/white noise – soothing sounds for baby which can often be controlled from parent unit
- Temperature sensor/alerts – keep updated on the temperature of baby’s room
- Crying/movement alert – visual or audio alerts
- Remote control of camera/lullaby function/nightlight
- Range – how far away do you need to roam with the parent unit – will it stretch to the garden for example
- Connectivity – digital signals or WiFi connectivity – for example monitors which connect to a smartphone may use home WiFi – take steps to ensure a secure connection.
With those features to bear in mind, I bought a second baby monitor recently for the twins. I decided to choose a budget video monitor from Amazon and I am more than satisfied with the result – so much so that I’ve included it in my list here, which I have compiled with the help of my personal experiences, mummy recommendations and additional market research!
Lollipop Baby Monitor
I came across the Lollipop camera and fell in love with its super cute design, made from soft silicone in pastel colours, it not only looks good but is packed full of features too. The monitor works both for indoor monitoring via WiFi, and outdoors transmitted via AWS cloud – no extra service charge for this), straight to your smartphone. An unlimited number of devices can log in and watch live stream footage of baby, so multiple parents can check on baby when away, at work for example. Compatible with both iOS and android, and easy to setup.
Lollipop is the first camera with a specific night monitoring audio only feature. Sounds are streamed from the nursery to your smartphone, which works with the screen off to preserve battery and allow better sleep for parent. Lollipop also works with multiple cameras, so upto 4 cameras can be streamed and viewed simultaneously.
Other features include night vision, data history, 30s event video, remote music playing, talk-back function and multiple ways to install the baby unit due to its innovative flexible silicone design. An optional sensor picks up room temperature, air quality, humidity and connects to the camera in the nursery via Bluetooth (available to buy separately).
If you have a taste for modern design, and want a video baby monitor which you can also stream to your smart phone, then the Lollipop baby monitor is a really funky choice at a price that is comparable with many others on the market. Note that the Lollipop just connects to your smartphone and does not have a separate parent unit.
2. BT Smart Monitor with 2.8 inch screen
The BT Smart Monitor is another video baby monitor that also works with your smart phone (iOS and android) via an app. It also works via your home Wifi with Amazon Alexa or Google assistant, so it really is fully connected with all your tech devices.
With a baby unit that has manual and digital pan and zoom HD camera, you’ll never miss a moment with real-time streaming. The parent unit range is impressive at 250m outdoors and 50m indoors. It has a large 2.8in colour screen with night vision, and sound level lights so you can be alerted to baby’s crying without needing to hear every snuffle (I found sound level lights very handy on my audio only BT monitor).
Additional extra features include temperature indicator, 5 lullabies, 2-way communication and ability to record video clips to your smart phone.
What I like about the BT Smart Monitor is its connectivity with Alexa/Google Voice, a handy feature for the tech-savvy, and the ability to remotely control the camera position to keep an eye on babies who may be quite mobile in their cots! Value for money wise, I think it’s a very reasonably priced product for the range of features.
3. Victure Video Baby Monitor
Not all baby products need to come from well known brands. In fact, when searching for any sort of monitors whether is be a baby monitor, home security camera, dog cameras etc, most top selling ones I found are little known makes which definitely win hands down for value for money. Why pay more?
I bought this video camera and it does absolutely everything I would want it to, at a fraction of the cost of some others.
Features include two-way communication, infared night vision, room temperature monitoring and lullaby music playing which is controlled from the portable parent unit. Vox mode detects baby’s crying and lights up the parent unit automatically to alert parents.
The baby camera is able to manually rotate 360 degrees and 60 degrees up and down, so it can be placed anywhere and angled in the right direction to baby. It is an easy to set up and use video baby monitor and parent unit, no smart phone connectivity, and works on a digital wireless 2.4Ghz connection meaning Wifi is not required. A 3.2in LCD screen is quite adequate size for doing the job.
I find the monitor works well, although parent unit battery life is only a few hours, I mostly have it connected to a power source and find it a great value video monitor for lower budgets.
4. Angelcare Sensasure AC327 Baby Movement Monitor
If you want to try a baby monitor with a movement monitor, Angelcare is the original baby movement monitor range. And in saying range, I do mean that they have various models of their movement monitor, the Sensasure AC327 having a video component in addition.
The movement monitor works by a pad fitted under the cot mattress, which will alarm if there is no detected movement after 20 seconds.
The portable parent unit has a large 4.3in LED touch button screen, with night vision and temperature display. The baby unit can be wall mounted or stand on tabletop, and has a digital zoom and pan to keep an eye on baby wherever they shuffle to!
Safe sleeping for baby is paramount, and for those who would feel more reassured by the addition of a baby movement detector with all other safe sleeping practises, then have a look at Angelcare.
5. Kodak Cherish C525
Kodak is a well known camera brand but I didn’t know it did a range of baby monitor cameras too. This video baby monitor is all singing, all dancing with an array of extra features, sleek camera design, and smartphone app for upto 5 users, meaning baby can be monitored wherever you are.
The baby unit high-res camera has digital pan, tilt and zoom, is wall mountable, and infared night vision, with some of the best picture quality available. The portable parent unit has rechargable batteries for upto 5 hours on the move monitoring (upto 750ft range), but baby can also be monitored via the Kodak Smart Home App over WiFi.
The monitor also features two-way talk, motion and sound nitifications, temperature alerts, and cloud/SD card recording (no additional sibscriptions required) and lullaby music.
The Kodak cherish is certainly a video monitor to rival other top brands on the baby market, packed with features and with excellent picture quality to boot, similar in price to the BT Smart baby monitor it may just be a toss up between the two.
6. Summer Infant Wide View Number 2.0
The Summer Infant Wide View camera is a nice, mid range video camera yet with great extras like the large 5″ colour flat screen, with great night vision, temperature display and two-way communication. It has a wide-angled lens which allows a much greater view of the nursery than a standard camera, and soft glow nightlights on the baby unit are a nice added extra (they can be remotely controlled too).
The monitor isn’t connected via Wifi and doesn’t use a Smartphone app, it is more ‘traditional’ with just parent and baby unit, with a range upto 240m and parent unit battery life around 5 hours. It is easy to use and setup and it is a solid contender if you are looking for a video baby monitor with a little bit more.
7. Vtech Digital Audio Baby Monitor
Finally from me, a digital audio baby monitor. I started off with a simple audio baby monitor and found it all I needed for reassurance when baby was sleeping. I chose this VTech audio monitor for its great budget price and all round capability. I’ve always found VTech products to be high quality and durable too.
The monitor uses DECT digital technology which produces clearer, interference-free sound (no white noise like analogue monitors). The parent unit has both audio and visual sound indicators, 5 volume levels, and a great 300m range and upto 14 hours monitoring from rechargeable batteries (mains adaptor for recharging included).
For additional reassurance, the parent unit will alert you to low battery and moving out of range, and the baby unit power light indicates whether on or off. Simple, easy to use features. The baby unit is mains powered.
So if you are looking for simple, but effective baby monitor on a budget, the VTech digital audio is a brilliant option if you are not bothered about seeing baby on a video too.
There you have it – my top 7 choices for baby monitors. The market is ever changing, growing, evolving with newer technologies. If you have found a baby monitor which you think is worthy of this list – let me know! I’d love to review more products and always strive to keep my review updated with the latest and best products available.
Choosing a baby monitor is just one thing you will probably do when expecting a baby. Don’t be put off by the huge number of choices – try and work out what features you think will work best for you, whether you want to see baby on a screen or not, whether you want to connect it to your smart phone or Alexa device for example, or simply just be able to hear baby in the next room, there is something for everyone.