Best baby monitors

Best Baby Monitors for 2019

July 23, 2019
22 min read

Keeping your baby safe and secure is your number one priority. To help with this important task, many parents are turning to baby monitors. Although a baby monitor doesn’t replace adult supervision, it can be your eyes and ears when you’re in another room.

If you want to know what the top-rated baby monitors are for 2019, you’ve come to the right place. We surveyed more than 9,000 Pampers Parents to find out which baby monitors they think are the best.

Our reviews of baby monitors include traditional and budget-friendly audio baby monitors as well as top-of-the-line video baby monitors, some with Wi-Fi capabilities. Read our reviews to discover the one that is right for you.

What's in this article:

Why You May Need a Baby Monitor What to Consider When Choosing a Baby Monitor Top Video Baby Monitors Top Video Baby Monitors With Wi-Fi Capability Top Audio Baby Monitors

Why You May Need a Baby Monitor

A baby monitor can be a great way to see or hear your little one when you can’t be in the same room — for example, to check that she’s sleeping safely on her back or to pick up any crying. The device can be handy at naptime when you want to keep an eye on or an ear out for your baby while you take care of chores or get some rest elsewhere in your home. A baby monitor can also be useful at night, alerting you if your baby starts to cry or cough.

Some baby monitors, like those that come with Wi-Fi, allow you to use your smartphone or tablet as a receiver, enabling you to view your baby from anywhere in the world. You may appreciate this feature if you’re traveling and someone else is taking care of your little one while you’re away.

One Pampers Parents loved using her Wi-Fi baby monitor to help keep an eye on her baby (in addition to having a babysitter) when she and her partner went out to dinner on date night.

A baby monitor isn’t necessarily for everyone, but for some parents, a baby monitor lends an extra level of assurance when they are in another room.

What to Consider When Choosing a Baby Monitor

Here are a few things to consider when buying a baby monitor:

Safety

First and foremost, it’s important to know that a baby monitor does not replace adult supervision. For example, a baby monitor shouldn’t be used so that you can leave your baby at home alone. Experts also caution that a baby monitor cannot prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Safety should also be top of mind when considering how the monitor’s camera is installed. Never install a camera or place an audio baby monitor in a crib or anywhere that your baby can reach.

If the camera comes with a cord, this can become a choking hazard if it’s within your baby’s reach. You might want to opt for a cordless model; if you prefer a model that has a cord (in order to avoid constant recharging), make sure the wires are secured in a cord channel. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that the monitor cord be mounted more than three feet away from the crib so that it’s well out of your baby’s reach.

Different Baby Monitor Technologies

When you’re shopping for a baby monitor you might see the terms digital or DECT on the product, and you may also encounter the terms analog or wireless. Here's a brief rundown on these technologies.

Analog devices send frequency signals in a continuous stream, which means they’re subject to interference from other electronics. You might hear white noise or remnants of someone else’s conversation when using an analog device. In this way, analog isn’t the most reliable.

Digital devices are a step up from analog. The frequency signal is encoded, so it’s almost impossible for anyone else to hear the transmission. But you might still run into some interference if you own another electronic device that happens to run on the same frequency. Products labeled with DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology) can help reduce the chance of interference.

If you choose to buy a baby monitor that works with Wi-Fi, then your baby monitor will rely on your own wireless network to transmit to your smartphone, tablet, or personal computer. You won’t have the same type of interference as mentioned above, but you are dependent on the speed of your network. There are some privacy issues that crop up with many of these different technologies, which we discuss in the next section.

Privacy

When it comes to baby monitors that work over wireless signals or Wi-Fi, privacy can be a concern, especially with crossed signals. This refers to when your device inadvertently picks up signals or sounds from another household, or interference from another device in your own home. Crossed signals are typically a problem with analog devices. Most models these days are digital, the best being those that are designated DECT, which is the same technology used by cordless phones.

You might also worry that anyone with an RF scanner, a wireless handheld device that uses a radio frequency wireless network, can listen in if you have an analog device. Digital models that use DECT technology will prevent this.

You may also be concerned that a hacker may try to crack your home’s Wi-Fi and gain access to your baby monitor. To prevent this, set up a strong firewall in your home network. You can either set this up yourself or ask your Internet service provider how.

With many Wi-Fi models, you can allow multiple users to monitor your baby. For example, you may wish to let grandparents check in on your baby from their home. This feature can be a great way to keep your family connected, but it could give others more access to the happenings in your home than you might have intended. The good news is some models come with a privacy mode so you can switch off this multiple-user feature whenever you’d like.

Audio or Video?

Consider what you want to use your baby monitor for. An audio baby monitor might be what you need if you just want to hear when your baby cries or makes other noises.

If you’d also like to keep an eye on your baby, you might prefer a video baby monitor.

Some models even let you remotely monitor your baby through a video camera that you can control through an app on your smartphone, allowing you to tilt and zoom.

Portability

Think about how far away you’ll want to be from your baby. Many audio and video baby monitor models are limited by their wireless range, so you may not be able to take the receiver very far from your baby’s room, for example.

This might be especially important if you have a large home or you plan to be in your backyard while using your baby monitor. If this is the case it’s best to buy one that has a long range. Among our reviewed products, the Motorola baby monitor has the longest range at 1,000 feet.

Similarly, if you go for a Wi-Fi-enabled video baby monitor, consider the signal strength of your router so that you don’t accidentally go out of range.

“I prefer to not have a monitor with a Wi-Fi connection but I do like the video feature so I can see what my toddler and newborn are up to.”

Pampers Parent

Extra Features

A traditional baby monitor comes in two parts: a monitor that goes in your baby’s room (which we refer to as the baby unit) and a receiver that stays with you (which we refer to as the parent unit).

The baby unit may feature extras like

  • a camera that can pan, tilt, and/or zoom
  • a nightlight that may even change colors
  • the ability to play music or lullabies to your baby
  • two-way communication so your baby can hear you talk.

The parent unit may feature extras like

  • an alert for when the batteries are running low
  • an alert for when you might walk out of range
  • a visual indicator for the volume level
  • a vibrating alert for when you want to lower the volume but still get notifications.

Wi-Fi baby monitors do not have a parent unit. Instead, you will use your tablet or smartphone to monitor your baby via the product’s app. The benefit of the Wi-Fi baby monitors is that you can keep tabs on your baby whenever you have Wi-Fi access. With this option you can also allow multiple users to monitor your baby.

Expandability

If you’d like more than one camera to film your baby, some video baby monitor models allow you to add more. Many on our list, like the Infant Optics model, can be expanded by up to four cameras.

This feature may come in handy if you have multiple small children, if you want to track your toddler as he crawls from room to room, or if you want to place a camera in all the rooms your little one is typically in, so you don’t have to move the camera along with your baby.

“We can place the cameras in two different rooms, depending on where the baby was sleeping at the time. You can pack away one camera if not needed and pull it out for traveling so you don't have to take down the one at home. Now that we have two kids, we use both cameras and can watch them both on one monitor.”

Pampers Parent

Top Video Baby Monitors

If you prefer a video feed of your little one, a video baby monitor is what you need. These are the video baby monitors Pampers Parents picked as their favorites:

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

Why pick this one? With the Infant Optics baby monitor, no setup is required—just plug it in and you’re ready to go. The monitor features a sound-activated LED bar that shows when your little one is crying even if it’s dark or the screen is turned off. The system can be expanded by up to four cameras.

It also features infrared night vision, an alarm function, two-way communication, and a room temperature reader. Some Pampers Parents noted the unit does get interference when other electronics are in close proximity.

Highlights: This baby monitor comes with interchangeable lenses (normal and zoom). Wide angle is available for purchase separately.

Details:

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor
Item size19.3 x 13.4 x 6.5 inches
Item weight2.1 pounds
Power source 2 AAA batteries required
Battery life12 hours audio only; 8 hours live screen
Display typeLCD
Screen Size3.5 inches
Range700 feet
ExpandabilityUp to 4 cameras

Price*: about $165.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents review: The camera can pan the entire room and has crystal-clear picture quality.

Buy it NOW

Motorola MBP36XL Video Baby Monitor

Motorola MBP36XL Video Baby Monitor

Why pick this one? With a large five-inch display, you can easily see your baby in real time on the parent unit of this Motorola video baby monitor. The display also features an LED sound level indicator, room temperature display, two-way communication, the option to set one of five soothing lullabies, and split-screen viewing if you want to observe two areas in your home at the same time. If you’d like split-screen viewing, you’ll need to purchase an additional camera.

The portable camera has a rechargeable battery; remote pan, tilt, and zoom; infrared night vision; a high-sensitivity microphone; and wireless technology. The system is expandable by up to four cameras. Some Pampers Parents found the unit lost its charge rather quickly and sometimes required a reset.

“We used a Motorola video monitor that worked wonderfully for us. We didn't want one that was Wi-Fi connected due to security reasons, but it still gives us video and sound of our little man at night to give us peace of mind.”

Pampers Parent

Highlights: A special StarGrip mount is available for purchase separately. This lets you attach the camera to surfaces such as shelves, brackets, and more.

Details:

Motorola MBP36XL Video Baby Monitor
Item size3.7 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
Item weight7.2 ounces
Power source1 rechargeable lithium polymer battery required
Battery life 9.5 hours
Display typeLCD
Screen size5 inches
Range1,000 feet
ExpandabilityUp to 4 cameras

Price*: about $143.54 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents review: This baby monitor has very clear audio and video quality. And you can direct the camera through the parent unit.

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Summer Infant Wide View 2.0 Baby Video Monitor

Summer Infant Wide View 2.0 Baby Video Monitor

Why pick this one? The Summer Infant baby monitor allows you to survey your baby’s nursery with the wide angle lens, and zoom in on your little one in her crib. The system is expandable for up to four cameras.

The cameras can be mounted on a wall or placed on any surface; however, you have to manually adjust its position because you can’t control the camera’s angle from the parent unit. The camera features black-and-white night vision.

This monitor also allows you to talk to your baby, and it has sound-activated LED lights to show when your baby is crying. Some Pampers Parents noted that the unit can get interference from other technology.

Highlights: The monitor includes a low battery and out-of-range indicator, and a kickstand so that you can set it down anywhere.

Details:

Summer Infant Wide View 2.0 Baby Video Monitor
Item size5.5 x 0.5 x 3 inches
Item weight1.75 ounces
Power source1 rechargeable nonstandard battery required (included)
Battery life 6 hours
Display typeLCD
Screen size5 inches
Range800 feet
ExpandabilityUp to 4 cameras

Price*: about $109.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents review: You’ll love the nightlight function on the camera, which can be turned off remotely, as well as how clear the picture is on the baby monitor.

Buy it NOW

HelloBaby HB32 Wireless Video Baby Monitor

HelloBaby HB32 Wireless Video Baby Monitor

Why pick this one? The HelloBaby monitor has a two-way talk function so that you can communicate with your baby when you’re not in the room, and a room temperature reading so that you can always be assured your baby is comfortable. This monitor can be expanded by up to four cameras that can be placed in different areas of your home.

The camera features 2x digital zoom and can be rotated and tilted manually so you get the best view of your baby’s crib or playpen. It also has infrared night vision.

Highlights: The unit features eight lullabies to soothe your baby. You can also set a feeding reminder alarm.

Details:

HelloBaby HB32 Wireless Video Baby Monitor
Item size 4.7 x 3 x 0.8 inches
Item weight 1 pound
Power source 1 rechargeable lithium-ion battery required (included)
Battery life 8 hours
Display type LCD
Screen size 3.2 inches
Range 960 feet
Expandability Up to 4 cameras

Price*: about $84.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents review: Although this baby monitor might have basic features, it gets the job done well, and it’s relatively affordable.

Buy it NOW

Top Video Baby Monitors With Wi-Fi Capability

If you’re a tech-savvy parent, then you might love a video baby monitor that you can control through an app on your smartphone or tablet. These monitors come with Wi-Fi so you can monitor your baby from anywhere—you’re only limited by the strength of the Wi-Fi signal. Pampers Parents found these Wi-Fi baby monitors to be the best:

“I got a Wi-Fi baby monitor compatible with my phone so I can check in on my little one while at work when she's with my husband.”

Pampers Parent
iBaby Monitor M6S, Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Total Baby Care System

Why pick this one? See your baby in HD video with the iBaby monitor. With its 360-degree pan and 110-degree tilt, you can observe your baby from all angles with the swipe of a finger on the app, which you can install on your smartphone.

With the separate purchase of a wall mount, you can install the camera pretty much anywhere. The camera can take photos and record videos of your baby. The monitor also has night vision and two-way wireless communication, and it can play songs or bedtime stories from your smartphone’s library. The unit also has sensors that track room temperature, humidity, sound, and motion.

Pampers Parents noted that you will need a strong Wi-Fi connection to use this baby monitor successfully.

“I love being able to see the kids and rotate the monitor across the room. The night vision is clear and there are few, if any, lags in video. It does require Wi-Fi, which may be an issue for some.”

Pampers Parent

Highlights: The monitor has unlimited user access, so you can choose to let others download the app and monitor your baby as well. There’s a privacy setting for when you want to shut off this function.

Details:

iBaby Monitor M6S, Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Total Baby Care System
Item size 7 x 7 x 7 inches
Item weight 1 pound
Power source Electric cord

Price*: about $102.67 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents review: Monitoring your baby on your smartphone or tablet from any location is easy with this product.

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Cocoon Cam Plus Baby Monitor

Cocoon Cam Plus Baby Monitor

Why pick this one? The Cocoon Cam baby monitor features a vision mode that relies on heat map technology to detect your baby’s movement. Now you can see whether your little one is restless or having a peaceful nap. The HD camera can live-stream video, and has night vision and zoom capabilities. A built-in speaker and microphone let you hear your baby as well as talk to her directly from anywhere using Wi-Fi.

Pampers Parents noted that the inability to maneuver the baby monitor’s camera lens was a slight drawback.

Highlights: This unit features enhanced, encrypted security so only you and those you give access to through the app can see your baby.

Details:

Cocoon Cam Plus Baby Monitor
Item size 4 x 4 x 8.5 inches
Item weight 1.2 pound
Power source Electric cord

Price*: about $139.95 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents review: The image quality and zoom capabilities are top-notch.

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Arlo Baby Monitor Smart Wi-Fi Baby Camera

Arlo Baby Monitor Smart Wi-Fi Baby Camera

Why pick this one? The Arlo Baby monitor lets you observe your baby live in HD, or watch recordings, which are downloadable for up to seven days. The unit can be integrated with most smart home devices, as well as tablets and smartphones. This way, you can track your baby from any location around the world as long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi. You can even give access to family members who can observe your baby through the app on their individual devices. Two-way communication is also possible from any location, which can be a plus if you happen to be away from home but would like your baby to hear your voice.

The unit features night vision and motion alerts (up to 50 feet) so you know if your baby is moving, as well as sound, room temperature, humidity, and air quality alerts. A table/wall mount is sold separately.

Other features include a multi-colored nightlight and lullaby player. Infrared LEDs allow you to see your baby even when it’s pitch black. All of these features can be controlled remotely through your personal device, like your smartphone.

Some Pampers Parents noted that the baby monitor often lost connectivity to the camera, or that the connection seemed delayed.

Highlights: Arlo Baby is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Echo Show, Echo Spot, Fire TV, Fire tablets, Apple HomeKit, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. You can customize the exterior look of your Arlo with puppy, bunny, or kitten attachments.

Details:

Arlo Baby Monitor Smart Wi-Fi Baby Camera
Item size 9.2 x 7.7 x 4.4 inches
Item weight 1.72 pound
Power source 1 rechargeable lithium-ion battery required
Range 300 feet

Price*: about $130.00 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents review: You’ll appreciate the clarity of the HD picture and the easy-to-use Arlo app.

Buy it NOW

“I used the basic, no-frills, sound-only baby monitor and it was great. Got it for a good price and it did its job alerting me when the baby woke up. You don’t need anything fancy.”

Pampers Parent

Top Audio Baby Monitors

VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor

Why pick this one? The VTech audio baby monitor provides clear sound without any white background noise. The parent unit features a belt clip so that it can be worn easily, and even on mute, the unit will vibrate to let you know if your baby makes a sound. Plus, there’s a five-level sound indicator that lights up to show the level of sound in your baby’s room.

The baby unit features a loop that doubles as a nightlight. The unit also provides two-way communication, so you can talk to your little one. It can also beep to alert you if the connection is lost, or if the rechargeable batteries are running low.

Pampers Parents loved that the device is so sensitive to picking up sounds; however, some commented that the volume on the parent device could be louder.

Highlights: The preset language is English, but the unit can be switched to French or Spanish.

“It is affordable and has never given us any breakdown issues in two years. For a cheaper model we have really been impressed.”

Pampers Parent

Details:

VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor
Item size7.4 x 2.4 x 8.2 inches
Item weight1 pound
Power source2 rechargeable nonstandard batteries required or 2 AAA batteries (not included)
Battery life18 hours
Range1,000 feet outdoors, 160 feet indoors

Price*: about $36.45 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents review: For someone who doesn’t want or need all the bells and whistles of some of the fancier video baby monitors, this simple audio baby monitor does the job well.

Buy it NOW

Summer Infant Baby Wave Deluxe Digital Audio Monitor

Summer Infant Wide View 2.0 Baby Video Monitor

Why pick this one? The Baby Wave audio baby monitor offers interference-free and secure monitoring of your little one. Its high-sensitivity microphone picks up on every sound of your baby while filtering out ambient noise. The parent device features sound-activated LED lights to let you know the level of noise coming from your baby’s room. It can also remotely monitor the room’s temperature. In addition, you can use the parent unit to control the butterfly-shaped nightlight in your baby’s room and to talk to your baby remotely.

The parent unit is portable with a built-in belt clip. It has a volume control and alerts you when you’re out of range or when the batteries are running low.

Highlights: The remotely controlled nightlight feature can be used to take a sneak peek into your baby’s room without disturbing your little one.

Details:

Summer Infant Baby Wave Deluxe Digital Audio Monitor
Item size10 x 2.8 x 10.8 inches
Item weight1.45 pounds
Power source3 AAA batteries required (included)
Battery life6 hours
Screen size 2.5 inches
Range650 feet

Price*: about $23.05 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents review: This baby monitor does the trick for parents on a budget.

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Philips Avent SCD570/10 DECT Baby Monitor

Philips Avent SCD570/10 DECT Baby Monitor

Why pick this one? Features like two-way communication, a nightlight function, and room temperature sensors come with this baby monitor. The parent unit has vibration alert as well as alerts for when you’re out of range or if the power is running low. It also has lights to indicate the level of sound in your baby’s room. The parent device can be docked for recharging when you’re not using it.

Most Pampers Parents found that the monitor did deliver on its claim of crystal-clear sound without any white noise or feedback from other transmitting products.

“I love this monitor. It blocks out non-baby noises, it doesn't present static, it allows me to talk to my baby if I want, and the battery on the remote monitor is long-lasting.”

Pampers Parent

Highlights: The baby monitor can play five different lullabies to comfort your little one.

Details:

Philips Avent SCD570/10 Dect Baby Monitor
Item size3.5 x 8 x 6 inches
Item weight1.54 pounds
Power source2 rechargeable AA batteries required (included)
Battery life18 hours
Screen size 1.6 inches
Range900 feet

Price*: about $99.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents review: This baby monitor is simple to use and very reliable.

Buy it NOW

There is a lot to consider when deciding which baby monitor will be the best for you and your baby. Once you find the one you like with the features you find the most useful, you’ll feel confident that you can monitor your baby with either audio or video when you’re in another room.

While you’re here, you might also like to read up on baby proofing your home.

Recall Notice

Before buying a product, always check that it’s approved and hasn’t been recalled on sites like the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

How We Got These Results

We surveyed thousands of parents in the Pampers Community and asked them to choose the products they love the most, and to share their views on specific products and product categories. Based on the survey responses, we have taken the top product picks and added our own research to create this article. The aim is to help you choose the right product for you and your family. We might receive commissions on purchases made from the links in this article, but the products featured are the Pampers Community’s top choices.

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