Having had a micro-preemie baby at just 29 weeks gestation, who was connected to so many monitors and machines in the NICU for two months, it was very scary for me to bring him home without all of those safety machines he was connected to. Every time something wasn’t right, all the machines would immediately alert the nurses to check on him.
Not having any of those safety nets at home, made choosing the right baby monitor vital for us and our sanity. We wanted to make sure that it would alert us to his needs and make us feel relaxed that he was safe and being monitored at all times.
Bringing home your precious bundle of joy can be both an exciting and scary experience. You are now responsible for this tiny little person’s well-being, and you may feel overwhelmed. It’s impossible to have your eyes and ears on your baby at all times.
I believe that choosing the right equipment can help to ease your anxiety and make you feel confident that your baby is safe, even when you’re not in the same room. Baby monitors come with a variety of different features that range from two-way audio to day and night vision cameras, and even to breathing and vitals monitors.
Choosing the best baby monitor for you will depend on what your specific needs are. We have researched the latest baby monitors with the best features available and think that, by the end of this article, you will feel secure in the safety of your baby and in your choice of the perfect baby monitor for you.
Table of Contents
- What Should I Look For When Buying a Baby Monitor?
- Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Baby Monitor
- #1: Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor with Interchangeable Optical Lens (Best Value)
- #2: Miku Smart Baby Monitor (Best Overall)
- #3: Owlet Monitor Duo: Smart Sock Plus HD (Best for Vitals Tracking)
- #4: Angelcare 3 in 1 AC327 Baby Monitor (Best Under Crib Breathing Mat)
- #5: Vtech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor (Best for Low Budget)
What Should I Look For When Buying a Baby Monitor?
When choosing the best monitor for baby, you will need to consider what features are the most important to you. Below I have listed the features you will want to consider before deciding on your ideal baby monitor.
Your Required Features
If you would simply like to be alerted when your baby is awake and crying, then an audio monitor will do the trick.
If you would like to be able to hear and see your baby at all times, a video monitor would be the best choice.
If you want a monitor that will alert you if your baby is not breathing, choose a baby monitor with features that can track your baby’s breathing.
If you have a large house or want to hear your baby from the outside, you’ll need a long-range baby monitor.
If you have babies in two different rooms, get a baby monitor for two rooms or more.
Lastly, if you are someone who would love a monitor to not only track breathing but also show a lot of data regarding baby’s sleep patterns, breathing patterns, and movement, then go for a more hi-tech model that will connect to your smartphone.
Criteria #2 Separate Parent Unit or Smart Phone Compatible
You should decide if you would like to carry around a separate parent unit or prefer to use your smartphone only.
Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Baby Monitor
When choosing the best monitors for babies, I researched all of the most popular monitors with the best features. I also only included monitors that had excellent reviews from parents that have used them and love them.
#1: Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor with Interchangeable Optical Lens (Best Value)
This award-winning monitor is an Amazon’s Choice product and a bestseller for good reason. To get a balance of great features, I think that this one is the best value for your money and one of the best video baby monitors available.
This video baby monitor is plug-and-use, which as a new parent, you will appreciate not having to set up a complicated device. It comes in two pieces – the camera with a 3.5-inch LCD viewing screen and a lightweight handheld for ease of carrying around with you.
With a 12-hour battery life on power-saving, audio-only mode or 6 hours with the screen on, you don’t have to constantly worry about making sure that it is charged.
The two-way audio will allow you to be able to speak through the monitor to your baby. This will give your baby and yourself extra comfort and reassurance when you are not with them and when you’re on the way to them. The easy to use control panel on the handheld will allow you to adjust the volume and brightness, switch from day to night mode, and even show you the temperature in the baby’s room.
This is a digital baby monitor. It doesn’t require the Internet to function and will only transmit audio and video to one unit. This is an important feature for many parents, as it has been shown that baby monitor can be very susceptible to being hacked. With this baby monitor, you can have peace of mind that there is no possibility of anyone but you being able to watch or hear your baby.
Reason #1 to Choose the Infant Optics DHR-8: This Company Specializes in Baby Monitors
Unlike other monitors, this monitor is made by a company that has been in operation since 2011 and specializes in making baby monitors. Using feedback from parents, they have listened to what parents are looking for and have over 1 million happy customers.
Reason #2 to Choose the Infant Optics DHR-8: It has 4x Zoom and an Interchangeable Lens
Unlike the other baby monitors we researched, this is the only one that allows you to zoom into your baby for a better view by using its zoom lens that is interchangeable with others.
With this video baby monitor, you can have full control over viewing your baby using the pan and tilt features of the digital zoom lens. This enables you to see your baby at different angles and to zoom in for a closer look. The camera can zoom 4x without having the quality of the picture distorted.
You can also purchase a wider angle lens for a more zoomed out view and be able to change between the two. This feature will allow the monitor to grow with your baby. You will want to use the zoom lens at first to keep an eye on your baby sleeping. Later on, you will use the wide-angle lens to see the whole room as the child gets older.
Reason #3 to Choose the Infant Optics DHR-8: It Can Have up to 4 Cameras
Another great feature of this monitor is that you can expand up to 4 video monitors’ cameras. This is especially useful if your baby sleeps in more than one area or if you have multiple children and would like a camera in each of their rooms. This is the only video monitor on the list that allows you to add extra cameras.
Reason #4 to Choose the Infant Optics DHR-8: The Sound Activated LED Bar
Even if the monitor is on mute, the unique sound activated LED bar will flash and catch your attention if your baby cries. Not all monitors have this feature.
Reason#5 to Choose the InfantOptics DHR-8: Infrared Night Vision
The invisible infrared night vision camera will allow you to see your baby in the dark without disturbing them. Other monitors may use a bright light to keep an eye on the baby in the otherwise dark room.
This is our #1 choice for the best baby monitor for all-purpose video monitors and the best value. The reviews of this video baby monitor are absolutely shining, with many parents commenting that, after a lot of research, this is one of the best baby products that they have purchased.
#2: Miku Smart Baby Monitor (Best Overall)
The Miku Smart Baby Monitor is also an award-winning monitor, and if you don’t mind paying a higher price, we think this is one of the best baby monitors overall in terms of amazing technology. It is not only a video monitor but also one of the best baby monitors in terms of monitoring a baby’s breathing and providing analytics via an app.
Using a Wi-Fi connection, this baby monitor connects directly to your smartphone. Hacking of baby monitors connected to Wi-Fi is a real concern of many parents. Miku has 256-bit encryption, 2-factor authentication, and a tamper-resistant Crypto Chip for secure data to protect your monitor from hacking. Other monitors without these safety features could potentially be hacked by strangers. You can however grant permission to other users such as babysitters or grandparents to connect to the monitor.
With two quality high-tech Ole Wolff speakers and two-way audio, you will be able to hear your baby and be able to speak through the speaker. This is great to use to calm and reassure your baby when you are not with them.
Reason #1 to Choose the Miku Smart Baby Monitor: Your Phone Is Used as the Handheld
Using a Wi-Fi connection, this baby monitor connects directly to your smartphone using an app, which means that this monitor uses your smartphone as the parent unit, so you won’t need to carry a separate device. Other monitors such as the InfantOptics require you to use and carry a separate parent unit.
Reason #2 to Choose the Miku Smart Baby Monitor: It Monitors Breathing and Will Track and Analyze Data
With so many parents having anxiety about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), many of us want the reassurance that our baby is breathing when we are not with them. Having had a preemie, this feature was especially important to me as he was born with lungs that were not fully mature.
The Miku Smart Baby Monitor uses special military-grade technology that tracks your baby’s movements and breathing and will alert you if it doesn’t detect your baby moving or breathing.
Unlike our #1 pick that has the basic monitoring features of sound and video, this is a good choice if you are someone who enjoys a lot of data and analytics. This monitor tracks the baby’s movements, sleeping patterns, breathing patterns, activity, sound, and room temperature.
This extra information can be a source of comfort knowing that your baby is breathing properly, having healthy sleeping patterns and that the temperature of the room is ideal. Most video monitors don’t provide these analytics.
Reason #3 to Choose the Miku Smart Baby Monitor: SensorFusion Technology
The camera is positioned on the wall above the crib. Using SensorFusion technology, it monitors baby movements and breathing without physically attaching anything onto your baby. This is important, as other models monitor baby by using a wearable, like the Owlet Monitor Duo, which requires the baby to wear a Smart Sock in order to monitor breathing.
Reason #4 to Choose the Miku Smart Baby Monitor: It Has an HD Screen
With the camera giving a bird’s eye view in 720p, HD video quality, you will get a very clear image of your baby at all times, even with the night vision. The Infant Optics DXR-8 monitor does not have an HD quality picture.
If you are looking for the best video baby monitor that is top quality with all the best features and don’t mind paying a higher price, check out this monitor that really does it all. The reviews of this product are excellent, with many parents commenting that this is a high-quality monitor that they trust.
#3: Owlet Monitor Duo: Smart Sock Plus HD (Best for Vitals Tracking)
The Owlet Monitor Duo takes baby’s safety to a whole new level. If, like mine, your baby was premature and you want the same level of comfort that the NICU provided in monitoring your baby’s vitals, this is the next best thing. It’s my choice for the best baby monitor for vitals tracking.
The video baby monitor streams images via a Wi-Fi connection directly to your smartphone, so like the Miku, you don’t have to carry around a second device.
If you are concerned about the security of your monitor, like the Miku, this monitor also has safety features such as a secure and encrypted Wi-Fi connection using 128-bit encryption and TLS Wi-Fi to prevent hacking. You will also be able to connect to multiple devices that you give permission to stream from your Owlet Monitor.
Like the Infant Optics DXR-8 and the Miku, the Owlet Monitor also has two way audio. This is a great feature, as it will allow you to be able to communicate with your baby through the monitor and comfort them when you are not there.
After about a year, the risk for SIDS decreases significantly, and when the Sock no longer necessary, this camera will grow with your child and provide a very clear sound and video monitor thereafter.
Reason #1 to Choose the Owlet Monitor Duo: Monitors Babies’ Vitals
Like the Miku, the Owlet will also track your baby’s breathing. Using a Smart Sock that will fit snugly on your baby’s foot, this is the only monitor on this list that is able to accurately measure your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels via an app on your smartphone.
The Smart Sock connects to the monitor base and will glow green to let you know that everything is fine. If breathing or heart rate is not at an optimal level, the monitor will alert you with sounds and lights.
Included are 3 washable Smart Socks that will fit most babies from 0-18 months or 6-25 pounds. The Smart Socks are BPA-free, latex-free, and lead-free, to ensure that the socks are free from any harmful toxins.
Reason #2 to Choose the Owlet Monitor Duo: It Streams in 1080p HD
This monitor has the clearest and best video quality out of all the monitors on this list. The camera captures video in beautiful, 1080, full HD quality, and in night vision, so you will get a clear and bright picture of your baby at all times.
The Owlet is a fantastic choice if you would like to track your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels on your smartphone. The Owlet baby monitor reviews reflect very satisfied parents, with many commenting that this monitor is giving them so much peace of mind.
#4: Angelcare 3 in 1 AC327 Baby Monitor (Best Under Crib Breathing Mat)
The Angelcare is another popular Amazon’s Choice product that is able to monitor your baby’s breathing, but this one uses a wireless under crib breathing mat to detect and monitor breathing and movement.
This monitor only gives you essential data regarding the baby’s movement and breathing without overwhelming you with a lot of information, unlike the Miku and Owlet, which provide a lot of data.
This monitor uses a separate parent unit so that you will not have to use your smartphone as the parent unit. This video baby monitor has a 4.3-inch screen that displays clear, color video, uses night vision, and gives the temperature of the room. Working on a secure digital frequency, this monitor cannot be easily hacked.
Like the other monitors on this list, this baby monitor also has two-way audio, allowing you to communicate with your baby when you are not in the same room.
It can also work without the breathing mat, allowing this baby monitor to be used as a sound and video baby monitor that will grow with your child.
Reason #1 to Choose the Angelcare 3 in 1: The Undercrib Breathing Mat
This is the only monitor for babies that has an under crib breathing mat sensor. Instead of using technology in the camera itself to monitor breathing and movements (like the Miku) or the use of a Smart Sock (like the Owlet), this monitor uses a wireless breathing mat that is placed on a solid surface under the crib mattress.
The SensAsure breathing and movement sensor pad will alert you if it does not detect movement or breathing for 20 seconds. This is a great feature as, unlike the Miku, no part of the monitor needs to be connected to your baby to monitor breathing.
To prevent false alarms, the mat can be calibrated to adjust to the sensitivity level that suits your baby’s weight.
Reason #2 to Choose the Angelcare 3 in 1: Not Dependant on an Internet Connection
This is the only monitor on the list that can track breathing without using an internet connection. (The Miku and Owlet are dependent on an Internet connection to monitor breathing.) Like the InfantOptics, Angelcare works independently of an Internet connection, which could at times be unreliable. With the Angelcare, all you will need is electricity to have a reliable and working sound, video, and breathing monitor.
This is a great choice if you are looking for a simple video and sound monitor that will also alert you if your baby stops breathing. The Angelcare baby monitor reviews are stellar, with many parents saying that it works well and that the breathing mat is a fantastic safety feature.
#5: Vtech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor (Best for Low Budget)
If you would like a sound baby monitor without all the frills and fuss and would simply like to be alerted when your baby is awake and crying, the Vtech DM221 is a great choice – and for a price that won’t break the bank.
Using DECT6.0, which is an encrypted and secure technology, it will provide clear audio, remove distracting background noise, and protect your monitor from hacking.
This monitor has 5 levels of sound so that you can choose a comfortable level for you. Like all the monitors in this list, this monitor has two-way talk, so that you can talk through your parent unit and comfort baby.
This monitor is lightweight, with a belt clip for hands-free carrying of your parent unit.
Reason #1 to Choose the Vtech DM221: It’s Inexpensive
This is a great choice for those who are on a tight budget, as this monitor is far less expensive than the other options on this list.
Reason #2 to Choose the Vtech DM221: Long Range
The Vtech has a long range of up to 1000 meters, which is a longer range than most popular baby monitors. This means that you will be able to have a clear connection to your baby, even from a far distance in case you have a large house.
Reason #3 to Choose the Vtech DM221: Adjustable Microphone Sensitivity
Another feature that I like about this monitor (one that the other monitors don’t have) is the ability to adjust the microphone sensitivity. This enables you to choose to either hear every small sound or only to be alerted when there is a loud noise, such as your baby crying.
This feature gives you the option to relax by not alerting you to every small sound and only get your attention if your baby really needs you.
Reason #4 to Choose the Vtech DM221: Best Battery Life
The Vtech is the best baby monitor in terms of the longest battery life of all the digital monitors, with 18 hours of battery life versus the InfantOptics that only has a maximum of 12 hours.
This is one of the best baby monitors for those who want a simple and effective sound monitor at a reasonable price. The reviews of this monitor are brilliant, with many saying that it is solidly built and functions very well.
I think that all of the baby monitors mentioned above are fantastic choices, however, to get a balance of great features and value for your money, my choice for the best video baby monitor is the InfantOptics DXR-8.
If you want the best video baby monitor, pick the InfantOptics DXR-8 .
If your budget isn’t an issue and you want the best of the best, pick the Miku Smart Baby Monitor.
If you need to track your baby’s vitals, pick the Owlet Monitor Duo: Smart Sock Plus HD.
If you want an under crib breathing mat, pick the Angelcare 3 in 1 AC327 Baby Monitor.
If you are on a tight budget, pick the Vtech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor.
Choosing the best baby monitor for you and your family is such a personal choice. I feel confident that choosing any of the monitors mentioned in this article will leave you with that extra peace of mind that all new parents will appreciate.