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Reviews of the Best Baby Monitors of the Year

July 27, 2015

As a parent, you always want to know what your baby is doing. Baby monitors allow you to keep an eye on your newborn without actually hovering over their crib all night.

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From audio, video, and wireless units to smartphone apps, there are many options on the market with a range of price tags. Before you purchase a monitor or add it to your baby registry, take a look at these top 10 models.

Audio Monitors

audio monitors

When your baby cries, laughs, or grunts, an audio-only monitor will let you know. These monitors are simple to use and tend to be cheaper than more elaborate video and Wi-Fi-enabled options.

VTech Safe and Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor DM221

Price: Under $50

Keep tabs on your baby with this highly rated audio monitor from VTech. This monitor includes a baby unit that can be used as a nightlight and a parent unit with a digital display screen and rechargeable battery. Set the monitor to vibrate so you can still be alerted to your baby’s stirrings without actually hearing them.

Online reviewers praise its reasonable price and ease of use. Some negative reviewers mention that the rechargeable battery only lasts five hours and that the digital display screen stopped working over time.

Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitor AC601

Price: Under $60

For peace of mind even when you sleep, Angelcare audio monitors come with a movement detector. This additional feature even senses your baby’s squirming and breathing sounds, and sounds an alarm if it doesn’t detect movement after 20 seconds. The parent unit has a “TIC” option that makes a ticking sound to ensure the monitor is working. It is also rechargeable for portability.

While this particular model is the cheapest of the Angelcare brand monitors, other models include additional features, such as a digital display on the parent unit.

Reviewers praise the sensory feature, yet some mention that the unit isn’t durable enough to be used for future children.

Video Monitors

video monitors

Video monitors allow you to see your baby through the parent unit. This may put you at ease as you spend time in a separate space from your sleeping or resting child.

Summer Infant In View Digital Video Monitor

Price: Under $130

At around $100, this video monitor is reasonably priced. It features a 5-inch color LCD video display with automatic black and white night vision. The baby unit’s camera is adjustable and can be mounted on a tabletop or wall. You can zoom in as well as adjust the volume and brightness using the video display. The parent unit can monitor up to four cameras, which are available for purchase separately. It has a 600-foot range and a rechargeable battery that lasts up to six hours.

Online reviews praise the monitor’s affordable price, while some reviewers mention choppy video quality.

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

Price: Under $200

This video monitor allows you to change the camera lens to suit your needs. The 3.5-inch LCD color video screen unit controls the camera so you can adjust the baby’s view without disturbing them. It includes lenses for normal and zoom view. A panoramic view lens can be purchased separately. This video monitor encrypts the video for security and can also be expanded to include up to four cameras. Its range is 700 feet and its rechargeable battery lasts up to 10 hours in power-saving mode.

Most reviews highlight the monitor’s great price and quality, while some mention issues with the monitor’s range.

Levana Astra Digital Baby Video Monitor

Price: Under $180

The Levana line of video monitors features a range of products, including video as well as other types of baby monitors. This monitor has a 3.5-inch screen. The camera has automatic night vision and invisible LEDs ensure that your baby won’t wake up from unnecessary light. Choose from three different lullabies to soothe your baby.

The video unit’s range is 750 feet and four cameras can be added to it. Its battery life lasts 10 hours on normal mode and 48 hours on PEEP mode, a power-saving option that is voice activated.

People like the monitor’s ability to save battery life by turning off video and audio when you are sleeping. Those critical of the monitor mention poor reception and reliability.

Wi-Fi-Enabled Monitors

wifi enabled monitors

A recent development in monitors is their ability to connect to Wi-Fi, allowing you to monitor your baby from a smartphone, tablet, or computer. They’re more expensive than audio and video monitors, but they offer enhanced options.

Motorola MBP854CONNECT Digital Video Baby Monitor with Wi-Fi Internet Viewing

Price: Under $300

This monitor comes with a parent unit, but it can also be viewed on your computer and other Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The parent unit is a full-color, 4.3-inch LCD screen with night vision and a touch screen to adjust the camera and settings. Other features include video recording and playing lullabies.

You’ll need to download the free Hubble app to access the camera from other devices. This allows you to hear and see your baby and receive temperature notifications from anywhere.

Reviewers rave about the monitor’s advanced technology, though some complain that the Hubble app is not well-designed and lacks compatibility with certain devices.

iBaby Monitor M6, HD

Price: Under $200

This monitor is designed for smartphone- and tablet-savvy folks. With a high definition, 360-degree camera, you can access the camera’s feed from your mobile device. The camera captures movement and saves pictures that you may not have captured otherwise. Because there’s no limit to the number of devices you can connect to the camera, the video stream can also be accessed by your family and friends. The baby unit plays lullabies, and you can even record a story or song for it to play.

Reviewers praise the easy installation and video quality, but some say it’s difficult to connect the monitor with their Wi-Fi network.

Apps for Smartphones and Tablets

apps for smartphones and tablets

Today, there’s apps for almost everything, including baby monitoring. These apps can be downloaded through iTunes or Google Play and allow your smartphones and tablets to be the monitor. You need two devices to run the apps: one for your baby’s room and one for you. But if you’re a tech-loving family, this might be a good configuration.

Cloud Baby Monitor

iPhone: $3.99

Mac: $6.99

This app works only with Apple products, but it is still highly rated. The app allows you to view video and audio of your baby as well as play white noise, lullabies, and customized playlists. It features a nightlight that can be controlled by the parent device. The app will notify you if your baby cries or stirs. You can monitor more than one room at a time, as well as view the feed from multiple devices.

Reviewers praise the app and its price, though some complain that recent updates have made it difficult to use.

Baby Monitor 3G

iPhone: $3.99

Android: $3.99

While this app requires two devices, it can be used on smartphones, tablets, and computers. You can access the audio and video streams from anywhere. Other aspects of this app include a special light to see your baby at night, as well as a special audio booster. You can also set the app on vibrate mode and be alerted to your baby’s cries even when in a noisy room. The app will notify you if there is a poor network connection.

It receives high ratings on iTunes and Google Play, and reviewers love that they can use old devices for their monitors. Some mention that video is unavailable on Android devices.

Baby Monitor

Android: Free

This Google Play app notifies you via call or text if your baby cries. You can customize the app’s sensitivity, and it will even take a picture of your baby if the alarm is triggered. The app also features a sleep diary and will text you if the battery on the baby’s device is low.

This highly rated app is simple, and its few critics cite its limited functionality.

Choosing a Monitor

With so many monitors on the market, it’s easy to get distracted by the number of features available. Think about what you’ll actually be using yours for before purchasing one. No matter what you decide, you and your family can rest easy knowing that your baby is safe and sound.

Originally published on 2015-07-27 by Natalie Silver at Healthline .