The 6 Best Baby Monitors to Buy in 2018

Keep track of your child while they sleep

Keeping track of your newborn is crucial to your peace of mind, whether you’re trying to get a hard-earned night of rest or just relax in the next room while baby naps. But besides following the safe sleep guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, what else can you do to put your mind at ease? Many parents rely on baby monitors to get a little downtime and calm their nerves. While you can always choose the classic, simple audio-only monitor, many of today’s monitors come with all the bells and whistles, with some even letting you track your baby’s movements and breathing for extra precaution.

When choosing a baby monitor, it’s important to keep audio and video quality, range, safety, special features, and budget in mind. We’ve combed through the hundreds of baby monitors on the market to select the best ones for you based on certain criteria.

Best Overall: Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

The Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor is a bestseller for a reason: Its monitor video quality is one of the best on the market. The Infant Optics monitor functions much like a professional photography system, with a 3.5-inch LCD color display that many parents describe as “crystal-clear” and “ultra high quality.”

You’re in complete control of the view with an Infant Optics baby monitor, as it comes with interchangeable optical lens capability. Parents love the chance to customize the lens angle as much as they want rather than maneuvering around the monitor’s perspective. The camera also allows you to zoom, pan, and tilt remotely, and it’s compact and lightweight enough to be portable.

Infant Optics also comes with several other special features, such as temperature monitoring, a longer-lasting battery life, and high-quality night vision. Sound-activated LEDs will let you know if your baby is making noise, so you can rest easy.

Best Budget: Palermo Baby Video Monitor

If you’re hoping not to break the bank with your baby monitor purchase, the Palermo Baby Video Monitor is a good choice. This WiFi camera also comes with a 90-day warranty, so you can get a full refund if you’re not satisfied and return it within three months.

The Palermo Baby Monitor is fairly straightforward, without as many bells and whistles as some of the other monitors on this list, but it does have several special features that customers appreciate. Parents love that you can set up the HD camera to connect to your smartphone through an app, so you can keep an eye on baby anytime, anywhere. The camera also swivels easily, so you can get a 360-degree view of your baby’s room or move it wherever you want it to go.

Customers also say that the Palermo monitor’s two-way audio, color picture, and night vision are all high-quality and reliable. One drawback, according to some users, is the setup, which can get a bit complicated and takes a few more steps than some customers expected.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best baby video monitors.

Best Wi-Fi: Nanit Smart Baby Monitor

If you’re specifically looking for a Wi-Fi baby monitor, Nanit offers a great one. A little different from the average monitor on the market, the Nanit Smart Baby Monitor comes with an easy-setup wall mount for an overhead view of your baby, nightlight, night vision, temperature and humidity sensors, and HD video and audio with pinch-to-zoom capability.

But Nanit’s “claim to fame” as a unique baby monitor is Nanit Insights, which tell you as much about Connect the Nanit to an app and a data-protected live stream, and you’ll get information each day about how long your baby slept and how many times you entered baby’s room, as well as customized tips tailored to your particular patterns to help improve your baby’s (and your!) sleep.

Some parents prefer Nanit as they’re sleep training their baby in order to check up on their own habits as well to see where they could be tweaked, or to notice burgeoning patterns in their little one’s sleep patterns.

Best For Twins: Motorola Video Baby Monitor with 2 Cameras

If you’ve got two little ones on the way (or already here), you might be wondering how on Earth you’re going to keep track of both of them at once! While Motorola is best known for its phones, users of its two-camera system say it’s ideal for two infants at once. Each of the two swivel cameras has a 3.5-inch diagonal color screen and a split-screen function that allows you to watch two babies at once at any given time, so you don’t have to switch back and forth.

The Motorola baby monitor also gives you remote control over your view of your baby, with pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities. Other features that parents are excited about include infrared night vision, room temperature monitoring, and two-way audio to let you “talk back” to your babies.

Users report that the audio quality of the Motorola two-camera baby monitor is excellent, while the video quality tends to be a bit choppier on occasion. Some parents are also disappointed by the cameras’ battery life.

Best Vital: Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor

Looking for an extra peace-of-mind boost? The Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor is pricey, but many parents say it’s worth it due to its many extra features.

The Owlet Smart Sock comes with three washable socks that connect to a “base station” that glows green as long as everything’s a-OK and warns you if it’s not. The Owlet monitors your baby’s movement, oxygen levels, and heart rate, and notifies you with lights, sounds, and app notifications if the numbers ever get too low or too high, or if the baby is too still for long.

Note, however, that the American Academy of Pediatrics has publicly stated that the safety of the Owlet and other “smart,” wearable baby monitors is as yet unsure. While they haven’t issued any direct warnings about the Owlet as dangerous in and of itself, they do warn that claims that it can be used to prevent or “catch” SIDS are as yet unfounded. Simply put, there hasn’t been enough research to provide us with adequate data—so use one at your own discretion.

Best Audio: VTech DM111 Audio Baby Monitor

While video monitors are great at keeping a watchful eye on your little ones, audio monitors also get the job done at a much lower cost. Since these only provide audio of your baby's room you won't be able to see what they are doing, but you'll hear their cries when they need you. Many families actually think having just an audio monitor is better since they won't be staring at the baby in the middle of the night when they should be getting shut-eye.

Audio monitors are also great for travel since they are very easy to pack up and set up. This top model provides a 1000 square foot range (higher than a lot of video monitors) so it will work in most households. The unit that goes in the baby's room plugs in but the parent unit will need AAA batteries which are not included. 

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