10 Top Baby Monitors for New Parents
Finding a decent baby monitor can be quite overwhelming when you’ve got everything else to think about too. Especially as a new parent wanting to find the best for your baby. There are several different types of baby monitors for you to choose from and understanding the pros and cons of each should help you to narrow down your search. We have done a deep dive into the baby monitors available on the market to produce our top 10 list of what we believe to be the best options for new parents to take a look at.
What to Look For in a Baby Monitor
There are key elements that you want to look for when purchasing a baby monitor, depending on the type of monitor you’re wanting. Here are the elements we would suggest prioritising with video feed monitors and vital sign monitors (SIDS monitors).
Video Baby Monitor:
- HQ Video Feed – ideally 1080p if you can get it.
- Wifi Connection – Wifi is stronger allowing you to travel further with the parent monitor as well as making it each to connect the camera to your phone.
- Two-way Audio – Some babies benefit from hearing their parents’ voices to help them soothe themselves when they wake up agitated. Two-way audio allows you to do just that. Though it’s worth noting that this technique does not necessarily work with every child.
- Night Vision – Night vision makes it far easier for parents to check on their baby whilst they sleep. The clearer the night vision footage, the better off you’ll be.
- Temperature Readout – Especially helpful for when your baby is still very young and unable to regulate their temperature properly. A Temperature readout will allow you to know whether or not your little one is going to need another blanket.
- Movement or Cry Detection – Certain parent units will automatically light up when the baby starts to cry or move significantly. Additionally, if your monitor connects to an app, it will often trigger an alert to notify you of their heightened activity level. Cry detection is especially helpful for those babies that sleep swaddled, as their movement would likely not be registered.
Vital Sign Baby Monitors (SIDS Monitor):
Before we go into what to look for in monitors for tracking vital signs in babies, it is important that you know they are not a replacement for hospital equipment. Some devices can be inconsistent, and the addition of a vital sign monitor cannot guarantee protection from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. If you have any concerns about your baby’s health, seek advice from a medical professional.
- Movement Tracking – This will allow you to track your child’s average movement in a night, which can help you to become aware if there is a change in their routine.
- Breath Tracking – Much like movement tracking, breath tracking gives you the opportunity to acknowledge your baby’s breathing average It will also alert you to your baby’s breath dropping below a dangerous level.
- Rechargeable or Mains Powered – It is best to purchase a mains powered tracker is possible in order to avoid a dead battery. However, the next best thing is a reliable rechargeable battery, specifically one that will alert you to a low battery.
It is worth noting that whilst baby monitors can get quite expensive, there are some that are perfectly suited to a modest budget and provide all the necessary features to help you feel secure. And during our deep dive, we were able to find several that fall below £100. (In some cases, well below!)
Types of Baby Monitors
When looking for a monitor for your little one, we know it can feel a bit like an impossible task. But understanding your options can better help you to know what to invest in. You can use one of these monitors, or you can combine all of them, it’s whatever makes you comfortable. There is no wrong answer.
Audio Baby Monitors
Some parents choose to go with the old-fashioned audio monitor that allows them to hear the baby more clearly whilst they’re in the other room. The key benefit of an audio monitor is the ability to know when something is wrong without having to strain your ears. In some cases audio monitors also allow you to do two-way speak. Two-way speak can potentially help you to soothe your baby without having to enter the room. This is ideal for teaching self-soothing, as they won’t become accustomed to having you in the room.
The downside to an audio-only monitor is predominantly that it restricts your ability to check on your baby’s position. But it’s worth remembering that video baby monitors didn’t use to be a thing and we turned out just fine, so perhaps don’t let it stress you too much.
Video Baby Monitors
Video baby monitors are the typical monitor you tend you see nowadays. They can be extremely useful for parents that have a hard time letting their baby out of their sight. I video monitor allows you to check on your baby without the risk of waking them up by entering the room. It also gives you a chance to see if your baby is okay during the night when they make a sound, to save you from getting out of bed if they’re just sleep talking.
The downside to video monitors can be that if the resolution isn’t good enough it can be hard to see if their eyes are open or closer. Also, some parents can become a little bit obsessive over checking their baby when it is so easily done, which can be bad for anxious parents. On the flip side, the ease of access can also help anxious parents – but either way it is worth considering.
Vital Sign Monitors
Though they are often nicknamed SIDS monitors, they are not designed to prevent SIDS, but rather to help parents recognise any bad signs whilst their baby sleeps. You can get monitors that just focus on monitoring your baby’s breath, or some that can do anything from watching their heart rate to keeping track of their movement. Vital sign monitors come in all shapes and sizes depending on the function. Some parents absolutely swear by their monitor and can’t imagine not having it.
The main downside to using a vital sign monitor is that as babies move in their sleep they can knock off the receiver that is keeping track of them, causing their monitor to believe they have stopped breathing (this regularly happens with NICU babies, as I myself found with my son). Which can cause unnecessary panic for the parent. Additionally, though these monitors have been known to help parents see bad signs before they become serious, they are not 100% reliable, and cannot stop SIDS from occurring.
How Do Baby Monitors Work?
This depends on the monitor, but the function of a baby monitor is to help parents to keep track of their baby whilst they sleep. Video and audio monitors provide a clear image of the child without having to enter the room, removing the risk of disturbing them. Additionally, some of these monitors play music and allow two-way communication so that parents can speak to their child or play music to them without entering the room – ideal for helping a baby learn to self-soothe.
Vital Sign monitors almost always have the capability to keep track of a baby’s breathing whilst they sleep. There are also some designs that can monitor their heartrate and movement. This is usually done with the use of a mat under the matress that can pick up on slight movements and electrodes
When to Buy a Baby Monitor
Ideally, you’ll want to have your baby monitor ready and set up before the baby comes. This will save you the hassle of trying to set it up later. Even if your baby will be staying with you in your room for the first six months of their life, you can set up the camera to face their bassinet.
It is not something you need to purchase the second you find out you are pregnant, but something you could really do with getting sometime before the baby arrives – we would suggest no later than a month before, just in case they decide to make an early appearance.
What Baby Monitor to Buy
How We Found the Best Products
We narrowed down the available reviews to verified purchases only and worked out the percentage of 5* feedback from the total number of legitimate reviews.
Percentage of Legitimate 5* Reviews: 100% (10/10)
The Cubo is top of our list for its 100% positive feedback rate, though it is worth noting that this product only has 10 reviews at this moment in time. But for the price, it shows people are happy that they got what they paid for with it product. It is a high-end baby monitor which supplies the parents with sleep tracking and analysis as well as allowing parents to set a “danger zone”. If the child goes where they shouldn’t then mum and dad will be sent an alert so that they can check it out. It has all the key elements you need from a monitor such as; two-way audio, HD video, night vision, temperature sensors, and movement/cry detection.
However, the only downside to this product is that the more in-depth analytics are only available via a premium subscription service, which for such an expensive product to begin with can be a little bit frustrating for some.
- Sleep analytics provide daily Sleep Tracking & Analysis summary which shows how frequently your baby stirred and at what times, including recording care-giving events.
- Danger Zone can be set to let the parent know when baby has entered an area that they shouldn’t.
- 18-hour video playback available.
- Wifi camera that connects directly to your phone.
- 2-year warranty & 1-year FREE Cubo Ai Care Premium Service.
- 1080p HD video footage with clear night vision.
- Two-way audio.
- Cry detection with rollover and covered-face alerts.
- Room temperature monitoring.
- Built-in lullabies and night light.
Percentage of Legitimate 5* Reviews: 97% (98/101)
If you’re on a strict budget, this is the best baby monitor, UK buyers have been raving about this product, with 97% of the 101 reviews being 9*. Sitting below £30 and offering all of the basic necessities including a rotating camera, HD resolution, night vision, two-way audio, and motion detection. This is easily the best value baby monitor on our list. This camera also supports up to 64GB of storage, with a backup to the cloud just in case.
The only negative points we’ve been able to find about this monitor is the fact that occasionally the signal can be a bitch glitchy during setup. But it seems as though this more comes down to that particular monitor being faulty.
- 355° horizontal rotation & 110° vertical rotation for an overall 360° panoramic view.
- 1080P FHD Resolution and 2pics 850nm infrared LEDs provide clear night vision.
- Two-way communication.
- Motion detection wit real-time alert for movement.
- 8-64GB Micro SD slot along with backup to the cloud with strong data protection.
Percentage of Legitimate 5* Reviews: 85.3% (527/618)
The JABLOTRON nanny monitor appears to be the best SIDS monitor for the price range. Taking 3rd spot on our list with 85.3% of the 618 reviews being 5*. This particular monitor is designed to track your baby’s breathing via an electrode and movement with a large 30x50cm pad which is placed under the mattress itself. The pad is able to sense micro-movements and will alert the parents to any potentially life-threatening changes, such as their breathing becoming too irregular or stopping altogether.
One of the main downsides to this product is that the electrode can be knocked off if your baby is a wriggler, which can cause a false alarm. As is the case with any electronic device, there have been some reports of false alarms due to a sensor glitch or fault. The best way to combat this would be to test the sensor before each nap if possible.
- Monitors both breathing and movement.
- Certified as a medical device and is used in neonatology departments and maternity wards of several European hospitals.
- 30cm x 50cm surface area for wider movement pickup range.
- Powered by 2xAA alkaline batteries.
- Every time it is switched on it will check the battery power levels.
- Audio and visual alarm will sound if baby’s breathing stops for 20 seconds or if breaths per minute fall below 10.
Percentage of Legitimate 5* Reviews: 84.6% (11/13)
The Bluebell monitor is another newbie on the Amazon market, and currently has an 84.6% rating out of 13 reviews. The great thing about this particular monitor is that it doesn’t only monitor the baby, but the parent as well! It keeps track of the baby’s motion, temperature, and breathing via a clip that attaches to their sleeper-suit. Additionally, it tracks mum or dad’s sleep, steps, and mood via the watch and app. It is a bit more of a luxury as monitors go, with a sleek design and charging hub. However, for everything you get out of it, it seems to be worth it.
The only negative review of this product has been in regards to the speaker being faulty on a monitor someone had received. The only other minor complaint on a 4* review had been in regards to the screen not working properly, however that customer also goes on to say that customer services were extremely helpful and fuss-free.
- Tracks baby’s breathing, temperature, and motion.
- Tracks the parent’s steps, sleep, and mood.
- Room temperature monitoring and readout.
- Two-way audio.
- Lullaby, white noise, and nightlight options.
- Cry detection and rollover detection.
- Comes with a docking station for the controller and wristband for easy charging.
- Clip is designed to be removed with two adult hands, making it hard to remove.
- Connects via wifi.
Percentage of Legitimate 5* Reviews: 83.4% (1891/2268)
Littlelf is also a good baby monitor for parents on a budget, with a score of 83.4% out of 2268 reviews. The high number of reviews on this product makes it the most recommended baby monitor within the price range of £30-70. It has a separate parent unit available for purchase for those parents that prefer not to use their phone. It will automatically record and store videos when the alarm is triggered and has night vision, two-way audio, and a reverse call function. Additionally, they provide a 30-day money-back guarantee and 1-year warranty.
There have been reports of an iffy WiFi connection on some of the cameras, which is more of a hardware fault. Additionally, some customers advised that the user interfaces for the app is a bit “clunky” and in need of improvement. However, of all the reviews this camera has had, these fault issues only take up roughly 10% of the overall figure.
- A separate parent unit can be purchased if needed.
- 10 pcs 850nm infrared LED technology for up to 30-foot range with night vision.
- Instant alarm videos from the motion detector alerts will be stored to the cloud or SD card.
- Two-way audio and reverse calling for children to contact parents with a single button press.
- 90-day free cloud storage for 14 days cycle recording.
- Supports up to 128 GB Micro SD storage (card not provided).
- Several phones can be connected and view videos at the same time.
- 30 days Money-Back guarantee and 1-year warranty.
Percentage of Legitimate 5* Reviews: 82.9% (63/76)
The Amcrest camera and parent until have made it onto our list with a score of 82%. The included parent unit is sleek, user-friendly and has full control over the camera. That means parents are able to pan, tilt, and zoom the camera from wherever they sit, saving you having to get up and manually check the baby if it goes out of frame. There is also a choice of 5 lullabies to help you sooth your baby to sleep, and if that fails there is also two-way audio. Part of what you’re paying for with this monitor is the 2-year warranty and lifetime technical support guaranteed by Amcrest.
Which buyers have loved this camera, some reviewers say they feel it is a little bit pricey in a competitive market. Some parents have also mentioned that you can hear the lullaby through the unit speaker, though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Additionally, some feel the camera quality could be improved and that the menu appears slightly dated, though this doesn’t affect the usage of it.
- Comes with 3.5 inch display wireless parent unit.
- Remote pan, tilt, and digital zoom can be done from the unit.
- Two-way audio & 5x preset lullaby melodies.
- Voice activation available with adjustable sensitivity.
- Night vision for up to 15 feet in total darkness.
- The camera has a built-in temperature sensor with a readout on the parent unit.
- transmission range of up to 980ft.
- 2-year warranty and lifetime technical support.
Percentage of Legitimate 5* Reviews: 79.4% (446/562)
The Lullaby Bay monitor is a fair price, providing you with all the baby monitor essentials. You are provided with a parent unit as this device uses radio frequencies instead of WiFi, which means you never have to worry about the signal dropping out. It also gives you a room temperature readout, night vision, and 8 lullaby melodies to choose from. Previous customers have commended the picture quality and the customer service, which is apparently “second to none” in the eyes of one happy customer.
The more negative reviews do say that the field of view could be improved when it comes to wider rooms. Also, one customer mentions that the camera can get warm which has the potential to affect the room temperature readout. And finally, the two-way audio operation also has a slight lag of a couple of seconds which need to be accounted for whenever the function is used.
- Portable parent unit provided with the camera.
- uses radio frequencies (2.4Ghz RF) instead of WiFi connection.
- Room temperature displayed on the parent unit.
- Two-way audio & 8 built-in lullaby melodies.
- Automatic night vision function.
- Up to 260m range with a clear line if sight.
Percentage of Legitimate 5* Reviews: 76.1% (166/218)
The Snuza baby monitor keeps track of your baby’s breathing throughout the night. The clever thing about this design is that it uses a vibrate function to gentle rouse a baby if their breathing stops for 15 seconds. The vibrate function isn’t enough to upset them, but can work to get them breathing again. If that fails it them sounds loudly to notify the parents if the baby has stopped breathing for 20 seconds. This monitor has no wires, pads or cables and simple clips on to the front of your baby’s nappy.
When looking at reviews on this product the main issue has been that the clip can fall away if the baby moves around too much. Newborns don’t tend to be big wrigglers whilst they sleep, but after a few months it may become problematic.
- A portable baby breathing monitor.
- European Medical Device Directive Certified.
- A small monitor designed to be clipped to the baby’s nappy.
- Vibration stimulus 15 seconds after breathing stops.
- Alarms will sound 15/18/20 seconds after breathing stops.
- No external power, wires, or pads.
Percentage of Legitimate 5* Reviews: 75% (27/36)
Babysense has created a monitor made to track your baby’s breathing and movement through the use of hyper-sensitive pad sensors. These two sensors are placed under the mattress and sense micro-movements that are connected to breathing motions. It is then programmed to sound off if no movement is detected after 20 seconds (this includes micro-movements).
Reviews of this product have said that the no-contact method used by Babysense doesn’t provide the accuracy the parent would have liked, or that it can be triggered by parents is used in a next-to-me cot. The only other constructive criticism given about the design is that the click sound from switching the device on and off is too loud and can disturb the baby.
- Monitors baby’s breathing and movement.
- Alarm sounds if no moment is detected after 20 seconds, or if micro-movements reduce to less than 10 per minute.
- No direct contact with the infant – pad is to be put underneath mattresses no thicker than 10cm.
- Comes with 2 pads that cover the entire range of the cot.
Percentage of Legitimate 5* Reviews: 60% (30/50)
The Owlet monitor is a very clever design that has been improved on over time, with no bad reviews inside the last year, which shows they are listening to their customers. It uses a wireless sensor that connects via WiFi to a base station. The base station has colour-coded lights to let you know at a glance how your baby is doing. This unit also connects to the app on your phone to provide you with the analytics of your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels.
The two main critisisms for this particular SIDS monitor have been related to the app’s interface which is apparently quite difficult to use. There are also some reviews that say wriggly babies can be a problem ,as the sensor can get knocked, making it impossible to read the baby’s vitals.
- Uses pulse oximetry to monitor baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels.
- Connects to your phone via an app that will alert of you any dangerous drops.
- 30 days for a full refund guarantee.
- Attaches via a wireless smart-sock that connects to a base station.
- The base station has colour coded lights for an easy way to see if anything is wrong.
How much should you spend on a baby monitor?
This is very much dependant on the budget you have laid out for yourself. Baby monitors can get quite pricey, so if you’re looking at a more expensive design be sure to look up plenty of honest reviews of them first. That being said, there are many baby monitors that cost around the £50-£100 mark (or even cheaper) that can give you the basic functions you would need to keep an eye on your baby.
Do you really need a baby monitor?
Technically, no. If baby monitors were essential for a baby’s survival the human race would have died out thousands of years ago. However! Baby monitors make parents much easier and give you the freedom to enjoy your evenings full whilst baby is in bed, as it won’t disrupt what you are doing unless baby wakes up needing something. Additionally, baby monitors can be particularly helpful in the morning when the child is in another room.
By having a baby monitor by your bed you can turn the volume up and have your baby be your own personal alarm clock. As soon as they’re up, you’ll hear it, so you don’t have to worry about sleeping through.
Do you leave baby monitor on all night?
The best time to have a baby monitor is overnight, so you’ll want to leave it switched on so that you can be alerted to anything and woken up. Most video baby monitors with parent units automatically shut off the screen when the baby is inactive for a long period of time. This means there won’t be any disruptive light in your room whilst you’re trying to rest.
Where do you put the baby video monitor?
The majority of video baby monitor designs can either be used as a surface-top camera or can be affixed to the wall to look straight over your baby’s bed. Generally, it is best to put the camera over their bed so that you can see them clearly at all times.
When to stop using a baby monitor?
Some parents decide to stop when their baby is no longer breast or bottle feeding, as they won’t need to be cared for during the night anymore. It is entirely up to you whether or not you would like to stop then, or when they are older. Baby monitors also come in handy for keeping an eye on toddlers at bedtime to make sure they are going to sleep. This will help you to establish a good bedtime routine with them and make adjustments if necessary.
Are baby monitors necessary?
Whilst they are not completely necessary for the well-being of your child, baby monitors are extremely useful. They can save you the trouble of having to go into your baby’s room while they are sleeping – potentially disturbing them. Additionally, they can make nighttime feeds a lot easier, and give you a bit more freedom in your evenings.