The 7 Best Baby Monitors of 2018

February 27th, 2018

The kids haven’t run off to college yet, but letting go—even if just from another room—can be challenging.

You want to be at the ready should anything go awry, and the best way to keep an eye on your tot from a distance is with a baby monitor. Choosing the best baby monitor depends on your living situation, whether you want to keep tabs during a date night, or anything in between. Some parents may be comfortable with just audio, and some may want smartphone and wifi capabilities. The options—and price tags—are aplenty.

Before committing to a baby monitor, it’s important to consider the size of your home and whether you’ll be able to hear baby on your own. Apartment dwellers—or bassinet co-sleepers—may find that just an audio monitor is just fine for their needs. In fact, many reviews for audio devices showed that some parents get too distracted when screen monitors are nearby, and can’t go about household activities peacefully. If your child is older, however, a camera monitor may be a better option to keep an eye on any mischief they may be up to.

Luckily, we live in a time where technology is booming, and thus more accessible. There are high tech security devices, like the Nest Cam Security Camera (more on that in a bit), that can technically double as a baby monitor. However, there are several great options designed specifically to monitor babies—with all the necessary bells and whistles—that are budget friendly. Between audio only models, video, and smartphone capabilities, our guide to the best baby monitors will help narrow down the options.


We researched baby monitors across functionalities, prices, and studied real customer reviews to compile a list of the best baby monitors on the market. If you’ve decided a monitor is the way you want to go, read on for our suggestions, favorite features, and considerations.

Best Baby Monitors: Score Sheet

Baby Monitor Amazon Score Blueprint Score Overall Score
Philips Avent SCD630/37 Video Baby Monitor 4.0 4.2 4.06
Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor 4.5 4.6 4.53
VTech DM221 Digital Audio Baby Monitor 4.0 4.0 4.0
FREDI Wireless WIFI Baby Monitor 4.5 4.4 4.47
Babysense Video Baby Monitor 4.0 4.2 4.06
VTech DM111 Digital Audio Baby Monitor 4.0 3.9 3.97
Nest® Cam Security Camera 4.0 4.3 4.09

Philips Avent SCD630/37 Video Baby Monitor with FHSS

I live in a 3500 square foot ranch and the monitor has yet to go out of range. It even works outside.” -Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • Package includes camera baby unit, parent screen monitor, and rechargeable battery
  • Uses A-FHSS (Adaptive Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) technology to get a clear and private connection to baby at all times
  • Has an indoor range of 50 meters, and outdoor range of 300 meters
  • Includes vibration alerts, two-way talkback feature, voice activation mode, temperature sensor, and automatic infrared night vision
  • Video screen is 3.5”, high resolution, and 2x zoom and pan
  • Wall-mountable and rechargeable
  • Select lullabies remotely to soothe fussy baby
  • Screen and volume switch on when baby begins to cry

CONSIDERATIONS

  • Only links with included devices—no smartphone or web compatibility
  • Reviewers have noted static while audio is on, and brief connection interferences while other appliances are in use
  • Sensitivity is high, so even small movements in baby’s are can cause the device to turn on

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

I purchased the extra wide lens also and it was WELL worth the $11 – seriously, this is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made for my son. In my opinion, I made an investment on his safety.” -Christine, Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • Uses interchangeable lens technology for customizable camera angles and pans—and all are adjustable remotely
  • 3.5 inch LCD color screen is sound activated, and can be turned on for audio-only power saving mode
  • USB charge capabilities
  • Up to 10 hours of charge, and 6 hours if screen is on full-time
  • Includes temperature monitoring, two-way talkback, alarm function, retractable antenna, and infrared night vision
  • Extends to up to 4 lenses

CONSIDERATIONS

  • The most expensive baby monitor on our list
  • Only one optical zoom lens is included, and other lenses are available for separate purchase
  • Mounting options are limited

VTech DM221 Digital Audio Baby Monitor

I love the ‘talk back’ function so I can speak to my kiddo without mounting a flight of stairs every time he has a question. Every morning he says ‘Mama. Can you read me?’ and it is adorable.” -Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • Audio only device uses DECT 6.0 (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication) to lessen feedback and static
  • Transmits a secure signal, so no one except you can listen in on your baby
  • Includes 5 levels of volume, mute function with sound level indicators, two-way talkback, backlight display on parent unit, belt clips on both units, vibrating alerts, and rechargeable batteries
  • Has 1,000 feet of indoor and outdoor range
  • Belt loop on baby unit is also an optional nightlight
  • Can be expanded to include additional parent unit

CONSIDERATIONS

  • This is an audio only device
  • Reviewers have noted that after about 600-700 feet of range, the sound quality begins to struggle
  • There is an audible beep feature when the monitor loses connection or is low on battery

FREDI Wireless WIFI Baby Monitor

Can’t beat the price and I love being able to access it from our portable devices instead of having to carry around a separate monitor that requires charging.” -Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • Package includes one wide angle camera, one USB charge cable, and a power adapter
  • Connects via wifi and connects to your iOS device and Android smartphone through a downloadable app, giving you remote access to video and audio from anywhere in real time
  • Wide 185 degree camera angle with HD and zoom function
  • Motion detection with email or push notification alerts directly to your smart device
  • Records motion clips and includes them in message notifications
  • Local video SD card storage capability with up to 128GB of memory
  • Ability to add a second camera
  • App allows sharing
  • Camera automatically switches to night vision when the room is dark
  • Includes wall mount and secure surface screws to hold it firmly in place
  • Two-way talkback capability

CONSIDERATIONS

  • Micro SD card for local storage must be purchased separately
  • Video can only be viewed via smartphone screen
  • If there any issues with your home or phone wifi connection, monitoring may be interrupted or delayed
  • Not everyone may like the fish-eye view of the camera lens

Babysense Video Baby Monitor

Overall great quality monitor. Image is very clear and I like the simplicity of it. The volume is excellent. Super easy set up.” -Erin, Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • Package includes the parent monitor unit, the baby camera unit, power adapter, and a lithium ion battery
  • Parent unit has a 2.4 inch color LCD display, that automatically changes to black and white during infrared night mode
  • Uses 2.4GHz FHSS for clear audio signal
  • Includes two-way talkback, selection of lullabies, temperature monitoring, multiple camera expanding capabilities, and attached support stand for parent unit
  • Camera allows 2x digital zoom, pan, and tilt
  • 900 foot indoor range
  • Alerts for low battery, out of range, and temperature change
  • ECO Mode uses adjustable voice and movement detection to save monitor battery
  • Wall-mountable

CONSIDERATIONS

  • Does not connect to wifi, but wifi enabled devices and routers can interfere with signal
  • Camera power cord is a bit short and may require an extension cord
  • Monitor screen is does not have HD resolution

VTech DM111 Digital Audio Baby Monitor

If your looking for a basic simple baby monitor this is it. That’s all I wanted! This doesn’t have any bells whistles—but it works amazing.” -Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • Our favorite budget baby monitor, this pack comes with a parent unit, baby unit, and power cords for each
  • The parent unit can also run on two regular alkaline AAA batteries, purchased separately
  • Uses DECT 6.0 for clear transmission and up to 1,000 feet of range
  • Includes belt clip for hands-free monitoring
  • 5-level sound indicator on the parent unit, so you can monitor baby’s sound levels without having the volume turned all the way up
  • Can expand to up to two parent units
  • Alerts you if you’re out of range or if batteries are low

Considerations

  • Parent unit does not use rechargeable batteries
  • Has very high sound sensitivity that not all parents are fond of
  • Only has one-way transmission with no talkback capabilities

Honorable Mention: Blueprint Registry Employee Pick

Nest® Cam Security Camera

“While it isn’t officially a baby monitor, I really enjoy the compatibility with my smartphone, the functionality, quality, and reliability of the Nest Cam. It’s such a relief knowing that I can check in on my son at any time if I’m away. Plus, once he gets older we can still use the Nest Cam as a security camera for our home.” – Lizzy, Co-Founder and CCO

 

Keep in mind that the Nest Cam is not designed specifically for monitoring babies. That being said, audio doesn’t run continuously in the background unless you have the app open, which can drain your smartphone battery. You could couple the Nest Cam with an audio-only device like the VTech DM221 or DM111 for continuous audio when you’re home. The last thing to remember is that notifications from the Nest Cam are only pushed through to your phone every 30 minutes, which may seem like an eternity in emergency situations.


Although an all-inclusive, perfect baby monitor is the dream, baby monitors can be mixed and matched for your family’s needs. Whatever the device or custom combination, you can take comfort in going about your daily routines knowing your child is safe and sound with the help of a baby monitor.

Do you have any baby monitor hacks? We want to hear them! Share your stories, tips, and tricks with us on Twitter and Instagram!