Best Baby Monitor Buying Guide

When baby monitors made their debut in the 1980s, parents were content to simply listen in on baby, but today’s best baby monitors do so much more than one-way audio!  Having the ability to hear a baby’s cry from another room in the house is still the primary purpose of a baby monitor, but with today’s technology, that that “other room” could be mommy’s office 25 miles away. Here’s a closer look at the many features you’ll find in today’s baby monitors and recommendations for choosing the best baby monitor for your family.Baby monitors


#1 Job of a Baby Monitor:  Peace of Mind!

Whether it’s a basic audio-only model or a super advanced baby monitor with all of the bells and whistles, families rely on their baby monitor to have peace of mind by knowing if baby is sleeping comfortably, has awaken or is in distress.

For some families, having the ability to simply hear a child’s cry is sufficient, however, most parents want the option of seeing their baby while he naps.  And for some families, having the added ability to talk and sooth baby without having to enter the nursery is a big plus. Top-of-the-line baby monitors offer all of these functions, and some monitors do even more, like making a video recording of baby while she’s sleeping or playing or allowing remote viewing from a smartphone.

The bottom line is if you’re shopping for a baby monitor, consider your lifestyle and which features you’ll really use.


Types of Baby Monitors


Hear, Talk & See Baby

Whether responding to a distress call or watching baby just for fun, most parents enjoy having the ability to look in on their little one and see her little face.  A video baby monitor provides that option.  In addition to live images, these video baby monitors also offer two-way communication plus a few other popular features.  Prices start at $129.  All are digital.Levana Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor with Pan/Tilt/Zoom Camera & Video Recording

Levana Lila Baby Video Monitor with Night Vision – Invisible night vision LEDs provide a clear picture of baby in total darkness up to 12 feet away; two-way talk; color screen; add up to four cameras for monitoring other rooms.  

Levana Stella PTZ Baby Video Monitor — Features a smooth and silent pan/tilt/zoom camera that you can control from anywhere using the monitor to follow baby’s movements; invisible night vision LEDs; two-way talk; extra wide 4.3” color screen; add up to three cameras; optional charging cradle.

Levana Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor with & Video Recording – Same features as the Levana Stella plus the ability to record video or snap still photos on the included 2GB micro SD card; add up to four cameras.


Hear, Talk & See Baby from a Mobile Device or PC

For parents who work outside the home, a video baby monitor with remote viewing and communications capabilities through a mobile device or PC allows them to check up on baby (or the babysitter) right from the office or anywhere.  And since their smartphone or PC doubles as the monitor, more that one parent or caregiver can have access at any time.  Price start at around $200 for these top-shelf digital baby monitors.

Amaryllo Skype Wireless IP iCam HD – Watch live streaming video of baby from anywhere on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC with the Amaryllo iCam standing guard. The unique Amaryllo iCam uses Skype’s peer-to-peer technology instead of a third party server to deliver better audio and video. Communicates through the Internet or cellular network and has a pan and tilt camera that can be controlled remotely.

Motorola Blink1 Wi-Fi® Video Baby Monitor Camera – The Blink1 from Motorola is a remote WiFi camera that turns any Internet-enabled device into a fully functional video baby monitor.  Watch real-time video and sound in your baby’s room or use the video playback.  Features include infrared night vision for low light viewing of little sleepers and a remote pan, tilt and zoom camera.



If You’re Buying a Baby Monitor as a Gift
Levena OMA+ Portable Baby Monitor with Audible Alarm

Baby monitors make wonderful gifts for new parents, but even veteran moms and dads will appreciate an upgrade to one of today’s best baby monitors!  Here are a few pointers to think about if you are buying a baby monitor for someone else:  What is the family’s lifestyle?  Do they work outside the home? What type/size home?  How many caregivers are there?  Will they need more than one camera?

For families with a newborn or special needs infant, consider giving a “movement monitor” like the Levena OMA+ Portable Baby Monitor with Audible Alarm that clips to baby’s diaper and senses even the slightest movements, so parents don’t have to keep getting up to check on baby if he seems too quiet.  If no movement is detected for more than 20 seconds, the baby movement monitor alerts parents with a loud beep.

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