The 10 Best Baby Monitors (2017 Guide & Reviews)

In a perfect world, you'd never be more than a foot or two away from your sweet baby.

But, you sometimes need to let your baby sleep while you sneak away for a shower (how decadent!).

In those situations, you want to keep an ear out for your baby while checking a few things off of your to-do list: the best way to do both is with a reliable baby monitor.

These days, there are a wide variety of baby monitors ranging from basic audio-only models to technologically advanced ones with wifi capabilities.

Given all of the options that are out there, your head might start to spin before you are able to choose the right product in the store.

But how do you know which is best for you and your family's needs?

Baby Monitor Reviews

#1. Infant Optics DXR-8

The Infant Optics DXR-8 (click here to check the price on Amazon) is unique in that it comes with three different camera lens.

These lens allow you to customize your viewing experience as your child grows. Use the zoom lens when your infant is very small so you can monitor breathing and movement. You can later use the normal lens for a medium wide shot of the baby and crib.

After your child becomes more mobile, the wide angle lens is helpful if you'd like to monitor him or her while playing.

This monitor does not require a smart phone, wifi, or app. Instead, you plug in the monitor and camera, and the image will automatically begin to stream via secure 2.4GHz wireless transmission. Rotate, pan, or tilt the camera via the monitor for the exact angle that you need.

The monitor's capabilities can expand to accommodate up to 4 cameras on a rotating circuit. The monitor also has multiple LED lights that allow you to quickly access your baby's crying levels even if you have the sound turned off.

For peace of mind, the monitor also has an alert feature, which beeps when it disconnects from the camera or has a low battery. If you prefer not to use this feature, Infant Optics has a button which allows you to turn off the beeping.

The system features a two-way talking. Not only can you hear your baby's cooing and babbling, but you can also use the monitor as a walkie talkie to respond to him or her. You essentially have a walkie talkie built into the system, which is quite helpful when you're trying to soothe your baby.

Instead of going into his or her room to potentially upset your baby even more, you are able to help him or her get to sleep virtually.

Another helpful feature of the monitor is a built in temperature gauge. The temperature can be displayed in your choice of Fahrenheit or Celcius.

The monitor's batteries can last up to 10 hours on power saver mode, or up to 6 hours if you use the monitor's screen continuously. Charging is easy via the included USB, which can be connected to a laptop or a wall plug with an additional converter.

There is no way to record the live stream, and the monitor has a range of 200 feet. While it does not have wi-fi capabilities, this camera system is a solid choice for parents who want a way to monitor their baby's safety from home.

#2. Nest Cam

The Nest Cam (click here to check the price on Amazon) allows you to live stream video through the associated phone app, so you can check in on your baby no matter where you are.

The high resolution camera and 130° wide-angle view gives you the big picture of your baby's nursery, which is helpful if your little one is prone to escaping his or her crib.

The camera automatically switches to night view when the light dims, ensuring a clear picture of your baby 24 hours a day.

The set up of the Nest Cam is easy: you plug in the camera, adjust it to your needs using the magnetic base, then download the Nest app to your phone. As soon the app is installed, you can set up alerts or snapshots to send to your phone if the camera detects movement.

The Nest Cam app can also be upgraded if you'd like to save 10 to 30 days worth of video recordings to the secure Nest cloud, a feature that many parents may like to access if they have full-time caregivers or want to keep a very close eye on baby. With the upgrade, you can also receive smart alerts if the camera detects a person in the room.

Since the Nest Cam was released in 2015, the company has consistently provided updates for the app on both iPhone and Android platforms.

Another great feature of the Nest Cam is the one-way microphone. You can use your phone to talk to your baby through the camera. This is an excellent way to soothe your baby when you can't quickly get to the nursery, or you can use it to participate in bedtime when you're away from the house. You can also use this feature to remind your child to lay down if he or she is fidgety.

When considering the Nest Cam for your baby monitor, you will need consistent, reliable wifi, as the camera will not work without it. The camera may also show delays in the video if your wifi is slower than the camera's recommended speed.

Another thing to consider is that there is no handheld monitor for the Nest Cam; you will need a smart phone to access the image that the Nest Cam provides.

#3. HelloBaby HB24

With an impressive range, night vision, and long-lasting battery, the Hello Baby monitor (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a popular choice for new parents.

This system has a range of up to 960 feet if there are no barriers between the camera and monitor, which allows for freedom of movement without sacrificing picture quality.

The monitor and camera communicate via 2.4GHz wireless frequencies, so no wi-fi or additional phone apps are necessary for use.

The camera can tilt or pan via the monitor to provide the perfect perspective on the LCD screen. When light levels drop, the camera automatically switches from full-color day vision to black and white night vision. The camera also has built in lullabies to help your baby learn to soothe him or herself back to sleep.

The camera is plugged directly into the wall for continuous video feed, while the battery for the portable monitor is rechargeable via an included 110V plug.

The monitor has temperature sensors and will warn you if the temperatures drop or rise above optimum levels. It also offers the ability for two-way talking so you can respond to or calm your child remotely.

The battery on the monitor lasts for up to 12 hours in audio-only power saving mode, or up to 8 hours of continual camera use. The monitor has a series of colored LED lights on it to help you analyze your baby's noises even if the volume is not on. In the case that the monitor and camera disconnect, the monitor will sound an alert so you can bring the monitor back in range.

The system allows for the addition of 3 other cameras (sold separately); you can rotate through the 4 cameras to monitor all of your children or spaces. It also comes with a one-year warranty.

#4. Palmero Wi-Fi

With an easy installation process, the Palermo Wifi Surveillance Camera (click here to check the price on Amazon) helps on-the-go parents keep an eye on their babies.

The app (available on both iPhone and Android) allows you to connect to a live feed of your baby, tilt or pan the camera, and talk to him or her via the two-way talk feature. The camera plugs directly into the wall and does not require any additional batteries.

The surveillance camera broadcasts in HD via your wireless connection and has both daylight and nighttime viewing capabilities. You can see the camera to record in HD as well. The camera uses infrared waves to provide a clear picture at night.

If you'd like alerts when your baby moves or when someone comes into the room, you can set alerts up through your app.

The baby monitor can be connected by wifi to any other security devices that also run on wifi. You can set up an all-in-one security monitoring service on your phone, and see your baby, check doors and windows, and get smoke alarm alerts on the app.

This is particularly helpful if you are interested in upgrading your entire home to this level of monitoring, as everything you need will be all in one place.

This system is not supported on upgraded 5G wifi systems and runs best on normal 2.4GHz wifi. Palermo also offers 24 hour tech support for parents who need help connecting their units to their wifi or need assistance streaming their video feed.

The company stands by their product with a lifetime warranty.

#5. LeFun Wireless

Connect to the live stream on multiple devices with this baby monitor system from LeFun (click here to check the price on Amazon).

The 3.6 mm camera has a 720P high resolution lens that tilts 100 degrees and provides a wide angle view of 350 degrees.

If you are accessing the system remotely, you can pan and tilt the camera or zoom in to see your baby's movements. If you would like to record the live feed, the app allows you to save recordings on the micro SD card located inside the camera unit.

The monitor also allows you to talk with your baby in real time via the two way talk feature. The app does not work in the background of your phone, so you will need to keep the app up on the screen for continuous live streaming.

The camera works via wifi to send live stream video to your phone. Download the app to your computer, tablet, laptop, or phone for quick instillation; if you prefer to monitor the stream via multiple devices (a great feature for parents who are both working or away), you can activate the system's secure password identity feature.

The camera simply plugs into a standard wall receptacle with no additional set up needed. Set up alarms to receive alerts when your baby moves.

Once you've downloaded the app, you have the option to change the default password, which is recommended for security purposes.

All LeFun Wireless Monitors come with a one year warranty.

#6. Summer Infant

This system from Summer Infant (click here to check the price on Amazon) comes with a 5" full color screen and a range of 600 feet.

The LCD screen automatically switches from color day time view to black and white night time view when the light in your baby's room dims.

The camera swivels for maximum monitoring, and it can be placed virtually anywhere with its small size and secure base. If you'd prefer to hang the camera over baby's bassinet or changing table, you can do so with the included wall brackets and mounting hardware.

The system's features include digital zoom via the monitor and one touch power on/off. You can easily monitor baby's cries with the color coded LED lights on the side of the screen.

The monitor has a wide, easy to view flat screen with adjustable brightness and volume controls. The monitor also has a kick stand and a belt loop so you can take it virtually anywhere within range. You will receive alerts when the monitor has gone out of range or needs to be charged.

If you have multiple children or play areas, the system expands to include up to 4 cameras (sold separately), all of which you can view with one monitor on a rotating basis.

This Summer Infant system does not include two-way talk capabilities, nor does the camera come with a wide angle lens. While the camera can move some via the monitor's controls, it is not able to do a full pan or scan of the room.

It also does not include a temperature sensor.

#7. Motorola MBP36S

The Motorola MBP36S (click here to check the price on Amazon) comes with a range of over 600 feet and plenty of bells and whistles.

You can use the monitor to pan or scan your baby's room or check the temperature of the room. The monitor also allows for split screen video streaming, which is helpful when watching multiple children.

You can also set up auto rotation on the monitor of up to 4 different cameras in your house.

The 3.5 inch screen automatically detects light levels and switches from full color to black and white. The monitor's screen can be turned off while still streaming the audio: this helps extend the battery life and allows parents to get some screen-free rest.

You can comfort or talk with your little one on the monitor's two way walkie talkie feature. It also has a lullaby feature, where you can select one of 5 songs to place through the camera to calm your baby.

The monitor will start to beep when it has disconnected from the camera or it needs to be brought back into range. It will also sound an alarm when it needs to be charged.

The battery is shorter compared to similar models with only 3.5 hours of average battery life. When the battery needs to be charged, you can plug it into the wall with the included power adapter.

The camera unit stays plugged into the wall via another included power adapter.

This camera system does not connect to the Motorola Hubble app, which allows for on-the-go smart phone access to other Motorola camera systems.

#8. Samsung BrightVIEW

Soothe your baby with the Samsung BrightVIEW's (click here to check the price on Amazon) 4 included lullabies, and feel secure in monitoring your baby day and night with the included infrared nighttime camera capabilities.

The 5" screen provides high quality, large images of your baby at rest or play. You can stream clear images of your baby as long as the camera is within 16' of your child.

Remotely pan the camera 300° or pan up to 110° for a full scan of your baby's room. Talk to your baby remotely via the two-way talk feature through the monitor. The camera also has a nightlight to help your baby fall asleep.

The monitor does include a touch screen, but the responsiveness of the screen is slower than a typical smart phone, which may frustrate some users. The image quality from the 720p camera is sharp on both the daytime and nighttime viewings.

The range of the Samsung stretches an impressive 900 feet, so you can work anywhere inside your house while baby rests.

Both the monitor unit and camera come with adapter plugs; the monitor unit has a rechargeable battery while the camera must stay plugged into the wall.

This camera system does not work with a smart phone. The monitor's receiving capabilities can begin to lag if you put too many barriers between you and the camera, even if you are within the system's average range.

#9. Cocoon Cam

The Cocoon Cam (click here to check the price on Amazon) provides many features that you expect to get through a smart phone monitoring app, but also adds one that many similar units do not have: a breathing monitor.

As many parents worry about their infant's breathing, this system helps to alleviate that stress through real time alerts. Instead of placing a wearable on your baby that he or she may kick off, the Cocoon Cam analyzes your baby's breathing uses the camera's technology and your smart phone's capabilities to accurately show the baby's breathing rate and position in the crib.

An alert is sent to the parent when the software thinks there may be an issue.

Via the company's secure cloud technology, you can receive real-time alerts on your baby's breathing 24 hours a day, as well as retrieve up to 24 hours of recorded video. The camera streams in HD and has both daytime and nighttime viewing.

The camera and system are easy to set up: plug in the camera and download the app to your smartphone (available on iPhone and Android). You must have wifi to link the app with the camera.

Once the system has been activated, you will need to position the camera above your baby's crib so that the system has a bird's eye view of your baby. Currently, the Cocoon Cam does not have the ability to tilt, so you will need to place the camera on the wall with the included hanging hardware to get the correct angle.

For real time breathing alerts, you will need to purchase a subscription. The Cocoon Cam comes with a 6-month free subscription and a 30 day money back guarantee; if parents want to extend the breathing monitoring, they will need to activate the paid plan.

Without the paid plan, the Cocoon Cam will continue to live stream video to your smart phone and will allow for two way talking.

#10. VTech DM111

For parents who want a basic baby monitor without any frills, the VTech (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a simple, low cost solution.

The system comes with one parent unit and one baby unit. The baby unit is placed in the nursery and broadcasts baby's noises via DECT 6.0.

The parent unit works via a series of color coded lights on the front. The 3 green lights indicate that your baby is cooing or quietly moving around, while the 2 red lights blink when baby's vocalizations are at their loudest.

The lights are particularly helpful when you cut the sound off, as you can still monitor baby's needs without constant noise. You can also expand your system by adding a second parent unit, so two people can be in separate parts of the house while continuing to monitor the baby's needs.

You can take the parent unit with you by the handle or you can attach it to yourself with the belt loop. The parent unit will beep if it loses signal with the baby unit or if the parent unit needs to be recharged. If these alerts bother you, you can cut them off. The parent unit has a generous range of over 1,000 feet.

The parent monitor does not have a screen, nor is this system capable of connecting to a smart phone app.

The baby and parent units can be attached directly to the wall with the included power adapter, but the parent unit needs 2 AAA batteries (not included) if you want to walk around the house with it.

Top Rated Baby Monitors Summary

Of the available options, the Infant Optics DXR 8 is our pick.

There is a trend in baby monitoring systems towards ones that provide options to the parents. The Infant Optics DXR gives parents the options they want while providing a high resolution live stream in a safe, secure way.

Not only does it have an easy set up and installation, it provides a clear picture of your baby day or night. Furthermore, the interchangeable lenses allow the system to grow with your child, a feature that no other monitoring system currently provides.

The options for wide, zoom, and normal lenses gives you the opportunity to choose what is right for your child's needs at various stages without having to purchase a completely new system.

The Infant Optics system also has features that are quickly becoming standard on baby monitors today, including temperature regulation, power saver mode, and an expandable system for additional rooms or siblings.

The camera is one of the most diverse out there: between the interchangeable lens and the camera's ability to pan and tilt via the monitor, you will be able to see virtually every corner of your child's room.

The system provides an audio only mode so that parents can get sleep without a bright monitor shining on them. The monitor can also be customized with alerts: if you prefer to hear when the battery is low or the monitor needs to be reconnected to the camera, you can set a beeping alarm up. If you'd prefer to have a quiet unit, you can turn those alerts off.

Because of the high versatility of this system, the Infant Optics monitor is one that will be at home anywhere while giving you the quality of picture and reliability of service you need.

With all of the options available on the market, it can be difficult to determine which type of baby monitoring system is right for your family's needs.

When choosing your monitor, consider cost, effectiveness, reliability, range, and technological add-ons.

Here's how to pick the perfect one.

Different Types of Baby Monitors

There are three general kinds of baby monitors you can choose from: an audio only system, a video system, and a smart-phone compatible system. The audio only system is the traditional style, and operates with only a baby unit and matching parent unit. You cannot see your child on these units, but base your monitoring on his or her sounds.

With a video system, you can choose whether to see or hear your child on the monitor unit; this allows for a quicker, easier assessment of your baby and potentially fewer trips into your baby’s room to check on him or her. These units typically come with many more bells and whistles than the audio-only monitors, including room temperature gauges, two way talking ability, and lullabies.

Many of the cameras stream in HD for crisp pictures of your baby and work equally well in daytime and nighttime thanks to infrared technology. These systems are in the mid-range in terms of price. These are particularly popular because of their ability to expand when additional cameras are purchased.

Once you have multiple cameras set up, you can use the monitor to scroll through video in different rooms, which is excellent for parents who have several small children. These have been the most popular choice for parents in the last decade, so you can comparison shop to find the best deal.

At the top end of available baby monitors are the smart phone compatible units. You purchase a camera and then connect it to an app on your phone, laptop, or tablet. You are able to access a live stream of your baby any time of the day or night.

Many of these require a subscription service to access the full range of services. This type of baby monitor is fairly new to the scene and have only started to become popular in the last five years or so, thanks to the proliferation of smart phones. To access these, you will need to have a reliable wifi network.

What Do I Need to Use a Baby Monitor?

It depends completely on the type of monitor that you choose. An audio-only monitor needs access to an electrical socket in your baby’s nursery and another in your room, as well as batteries for around-the-house monitoring with the parent unit.

A video monitor usually requires access to those same two electrical sockets but needs no additional batteries, as most of the parent monitor units have LCD or lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in them.

If you choose a smart phone compatible system, you will need a newer model iPhone or Android, a reliable wifi network at your home, and wifi or data access on your smart phone.

Things to Consider

Most of all, you want options. Look for systems that have the ability to turn on or off elements, such as alarms, screens, and beeping. Remember that you will need to get some sleep too, and that having a bright monitor screen glowing in your room is not the most effective way for a new parent to relax.

It might seem simple, but a monitor that has an panel of lights to visually showcase noise is quite helpful. You can use this panel to see if your baby is merely rustling around or wailing and response appropriately. Turning off the monitor’s sound and/or video but keeping on the light panel is a great way to enjoy some quiet for a few moments or watch a movie in peace.

A belt clip or strap is a great way to carry a monitor around with you. You, of course, want to listen for your baby, but you also need those moments while he or she is napping to get a few things done around the house.

If your monitor has a belt clip or loop, you can carry the monitor with you while you clean dishes, tidy up, or do laundry. And, best of all, if it’s attached to you, you won’t have to worry about putting the monitor down and forgetting where you left it.

More expensive monitors aren’t always the best monitors. When picking out the perfect system, look at the price, but don’t let that be your only factor in your decision, as this is one situation where pricier isn’t always better.

Now that so many of the systems have similar features, you are likely to get a reliable monitoring system for a better price than you think. Even smart phone app-based systems are growing more affordable thanks to technological advances.

Range of the monitor is very important. Some monitors are good for only a few hundred feet while others can stretch beyond 1,000 feet. Consider what you’re most likely to be doing when your baby is asleep and use that as a determination of what model to choose.

If you have a small apartment or house and will just be reading or working while baby is asleep, you will likely be able to get away with a shorter range model. If you plan on gardening outside or working in your workshop, you’ll want to make sure you get one with a longer range. Keep in mind that some monitors have a shorter range than expected if there are several doors or windows between you and the receiver.

Garage door openers and microwaves can also interfere with and change the effectiveness of a monitor’s range. Each monitor will act differently depending on the style and layout of your house, so don’t expect your monitor to reach the full range.

Err on the side of caution when choosing a monitor. You definitely don’t want to be out of range when your baby needs you!

Why Would I Want an Audio-Only Monitor?

Audio monitors are basic, but effective for parents who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a monitoring system. Up until the last decade, this was the only type of baby monitor system available, so it has a proven record. It is also easy to set up and requires no technology, so anyone can feel comfortable installing and using the system.

If you have an older or non-technology savvy caretaker, these systems are a great choice. Since they don’t have any fancy bells and whistles, anyone can quickly pick up the parent unit and begin to monitor the baby. There’s no need to have a smart phone, apps, or wifi. All you need is access to power for both units.

These units are also extremely portable. Since there’s no camera, you do not need to set up and take down anything but the audio receiver in the baby’s room. Because of the ease of movement in the entire system, you could use the audio only units when traveling and need quick access to your baby in a hotel suite or rental house.

If you live in an apartment and do not want to hang a camera, the audio-only unit is also a great choice since you don’t need to put any additional hardware or holes in the wall to maximize its use.

How to Choose the Right Monitor for You

First, analyze your budget. There is an incredible range of video systems on the market right now, so you need to identify first what you’re willing to spend on a system.

Next, you’ll want to determine if you require a standard video system with a handheld monitor or if you want a more technologically advanced smart phone video system. Consider the costs of adding wifi or an app subscription service if you want the latter.

You’ll then want to consider if you’ll be adding any additional cameras to the system. If you plan on having more children in the near future, or if you want to see more than one play area at a time, you’ll want to make sure that you have a system that quickly allows you to flip between these areas. Many multi-camera systems include monitors that automatically switch between cameras at set time intervals (usually 5-10 seconds each).

Finally, you’ll need to decide what features are most important to you. Do you want a system that allows you to talk back to your baby with a built in walkie talkie? Do you want temperature gauges or breathing monitors?

Do you want a touch screen or a standard screen with buttons? You can choose systems that have all of these features or just a few. Thankfully, there is a system for every budget and need these days.

Benefits of a Video Monitor

For many parents, these systems meet the sweet spot between the basic necessity of the audio monitor and the more technologically advanced smart phone systems. The video monitoring systems include excellent cameras (many have 760p or 1080 p and broadcast in HD), and can project their videos equally well in both bright daylight and reduced or complete darkness. Infrared technology on these systems ensures that you can see your baby easily 24 hours a day.

The video systems are easy to set up, as they require just a few moments for each unit to be plugged in and charged. Like the audio only units, these require no extensive technological knowledge and most anyone can use them.

Some non-technologically advanced caretakers may have a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the buttons, particularly on the touch screen models, but for the most part, these systems are intuitive and responsive.

Additionally, the video monitoring systems are getting more savvy with every new release, and most models come with walkie talkie functionality, pre-recorded songs, temperature monitoring, and built-in night lights. Most of these systems can be built upon with the purchase of additional cameras, which makes for an easy way to monitor multiple areas of your house easily.

Benefits of a Smart Phone System

While the video monitoring systems and smart phone systems have many of the same features, the smart phone systems have two clear advantages.

For one, they are able to aggregate the data in a way that the video monitoring systems cannot since the video systems have no way of compiling or analyzing data in the long term.

The smart phone systems also have the ability to adapt as the technology grows. It seems as if our advances in computing and engineering jump daily, as these monitoring systems reflect that.

Once you purchase a video system, you do not have the ability to upgrade the technology without purchasing a completely new system; there is no way to make the technology any better than the moment you purchase it.

With a smart phone system, you are able to upgrade the functionality as soon as it is released on the app, which makes a product that can grow with you and your family’s needs without buying completely new equipment.

Smart Phone Monitor Pros

The newest thing in baby monitoring, a smart phone compatible monitoring system gives you more freedom than ever when it comes to keeping an eye on your child. Unlike older video monitoring systems that required you to use a handheld parent unit within several hundred feet of the camera, a smart phone system allows you to see your child from anywhere and any corner of the globe.

This is a wonderful way to connect with your child if you travel but still want to be a part of the bedtime routine, or if you work nights and want to check in on your sleeping child.

They can also be a comfort to working parents who want to check in with their babies from time to time without making the commute back home. Instead of calling home, they simply bring up a camera with the ease of checking their email.

These systems grew of out of the popularity of live stream security videos, and parents realized their potential as a child monitoring system. Today, parents can use them to watch over daily caregivers in real time, as well as make sure the baby is sleeping at night.

The smart phone systems allow for a breadth of information at your fingertips that a traditional video system just isn’t capable of.

In addition to the temperature gauges, lullabies, and two way talk that many regular video monitoring systems have, the smart phone monitoring companies also offer no-touch breathing analysis, live stream in HD, cloud password controlled access, and multi-day recording and retrieval.

Never before have parents been able to see and analyze so much information about their babies’ sleeping patterns, safety, and movement.

While they are more technologically advanced, these systems are generally easy to set up, both in your home and on your smart phone. Most of the companies provide users with warranties and 24/7 customer service if the connection isn’t working correctly.

Things to Be Aware of with Smart Phone Systems

As with everything in technology, there is always the chance that things can go wrong.

These smart phone systems do require some basic knowledge of wifi technology, so, if you’re not comfortable doing something like setting up your own router, you might be intimidated by the process of setting up and installing the camera and apps.

Even with helpful customer service, many parents have had to return smart phone systems for audio-only or traditional video monitoring systems because of issues with wifi connectivity.

Furthermore, some smart phone systems can only connect with certain speeds of wifi; if your wifi is not compatible, you have to make the decision to increase your wifi speed (and, therefore, increase your internet bill) or exchange the system for something less technologically advanced.

When you’re considering a cell phone based monitoring system keep in mind that these will require consistent app updates, both on your end and the company’s end.

If you do not continue to update the app, you run the risk of having an outdated version of the app, which may eventually cause your system to stop working until you update the app. These app-based systems are also in their relative infancy, so the app updates are coming quickly.

Another thing to consider is what will happen when a particular system is discontinued by the company: will the company continue to provide updates for the app as new phone systems are unveiled?

Because of the nature of these apps, many require a subscription service. If you’re on a budget, this is another issue to consider, as some subscriptions can run upwards of $100 a year.

Accessing the subscription allows you to reach the full range of the smart phone monitoring systems’ ability, but it does come at a cost. If you choose to purchase the smart phone system but then let your paid app subscription lapse, you will still be able to use some of the more basic features.

However, if you are just using these basic features instead of paying for the full range, you are likely to get a better deal by just purchasing a traditional video monitoring system. Consider your long term plans for the the smart phone system: how long are you planning to use it?

If you want to use it for more than a year, you’ll have to ask yourself if the $100-200 in app subscription fees could be used to purchase a better non-subscription monitoring system–or if you could use that money somewhere else in the baby budget. That decision really comes down to what your family needs in terms of a monitoring service.

A major concern with the smart phone systems has been the ability of hackers to gain access to the wifi networks the apps run off of and see live streams of children through the associated cameras. According to a 2015 CBS report , some smart phone monitors are easily accessed by people with even a basic knowledge of hacking.

These unsecure systems put your child and your family at risk. Thankfully, the companies that manufacture and support these systems are working every day to provide safer, more reliable wifi systems that have multiple layers of encryption. Additionally, many systems are now adding passwords and other security measures to ensure that only parents are provided access to those live stream videos.

Unlike traditional video monitoring systems which allow you to see a live stream of your child anytime you turn on the monitor, the smart phone systems do not pop up every time you turn on your phone.

While you can access a live stream of your baby at any time through the apps, most do not allow you to run the app in the background of your phone so that it provides a continuous video.

Opening the app to see your baby is not difficult, but that extra step might be cumbersome for parents who aren’t sure if a smart phone system is right for them.

Wrapping Up

With the staggering array of baby monitoring systems available on the market today, you are more likely than ever to find the exact one that gives you peace of mind.

Technological advances in baby monitoring means that your baby is safer and more secure, and that you have vast opportunities to check in on your baby no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

Audio only systems provide a no-fuss way to keep your baby safe, while video systems provide a window into your baby’s sleeping habits.

Technology-lovers will find great value in the growing smart phone monitoring systems, which allow unprecedented look at your baby’s long-term sleeping habits through apps, cloud based video playback and subscription services.

Whether you decide on a standard audio system, upgrade to a video monitor, or use the 21st century technology of the smart phone systems, your baby is sure to be in good hands.

Kate Trout

Hi there, I'm Kate! I started Maternity Glow to be a place to learn all about practical parenting tips, baby care tricks, and healthy-living hacks for new and expecting moms.

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