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Choosing the best baby monitor for your family

With an ever-growing list of features, finding the best baby monitor for your family can be as confusing as picking out a new car. A second ago I made a quick list of features, just off the top of my head. I came up with no less than 27 different options available on video and audio monitors in the market today, and that was without even looking!

So, how do you decide which is the best one for you? I aways tell people to start with their lifestyle and needs and go from there. There’s no point wasting your money on a super portable monitor if you’re only going to use it at home. Don’t buy something so packed with high tech features if you’re not the techy type. There are so many monitors on the market today, you will be sure to find the right one for you — if you know what you’re looking for, so lets get started.

best baby monitor for tech lovers

For the techy

This year video baby monitors took a huge leap in terms on the high tech options that are available. Hands down, the brand new Nanit takes the lead in the tech department. First off, this monitor boasts top rated security, because it doesn’t use your IP address to stream. The Nanit uses an encrypted video stream from their servers to your authenticated devices and a unique directional antenna that keeps wifi signals away from the baby.

Features include full HD picture quality with zoom and night vision, a white noise machine (or 6 soothing song options), a motion sensor that will ping your smartphone for movement or noise and room temperature and humidity tracking. It even measures your babies overall sleep patterns — think sleep tracker for babies!

Secondly, I would recommend the Motorola Smart Nursery 7 which offers these kinds of features but also comes with the sleek handheld parental unit with large screen.

best travel baby monitor
For the traveler

Baby monitor designers have gotten smart in recent years and, thankfully, made video monitors more portable. When looking for a monitor that travels well, look for monitors with long-range capabilities that run on rechargeable long-life batteries. A great option for traveling is the Infant Optics DXR-5. This cute little monitor has amazing ratings across the internet, and I can see why. Small and sturdy, with a long range of about 800 feet, this monitor still manages to sell at one of the lowest price points for a video monitor.

My second favorite, and I’m only putting this one second because of price point, is the Zooby Car & Home Baby Monitor by Infantech. This system comes complete with plugin adapters for car viewing (priceless on long drives) and for home. But, seriously, how cute are these?! Even better, you can add more than one Zooby to your system for split screen viewing.

best home baby monitor
For home sweet home

I feel like when most people in the know think of video baby monitors they think of Summer Infant, for good reason. Summer Infant baby monitors have kept a cornerstone on the video monitor market because of their reliability, ease of use and durability. You can always rely on their outstanding customer service.

For a great monitor with tons of features, check out the Summer Infant Wide View 2.0. Up to 4 cameras can simultaneously stream on their 5″ flat screen, color LCD video display with black and white night vision. Other features include 2-way communication, zoom and an extra wide lens so you can see more of baby’s room at once.

I’d also recommend the Kodak Baby Monitoring System for parents looking for a stationary monitoring system. The Kodak Baby Monitoring System bursts with top-of-the-line features, including infrared night vision, a two-way talk system, the ability to add additional cameras, an extended range parent unit and 100 percent digital privacy. In addition, the picture quality on this monitor tops other monitors I’ve seen. However, there is no dedicated parent unit for viewing. An app on your phone controls the camera (iOS and Android). Make sure you check out our full review of this camera for more information.

best audio baby monitor
For audio only

If you’re looking for an audio only monitor, don’t worry about missing out on the fun options available in video monitors. The VTech Safe & Sound DM271-102 DECT 6.0 Digital Audio Baby Monitor offers two-way communication, glow on ceiling night light, a max range of 1,000 feet, vibrating sound alert, and an open/closed sensor you can attach to any door or cabinet that will alert you when it is moved — great for the escape artist you need to track from across your property!

For the minimalist mom, my favorite pick is the wearable Summer Infant Babble Band Wearable Baby Monitor. I wear a smartwatch and live by the silent pings I get during the day, so the Babble Band lets me keep track of nursery sounds without having to carry around a parent unit or disturbing those around me. We found this especially useful for whoever ended up on night parenting duty, allowing the other parent to sleep peacefully.

What features do you look for in a monitor?

Meet the Author | Nicole Yontz


A SoCal girl transplanted to the Arizona desert, Nicole Yontz is the go-to girl for all things gear. She shares her home with her handsome husband, their two daughters (Audrey & Abbey), two dogs, one fish, and countless dust bunnies. When she’s not busy testing out the latest and greatest in gear on her darling little guinea pigs, you will often find her getting a pedicure as she does every single week. Because there’s no law that says you can’t.

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