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The best baby camera monitors in 2020

Best baby camera monitor
(Image credit: BT)

The best baby camera monitors, like many home gadgets, are smarter than ever. Instead of merely squalking into life with the garbled cries of your little one next door, today’s monitors feature HD cameras with night vision, large color displays, companion smartphone apps, and even integration with Alexa and Google Assistant.

These products all broadly do the same job. They faithfully watch over your child, streaming live video footage back to the display or a connected smartphone in the parents’ bedroom. But there are some key differences to be aware of. Most offer HD video, but many cap their resolution at 720p, while others extend to the sharper 1080p standard.

Some smart baby cameras can be moved remotely, panning tilting and zooming so you can get a clear look at your child wherever they are. Most come with a display for remote viewing, but others rely entirely on a smartphone app, and to that extent work more like a smart security camera.

Speaking of which, you could potentially save yourself some money by buying a home security camera from the likes of Nest instead of dedicated baby monitor. A Nest cam could also be integrated into a house-wide smart surveillance system, or a camera like the Wyze could save you a fortune, but lack specific baby monitor features like temperature estimates.

Extra features like voice control via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant mean you can trigger some functions, like play a lullaby, by asking your smart speaker.

When buying a smart baby monitor, we believe video and audio quality are of paramount importance, and so too is the speed at which a live picture begins appearing on the display (or phone app) when requested. Extra features like voice assistant integration and the ability to play lullabies are, in our opinion, less important. With this in mind, here is our pick of the best baby camera monitors…

Best baby camera monitors

(Image credit: Kodak)

1: Kodak Cherish C525

Best all-in-one baby camera monitor with pan, tilt and zoom

Video resolution: 720p | Two-way audio: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | Storage: SD card or cloud

5-inch widescreen display 
HD camera with night vision 
Pan, tilt and zoom
Fairly expensive
Wall mounting might not be an option for some

The Kodak Cherish C525 is an all-singing, all-dancing baby camera. It features an HD camera with 720p resolution, but more importantly is how the camera can pan, tilt and zoom; that way, you can clearly see your baby, even if they’ve moved around in the night.

The camera runs off rechargeable batteries, is wall-mountable if you prefer, and connects to your Wi-Fi network. It then streams live, HD video to the included 5-inch HD display, which can be switched on or off with a single touch. There’s infrared night vision for providing a clear view at night, and the camera can also be set to play soothing lullabies or white noise to help your baby fall asleep.

Footage can be stored locally to an SD card in the camera, or saved to the Kodak Smart Home app on your smartphone, and uploaded to the cloud for safe keeping. Finally, there’s a smart notification system to alert you to your baby’s noises, and a clear timeline in the app keeps all recordings and alerts in chronological order.

(Image credit: Arlo)

2: Arlo Baby

Best baby camera monitor to use with your own display

Video resolution: 1080p | Two-way audio: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | Storage: Smartphone app

1080p Full HD resolution
Cute child-friendly design
Smartphone app control
No display included

Arlo is the smart home security camera brand of networking company Netgear, and the Arlo Baby is – unsurprisingly – a baby camera monitor. But instead of coming with a dedicated monitor like most others, this is just a camera; you have to supply your own monitor, in the form of a smartphone or tablet.

This may sound like an inconvenience, but it means added convenience for anyone who already uses their smartphone as a home surveillance hub, and also less waste when you eventually come to through the monitor away. The good news is also how the Arlo Baby’s camera resolution is 1080p Full HD, which is far sharper than the 720p of many other options.

The camera’s field of view can be adjusted from 90 to 130 degrees by pinching on the view finder, and as well as viewing on your smartphone, you can put the camera’s video feed on a Google/Nest Home Hub or Amazon Alexa smart display, via a voice command. As well as sound and vision, the Arlo Baby also has an air quality monitor for measuring room temperature and humidity.

Finally, the Arlo Baby’s design helps it stand out from the crowd. We’re sure many will call it child-friendly, but we wonder quite how comforting a camera with ears looks to a small child in the dead of night!

(Image credit: VTech)

3: VTech 5261 Baby Monitor

Wide-angle lens and a large display

Video resolution: Not stated | Two-way audio: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | Storage: None

Wide angle lens
Large 5in display
No ‘smart’ features

This option from VTech has a large 5-inch color LCD display and a compact camera with an impressively wide 170-degree lens. The camera also has pan, tilt and 2x digital zoom functions for keeping an eye on your little one when they move around the cot.

There’s infrared night vision too, and a vibrating alert system for quietly getting your attention if the baby moves around at night. Two-way audio means you can comfort your baby from another room, and the two units are claimed to work up to 300 metres away, so you can head into the garden while still keeping an eye on your baby.

The system offers four nature-inspired background sounds and five lullabies to help promote sleep. Finally, there is a temperature sensor for making sure the baby’s room isn’t too hot or cold during the night.

(Image credit: BT)

4: BT Smart Video Baby Monitor 6000

Fun design and integration with Alexa and Google Assistant

Video resolution: 720p | Two-way audio: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | Storage: Smartphone app

Playful design
5-inch display
Pans by 135 degrees
Alexa and Google Assistant control
Not available in USA
Not 1080p Full HD
Only one night light color

BT might not be your first port of call when shopping for a baby camera, but the UK telecom company’s originally-named Smart Baby Monitor comes highly recommended. The camera has a playful, child-friendly design, a large 5-inch display, and the option to check in on the temperature of your baby’s room.

Smart home fans will be pleased to see how the BT Smart Baby Monitor integrates with Amazon Echo and Google/Nest Home. This means you can ask Alexa or Google Assistant to play a lullaby or check your baby’s temperature.

You don’t need to use the included display, as the BT Smart Controls app can be used to stream live video to your smartphone, or save photos and video. Being able to use the phone app too means you can leave the display at home for the babysitter, then check up via your phone from wherever you are.

(Image credit: Motorola)

5: Motorola MBP481

Baby monitoring on a budget

Video resolution: Not stated | Two-way audio: No | Night vision: Yes | Motion alerts: No | Storage: None

Low price
Very simple
Compact display unit
Lacks audio
No motion detection

If you are looking for a baby camera monitor on a budget, then the Motorola MBP481 is a popular low-cost alternative. Costing considerably less than options from Arlo and others, the Motorola still offering basic remote video monitoring.

There is no smartphone app or Wifi connectivity, but for anyone concerned about connected camera being hacked, then an offline solution like this could be appealing. The 0.3-megapixel camera and monitor unit are both fairly compact, with the former being mains powered and the latter having its own rechargeable battery.

The color display measures two inches diagonally and above it sits an LED sound level indicator, showing if your child is crying, and how loudly. The camera also has infrared night vision.

(Image credit: Babysense)

6: Babysense Video Baby Monitor

A dual-camera setup for multiple angle coverage (or twins)

Video resolution: Not stated | Two-way audio: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Motion alerts: No | Storage: None

Option for two or three cameras
Not connected to the web
Well priced
Small display
Few features

If you have twins, or want to sync up several cameras to one monitoring system, then the Babysense monitor is for you. This kit comes with two cameras and a monitor, but up to four cameras can be added to the system helping you keep an eye on your little one wherever they are sleeping.

Two-way audio means you can hear your baby and they can hear you, and although the system doesn’t connect to Wifi, its makers claim a range between camera and monitor of up to 300 metres. There’s also infrared night vision, temperature monitoring to make sure the baby’s room isn’t too hot or cold, and a system for playing lullabies.

The only real downside for this low-cost system is the display, which at 2.4 inches is fairly small.

If you prefer, there is also a single camera version…

(Image credit: Nest)

7: Nest Cam Indoor

The smart camera alternative

Video resolution: 1080p Full HD | Two-way audio: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | Storage: Cloud

Full HD video
Attractive, compact design
Can be set to record everything
Not a purpose-built baby monitor
Expensive

Now for an alternative - the Nest Cam Indoor is not a purpose-built baby monitor. Instead, it is a smart indoor security camera. But because it offers excellent video quality, two-way audio, night vision and motion detection, we think it could make a good alternative.

Nest is owned by Google and using a Cam Indoor as a baby monitor would make sense if you already have other Nest or Google Home products in your property.

There is no monitor, but instead the footage can be viewed on a smartphone, tablet, or smart display like the Nest Home Hub. Nest cameras aren’t cheap, but if you plan on building out a larger home security system, using the Cam Indoor as a baby monitor could be a smart move – and once your child has grown up, it could be used for something else around the home.

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