The best baby camera monitor is an essential item for anyone caring for tiny humans. They can help you to watch over a child while they (hopefully) sleep, offering you the chance to get on with other things, content in the knowledge that your little ones are safe.
Baby camera monitors have come on leaps and bounds in recent years, with many of them featuring highly sophisticated technology that allows live streaming to a display unit, or to an app on your smart devices such as a camera phone or iPad. Some cameras can be moved remotely, which means you can change the angle by panning, tilting or even zooming, to get a clearer look at your child.
The best baby camera monitors don't have award-winning resolutions, but then they don't need to. Most of the decent ones will offer at least 720p HD, while the slightly more premium ones may go up to 1080p Full HD for more detail.
They can also come with features specifically tailored towards looking after a baby, including room temperature estimates, or voice control through virtual assistants that can allow you to play a lullaby or speak to your baby through your smart speaker. On advanced systems, the Nanit Pro, for example, you can even watch two cameras on one screen at the same time.
Also worth considering are indoor security cameras from the likes of Nest instead of dedicated baby monitors, which can be integrated easily into a larger home security system. The best nanny camera can also offer peace of mind, as a device to help with nannying or keep a close eye on your nanny.
There are many options available now, which can make choosing the best baby camera monitor tricky. We've included a number of options to suit a variety of budgets and needs.
Best baby camera monitors
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When it comes to features and quality, this option from VTech offers excellent value for money. One of the best baby monitors available now, the device features a large 5-inch color LCD display and a compact camera with a120-degree lens than can remotely controlled via a pan/tilt and zoom motor, 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.
One of the best things about this device is the ability to live stream on your smart device and the entirely separate monitor, which, if you're not a fan of using your phone or tablet in this way, will make all the difference.
VTech has also released a slightly bigger version, the RM7764HD with a 7-inch display, which is now available at Amazon US .
If money isn't an option, the Nanit Pro is one of the best baby camera monitors, and so much more. First off, it is designed to give an aerial view of the cot - using a wall-mounted bracket, or a tall vertical stand that hides the wires from tiny hands. It also comes complete with swaddle bands and wraps to go around the baby if parents want to monitor breathing patterns.
The deal breaker for some parents with this particular device is the lack of a separate display. You need to have access to a smartphone or tablet to see the footage, or to get reports on how well your child is sleeping. For an additional fee (from $50/year, but free for the first year), the Insights service provides access to video history, morning and evening highlight reels, sleep tracking, personalized sleep coaching, and breathing motion monitoring.
The Cubo Ai Plus Smart Baby Monitor really feels like the next generation of this type of camera. It's equipped with the latest in AI tracking technology, and as such, is able to detect when a baby might be in danger, It can spot a baby rolling over onto the front, or covering their face with a blanket, and notify the parents accordingly. It can even listen out for coughs!
It's also equipped with night vision, auto-light sensitivity adjustment, and a 135° wide-angle lens. You've got two-way audio, as well as a bank of built-in lullabies, and the Cubo can detect a baby's temperature and the level of humidity in the air.
We could go on about what the Cubo Ai Plus can do – it's a hugely impressive piece of kit. The only real strike against it is the cost, as it comes at a high initial price tag, and then to get the best features, you need to subscribe to one of the care plans, which puts you on the hook for a monthly cost. A premium option then, but worth it if you can afford it.
We're currently in the process of putting this device through its paces, and it's a seriously impressive piece of kit – stay tuned for a full review coming very soon.
The Kodak Cherish C525 is an all-singing, all-dancing baby camera. It features an HD camera with 720p resolution, but more important 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 to provide a clear view at night, and the camera can also 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 safekeeping. 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.
This camera lets you see it all, from anywhere; and zoom in once the camera is perfectly positioned. The supplied camera can be remotely swiveled and up to three more camera can be added, while the screen has a generous all-day power (30h) with its 5200mAh battery.
The 720P display offers a good deal more resolution than standard baby monitors (though won’t impress Those going for Devices like the Nest home security camera below). Not using WiFi will be appreciated by some but not others; if you’re looking to make hacking even harder, this is a good choice. It also includes a temperature sensor so you can be confident things aren’t too chilly and built-in lullabies.
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.
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 another camera can be added to the system helping you keep an eye on your little ones wherever they are sleeping.
Two-way audio means you can hear your baby and (optionally) 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 breathing movement sensor you can place under the mattress to ensure everything checks out.
The only real downside for this low-cost system is the display, which at 2.4 inches is fairly small.
There is an alternative way of keeping your eye on the baby.... 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 the Nest Cam Indoor as a baby monitor would make sense if you already have other Nest or Google Home products in your property (such as a Nest video doorbell).
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 can easily be used for something else around the home.
One of the cheaper video baby monitors, but it still manages to pack most of the significant features and a decent battery life (running a smaller screen requires less juice, the 19 hours would be expected). The system also claims 1000ft / 300m of range and even half that would be pretty handy.
Moving onto areas you might expect corners to be cut, you’ll still find 2-way talk, lullabies, and the option to adjust your VOX setting so the screen only wakes up and alerts you (a parent likely also in need of sleep) if needed. Finally a two camera option is available for less than some of the one camera devices elsewhere on this list.
How we test cameras
At DCW, we test and review all different types of cameras, including conventional cameras for photography and video, as well as more specialized cameras such as baby monitors. In the latter case, we look at specific camera features, such as battery life, connectivity, night vision, and price, in order to assess how well the camera fulfills its function, and whether it offers good value for money.
Find out more about how we test and review on Digital Camera World.