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The best baby camera monitors in 2021: keep a close eye on your baby

Best baby camera monitor
(Image credit: BT)

The best baby camera monitors are smarter than ever. Instead of merely squawking into life with the garbled cries of your little one next door, today’s monitors feature HD video 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 watch over your child, streaming live video footage back to the display or to a parent's camera phone. 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 camera monitors can be moved remotely, panning tilting and zooming so you can get a clearer look at your child wherever they are. Most have a display for remote viewing – but others rely entirely on a smartphone app.

If you are looking to save money, 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..

Baby camera monitors can give you specific skills, however, like temperature estimates. An 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.

Here is our pick of the best baby camera monitors right now…

Best baby camera monitors

(Image credit: VTech )

2: VTech VM901 Baby Monitor

Best baby camera monitor overall with pan, tilt and zoom

Video resolution: 1080P | Two-way audio: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | Storage: None

Large 5in display
Remote pan/tilt zoom
Temperature lens
No cloud services

This option from VTech has 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.

(Image credit: Kodak)

2: Kodak Cherish C525

Smart baby camera monitor with all the right moves

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: Motorola)

3: 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: Nanit)

4: Nanit Pro

Luxury baby camera with bird's eye of the cot

Video resolution: 1080P | Two-way audio: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | Storage: Optional cloud backup

Wall mount or tall stand
Built-in night light
Monitors baby's breathing
Optional video back-up service
No monitor supplied (you use your smartphone or tablet)

This is a luxury baby monitor that offers some additional features to its rivals. 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. Swaddle bands and wraps can be used for parents who want to monitor baby's breathing patterns - rather than simply if they are asleep. You do need to provide your own smartphone or tablet to see footage, or to get the reports on how well your child is sleeping. For 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.

(Image credit: Babysense)

5: 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.

(Image credit: Nest)

6: 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

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.

Guides to other security products:

Best indoor security cameras 

Best outdoor security cameras

Best dash cam in 2021

The best pet cameras

The best video doorbell cameras

The best body cameras for personal security

Best camera phones in 2021

Best VPN

Alistair has been a journalist since 2011 and used to be Deputy Technology Editor at IBTimes  in London. His specialist tech subjects include smart home gadgets, phones, wearables, tablets and dashcams.