When it comes to the best baby camera monitors, the Nanit Pro is a very worthy contender. As a mum of three (aged five, one and nine months), I have been using the Nanit Pro for the last two months, and it's so much more than just a baby monitor.
My set-up at home sees my two youngest in different rooms, so I need a system that allows me to monitor them both simultaneously. To do so, I tested a bundle of Nanit products – Nanit Pro camera with floor stand, Nanit Pro camera with Flex stand, travel pack and breathing band – which, even when buying as a bundle offer to save, would still cost in excess of $650 / £650.
Setting each camera up was really simple. They both come part assembled and is obvious, without instructions, how they go together. The main camera can either work as a floor stand, which can cleverly adapt to have just two legs that can lean against the crib if you’re short on space, or it can be wall mounted. The smaller, more portable of the two cameras was simply a case of taking it out of the box, attaching the camera and then putting it into position.
It's worth noting they both need a power supply nearby, which wasn't such an issue with the floor stand as the cable is plenty long enough. The Flex Stand power cable, however, is much shorter, which might restrict where it can go in some rooms.
Nanit Pro review: Features
The Nanit Pro does not come with a separate display unit. The system connects to your home internet and provides a live stream directly to your smartphone or device. Whether this suits you or not will be an entirely personal choice, but it's worth noting more baby monitor manufacturers seem to be moving to this kind of setup. I personally prefer to have a separate unit, so using my phone as the main monitor display took some getting used to.
There are pros and cons to this system, the main positive being able to check in on the kids in real-time if they are at home with a sitter. And there's the option to split screen, so you can easily monitor both kids at the same time.
This display system fell short for me, however, as I use my phone regularly for work during the evening, which meant constantly switching between the live feed and whatever app I needed to open. It obviously affects the devices battery life too, and after a day of using my phone, the little juice I had left was quickly used up by streaming the live feed. Making sure you close the app properly while it's not in use is essential for this, as it will continue streaming even if the app isn't open.
The display also doesn't go off and turn on where there is movement/noise like other products do to conserve energy. The display is always on and can be set to Night mode, where it will dim when you go to bed, and you'll need to physically tap the screen to brighten it again.
Nanit Pro review: Connectivity
Pairing the cameras with the Nanit app was very straightforward. The app provides you with prompts, so it’s very hard to go wrong. I’ve never had a problem with connecting to the main camera, but the flex stand, however, is a different story.
Despite being in just the next room, I have had to re-pair this device to my wireless network multiple times in order to get the live feed to my smartphone. It’s lucky pairing the device is such a simple process, otherwise, I would almost certainly have given up on it by now.
Nanit Pro review: Camera quality
The Nanit Pro offers 1080p HD video quality, and there’s no denying it’s more than enough for a baby monitor’s needs. You lose the tiniest bit of quality when zooming in (as I did multiple times), but it’s still clear enough to see the movement of the baby breathing in night mode. Even when the display is split across multiple cameras, the picture quality is not affected.
Like so many premium baby monitors these days, you can buy a breathing band or swaddle with the Nanit Pro system. Both of these can be wrapped around a baby, which the Nanit camera can then identify and monitor breathing patterns. Again, this is another entirely personal choice as to whether you buy and use it. I know for some, monitoring a baby's heart rate and breathing can cause severe anxiety, and for others, they can't sleep without knowing their baby is wearing one.
The Nanit breathing band uses patented computer vision technology (no sensors or electronics involved), to track breaths per minute (BPM) and it claims to respond quickly to changes by sending real-time alerts through the app and to the camera should it detect anything out of the ordinary.
The times I used this on Millie (eight months) she was well and had regular breathing patterns so I didn't get any such alerts and felt very reassured by the results. I did, however, lose connectivity with the camera a few times during use, which skewed some results.
That said, the insights I have gotten from the main Nanit Pro floor stand have been really insightful and invaluable. For my 18-month-old especially, it regularly sends me reports to say how she is sleeping, whether there are any patterns and offers tips as to how I could maybe help improve her sleep overall. I also really like how it records and saves activity for a time, as well as creating video memories of things like morning pickups (when the cuddles are the best, right?).
Nanit Pro review: Verdict
There's no doubt about it, there's a lot going for the Nanit Pro baby monitor. It will suit parents who want to monitor breathing and be able to check in on their little ones while out of the house down to the ground. The insights into sleep habits and recorded activity are brilliant extras, too.
But you pay for those added extras in the extremely premium price tag, which might just be too much for some. The initial cost includes a year's worth of insights for free, but if you want to continue with them, that's an additional charge at the end of the first 12 months.
Overall, the Nanit Pro is a top-quality system, with a few small niggles that need ironing out. The question is whether you need or want the extra features and benefits this system offers, and if, indeed, you can afford them.