The best baby camera monitors 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 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 cameras 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
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.
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!
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.
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 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 900 feet (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 less-expensive single camera version…
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.
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:
The best indoor security camera
The best body cameras for personal security