Best Baby Monitors 2023: An Essential Guide for New Parents
Choosing a good baby monitor is essential for new parents.
From the very first day, a monitor offers peace of mind and reassurance when your little one sleeps. During daytime naps or nighttime sleeping, you’ll be able to hear them stirring before they cry out. Many baby monitors offer extra features too to set your mind at rest.
The tricky part of choosing a baby monitor is deciding which one to buy.
The sky is the limit, from simple audio to all singing all dancing models.
Why do you need a baby monitor?
Within the first six months of a baby’s life, they are at higher risk of SIDS (Sudden Death Infant Syndrome), also known as ‘cot death’. Sadly, around 200 babies in the UK die from SIDS each year.
SIDS is the sudden, unexpected, unexplained death of a healthy baby without apparent health conditions.
Whilst this sounds alarming, your baby’s risk of dying from it is very low. Although the cause of SIDS is unknown, research has shown it to be a combination of factors contributing to SIDS. For this reason, medical professionals recommend you follow safe sleeping advice.
Buying a baby monitor will not prevent SIDS. Nevertheless, modern monitors can detect room temperature, breathing or heart rate and show video footage to put your mind at rest. Therefore, baby monitor technology has moved on.
Above all, a monitor reassures parents.
What to look for in a baby monitor?
Models exist to suit every family and budget.
When choosing a baby monitor, you’ll want to consider several factors.
Will it work in your house?
Each baby monitor has a set range. The range will need to be suitable if you live in a house across multiple floors. Materials used in your home can affect the monitor, so performance across older houses may be affected.
Does it detect movement?
Some models include a movement sensor under the baby’s mattress or wearable technology such as socks and straps. A sensor plays an alarm if it detects no movement within a specific timeframe, which can be helpful if you’re feeling particularly anxious.
Can it detect room temperature?
To comply with safe sleeping, a baby’s room should be 16-20°C. Pick a monitor that displays the room temperature to suit your baby.
Can you see and soothe your baby?
Cheaper baby monitors tend to offer audio-only. However, more sophisticated monitors can incorporate video technology so that you can see your baby.
Place the camera to get the best view of the baby. It might be best to use a high cupboard or shelf, or if that’s not available, use a wall-mounted camera. Also, consider wires and keep cables away from the baby to avoid choking.
Two-way communication allows you to calm or soothe your baby through the monitor. Some models also play relaxing music and lights to help your baby self-settle.
Does it use digital or WiFi technology?
Baby monitors typically use either digital or wifi technology.
Digital monitors send a signal directly from a transmitter to the receiver unit. Conversely, WiFi baby monitors connect to your home network through your router. Therefore, a Wi-Fi connection requires extra security to prevent potential hackers from accessing your baby’s monitor.
Can you link it to your phone?
Modern baby monitors can connect via an app on your smartphone or tablet, which means you can check on your baby even when you’re not in the house. Parents at work or who travel love this. What’s more, you can connect some monitors to smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home.
How does it recharge?
Base units typically use batteries, rechargeable batteries or USB cables. You will want to find a baby monitor with good battery life, so it’s not running out when you need it.
How much does a baby monitor cost?
The price of a baby monitor is a bit like asking, ‘how long is a piece of string?’. Monitors can range from £20 for a more basic model to over £300 for some high-tech options.
Audio-only baby monitors with limited functionality are cheaper. They allow you to listen to your baby when sleeping in a different room, but that’s probably it.
You’d find these monitors wired or battery-powered for just £20.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a video baby monitor, you’ll be able to see and hear your baby.
Video baby monitors are more expensive than audio-only, but cheaper options are available. Of course, the more reasonable the price tag, the lower the quality of the video player.
With the more sophisticated technology, you can get more features to track your baby’s well-being. If budget is not an issue, top-end baby monitors include temperature and movement sensors, sleep trends, artificial intelligence, mobile device compatibility, wearable technology and HD video quality.
Our favourite best baby monitors 2023
Best budget baby monitor:
This baby monitor may have a small price tag, but parents love it. The unit will pick up subtle noises up to a 450m range with a five-level indicator.
It uses digital transmission and also includes a belt clip for moving around.
We found the VTech DM1111 audio baby monitor for a bargain price of £20, which means it is perfect for smaller budgets or as a backup monitor for nights out of the house.
Best audio-only baby monitor: Babymoov Premium Care
When simplicity is key, this audio-only monitor is easy to set up and will suit less tech-savvy users, such as older relatives.
It features high-quality sound, a temperature sensor with an alarm, a night light, lullabies and a two-way speaker. The monitor also offers low electromagnetic emissions promising to reassure parents.
You can pick the monitor up at around £80.
Best video baby monitor: VTech VM3254 colour video
Video technology doesn’t always mean expensive, but naturally, the cheaper the product, the lower the quality.
The VTech VM3254 colour video baby monitor has an impressive full-colour 2.8-inch screen and intuitive buttons to pan the baby camera around in all directions.
Parents can talk to their baby through the monitor, and there’s an audio alert when the baby starts to move around. Additionally, infrared night vision automatically switches on when the lights go out. The camera is wall mountable, has an in-built night light, four lullabies, a 300m range, and displays the temperature in the baby’s room.
It’s a great value video baby monitor for just £50.
Best smart baby monitor: Bluebell Ultimate 9-in-1
With HD-quality video, this baby monitor tracks routines and monitors sleep patterns through the Bluebell app. It includes practical features such as a nightlight, lullabies, white noise, and nine in-built safety features.
The hi-tech monitor will measure breathing, body temperature, crying, tummy rolls, room temperature, audio, sleep, video and parent routines.
Parents can use the app to gain insights and reminders to improve their baby’s routine. You can track nappy changes, feeds, pumping, medication, bath time and sleep.
The top-end monitor costs £349.00, though.
Best wearable baby monitor: Owlet Smart Sock
One of the more expensive monitors, this intelligent baby monitor uses clinically-proven pulse oximetry to measure your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels.
The monitor sends alerts through the base station to notify you with lights and sound if something is wrong.
It will also send your baby’s readings directly on your phone, alerting you instantly if oxygen levels drop below the preset threshold.
However, you will pay more at around £279.
Free checklist: Compare the baby monitor features that matter most to you
Choosing the right monitor is a tricky decision.
Whether you’re concerned about budget or features, we’ve pulled together a checklist to determine which baby monitor is right for your family.
Download your free printable checklist below. We hope it helps you to research the different features and find your perfect model.