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Best Baby Monitors 2018 [Find The Best Monitor For You]

September 14, 2018

Most new parents list a baby monitor at the top of their registry wish list, and for good reason. A quality baby monitor notifies you when your baby wakes up or needs your attention — even if you’re in another part of the house or sound asleep. Baby monitors range from basic models to fancy gadgets with all the bells and whistles. The right monitor can give you much needed peace of mind in the hectic first months of your child’s life.

Learn About Your Options

How do you know which type is the right baby monitor for you? We’ve combed through hundreds of baby monitor reviews to present to you the best-rated baby monitors of 2018. We’ll walk you through how to identify your priorities and weigh the pros and cons of the best baby monitors available.

Read on for our guide to choosing the right baby monitor for your family.

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How to Choose the Best Monitor for Your Baby

Before you start researching different baby monitor models, you’ll want to figure out the specific needs of your family. If your baby has special or unique needs, you’ll want to take that into consideration as well. For example, parents of premature babies typically want more details on their baby during the first few months of being home.

Here are a few other important questions to think about before you start shopping:

  • Do you need a baby monitor that’s portable or can it stay in one place?
  • Are you okay with replacing batteries or would you rather get a rechargeable monitor?
  • What is your price range for a baby monitor?
  • Do you want a wearable baby monitor? If not, do you have a good spot to place the baby monitor?
  • What are the biggest safety concerns you have for your baby?
  • Is your baby going to be in daycare or have frequent babysitters?

Everyone has varying needs when it comes to their baby monitor, so it’s best to consider your lifestyle, price range, and top concerns regarding your baby. Once you’ve evaluated your needs, you can find the right match for you.

Types of Baby Monitor

Baby monitors are more versatile than ever before. Whether you have the baby sleeping in your room or on another level of a large house, the right baby monitor can help you keep your baby safe.

Audio Monitors

The most basic of all baby monitors, an audio baby monitor achieves the main purpose of being able to hear your baby cry or awake when you are not close by. Audio monitors use a transmitter to deliver the sound within a certain range and come in analog or digital styles.

Beneficial Features

These types of monitors are usually inexpensive and can allow you to move around the house while the baby naps. They’re comforting to parents who transition their child to another bedroom and want to make sure they still wake up when the baby cries in the night. Because of the low cost, you can purchase multiple monitors for using at a babysitter’s house or at daycare.

Best Audio Monitors:

NameTypePriceChargingPerkCould Use
Angelcare Movement and Sound MonitorAudio, Video & Movement Monitor$249.99RechargeableVideo & Talk-back functionPhone App
Philips Avent DECT Baby MonitorAudio Monitor$119.99RechargeableTemperature ControlPhone App
VTech DM221 Audio Baby MonitorAudio Monitor$39.95RechargeableNight LightPhone App
Video Monitors

Video baby monitors are a popular option because they allow you to both hear and see your baby from a distance or behind closed doors. Most video monitors have a tabletop or wall-mount camera with infrared light capabilities, so you can see your baby even in a dark room. These monitors often have additional features that allow you to check the temperature in the room, play lullabies for the baby, or turn on a nightlight.

Beneficial Features

Many parents like the video monitor because the camera gives added comfort in knowing the baby is in a safe sleeping position. Video monitors are also helpful for later months and years when your child might try to get out of the crib during nap time. The many added features of video monitors make them a convenient option for keeping track of your baby’s sleep schedule and naps.

Best Video Monitors:

NameTypePriceChargingPerkCould Use
Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby MonitorVideo Monitor$229.99RechargeableInterchangeable LensPhone App
Summer Infant In View 2.0 Video MonitorVideo Monitor$129.99RechargeableExpandable--Multiple Camera Use EnabledPhone App
Motorola MBP36XL Baby MonitorVideo Monitor$179.99RechargeableLow Battery AlertPhone App
Movement Monitors

Movement monitors usually come in the form of a wearable clip that tracks your baby’s movement while sleeping. Others are installed under the mattress and can only be used on a flat surface. These types of monitors differ from audio and video monitors in that their main purpose is to keep parents informed of their baby’s breathing and movement. According to the manufacturers’ website, these devices have been used to notify parents when babies roll over or when movement/breathing has stopped.

Beneficial Features

Movement monitors help parents get more restful sleep because they can be notified if their baby appears to need help. Some movement monitors have a vibration feature that will arouse the baby back into movement within a safe period of time, before needing to notify the parent.

Best Movement Monitors:

NameTypePriceChargingPerkCould Use
Angelcare AC605Movement Monitor$95.00RechargeableAdjustable Movement Pad SensitivityPhone App
Snuza HeroMovement Monitor$99.95Battery OperatedVibration & Audio AlarmPhone App & Rechargeable Battery
Snuza Go!Movement Monitor$95.99Battery OperatedCordlessRechargable Battery/Charging Station
Heart Rate Sensing/Wearable Baby Monitor  

These baby monitors share a similar goal as a movement baby monitor but use technology to measure the electrical activity of your baby’s heart rate and measure oxygen saturation. Baby monitors that measure heart rate can notify you if your baby’s heart rate changes, giving you peace of mind so you can get some well-deserved rest. Some baby monitor models may be clipped to the diaper, on the foot, abdomen, or chest. Baby monitors like Owlet Smart Sock use pulse oximetry to track heart rate and oxygen levels and is comfortably worn on your baby’s feet.

Beneficial Features

Health sensing/wearable baby monitors are less invasive and typically more accurate than movement monitors so they do a better job giving parents more reassurance during the night. These health-sensing monitors are recommended for all babies, and they can also be a useful tool to know your baby’s sleep patterns.

Best Heart & Breath Monitors:

NameTypePriceChargingPerkCould Use
Dorme Baby Wi-Fi Smart Baby Monitor IPC100Video, Breathing, & Heart Rate Monitor$379.00RechargeablePhone AppMore Foot Monitor Designs
Monbaby Baby Monitor for Breathing and MovementBreathing Monitor$99.99Battery OperatedPhone AppRechargable Battery/Charging Station
Babysense Hisense 5SBreathing MonitorNo Pricing AvailableBattery OperatedNo Power CordRechargable Battery/Charging Station
Oxygen Measurement Monitors

Oxygen measurement monitors give parents an additional assurance by telling them information about the babies internal physiological state, which is not available from other baby monitors.  A baby’s breathing will naturally fluctuate while she’s asleep, and these types of monitors may be able to detect change in oxygen levels and notify you if oxygen levels are outside a preset range.   

These monitors are usually placed on the baby in the form of a sock and can track a baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep. These levels are able to be transmitted to a mobile app or screen.

Beneficial Features

Many parents report the highest peace of mind from the oxygen and heart rate monitors. These baby monitors give in-depth reports so you can sleep better knowing your baby is okay. Parents experience greater assurance as the oxygen measurement monitor will notify you if anything is outside the preset range.

Best Oxygen Monitors:

NameTypePriceChargingPerkCould Use
Owlet Smart SockOxygen & Heart Rate Monitor$299.99RechargeablePhone AppVideo Monitoring
Baby Vida Oxygen MonitorOxygen Monitor$76.76RechargeablePhone AppSmaller sock with versatile design
Nonin Purelight NeoNatal Flex SensorOxygen Monitor$107.00UnknownReusable SensoreMore functional cordless sock design
Learn More About the Owlet Smart Sock

When it comes to baby monitors, quality is of the utmost importance. Some baby monitors may have interference issues, lose transmission when out of range, or produce false alarms, so it’s critical to make sure the monitor is reliable.

The Owlet Smart Sock is one of the best options for new and expecting parents, thanks to its clinically-proven technology. The non-invasive sock eliminates worries so parents aren’t jumping out of bed all night to check on their baby. Learn more about how the Owlet Smart Sock can help give you a better night’s sleep and more peace of mind.

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Author Info

Avatar for Channing Merrell

Channing Merrell

Hi! I'm Channing and I'm a proud member of the Owlet team!

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Products in this Article

The Smart Sock is the first baby monitor to track your baby’s oxygen level and heart rate—good indicators of Baby's overall well-being—while they sleep. If your baby’s readings leave preset zones, you'll receive a notification that lets you know your baby really needs you. Now you can feel more confidence, more freedom, and more peace of mind knowing that Owlet is here to help.

Our all-new Smart Sock is the third of its kind and it's smarter than ever.

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