Best video baby monitor 2020: Reviews and buying advice

Baby monitors have a singular purpose: to bring parents, particularly nervous new ones, peace of mind. Each of the models reviewed here transmit both audio and video, allowing moms and dads to keep eyes and ears on their snoozing little ones, so they can get things done or just get a good night’s sleep.

But these nursery essentials can be as fussy as the babies they keep tabs on. And like virtually every other household appliance, they are growing increasingly more capable and complex. In addition to conventional video baby monitors that use a camera and a handheld LCD display, often called a “parent unit,” there are now also Wi-Fi-enabled systems that connect to your home network and use your smartphone as both the display and the controller, much like DIY home security cameras. These latter models offer high-definition video, intelligent alerts, and the ability to check on your child from anywhere you have an internet connection.

To help you find the best video baby monitor for your family’s needs, we’ve outlined some key features to look for, and we will continue to share the results of our testing. Here are our current top picks, followed by a buyers’ guide that will help you identify your wants and needs if our picks don’t match what you’re looking for. And if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you’ll find links to all of our latest video baby monitor reviews.

Updated April 30, 2020 to add our Motorola Lux65 Connect-2 video baby monitor review. We like this two-camera system a lot, but our enthusiasm is somewhat tempered by the fact that you must sign up for a paid subscription to get the full benefit of its sophistication. 

Best video baby monitor

Arlo brought the best features of its home security cameras to its first baby monitor. That includes Full HD video, night vision, sound and motion detection, two-way audio, 24/7 recording, and free cloud storage. The company also used feedback from owners to add a nursery-centric spin to the Arlo Baby, with a multicolored LED nightlight, a built-in music player with nine lullabies, environmental sensors, and artificial intelligence that can recognize your child’s cries.

Runner up

The camera in the Nanit Plus baby monitoring system lets you keep an eye on your bundle of joy while he or she is sleeping in the crib, but this system goes a step further and also measures your infant’s breathing, thanks to a patterned swaddle or band that you’ll put on the child. It delivers an added layer of comfort to anxious parents.

What to look when buying a video baby monitor

If our top picks don’t match your budget or your needs, this guide will help you understand all the features you’ll encounter in your search for the perfect video baby monitor, so you narrow the field to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Motion and audio sensors: In the old days, parents were forced to endure a consistent ambient hiss from their audio monitors while they listened for their child’s stirrings or cries. Mercifully, many modern baby monitors will stay in “quiet mode” until they detect motion and/or sound, which will trigger an alert, such as activating the handheld video display or pushing a notification to your smartphone.

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