Believe it or not, I put off purchasing a baby monitor for almost a year. I work from home and we co-sleep, so my daughter was always close by. That worked great…until it didn't. I found myself constantly tiptoeing around the house, afraid to go in the room and accidentally wake her, but concerned that she would start crying and I wouldn't hear her right away.
Why did I wait so long and subject myself to all this craziness? Well, baby monitors can represent a hefty investment. I wanted to make sure whatever I spent money on would be a perfect fit for our family, and there were just so many options. It seemed like there was no way to really pick the “best" one. I thought each of them kind of did the same thing, but there turned out to be a huge range of features available at every price point.
After extensive research on the hot new monitors on the market, here are 8 of our favorite baby monitors and what makes each of them different:
The Think-Out-Of-The-Box Mama: Nanit
Talk about wanting a bird's eye view, literally and figuratively. Nanit provides hands-down the best view of baby's crib and pairs with an intuitive app to track sleep patterns. The stand is easy to set up, and I loved the fact that there are no exposed cords. It's most useful if your baby always naps in a crib. $279, buy here. We've got an exclusive code for a Nanit Monitor! Use code WELLROUNDED for $35 off! (Code expires on December 7, 2016 at 12pm EST)
The Work-Outside-The-Home Mama: Motorola MBP854 CONNECT
Motorola provides all of the best features that modern-day monitors have to offer. With Wi-Fi streaming capabilities, you can view your baby from anywhere using your phone, tablet, computer or the included parent unit. Remote pan, tilt and zoom ensure that you always have the best view. $219, buy here.
The Stay-At-Home Mama: Project Nursery
The Project Nursery monitor has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a top-of-the-line monitor, with a fun twist—in addition to its HD parent unit, it includes a second tiny monitor (1.5" or about the size of a peanut butter cup). Since I work from home, I leave the larger unit on my desk and clip the tiny one to my bra/yoga pants while I switch out the laundry. $299, buy here.
The “I'll just check one more time" Mama: Angelcare
Angel Care offers a range of sound only, video only and movement monitors which fit just about any price point. All of them come with their patented high-quality movement detector. It goes under the mattress and alerts you if there's been no movement for at least 20 seconds, making it the technological equivalent of sleeping with your hand on baby's chest. $130, buy here.
The Hi-Tech Mama: Owlet
The Owlet combines everything that's adorable about newborn babies (is there anything cuter than baby toes???) with the latest in medical technology. Using pulse oximetry, Owlet keeps track of your baby's heart rate and oxygen levels and sends it to your smartphone, all in an endearing (and washable!) sock. $249, buy here.
The Bells-And-Whistles Mama: Mimo
The Mimo is a wearable monitor that tracks baby's movement, sleeping temp, and will even notify you if baby is sleeping on their stomach. There's even a smart crib sheet that detects motion. What makes the Mimo unique, however, is that it pairs with the Nest thermostat and the NestCam to make the ultimate connected nursery. $199, buy here.
The Green Mama: Belly Armor SmartNOVA
The SmartNOVA brings peace-of-mind to a whole new level. In addition to providing crystal-clear sound on a secure network, it features CARE (Cordless Anti-Radiation Environment) technology, emitting 97% less radiation than a traditional baby monitor and no pulsing radiation whatsoever. $149, buy here.
The “We're only going to use this for one year" Mama: Withings Home
Okay, honestly, this was me—I hate the idea of spending money on things that can only be used for a certain amount of time. The Withings Home is an all-in-one surveillance system that can be used as a baby monitor and then repurposed as a pet cam or as part of a security system. For bonus points, it streams to Apple TV and even reports the air quality, notifying you about pollutants in your home. $185, buy here.