THE BEST BABY monitor does more than alert parents to their baby's every move as they sleep – they also give parents the freedom to move around their home whenever baby takes a nap.
They're also not just for babies: baby monitors grow with your child and are also useful for listening to older kids playing in their rooms when you're elsewhere in the house.
A baby monitor helps to keep parents at ease when baby naps in another room.
You may think it’s only for the baby stage, but we’ve found that they are useful tools on play dates as children get older – you can hear them playing upstairs while you have a cup of coffee downstairs.
- Check out our roundup of the best baby video monitors.
Depending on your needs, you can choose monitors that are purely audio, or that have video capacity; many can even be controlled from your mobile phone.
A baby monitor will be one of the more expensive bits of baby gear you end up buying.
Models at the lower end of the price scale still tend to hover around the £70, while more hi-tech baby monitors can cost around £170.
1. Best baby audio monitor: BT Digital Audio Baby Monitor 400
- BT Digital Audio Baby Monitor 400, £24.29 from Amazon – buy here
There are tons of options for the best audio monitor for babies, and you'll find plenty of options of the list below.
But the best budget option that handles the basics is this no-muss, no-fuss audio monitor from BT which has a long signal range (up to 50m indoors and 300m outdoors) which customers can attest to.
It does what it says on the tin, ensuring you hear every whimper, sniffle, cry or giggle coming from your tot's room.
2. Best all round baby monitor: BT 6000 Video 5 Inch Baby Monitor
- BT Video Baby Monitor 6000, £139.99 from Argos – buy here
Widely recommended for its superior picture quality and how simple it is to set up and use, BT’s Baby Monitor 6000 ticks every box with a 5" hi-res screen so you can watch baby play and sleep.
Easy communication allows you to chat to baby and the camera can easily adjust, pan and tilt.
It also features a temperature display so you can make sure your baby doesn’t overheat.
3. Best baby monitor for night picture: Babymoov Yoo-Travel video baby monitor
- Babymoov Yoo-Travel video baby monitor, £161.99 from Amazon – buy here
Not only does the BabyMoov You-Travel monitor come with a lifetime guarantee (a big reassurance for new parents), but it also scores high on the picture quality scale.
It has crisp night-time footage, when inferior cameras can get a bit grainy and also features a long battery life.
It has panoramic 180-degree views, walkie-talkie, night light and temperature sensor.
4. Best design baby monitor: Arlo Indoor Home Security System
- Arlo Essential Indoor Home Security Camera System, £120.99 from Amazon – buy here
Is it a baby monitor or the minority report? Well, actually, it’s a bit of both.
Arlo’s home security system syncs with your smartphone and is packed with features such as switching off for complete privacy when it's not needed and a built-in siren.
The camera has 1080 HD video and crisp night vision, meaning you won't miss a thing.
5. Best smart baby monitor: Lollipop Smart baby monitor
- Lollipop Smart baby monitor, £166 from Amazon – buy here
This smart baby monitor looks super stylish and comes in a variety of soothing pastel shades.
Its innovative shape, with flexible lolly stick, means it’s easy to mount on a variety of different surfaces like baby’s cot, the wall or a table.
It also syncs with your phone thanks to an easy mobile app, allowing you to check up and see baby whether you’re out to dinner down the road… or on a business trip across an ocean.
6. Best baby monitor with a light show: Philips Avent DECT Baby monitor with projector
- Philips Avent DECT Baby monitor, £179.99 from Amazon – buy here
If your baby requires some stimulation to get to sleep, an all-singing, all-dancing, all-light-up baby monitor may be just what you need.
This design from Philips offers clear sound as well as temperature and humidity control; it also features a night light projector and tunes so your baby can have a pleasant nightly spectacle before bed.
7. Best baby monitor with a movement sensor: Angelcare AC527 baby monitor
- Angelcare AC527 baby monitor, now £199.99 from Mamas & Papas – buy here
Is any price too high for parental peace of mind? For many parents, the answer is no.
That's why splashing out on Angelcare’s video and sound monitor (RRP £250) – which comes with a movement sensor pad to go beneath your baby’s mattress to monitor movements while they sleep – is worth every penny.
8. Best smart baby monitor: BT Smart Baby Monitor
- BT Smart Baby Monitor, £129.98 from BT – buy here
With a 2.8"screen, temperature monitoring, infrared night vision and the ability to link to your home smart devices, this baby monitor ticks every box you need it to.
Simply instruct the monitor to play lullabies or check the room temperature – from anywhere – thanks to the BT Smart Controls app, which also allows for two-way talkback and live HD video streaming with a clear picture and tilt, pan and zoom functions.
Reviewers like that it's easy to set up and use, and are impressed with the picture and sound quality – even in a dark room.
Can baby monitors be hacked?
Hypothetically, baby monitors can be hacked.
Un-encrypted radio monitors could be tuned into by someone who knew the frequency, but a monitor with an encrypted signal should solve this problem
Wi-Fi monitors could be hacked if someone were able to access the private Wi-Fi network in your home. That issue should be solved by having a strong Wi-Fi password.
Connecting a digital baby monitor to an internet service also potentially opens you up to hacking, as once someone has accessed your online account, they could connect to your baby monitor remotely.
In this scenario, your security is only as safe as your online account/the security of the streaming service.
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