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Carley Roney

Professional Baby Expert

Best Baby Monitors & Best Infant Monitors

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Monitor shopping can be a real doozy. First off, note that the perfect one doesn’t exist. It just doesn’t. The good news, though, is that they’re getting better by the minute, and today’s models have all sorts of fun features and gadgets attached.

When looking for your ideal pick, pay special attention to the range (how far you can take the parent receiver from the monitor) and frequency (generally listed in MHz or GHz). Frequency is key - it helps determine how clear your connection will be. The best bet is to go for a product that runs on a different radio frequency band than your other electric goodies, especially your cordless phone. In other words, check the specs on your phone’s base, and shy away from monitors that sport the same GHz.

For the best reception and least interference (some monitors have been known to accidentally listen in on phone calls and neighbors’ nurseries), go digital. Digital monitors encode the signals that shoot between baby’s room and your receiver, so you’re not likely to hear someone else’s kid (or have anyone else hear yours!). If you aren’t worried about mixed signals, there are some great analog monitors out there too, and many come with an array of channels to help you find the cleanest sound.

One of the coolest monitor features (potentially, anyway) is video, allowing you to keep visual tabs on your tot. Just keep in mind that the same interference issues come into play - more than one mom has reportedly switched on her monitor and seen a child that’s not her own. A couple of the best video versions made the list, but you might want to hold off until the technology is a bit better.

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Buying the best baby monitors requires that you pay attention first to the range of the signal and frequency, which determines how clear the connection will be. Often the best infant monitors are digital to guard against mixed signals from your phone or the neighbors monitors.

Best Baby Monitors by Carley Roney

The Best You Can Get

  • Philips DECT Baby Monitor

    Carley says: The DECT monitor tops this list by far. What makes it a winner? Mostly, it’s because it uses a new 1.9 GHz frequency and continuously scans 60 channels - meaning a great connection. The company even guarantees that signals won’t get crossed. Add the other super-cool features (like being able to talk to your child through the receiver, remotely activated lights and music, and a handy room temperature reading), and you won’t even remember the hefty price tag.

    • New 1.9 GHz frequency
    • 900-ft. range
    • Digital
    • Intercom feature
    • Remote lullaby and light activation
  • Graco iMonitor Vibe

    Carley says: The iMonitor has the widest range out there, as far as we’ve seen. There’s also a great vibrating feature that means you don’t have to worry about watching for sound lights when you’re doing something noisy -- just stick the parent unit in your pocket and it’ll buzz your thigh when baby is stirring. It’s digital, which means less interference (they guarantee none with home wireless networks, microwave ovens, or cordless 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz phones). For parents looking for even more portability, there’s a mini vibrating iMonitor coming out soon.

    • 2,000-ft. range
    • Digital
    • Scrambled signal for clearer reception
    • Vibrating feature
    • Indicator lights
  • Sony 900 MHz BabyCall Nursery Monitor

    Carley says: An awesome analog option, the BabyCall has wiped out one of the most annoying monitor pet peeves: background noise. Of course, you want to hear if your little one whimpers at 3 a.m., but do you really want to hear his gas (not to mention that weird, alien-invasion noise that tends to come through on inactive monitors)? A voice-activation mode on the BabyCall filters out the constant noises, even background music, and saves the alerts for real baby sounds. The receivers are water-resistant, and there are 27 channels to help you avoid hearing your neighbor’s home shopping calls.

    • 900 MHz
    • 27 channels
    • Two water-resistant receivers
    • Voice-activation mode
    • Sound indicator lights
  • Graco iMonitor Multi-Child Digital Baby Monitor

    Carley says: For families with two small kids, this monitor is a godsend. Just set it up in each room and the lights let you know who’s making noise. You can remotely choose which room to listen to (and for how long), or listen to both simultaneously. There are two child units and two parent units, so both parents can listen in, or you can leave one docked in the charger while you carry the other around.

    • Two-room monitor
    • Dual-color sound lights
    • 2,000-ft. range
    • Digital
    • Remotely adjust volume and listen time
  • Summer Infant Secure Sounds 2.4 GHz Digital Monitor

    Carley says: This contemporary design from Summer Infant looks more like an ultra-modern phone than baby gear. Baby device it is, though, all set up to track baby’s every sound (without spoiling your decor). It’s digital, meaning less interference and eavesdropping, and it automatically scans for the clearest channel. With monitors, function always comes before form, but it sure doesn’t hurt that you can choose a color to suit your style.

    • Digital
    • 2.4 GHz
    • Sleek design
    • 650-ft. range
    • Rechargeable battery

You will be happy with any of these

  • Evenflo Whisper Connect 900 MHz Tria 3-Way Monitor

    Carley says: This is another with a fun (and functional) walkie-talkie feature, which comes in handy both for parent conversation and for soothing your child. The sound is clear and the parent units beep if connection is lost, so there’s no worry of missing out on baby coos and whimpers. The two receivers mean both parents can listen in or that there’s a spare if the rechargeable batteries run out in one unit. Bonus: If one unit gets lost under piles of toys or laundry you can page it with the other.

    • 650-ft. range
    • Walkie-talkie feature
    • Out-of-range indicator
    • Rechargeable batteries
    • Two parent receivers
  • Summer Infant – Baby’s Quiet Sounds Day and Night Handheld Color Video Monitor

    Carley says: Summer Infant covered all the major bases with this video and audio monitor. It’s lightweight, has decent range, night vision to keep baby visible in the dark, and the screen shuts off after three minutes when unplugged, saving battery power. (When you want to take a peek, you can switch it back on with the press of a button.) You can add up to two more cameras for extra kids or additional monitoring.

    • Live video
    • 1.8-in. screen
    • 350-ft. range
    • Night vision
    • 900 MHz
  • Fisher Price Private Connection Monitor

    Carley says: A step up from their Sounds ‘N Lights version, Fisher Price gave the Private Connection Monitor ten channel options for a more, well, private connection. The 800-feet range gives you freedom to roam, and the specially designed power cord keeps the unit from sucking up unnecessary energy when it’s switched off. Even better, there are great little lights that let you “see” baby’s cries over vacuums or dishwashers (or blenders when Mommy needs a margarita).

    • 800-ft. range
    • 900 MHz
    • 10 channels
    • Energy-saving power cord
    • Sound-activated lights
  • MobiCam Ultra

    Carley says: If you’d like to keep an eye on baby (not just an ear), the MobiCam Ultra can give you a peek at your snoozing baby to ease your mind. The picture is full-color, and there’s night vision too, so baby’s image is right beside you anytime you want. If more than one parent wants to do some nursery spying, unlimited receivers can be added, as well as an additional camera.

    • Live video
    • Wireless receiver
    • Portable camera
    • 300-ft. range
    • Night vision
  • Fisher Price Sounds ‘N Lights Monitors

    Carley says: Fisher Price is an old fave of families seeking good function and good value. The Sounds ‘N Lights Monitor doesn’t have many frills, but it’s especially handy for parents who’d like to be alerted of baby’s cries without all the ruckus. Just turn down the volume, and the five lights will let you know when (and how much) sound is coming from the nursery.

    • Lights indicate sound levels
    • One or two receivers
    • Two channels
    • Built-in nightlight

Related Articles

The best baby monitors have advanced a lot in the last few years. When buying the best infant monitors, you'll want to consider how good the reception is and the frequency. And with the best baby video monitors, you can also see your baby sleeping without the trip to their crib. Our Tibesti experts suggest the best Graco baby monitors and other infant monitors that fit your needs at the best price.