We talked with manufacturers of some of the baby monitor companies committed to your child's safety, as well as thousands of mamas who knew the deal and we've compiled the best and safest baby monitors we've found.
The Best Baby Monitors
Editor's Pick For Best Baby Monitor
Owlet Smart Sock and Camera with Heartrate and Oxygen
The Owlet is our Editor's pick and is often one that ranks upon top gift wish lists for mamas. Is the best watch that of a mama's concerned eyes and ears? Absolutely. But is that always possible? Feasible? Should it even be expected? Of course not. And so the Owlet works to give mamas the best peace of mind it can in a simple way. It's less involved than a pad and it's more directly related to the baby's actual vitals.
The Owlet tracks baby's heart rate and oxygen levels, and respected pediatrician Dr. Joseph Hageman says that the Owlet can provide parents of children with specific medical conditions more information that they need to monitor their children while sleeping. The sock itself is BPA-free, latex and lead-free and while maybe not for everyone, a fantastic option for those mamas who need the extra reassurance this motherhood journey can ask of us.
- Measures baby's heart rate and oxygen
- Sock is BPA-Free
- App-enabled for most devices
- Color resolution
- HSA/FSA covered in most cases
Editor's Pick Runner-Up Best Baby Monitor
AngelCare Baby Breathing Monitor
This was a hard pick when it came to our Editor's choice because mothers like me can't live without this monitor. AngelCare is pretty much the only reason I ever slept, and while I understand I did not have the typical 'first-time mom' experience, many new mothers worry just as much as I did about whether or not their little one would stop breathing in their sleep.
In the United States alone, over 3600 babies a year lose their life to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and while that number has been steadily declining, if you're one of the 3600+, it matters not what the statistics say. That's why this AngelCare monitor is one of my top gifts and suggestions for any new mama.
You'll know if the monitor has not picked up any breathing movement after 20 seconds, and it really did save my two-month-old from a choking incident due to silent reflux we weren't aware he had. Truly peace of mind you just can't put a price on. It uses a pad to detect this, instead of a sock or something directly attached to the baby but again, you're not going to go wrong with peace of mind.
- Detects no breathing after 20 seconds
- Doesn't attach to baby--sensor pad goes under mattress
- Award-winning with color monitor and apps
- Pediatrician recommended for SIDS concerns
Most Eco-Friendly Baby Monitor
Babymoov Low Emission Camera
Many natural-minded mamas are in quandries because they want to be able to monitor but they want lower EMF and WiFi exposure for their babies.
Though not big in bells in whistles, Babymoov is committed to bringing better products for baby, and they created this baby monitor with Digital Green Technology. It's a combination of digital technology for clear and zero-interference monitoring with safer, low-emission power levels.
They've conducted independent testing showing up to 33 times fewer wave emissions, and it uses a VOX function--voice-activated when baby fusses so that there's no need for continual usage. It can function as a nightlight and gives an out-of-range and low battery alarm so that you'll know if you're not monitoring your little one.
- Independent testing shows lower wave emissions
- Uses VOX function that's voice-activated only
- Zero-interference monitoring
Related: Mothering's Best Baby Carriers For Baby (And Beyond) Wearing
Another Eco-Friendly Consideration
BebCare iQ Smart Monitor
Companies finally realize that mamas are paying attention not only to what goes on and in their babies' bodies, but what 'floats around' their babies' bodies as well. That's why BebCare introduced the Bebcare iQ. It combines the best of WiFi and traditional monitors to help you keep an eye on baby and offer a background white noise silencer to help baby sleep longer and better.
All of BebCare's monitors are made for ultra-low radiation and with that mode enabled, and you can have multiple cameras for one family kit if you need it in different rooms. You can view live or recorded videos, which other eco-friendly options don't typically offer and you can also use with your mobile devices from just about anywhere. It also has a temperature sensor and nightlight for baby's comfort.
- Low-wireless radiation DSR technology
- Live or recorded videos
- Mobile app-enabled
- Advanced Night Vision LED
- Temperature Sensor
Best Motion Detecting Baby Monitor
Safety First Motion Detecting Monitor
With Safety 1st's Motion Detecting Monitor, you can use the free app to monitor your baby--and a perk is that as they grow and are in toddler-beds, the motion detection will let you know what your kiddo's up to. It's not just motion-activated, though, but sound-activated and allows two-way talk with a 12-hour battery.
Because Safety 1st values safety first, it has a built-in security chip that creates a firewall between your home network and the camera, thus protecting your family and baby's privacy. You can also record what's happening on the monitor with the app to share with family and friends.
- Built-in security chip to create firewall
- App allows recordings of video
- 12-hour battery
The birth of my first son was traumatic and included some pretty rare labor flukes, and tragically, he died the day after he was born. His life and death changed who I am as a woman, and changed the type of mother I am now to his little brother, who was born a little over a year after my first son died.
I didn't want to hover; no mama wants to let the anxiety of 'what-if' drive her mad, but the reality is that even if you don't have a traumatic experience in your life pushing you to worry about every breath of your child, it's sort of part of the whole Mama gig anyway. We've been given these amazing little humans to parent and care for, and that responsibility is not one we take lightly.
And, because we are human, we simply cannot watch our kiddos every second of the day. My little guy was a sleeper, and while I was thankful, I often found myself listening and watching just to be sure he was breathing. This wasn't too debilitating during the day, when I'd often maybe take a snooze with him, or try to get a couple of things done while he slept. I could (mostly) go back and forth and keep an eye on him.
But at night? Even right by me, I worried about him, and decided I wanted to look into monitors that would take some of that burden of worry off of me. No, nothing beats a mama's watchful eye, and that's for sure.
Still, mamas need to be able to sleep some and know that if they should close their eyes and something happen with their baby, they can know they'll be notified. That's when my husband and I decided to look into baby monitors.
WOW, though. There are so many from which to choose, and for natural-minded families, it's not all about the clearest picture or the best sound system. We wanted to make sure that if our baby was around electronics that may have electromagnetic frequency emissions (EMFS), they were at a minimum and our baby was as safe as he could possibly be. That's what set me out on the quest for the best baby monitors with the safest ratings.
And though my son no longer uses a monitor, whenever young mamas are putting together registries or asking for things that a 'seasoned' mother may suggest, I want to be sure that they know all they need to know about the best baby monitors. That's why we've talked with thousands of mamas and looked into their recommendations--so we can offer you a list of the safest and best baby monitors on the market.
Analog monitors offer the lowest EMFs, though they don't offer video, only audio. For some mamas, that's all you'll need--an audio ability that will alert you to when the baby has woken up or needs you. Other mamas might need the whole enchilada--audio and video--and we get that too. There's nothing quite like seeing your little one sleeping peacefully and contentedly to let you do the same.
And other mamas still might want monitors that do more than just let you look at and hear your baby. Some mamas (and I'm one of them!) may need to know more--the room temperature, baby's temperature, whether the baby is breathing and more. Peace of mind is priceless, and so we're sharing a nice mix of the various types for whatever mama-needs you may have.
Pro-Tip: Many mamas, myself included, bought wifi router guards to keep the monitor in our little ones' rooms from emitting as much EMF. We also have one around our router in our home, so something to consider for the whole family's protection.
Image: Ivica Drusany/Shutterstock