Having a newborn in the house can be one of the most stressful things for a parent. But for whatever your concerns, there are baby monitors to suit your needs, from simple audio monitors that just let you know if your little one is awake and crying, to all kinds of fancy video ones, including wi-fi baby monitors that work through your internet system and baby movement monitors that detect if your child has not moved in more than 20 seconds.
When choosing a monitor, check the range you need - how far is it from baby's bedroom to where the parent unit will be? - and consider how mobile do you need that parent unit to be - do you want a portable one that you can take to the garden with you? Perhaps the parent would like to be able to check in from work - in which case one with a baby monitor app for your phone will be handy.
Here, a selection of monitors that cater to different needs - and price points.
10. VTech BM2100 Safe & Sound Audio Baby monitor
Overview: The baby unit plugs in and offers a night light while the parent unit uses rechargeable batteries and gives an alert if it is out of range or running low on juice. The two units can also talk to each other. While it may not be as fancy as some of the other monitors on the market - there is no video - this Target baby monitor can't be beaten on price.
Review Snippet: From Target customer review - "Great product, very happy with this purchase. Clear range, beeps when battery is low on parent monitor and easy to use. We live in a 1 story house that's extremely big, have never had any problems hearing my kids through it or cutting out. Highly recommend this product."
Cost: $69 Buy here
9. Oricom Premium Secure710 Digital Video Baby Monitor
Overview: One of the more affordable baby monitors with video function, this flexible product allows you to add on extra cameras for multi-room viewing as well as sensory pads to turn this device into a breathing or baby heartbeat monitor. Some customers expressed concern that other devices interfered with its reception.
Review Snippet: From Melbourne Family - "This cheap video baby monitor is very affordable and offers parents great value for a safe and effective baby monitor."
Cost: $199 Buy here
8. Roger Armstrong Sleep Easy Deluxe Crystal Clear Baby Viewer RA9022
Overview: With a 300m range, this product is great for two storey houses, and features a night light and infra-red night vision, two-way communication so you can talk to your baby from elsewhere in the house and a temperature gauge. There are not many reviews of this product, so it is hard to rate.
Review Snippet: From Product Review - "I purchased a Roger Armstrong Baby monitor which stopped pairing after 18 months ... One would think that a monitor should last more than a couple of years."
Cost: $200 Buy here
7. Angelcare AC510 Baby Video Monitor
Overview: With a magnetic base, this product can be mounted on a wall or a table top but is also easy to take with you if you visit a friend's house. It reports the temperature of baby's room and you can use with additional cameras to monitor more than one room at a time. Some customers reported that the product could use better instructions and the expensive price can be off-putting.
Review Snippet: From Baby and Toddler Town review - "This is a really simple and easy monitor to use. I like the touch screen and the options available to add additional cameras. The camera part is great and better than the other models as it is mountable which is awesome when you have no shelf to put it on."
Cost: $399.95 Buy here
6. Uniden Baby Watch BW3101R
Overview: This wifi baby monitor allows you to view footage on your phone anywhere in the world through the Skype app and claims digital encryption for secure monitoring. There is also the option to record up to 32GB. Although customers were very satisfied with the picture quality, there were complaints about how the parent unit required constant charging and that the night vision was not very good. It did take out silver at the 2018 Australian Mother & Baby Awards for most popular monitor.
Review Snippet: From Product Review - "Very satisfied with this monitor, clear image and a lot of cool features like the night light, music and how it clips to furniture. However I am disappointed in the battery life of the parent unit it’s always on charge or it goes flat within an hour and also doesn’t pick up some noises only when bubs is crying loudly."
Cost: $199.99 Buy here
5. Oricom Monitor Video Touchscreen SC870
Overview: As well as a starry night show and night light, this Oricom monitor also features a white noise function to help settle the baby. As well as a night-vision camera and the option to adjust to an almost 360 degree view, it is easy to use. Some customers criticised the lack of range and that the lights on the camera were too bright.
Review Snippet: From Baby Bunting customer reviews - "Great monitor, very clear night view and I like that I can use all features and move the camera/change angles via the parent handset."
Cost: $359 Buy here
4. Vtech BM4500-OWL Safe & Sound Pan & Tilt Video Baby Monitor
Overview: The winner of gold at the 2018 Australian Mother & Baby Awards for most popular monitor, has a temperature sensor and offers a choice of five lullabies to soothe your baby. The baby camera monitor can be moved remotely around the room and the design of the monitor is cute and stylish for the nursery. Some customer reviews claimed that the charger stopped working after a year and that the system didn't work well in their house, but many were very happy with this product.
Review Snippet: From Baby Bunting customer review - "I love this monitor. It has everything you could possibly need! Can talk to bub to settle her, shows you temperature, sounded activated screen for night so lights up when up cries & plays lullabies, only thing I wish it had was that you could choose how long you wanted the lullaby to play for because only plays for a short amount of time, but other than that couldn’t fault it."
Cost: $289 Buy here
3. Motorola Mbp36S Audio & Video Baby Monitor
Overview: Rating 4.5 stars on Amazon, this Motorola product has a 180m range and its wireless LCD monitor has controls that allow you to move the infra-red night vision camera around. It also offers two-way communication so you can reassure your baby from the comfort of your couch in another room. You can buy additional cameras, so you can check on different areas in the house. Some of the cons for this device are the difficulty of use, that the parent microphone can be too sensitive, the video feed can lag and the price point is not cheap.
Review Snippet: From TopTenReviews - "With strong connectivity and audio, the Motorola MBP36S is well suited for larger homes, though it has some issues in ease of use and video quality ... Though it ranked high in our audio tests, it struggled a bit in other areas."
Cost: $349 Buy here
2. Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor
Overview: This clever device is a heart rate baby monitor and a breathing baby monitor, glowing green when all is OK but alerting the parents with lights and sounds if something goes wrong. It also has an app to send you the baby's vitals via your phone, so you can stay informed even when not home. A downside is that it requires daily charging, which is a hassle and it may be out of action for at least one of the baby's sleeps.
Review Snippet: From Product Review customer -"The difference it has made to our anxiety and ability to sleep more soundly is incredible. If I wake up during the night I just glance at the base station to know he’s breathing and the knowledge that if his heart rate or oxygen levels drop an alarm will go off just puts our mind at peace."
Cost: $399 Buy here
And our pick of the baby monitor market is:
1. Philips AVENT SCD630/37 Video Baby Monitor with FHS
Overview: With high sound quality and a picture clear enough to see if the baby's eyes are open or closed using night vision, this product romped it home by being the one customers chose after being dissatisfied by others and for its reasonable price point. Although some quibbled that you needed to hold the talk button down for a second before talking and that the lullaby selection wasn't great, the long battery life and easy to use controls made it a winner.
Review Snippet: From Amazon customer review - "We've been using it for 2 weeks and we LOVE it. The biggest reason we picked this one because we know that Philips Avent is an established international brand for baby products and this product definitely is up to their standard."
Cost: $184.92 Buy here