The world of baby monitors is far from straightforward. Audio monitors may be analogue, digital or DECT and there is a whole range of video monitors available now too, as well as ones that come with sensor mats.
Not sure where to start? A key consideration is whether you’ll be using it in the garden, in which case a good range is essential. Do you plan to travel abroad with your monitor? If so, size and weight will matter. Do you want to be able to see, as well as hear, your child? And how important are extra features to you, such as lullabies, night light or temperature sensor?
We’ve tested models to cover all bases, and you can rest assured that with all the ones that we’ve chosen, the sound quality is good, as well as general ease of use and portability of the parent unit. All our recommendations are reliable too.
1. Philips AVENT Digital Video Monitor SCD603, £107, amazon
Great for parents who don’t just want to hear their little cherubs, but see them too. By day, see them in full colour and by night, in infa-red black and white.
2. Aden + Anais Serenity Star, £47, amazon
Prettier than most monitors and has plenty of extras, including a feeding diary. There’s also a room temperature indicator, nightlight and clock, while the sound machine has four soothing settings including lullabies.
3. BT Digital Baby Monitor and Pacifier, £32, John Lewis
Stand-out feature is the starry night light show, with accompanying lullabies to calm your baby. Other plus points include a good range, accurate sound-sensitive lights and a good battery life.
4. TOMY TF525 Digital Baby Monitor, £46, John Lewis
Uses DECT technology, meaning that the connection to your baby is interference-free. It’s also got a long range and a whole host of nifty features including night light, temperature display, lullabies and sound-activated lights.
5. TOMY TFM575 Audio and Movement Pad Baby Monitor, £67, amazon
Combines the latest technology with ease of use, as well as having a highly sensitive sensor pad for extra peace of mind in preventing cot death. It picks up the slightest movement and sounds if the baby doesn’t stir for more than 20 seconds
6. Babymoov Premium Care Green Baby Monitor, £80, amazon
This is the first baby monitor with low emissions. With babies apparently absorbing 60% more electromagnetic waves than adults, which may be harmful to health, this will reassure lots of parents. There’s a range of 800m, zero interference, night-light function and temperature indicator.
7. Chicco Top Digital Video, £129, amazon
Good clarity. Extra features include five reminder alarms, voice activation and brightness adjustment. Plays six lullabies and is compatible with an MP3 player. You can even capture your baby’s sleeptime with photo or video.
8. BT Digital Baby Monitor 300, £32, John Lewis
Includes a small baby unit and adjustable nightlight. It’s got a good signal, range and an impressive charge life of 18 hours. The only downside is it’s mains powered, so no back-up option in a power cut.
9. Angelcare AC1100 Video, Movement and Sound Baby Monitor, £156, amazon
Provides HD video, perfect sound quality, an under-the-mattress sensor pad and touch-screen parent unit. Exceptionally well made. Pricey, but by far the best on the market.
10. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature DECT Sound and Movement Baby Monitor, £67, amazon
Aside from sensor pad under your baby’s mattress, other features include talk-back, night light, room temperature display and out of range indicator, though it can cope with up to 300m.
If you can afford it, the Angelcare AC1100 Video, Movement and Sound Baby Monitor is the daddy of baby monitors, boasting all the bells and whistles you can think of – and more. For a more budget option, the TOMY TF525 Digital Baby Monitor is an excellent buy, including plenty of genuinely handy features.
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