Who should get this

Not everyone needs a baby monitor. If you live in a smaller house or apartment, keep your infant in close proximity, or just generally don’t feel the need to monitor your baby as they’re sleeping (the infant cry is hard to miss!), you may find that a monitor is unnecessary.

But, for many parents, a baby monitor is a part of daily life. A baby monitor gives you a camera and/or microphone near the crib, and a separate rechargeable parent unit (aka, a monitor) that connects wirelessly and can travel with you throughout the house, either working while plugged in or running off its battery. It’s nice to see your children in bed, dreaming happily, sleeping in adorable new positions, cuddling with animals, and generally doing okay.

How we picked and tested

Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald

We began by making a long list of best sellers at Amazon, Walmart, and other websites, and read through customer reviews and editorial reviews from other publications. Based on what we read and our own years of monitor use, we looked for monitors with the following qualities:

  • Uses RF (radio frequency) to transmit video, rather than Wi-Fi
  • Rated for at least 700 feet of range
  • A battery that can last at least eight hours, and is easily rechargeable
  • Priced around $100 for video monitors, and well under $100 for audio-only monitors
  • Decent audio and image quality
  • Easy and intuitive controls
  • Durable enough to withstand being knocked off a nightstand or messed with by a toddler
  • Ability to pan and tilt the camera from the parent unit
  • Ability to support multiple baby units from one…