Ask Anything: Best Baby Monitors?

GoodyBlog reader Donna writes: “Which baby monitors have the best reviews?”

Ok Donna, so here’s the deal. This is subjective, because though all baby monitors do the basics (transmit sounds), where they differ is in features, range, and battery life. It all depends on your situation (Have a big house? Do you want it to play lullabies? Need video too?). To get you started, here are some shopping tips from Sandra Gordon, author of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products.

1. What’s the frequency? It depends. Choose a monitor that has multiple channels (up to 27) and operates on a different band than your cordless phone–2.4 GHz instead of 900 MHz, for example.

2. You’ll want to hear your baby all over the house, so look for a compact rechargeable parent unit that clips to your waistband, has multiple receivers, and sounds an alarm when you’re out of range.

3. Also consider buying an audio monitor that lights up when your baby cries–handy for monitoring him when you’re watching TV or talking on the phone.

4. Look for a model that can be powered both by batteries and an A/C adapter. Batteries are helpful in case of a power failure and will let you use the unit outside.

Okay but which ones are the best? Most of the monitors in our most recent review are still available. We also found this hip one via MomAdvice (she seems to really like it.) This little number (via Ubergizmo) is ridiculously cool (but probably just as ridiculously expensive). And if you’re in a pinch (or traveling), check out the cell phone-as-baby-monitor trick from ParentHacks.

So now if you’ve narrowed it down to a few choices, try this little hack that I use all the time: Hit up Amazon and type in the product name. It’s the fastest, easiest short cut to tons of really honest reviews. (I just bought a vacuum via the Amazon method, actually.) Donna, if you find one you love, let us know. (And if anyone has a baby monitor that rocks, please post it in the comments for Donna!)

Got a question for us? Ask Anything at editors @

**UPDATE: There’s some really fabulous advice from the real experts (um, that’s you guys) in the comments. Do read!**

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  1. by AJ

    On April 25, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    In addition to reception issues, a critical point is for the mobile unit to have a battery that recharges while still in the unit. Otherwise, you’ll be swapping out batteries several times a week and, as is often the case, needing a screwdriver to access the battery compartment.
    Some units assume you want the parent unit (receiver) to be mobile while others assume the baby unit (microphone) will be mobile. (“Mobile” meaning it can be powered by batteries and has a removable power corded). Unless your baby will sleep in a different room than where she naps, you probably want a mobile parent unit.
    I’d like to see a baby monitor system where both units have rechargeable batteries and also have corded docking stations.

  2. by Amy

    On April 26, 2007 at 10:28 am

    Thank you so much for the mention! I really appreciate it! The Goody Blog is one of my latest favorites on my feeds :)

  3. by Adrienne

    On April 26, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    We read a lot of reviews before choosing a monitor, and it looks like most parents loath the monitors they own.
    The only reviews with consistently positive comments on sound quality were for the AngelCare Monitor and Movement Sensor (~$100 without discounts; we got it for $75 with a Target Baby coupon).
    The AngelCare has a great 9-light sound indicator that shows you the noise level (a little yellow fir gentle cooing to much orange for raging frustration) when the sound is turned down.
    This monitor lived up to its reputation for great sound quality. It has a clear sound, and it doesn’t interfere with a 900mhz cordless phone or a 2.4g wireless router. We can receive a clear signal anywhere in our mid-sized house and throughout most of our large yard.
    Though we didn’t buy the monitor for the motion sensor, it helped us have the confidence to let the baby sleep in his own room earlier (while our friends were still checking in every few minutes). There were a couple motion alarms when he got bigger and crawled to an extreme corner of the crib, but we’d prefer false alarms to false silence.
    The AngelCare Monitor’s motion sensor gave us more peace of mind and confidence to let our son sleep alone and uninterrupted. We recommend it highly. All units (2 parent units and broadcasting base) can operate off battery power- and I think there may be a new/upcoming model with recharagable batteries. We went ahead and bought rechargeable batteries for one parent station (the other was always by our bed, so we plugged it in) and the base. The batteries last a surprisingly long time. It’s not much work to charge them outside the monitor (though inside the monitor would be so much better).
    They seem to be well made, and I wouldn’t hesistate to buy a used one that looks well-maintained and has all parts (I wouldn’t pay more than 50% of original purchase price though). I actually found a second one at a garage sale for $35, so we now have 3 parent units in use at our house and a sensor, base, and parent unit for when we visit Grandma’s.

  4. by judy

    On April 26, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    I like the idea of buying a used moniterI I think that’s genius!

  5. by mrs doutimi siyanbola

    On February 3, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I am 32 weeks old and my baby weighs the weigth okay or not?