Everybody knows that new parents aren’t allowed to sleep. Your baby won’t sleep at night, so you have to stay up with them. Then during the day when they do decide to sleep, you have to stay awake to do the things that parents have to do.

You can’t always be by your baby’s side, but with the right baby monitor, you won’t need to be. You’ll be able to do your errands or sit down and take a breather while your baby is sound asleep.

Okay, now that you’ve realized how a baby monitor can help, which one do you choose? A quick search on Amazon will bring up dozens of baby monitors with different features. So how do you pick one?

We’re here to help you understand your options so that you can purchase the right baby monitor.

We’ll discuss the different types of baby monitors, list some features to look for, and provide you with some pros and cons for each.

Audio Monitors

The VTech DM111 Audio Monitor

Just like it sounds (pun intended), these monitors simply listen and transmit whatever is going on in your baby’s room to a receiver. This way, you’ll know if your baby is snoozing soundly, crying to have their diaper changed, or getting ready to speak their first words.

Some audio monitors allow two way audio so that you can talk to your baby and can also come equipped with lights on the receiver that activate when they detect audio. This is particularly handy when you’re in a noisier or darker environment and may not be able to hear the receiver.

The obvious con with the audio monitor is that you won’t be able to see what’s going on in your baby’s room. However, the low price point of audio monitors means that you can get a very good audio monitor for a fraction of the cost of a good video monitor system.

Video Monitors

The VAVA Baby Monitor with Video and Audio

Video monitors are generally the most popular types of baby monitors and with good reason. They give you a full view of what’s going on with your baby while still providing audio of the room. Most video monitors transmit video directly to a receiver, but an increasing number of companies are producing baby monitors that will operate off of your WiFi network so that you can access via your mobile device. Keep in mind that while using WiFi is more convenient, it is often less secure!

While you can find features similar to the audio monitors, you can also expect most video monitors to have night vision so that you can see your baby in the dark. Pan, tilt, and zoom technologies can also be found on these units so that you can check around the room. Most units even include thermostats to track the temperature in the room! Furthermore, some monitors also allow you to link multiple cameras so that you can have multiple views of the same room, or view different rooms.


So with all of these pros, what possible cons could there be? Mainly the price. These units can often be 2 to 3 times the cost of an audio monitor, and if you cut corners and buy a cheaper unit, you will definitely notice it in either the video quality or the wireless range of the receiver.

Motion Monitors

The Owlet Smart Sock

These monitors function a bit differently from the previous two in that rather than alerting you to activity, they alert you when they don’t detect anything. Babies are generally pretty active, even while napping, and motion monitors are designed to alert you if they detect no activity or movement from your baby for 20 seconds. Some motion monitors also track your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels.

You’ll find these monitors as some sort of wearable like a sock, or a pad that your baby can sleep on top of. It’s worth noting that the wearables will be the ones that have more advanced tracking features.

The main draw of these monitors is that they are only really used in the first year of a baby’s life, when the risk of SIDS is higher.

Final Word


While designed to help provide you with peace of mind, a baby monitor is no replacement for actual adult supervision. Remember that these devices are not medical devices, so if you have any concerns at all about your baby’s well being, take them to the doctor!