Choosing a baby monitor can be one of the most stressful purchases of all of the new-parent gear to buy. Monitors hold the promise of peace of mind, sending instant motion alerts and constant monitoring of your baby’s sleep pattern and vitals. What you don’t know right away is the fear of your camera being hacked or randomly stopping working — a common problem parents face.
I looked at dozens of cameras, and none of them were perfect for me as a first-time parent. But the Nanit Pro Camera came pretty close. Since setting it up, I’ve gotten better sleep at night, knowing that my monitor will alert me if my child wakes up or moves around, or if the app loses the camera’s connection. Plus, it celebrates his milestones, like sleeping through the night and his birthday.
Here are the features that, for me, make the Nanit Pro better than the rest, with the features I wanted, all within my budget. For more, here’s our look at the best baby monitors to help narrow down your search. And here’s how Uber can deliver baby essentials.
Nanit’s mobile app gives you complete control of your monitor
The most basic baby monitor often includes a camera and audio to give you live updates on what’s happening with your baby. For me, I always want to know what’s going on when my child is in his room. Most baby monitor apps show a live view with night vision and send motion-triggered alerts. But I love that Nanit gives me more insights and control from the app without disturbing my little one’s sleep. Here’s what else Nanit can do.
- See a live view of any activity and zoom in for a closer look.
- Soothe him back to sleep with the camera’s two-way audio.
- Control the night light and its brightness.
- Turn the camera on and off.
- Enable Night Mode to darken my phone screen but still keep an eye on my baby without the screen locking.
- Play back clips from motion-triggered alerts.
The app is easy to use and immediately displays what I am interested in. When I open the app, the first thing I see is how long my baby has been sleeping or when he woke up. Nanit also has an Amazon Alexa skill, so I can use voice commands to control the baby monitor.
If you want more details and guidance on your child’s sleep, a Nanit Insights subscription lets you track your kid’s sleep patterns and stores videos for more than two days, along with other monitoring tools. One year of Nanit Insights is included with the Nanit Plus and Nanit Pro cameras, but it only includes two days of data — which is enough for me. After the first year, the basic subscription is $5 a month. For $10 a month, you can store for 30 days, and for $30 a month, you can get unlimited storage.
Nanit’s dashboard gives you details about your baby’s sleep
I’m so glad that I had this camera during my baby’s many sleep regressions. Nanit’s Insights’ dashboard lets me look back at my baby’s sleep patterns over the past week to see changes in his sleep patterns. It’s helpful if he’s sick, going through developmental changes, or just having a rough night.
The dashboard is easy to access at the bottom of the app. The dashboard shows sleep onset so I know how long it takes my child to fall asleep once in bed. And it shows how long he has been asleep, how many visits I make to soothe my snoozer, and sleep efficiency to see how well he slept through the night.
The app also displays a movement map and shows my baby’s preferred sleeping position, as well as which area of the crib he slept in most.
And I can watch a playback of my baby’s night, too. These features make the Nanit Insights subscription worth it for this feature alone.
The Nanit community connects me with other parents
Of all the parenting groups I’m a part of, I love how a community of parents and experts came with my camera purchase. Through the Nanit community, I can ask questions and get advice to help me navigate new parenthood. And I can share my own insights on everything related to child upbringing and parenting — feeding, sleep, personal time and more. The community is divided into different categories, so I can join groups that interest me most. Plus, the Nanit community can help me troubleshoot issues and offers tips to make the most of my camera.
The Nanit accessories I regret not buying
Like the Owlet Smart Sock, Nanit has a few accessories that can help give parents peace of mind. I started with the Nanit Pro with the included wall mount, with the idea I would add other accessories as needed. These are a few accessories you might find useful.
Nanit has Smart Sheets that can measure your baby’s growth and breathing, and heart rate monitors that your child can wear that you can check from the app. You can also travel safely with your Nanit camera with the travel case. For more control over your camera, you can get a floor stand or what the company calls a multistand (which I do plan to buy) that lets you easily move the camera between rooms and get a wider angle view of a room.
How I dealt with privacy, safety and security concerns
You may have read about hackers reportedly taking control of baby monitors. Before choosing the Nanit Pro, my fiance thoroughly researched Nanit’s security measures. To be on the safe side, we changed our Wi-Fi username and password and changed passwords for other linked devices in the house before we connected the camera to our Wi-Fi. So far, everything has been smooth sailing. For extra protection, Nanit offers two-factor authentication (which we enabled). We also can turn on the camera using the app for privacy.
For my toddler’s safety, Nanit’s monitor is designed to hide the cord in the wall mount, so my little one doesn’t even know it’s there.
If you’re looking for other first-time parent must-haves, here’s what we think about the MamaRoo (another personal favorite) and everything to know about the Snoo before you buy one.