Best baby monitor for travel

The Best Baby Monitors for Travel

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When traveling with young kids, one of the most challenging aspects can be making sure your child sleeps well in an unfamiliar environment. Bringing a portable baby monitor for travel can help in several ways.

First of all, it allows you to quickly intervene if your baby starts to stir, hopefully soothing the back to sleep before they fully wake. It also provides peace of mind for parents to be able to keep an eye on their child as they fall asleep in a place that is new to both you and your child.

The reality is that you won’t always need a monitor when you’re traveling. If you’re sharing a hotel room with your child, you’ll be able to easily hear them if they stir. 

However, if you have a hotel suite (or a room with a balcony), an Airbnb, or you’re staying in a house or apartment, a baby monitor can be extremely helpful and reassuring. You’ll want to know that your child is safe and comfortable, especially as they will be sleeping in a new setting. 

In this article, we’ve reviewed the best baby monitors for travel so that you can find the perfect option for your trip. 

Best overall: Infant Optics DXR-8 PRO Video Monitor

Best budget camera monitor: Good Baby Camera Monitor

Best audio monitor: VTech DM221 Audio Monitor

Best Baby Monitors for Travel

Camera Monitors (no WiFi)

Infant Optics 

Infant Optics baby monitor for travel

As one of the most popular baby monitors on the market, the Infant Optics DXR-8 PRO Video Monitor is also a perfect choice for travel. 

The video monitor allows you to keep a close eye on your child and has all the features you could ask for in a baby monitor. Unlike internet-connected devices, it doesn’t require any setup or load time, making it simple and straightforward to use when traveling. And it’s a secure closed circuit so you can have peace of mind when using it.

This monitor features active noise reduction to filter out the sound of white noise and fans so that you can easily hear your baby. The 5 inch LCD screen offers a bright, 720P high resolution viewing experience while the camera has 6x zoom capability, allowing you to see every detail in your child’s room.

In addition to all of these features, the monitor has a 1000mW speaker for crystal clear (and loud!) audio for live audio and playback.

The monitor has a room temperature monitor, which can be very useful if you have a crib cover such as the SlumberPod so that you can be sure that it isn’t getting too hot inside for your baby. You can also pan and tilt the monitor remotely so that you can adjust it without having to worry about waking your baby.

One common complaint is that the battery does not last too long before the parent unit needs to be plugged in again. The other downside is that it is a bit pricier than some of the other options. However, it is one of the best monitors out there terms of video and sound quality as well as additional features.

Product description

  • Monitor type: Wireless camera
  • Weight: 1.98 lbs
  • Screen size: 5″

Pros

  • Active noise reduction
  • 720P HD video resolution
  • 5″ LCD screen
  • 6x zoom capability
  • Two-way audio
  • Remote tilt, pan, and zoom
  • Thermometer
  • Night vision

Possible drawbacks

  • Short battery life
  • Higher price point

Hello Baby Monitor with Camera and Audio

Hello Baby camera monitor

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the Infant Optics monitor, the Hello Baby monitor is a great option.

This monitor connects using bluetooth, so no wifi is needed in order to use the monitor. The parent unit has a rechargeable battery and a long range, so you can freely move around your hotel or Airbnb.

The camera automatically detects low light and activates a night vision setting so that you can easily see your baby in the dark and two-way audio allows you to speak to your child as needed. 

This monitor has a remote thermometer to monitor the temperature in the room. It also has the ability to pan and zoom for a better view of your baby. It uses digital encryption and frequency hopping to provide a secure feed. At 3.2 inches, the LCD screen is smaller than the Infant Optics monitor, but that does also make it more compact for travel.

While this doesn’t have all the features of the Infant Optics monitor, it is a more affordable option that still provides a nice user experience.

Product description

  • Monitor type: Wireless camera
  • Weight: 1.23 lbs
  • Screen size: 3.2″

Pros

  • Two-way audio
  • Remote tilt, pan, and zoom
  • Thermometer
  • Night vision

Possible drawbacks

  • Less additional features

Good Baby Camera Monitor

Good baby camera monitor

For a more basic camera monitor, consider the highly rated Good Baby Camera Monitor. While this monitor doesn’t have the same video clarity or extra features as the Infant Optics monitor, it does provide most of the boxes for a travel camera monitor.

This is a wireless monitor with a portable rechargeable parent unit. The monitor can be set to a screen off mode where the screen will wake up if the baby is crying, reducing battery usage. The screen has night vision, allowing you to see your child in the dark, as well as a room temperature sensor.

The monitor also has a two-way talk feature so you can communicate with your baby and lullabies to soothe them to sleep. And you can adjust the sound sensitivity to determine how much noise should activate an alert.

Like the other wireless monitors, this monitor requires no setup, just plug it in and you are ready to go!

The Good Baby monitor is a basic camera monitor without a lot of the additional features of the Infant Optics monitor. It also has the smallest screen of the camera monitors we’ve reviewed here at just 2.4 inches, which could be a good thing for travel as it is more compact, but it does make it more difficult to see your baby. It also does not have remote pan, tilt, and zoom, but can be manually rotated 360 degrees.

Product description

  • Monitor type: Wireless camera
  • Weight: 1.01 lbs
  • Screen size: 2.4″

Pros

  • Two-way audio
  • Thermometer
  • Night vision
  • Lower cost

Possible drawbacks

  • Less additional features
  • No remote camera position adjustments
  • Small screen

Audio only

VTech DM221

VTech DM 221 Audio monitor

If you only need an audio option, the VTech DM221 might be a perfect fit. It’s also a much more affordable option than the video monitors, while still maintaining clear audio and a 1,000 foot range.

One of the best features of this monitor is that it has a silent notification option, where you can be alerted to sounds by vibration. You can also adjust the monitor to only hear sounds above a certain level or choose to have the sound on all the time.

The parent unit can last for up to 16 hours when not plugged in and has a convenient belt clip to easily carry it with you.

LED lights on the parent unit indicate the sound level in the room in five increments. 

The monitor also has a nightlight on the monitor, a useful built-in feature for young children who are accustomed to sleeping with a nightlight, as well as a two-way talkback feature.

This monitor is lightweight and inexpensive, making it a great travel monitor if you don’t need the video feature. 

Product description:

  • Monitor type: Audio only
  • Weight: .8 lbs

Pros

  • Rechargeable battery
  • Two-way talk feature
  • Nightlight
  • Silent alert feature
  • Low price

Philips AVENT Audio Baby Monitor

Philips AVENT audio baby monitor

Another option if you’re looking for an audio-only monitor is the Philips AVENT Audio Baby Monitor.

The parent unit can be plugged in or battery powered and has an indoor range of 150 feet. Five LED lights on the device indicate the sound level in the baby’s room even when it is muted.

There’s also a night light on the child device for children who are used to sleeping with a nightlight. 

This is the most lightweight option we’ve reviewed, making it a good monitor for travel.

Overall this is a pretty basic monitor without a lot of extra features, but it will get the job done.

Product description:

  • Monitor type: Audio only
  • Weight: .65 lbs

Pros

  • Nightlight
  • Lightweight and compact

Possible drawbacks

  • No rechargeable battery (can use AA batteries)
  • No two-way talk feature

Wifi Monitor

Another monitor option for travel is a wifi camera. While these are convenient in that you can connect them directly to your smartphone, wifi monitors can be challenging to travel with for a few reasons. 

First of all, they are dependent on a good wifi connection, which can be difficult to guarantee when traveling. They also require setup and login which often will not be possible with hotel wifi where you are required to enter room information on a landing page. In this situation, some people can still make a wifi camera work by using a mobile hotspot to connect their monitor.

Wifi cameras also pose some security risks due to their connection to the internet, which can make them susceptible to hackers. Although this is unlikely to happen, it is still something to consider.

However if you would still like to use a wifi camera, read on.

Eufy Security Indoor Cam

Eufy Security Indoor camera

The Eufy Security Camera is an excellent option for a wifi monitor. Because it’s designed for security, it has a high quality camera and superior night vision capabilities. 

Not only does the camera pan 360 degrees horizontally and 96 degrees vertically, it also has a built-in sensor that detects and follows movement.

The camera has two-way audio so you can talk to your baby from a distance and has a setting to specifically detect crying.

Because it connects to your phone, you don’t need to bring another device to act as a parent monitor (although you won’t have access to your phone if you’re actively using it as a monitor). 

One common complaint is that the night vision clicks loudly when turning on and off, but if you have white noise in the room this might not be a problem for your child.

Product description:

  • Monitor type: Wifi camera
  • Weight: .66 lbs (10.6 oz)

Pros

  • Excellent camera
  • Night vision
  • Remote pan and zoom
  • Ability to check the monitor from anywhere
  • Motion sensor and tracking

Possible drawbacks

  • Night vision clicks on and off
  • Requires access to reliable wifi and ability to log in

Personal device monitor options

Woman looking at her cell phone

If you don’t want to buy a baby monitor to bring with you, there are also a few options to use devices you already have as a baby monitor. This is one less thing to bring with you on your trip and keep track of. The downside is that if you’re using your phone, you can’t use it for other things if you want to keep the baby monitor open.

Cloud baby monitor app

With the Cloud Baby Monitor App, you can easily turn your cell phone or tablet into a baby monitor for your child. The app works with Apple and Android devices and can be used over bluetooth, wifi, or cell signal. It can even send alerts right to your Apple watch or be used with an Apple TV.

You do need two devices, one to leave with the baby and one to keep in you so you can monitor your baby. But if you’re like most people you’re probably traveling with more than one device anyway.

A noise level indicator and noise and motion alerts let you know if your baby is stirring while you’re out of the room. There’s also two-way audio and video so you can even talk to your baby face to face.

A few other useful features of the app include white noise and lullabies and a nightlight.

You can monitor more than one child at the same time on the parent device if you have multiple children. You can also have more than one parent device connected to the child unit.

This app currently costs $4.99 in the Google Playstore and $5.99 from the Apple store.

One of the downsides is that because it uses your phone camera, the app does not have a night vision mode and must have some light in order to see the baby. 

Product description

  • Monitor type: Monitor app (connects with bluetooth, wifi, or cell signal)
  • Weight: N/A

Pros

  • Can connect using bluetooth, wifi, or cell signal
  • Two-way audio and video
  • White noise and lullabies
  • Nightlight
  • Multiple parent devices possible
  • One time low cost

Potential drawbacks

  • No night vision mode 
  • Need to have your own devices to use

Baby monitor 3G app

Another similar option is the Baby Monitor 3G app. Once again, this app uses wifi or cellular data to create a monitor while traveling. It can be used with Apple, Android, and Mac devices. There’s a one-time fee and then you have access to the app for life. As long as your devices are on the same platform you don’t need to purchase a new license for each device.

With this app installed on your devices, you can see and communicate with your baby no matter how far apart you are. You can use the app on multiple parent devices, allowing both parents to monitor the baby at the same time.

Microphone sensitivity can be adjusted so that you can determine what level of sound you want to hear from your child’s room.

This app also needs some light in order to be able to see the video, but it does have a night light feature. For babies that need complete darkness to sleep this might pose a problem, but for babies that are used to a night light this is a convenient feature.

This app currently costs $5.99 in both the Apple and Google Play stores.

Product description

  • Monitor type: Monitor app (connects using wifi or cell signal)
  • Weight: N/A

Pros

  • Two-way audio
  • Nightlight
  • Multiple parent devices possible
  • One time low cost

Possible drawbacks

  • Can’t connect using bluetooth
  • No night vision mode 
  • Need to have your own devices to use

Video calling 

You can also make your own monitor by using an app such as Skype, Facetime, or WhatsApp to connect two devices. 

While this doesn’t have all the features of a monitor or the specialized monitor apps, it is an option that can work well in a pinch. Just be sure to mute your phone so that you don’t accidentally wake up your child!

For these options, you do need wifi and connections can sometimes be unreliable. 

Pros

  • Doesn’t require a monitor or special app
  • Free

Possible drawbacks

  • Requires reliable wifi
  • Need to have your own devices to use
  • No extra features

Common questions

Do you need a baby monitor when traveling?

The short answer is no, you don’t need a baby monitor when traveling. We’ve taken many trips without a monitor and have done just fine. 

Whether or not you need a baby monitor really depends on what kind of trip you’ll be taking. If you’re all staying in the same hotel room and/or planning on going to bed at the same time as your child every night, then you can probably get by without a monitor. 

However, if you have a situation where you have a house, apartment, or suite, or you just want to be able to keep an eye on your baby for peace of mind, then a monitor can come in really handy. 

I also find a monitor helpful if I am traveling with multiple kids. I like to play white noise for all of my kids so that they don’t wake each other up. But sometimes the white noise means that it’s harder for me to hear the baby. Placing a monitor near the baby means that I hear him immediately and can get over to him quickly before he wakes everyone else up.

Can you use baby monitors in hotels?

You can absolutely use a baby monitor in a hotel room. It’s a great way to keep an eye on your baby and have some extra piece of mind while traveling. 

While this might be common sense, I feel that I should also mention that just because you have a monitor does not mean that it is safe to leave your child alone in the hotel room. I would only recommend a monitor in a situation when you will be nearby, such as on the balcony or in an adjoining suite, not so you can go down to the hotel bar or swim in the pool. 

Features to look for in a portable baby monitor

Parents looking at a baby monitor

Price

The price you’re willing to spend on a portable baby monitor will probably come down to how often you’ll use it and why you need it. If you’re not going to be traveling a lot, maybe a basic monitor would be the best option. On the other hand, frequent travelers might find it worth it to spend a bit more on a higher quality monitor that will last.

The price will also be affected by whether you need a video monitor or if a sound monitor will suffice. 

Reliability

One of the most important factors to look for in a travel monitor is dependability. You want to make sure that you aren’t stuck on a trip with an unreliable monitor. 

All of the monitors that we’ve included in this list come highly reviewed and are among the best monitors available. Of course, you have to take into account the limitations of the monitor you select. For example, if you choose a wifi monitor but aren’t in a location with good internet connection you aren’t going to get positive results no matter how good the monitor is. 

Wifi vs non wifi

Another factor to consider is whether you want a device that connects through wifi or not. One of the big concerns with wifi-enabled monitors is their security. Because they are connected to the internet, there is some risk of the device being hacked. While this is an unlikely occurrence, you’ll have to determine if this is a deal breaker for you. 

The benefit of wifi monitors is that you can connect the monitor to your smartphone and view the feed from anywhere. However, when you’re traveling you will likely not be too far from your baby, so this might not be an important feature.

Video or audio only

There are pros and cons to having a video vs a sound monitor, which you’ll have to weigh to determine which is the best fit for your trip. 

Sound monitors are lightweight and inexpensive, making them a great basic option for travel. However, camera monitors can provide extra peace of mind as you’re able to keep a closer eye on your baby. Camera monitors can be especially helpful if you have a toddler who isn’t contained by a crib. If they aren’t crying you might not detect movement from a sound monitor, whereas with a camera you can know exactly what they are doing. 

In this list of the best baby monitors for travel we’ve reviewed both camera and audio-only monitors so that you can find the perfect option for your child no matter your situation.

Size and weight

A compact and lightweight monitor is a must for travel. Trips with young kids already require so much gear, it’s best to be able to save space and weight where possible. 

Range

The range of your monitor might not matter too much when you’re traveling because you’re unlikely to be too far away. If you’re just sitting in the next room reading a book, pretty much any monitor is going to work. 

However, if you have an entire house available or if it’s a situation where you will be leaving your child with a babysitter, a monitor with good range is suddenly more important. Consider what kind of accommodations and travel plans you have when deciding if this is an important feature to account for. 

Final Thoughts

Figuring out sleep for your child can be one of the most difficult parts of traveling with young kids. A baby monitor can be a great way to keep a close eye on your child while they are adjusting to sleeping in a new location. 

There are a lot of different options out there, but with this list you’re one step closer to finding the perfect portable baby monitor for travel.

Other posts you might be interested in:

The Best Portable Toddler Beds for Travel!

The Best SlumberPod Alternatives That Won’t Break the Bank

Baby Travel Essentials (Everything You Need to Bring)

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