Rest assured: How audio baby monitors give peace of mind

Rest assured: How audio baby monitors give peace of mind


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    Ensuring your little one sleeps soundly and safely is a top priority for parents, and with the advent of new technology, monitoring devices have become an integral part of any well-equipped nursery. Audio monitoring plays a crucial role in achieving a sense of calm, allowing them to hear even the faintest cry and empowering them to attend to baby if needed. 

    This comprehensive guide dives into the world of the baby audio monitor, equipping you with the knowledge to choose the perfect one for your family’s needs.

    History of baby audio monitoring
    Before this was a well-developed field, parents relied on methods like door chimes or intercom systems to check on their sleeping infants. In 1932, the mysterious kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby made the president of Zenith Radio, Eugene McDonald, nervous about the safety of his newborn daughter, so he developed a live audio solution.

    In 1937, the Zenith Radio Nurse was invented, making a splash in the world of parenting. This revolutionary device, designed by Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, employed a microphone and speaker system to transmit sound from the nursery to the parent unit. Though primitive by today's standards, it marked the dawn of the baby monitor era.

    Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, baby monitors evolved steadily. Manufacturers like Motorola and Angelcare introduced more compact and user-friendly models, increasing their accessibility to families. These monitors operated on radio frequencies, similar to walkie-talkies, and offered basic sound transmission.

    The 1970s saw the introduction of digital technology, revolutionizing the baby monitor landscape. Digital monitors offered clearer audio, greater range, volume control, and enhanced security features like encryption. Today, baby audio monitoring devices are more sophisticated than ever. Not only can caregivers monitor their child’s noises from a distance, but they can also see them with video technology.

    Do parents need baby audio monitoring devices?

    Babies, especially newborns, are prone to waking frequently during sleep—primarily due to requiring food as often as every two hours. While feeding and nighttime diaper changes are inevitable realities that can cause sleep disruptions, plenty of instances may require your presence throughout the night to check in on yourbaby. 

    That’s where an audio baby monitor can help. By providing real-time audio of your baby's sounds and movements, these devices allow you to monitor if your baby needs a visit. This way, caregivers can be reassured of their baby’s well-being from a distance while ensuring prompt attention when needed.

    Types of baby audio monitors

    Audio baby monitors come in two primary types, audio and digital.

    • Audio monitors. These are the simpler and typically more affordable option. They operate on radio frequencies, similar to walkie-talkies, and transmit sound directly from the nursery unit to the parent unit. While they are historically reliable and easy to use, they are susceptible to interference from other electronic devices and may have a limited range.
    • Digital monitors. These monitors utilize digital technology to transmit sound, offering clearer audio and greater range compared to analog models. This is often considered a smart audio monitor as it contains added features like encryption for secure transmission and multiple channels to avoid interference. For these reasons, digital monitors tend to be more expensive than their analog counterparts.

    Ultimately, if you’re a parent on a budget interested in a simpler solution, audio monitors may be for you—but digital monitors are your best bet if you’re looking for a holistic, thorough solution. 

    Baby audio monitoring features to consider

    If you’re interested in audio monitoring, there are a few key features tol consider. Namely, sound quality is the most important facet of any baby audio monitor. 

    Opt for a monitor with crisp and clear audio that allows you to hear your baby's every sound, from soft breaths to any cries or fussiness. The range is also important; consider the size of your home and choose a monitor with sufficient range. For large houses or multi-level living spaces, a longer range is essential for adequate alerts.

    Some devices also come with a microphone input, enabling a talk-back feature that allows you to soothe your baby remotely by talking to them through the monitor. Baby audio monitoring devices with night lights provide a soft glow in the nursery, comforting your baby and aiding your vision during nighttime checks. Temperature monitoring alerts you if the temperature in the nursery is outside an optimal range. 

    Having anaudio monitor with smartphone capabilities is another preferable choice for many caregivers. Rather than taking another gadget along in a purse or suitcase, parents can keep track of their baby from anywhere with an app—no matter where they are. 

    Other features to consider

    Some monitors offer additional features, like:

    • Lullabies and white noise to soothe your baby
    • Smart motion and sound alerts
    • Multiple parent units
    • Rechargeable batteries
    • Remote camera viewing

    Baby audio monitors can also be part and parcel of other monitoring systems, so if you’re doing some nursery shopping, just know you may be able to buy an all-in-one device with many of these perks and more.

    Nanit’s impact

    When it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of your little one, having a reliable baby monitor is crucial. Nanit continues to lead and innovate in this space, offering innovative baby accessories and premium options for parents and caregivers seeking the best on the market.

    Nanit Pro Camera

    At the forefront of Nanit's technology is the Pro Camera. This comprehensive system is designed to provide a holistic view of baby's sleep patterns and overall well-being. With an Insights Plan, you can go beyond traditional audio monitoring and incorporate advanced features that truly set our monitor apart: 

    • Sleep Dashboard. The Pro Camera provides valuable insights into your baby's sleep patterns, helping you understand their routine and optimize their sleep environment. Data-driven Insights analyzes customized information that helps families have a complete view of their baby’s wellness.
    • Temperature + Humidity Tracking. Maintaining the optimal environment for baby’s sleep is key to everyone’s rest. The integrated Temp + Humidity Tracking in the alerts you to any changes, before it disrupts anyone’s sleep.
    • Developmental Milestones. Never miss a moment  with this feature, included with the Insights Plan. The Pro Camera also links up to your Amazon Alexa or Google Home to allow for more thorough monitoring.
    • Breathing Motion Monitoring. Our groundbreaking Breathing Wear technology to give you instant info on your baby’s breathing motion, right from the app. It's the perfect companion, syncing seamlessly with the Nanit Pro Camera to keep an eye on your little one's breathing motion and provide you with invaluable information. The non-invasive technology is complete with plush fabric designed to capture subtle movements without causing any disruption to baby's sleep. It’s also machine washable, making it a practical choice for proactive caregivers and parents seeking an effective, simple monitor of their baby's breathing motion.

    Nanit Sound + Light

    Alongside the integrated technology of the Pro Camera and Insights, the Sound + Light Machine is an audio monitor, helpful night light, and soothing sound machine all in one. 

    Monitoring baby’s sounds while they sleep is only one part of the bedtime story. If or when they coo or cry while they sleep, you are alerted when you need to attend to them. Sound + Light illuminates your path gently enough to keep them calm, but well enough to guide you. 

    Sound + Light is your best sleep sidekick, with multiple soothing sounds that you can customize right from your phone. Adjust light and audio levels from the app, receive alerts with Cry Detection technology, and program wind-down/wake-up routines to foster healthy sleep.

    Top Rated
    Sale price$99.99

    Our smart nursery must-have combines a sound machine with a night light to help children fall asleep, stay asleep longer, and build healthy sleep routines. Now you can link your Sound + Light to your Pro Camera insights to find the ideal sleep schedule for your family.*

    LIMITED TIME OFFERS (one code per order):

    • Save 20% on Nanit Sound + Light Machine w/ code PARENT20
    • Get a free Sound + Light Machine with a full-priced Pro Camera purchase! Add both items to your cart and enter code FREESOUND at checkout

      Choosing the best audio monitor 

      Choosing the right baby monitor is an important decision for parents—and now, you have the tools to choose the perfect one for you. 

      By considering your needs and budget, and integrating Nanit’s cutting-edge technology into your new nursery, you can ensure you have the perfect baby nursery must-have to give your baby and yourself a restful night.

      Key takeaways

      • Baby audio monitoring has evolved, from door chimes to smart cribs with sensors.
      • Audio monitors provide real-time sounds that reassure caretakers.
      • Key features include clear audio, far range, and talk-back functionality.
      • Nanit offers innovative monitors with sleep tracking, temperature sensors, and Breathing Wear.


      The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. Zenith Radio Nurse, 1938. 

      Cleveland Clinic. Sleep in Your Baby’s First Year.  

      JAMA. The emerging market of smartphone-integrated infant physiologic monitors. 

      Nanit is dedicated to delivering high-quality, reliable content for our readers. Our Parent Confidently articles are crafted by experienced parenting contributors and are firmly rooted in data and research. To ensure the accuracy and relevance of the content, all articles undergo a rigorous review process by our team of parenting experts. Additionally, our wellness-related content receives further scrutiny from Nanit Lab, our think tank of scientists, engineers, physicians, academic experts, and thought leaders.

      Our primary objective is to furnish readers with the most current, trustworthy, and actionable information concerning a host of parenting topics. We strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions by offering comprehensive and respected insights.

      In pursuit of transparency and credibility, our articles incorporate credible third-party sources, peer-reviewed studies, and abstracts. These sources are directly linked within the text or provided at the bottom of the articles to grant readers easy access to the source material.


      Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

      Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

      Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

      Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.