If you’ve recently had your first child, one major point of comparison shopping will be the baby monitor. There are a few different monitors out there, but if you’re looking for something that will fit with your smart home ecosystem, you can’t go wrong with the Nanit.
The Nanit baby monitor is an excellent choice for parents. It has extensive features, including breathing tracking without the use of electronics. It can also be portable and used in many ways.
While each baby monitor has pros and cons, in this article, we will explain why the Nanit is our favorite choice. We will also talk about the things we don’t like about it—just in case these are dealbreakers for you. Every parent is different, so we’ve also done some outside research besides just our opinion and included it in this review. After all, we want you to make the most informed decision on your purchase!
What is the Nanit Baby Monitor?
The Nanit is a baby monitor that does much more than just show an image of a sleeping baby to the parent. The monitor has many unique features—like tracking breathing and temperature and humidity monitoring—that makes the monitor stand out.
The features (which we will review in more depth below) can help anxious parents get a little more rest, which is crucial in the first years of parenthood!
Nanit was built by a team of scientists, parents, and designers. Their approach to monitoring babies takes monitoring to the next level compared to regular baby monitors, using machine learning to help the camera become better at watching and monitoring your baby.
Nanit Models Available
- The wall mount will mount directly above your baby’s crib in the nursery.
- The floor stand has a bit more flexibility and will stand over the baby wherever they are sleeping.
Each option gives an incredible view of the full crib and the area directly around it as well. If you plan to use a bassinet for a while, the floor stand is a good way to go.
Both options also allow for cord hiding and cord safety. With the materials provided upon purchase, the cord is safely put far out of your baby’s reach.
Nanit Floor Stand
The floor stand can stand on its own in the three-feet mode. It will also allow the camera to be placed directly next to a wall by converting to a two-feet mode with a wall attachment; this will enable you to have monitoring both in your room and in the baby’s room when they are ready to sleep on their own.
The floor stand is a good option for cribs that are either not directly next to a wall or cribs in a room that will frequently get rearranged. It allows for much easier mobility than the wall mount.
Nanit Wall Mount
The wall mount is ideal for parents who have the nursery decorated and wall space directly over the crib. This is also a perfect choice for parents who have their babies sleep in the crib from day one. It is a more permanent solution because it is mounted to the wall in multiple places.
You can still move the wall mount, although it takes a little more work to demount and move. You can also purchase the Nanit accessory, the multi-stand, which allows you to simply remove the camera from the wall mount and put it anywhere you need for the time being.
However, if you are looking to redecorate the room, taking the wall mount off and putting it behind the crib again is your best option.
Nanit Baby Monitor Features
The Nanit has many unique features that make it stand out from other baby monitors on the market. It does not only allow you to check in on your baby during naps or overnight, but it also:
- Tracks breathing motion
- Tracks temperature and humidity
- Maps motion of your baby overnight
- Has a free year of sleep insights
- Keeps track of memories for you
Let’s go over each of these features in more detail.
Breathing monitoring is many parents’ favorite feature! With the breathing wear, the Nanit camera can watch the pattern to observe and monitor your baby’s breathing—all without electronics attached to your baby.
How does this work exactly? According to Nanit, the device uses “computer vision technology” with “advanced sensors and processing capabilities to detect movement in the crib.” It uses machine learning to become better acquainted with your baby’s specific behaviors over time, as well. The breathing wear’s unique pattern allows the camera to watch “subtle movements using smart algorithms” (Source: Nanit).
With the Nanit acting as a constant set of eyes on your baby’s breathing, anxious parents can get a little more sleep—or can do more around the house while the baby is napping!
Does the Breathing Monitoring Prevent SIDS?
One of the first questions we had for the Nanit is if it prevented sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). According to the Mayo Clinic, SIDS occurs most of the time during sleep. Unfortunately, the Nanit cannot help prevent this, mainly because knowing what causes SIDS is still unknown to doctors.
However, it does bring a sense of relief to those anxious parents out there. When you start the breathing tracking, it keeps that extra eye on your little one. When it does not sense those subtle breathing movements, it lets out a loud alarm on all devices that can’t be missed.
This alarm lets you know that your little one needs you or that something is misplaced in the crib. Even if it does not prevent SIDS, the Nanit has brought parents better sleep and more relaxation.
Will I Get False Alarms?
False alarms are part of a lot of monitoring systems. Most of the Nanit false alarms can be avoided. Many parents, as they are learning the system, receive at least one or two false alarms.
Here are some tips on how to avoid false alarms:
- Make sure to leave breathing wear not in use well out of the camera’s view.
- Use plain designs on sheets—anything too patterned may confuse the camera.
- Don’t leave breathing wear in the crib.
How Do I Start Breathing Monitoring?
Breathing monitoring is easy to start. In the app, you will have a little picture of two lungs. Once you click on that, the app will prompt you to drag the circle over the breathing wear. Clicking start will initiate breathing monitoring for the entire time the baby is in the crib.
It does follow your baby around after being initiated. We were initially worried that if the baby moved out of view, the breathing monitoring would stop, but found there are usually no problems with that among users.
If the baby is out of the crib for over 10 minutes, the app will stop the breathing monitor session and alert all app holders. If you put the baby back in the crib within 10 minutes, it can pick up right where it left off. However, some parents prefer to restart the session to be safe.
What Kind of Breathing Wear Can I Buy?
Breathing wear currently comes in three categories:
- Sleeping Bag/Sleep Sack
Each of these is appropriate for different purposes and stages of a baby’s life. They all include no electronics and are made from 100% cotton.
Swaddle Breathing Wear
The swaddle breathing wear is the perfect choice for newborns up to three-month-olds. If your baby shows signs of rolling before three months, you should transition them sooner to the sleeping sack or band.
The swaddle is very easy to use. There are simple steps to use the breathing wear swaddle:
- Undo the Velcro breathing wear
- Unzip the swaddle
- Place your baby on their back in the swaddle
- Zip the swaddle around them, tucking their arms to your (or their) preference
- Pull the pattern around your baby snugly and Velcro in that position
That’s it! Some swaddles can be pretty complicated, but Nanit’s turned out to be some parents’ favorite swaddling brands because it’s easy to use.
Note: The swaddles are not made for rolling babies. The pattern is printed on one side of the swaddle only.
Sleeping Bag Breathing Wear
The sleeping bag sleepwear is designed for babies who are rolling or transitioning out of swaddles. The pattern is around the front and back. Any position a baby is in will allow them to be tracked.
To use the sleeping bag, follow these instructions:
- Unsnap the top shoulder
- Undo the Velcro breathing wear
- Unzip the bottom of the sleep sack
- Place your baby on their back in the swaddle
- Snap the shoulder
- Zip the sleep sack
- Place the Velcro back in position
The sleeping bag is an excellent alternative to a sleep sack and band put together.
Band Breathing Wear
The breathing band wear allows for the ultimate flexibility in breathing wear. You can use any pajama or sleep sack you want with this band. This band is made for babies who are already rolling and will work with very active babies as well—as long as your little one hasn’t figured out how to remove Velcro.
Using the band is simple:
- Put your baby’s favorite pajamas on
- Place the band behind the baby’s torso and Velcro together
- Only place the band around the stomach
Note: Never use the band over a swaddle or over your baby’s arms. A baby could raise their arms, and the band would go around their neck—a big no-no!
Do I Need to Buy the Breathing Wear?
The breathing monitoring does require the breathing wear to monitor the breathing. The other features, which we will talk about next, all work without the breathing wear.
The breathing wear is an optional addition that helps put anxious parent’s minds at ease.
Does Breathing Wear Work with the Multi-Stand?
If you are traveling, you may be using the multi-stand to monitor. However, you still want the same peace of mind as if you were at home. The multi-stand does allow you to continue to monitor breathing. However, it does need a clear view of the breathing wear.
It’s best to place the multi-stand where you can see the entire space baby has, in case of movement during the night.
Temperature and Humidity Monitoring
The Nanit monitors the temperature and humidity to make sure it is at optimal temperatures for your baby. You can choose to be alerted of a temperature or humidity level out of your optimal range. The Nanit will send an alert to your phone that will tell you what it has detected.
This feature is essential for parents—just because the thermostat reads one thing does not mean the baby’s room is that temperature as well. According to What to Expect, room temperature is vital to a baby’s comfort and health.
Wondering what your little one is up to at night? The motion mapping will show you all your baby’s travels from one side of the crib to another. There’s a video you can watch which shows all your baby’s positions. It also has a heat map that shows the most common areas of the crib your baby was in versus the least common or not even visited.
Buying the Nanit Plus camera comes with a free year of sleep insights. When you set up your camera through the app, this free year automatically starts. Sleep insights will give you personalized tips for better sleep for your whole family.
Some examples are:
- Teaching your baby to fall asleep on their own
- How to work on less nighttime visits
There are more suggestions that Nanit gives you, based on your baby’s age and the insights it has learned while monitoring your baby.
The Nanit saves memories as your child reaches monthly milestones and grows up. They celebrate each month milestone with a pop-up and compile cute videos like “Baby’s Morning Pick-Ups” and more. You can also save videos to your memories if you like them for any reason.
Nanit advertises this as a built-in baby book, but it’s only capturing sleep actions and pick-ups. It definitely isn’t capturing everything you want in your baby book—so keep that in mind if that is the part that intrigues you.
The two-way audio is a feature that allows you to talk to your baby from any part of the house. Now, some babies won’t really respond positively to this, but others do. You can sing lullabies or say comforting phrases, and it comes out of the camera and lets you baby hear your voice.
Some babies will get increasingly irritated if you use this feature because they can hear you, but they can’t find you. However, others will be comforted hearing your voice alone and will settle down without you needing to get out of bed. That’s a major plus!
The Nanit’s nightlight is above the camera and shines up away from the baby. The brightness can be adjusted; this gives the room atmospheric lighting, which will allow you to change a diaper and feed with ease without waking the baby up with bright lighting. This feature certainly helps if you don’t have a dimmable lamp of your own in the nursery.
Is the Nanit Baby Monitor Better Than Other Alternatives?
Multiple monitors will monitor your baby’s statistics, like breathing, heart rate, and more. There are really three types of these monitors:
- Wearable or clip-on
- Under the mattress
- Camera monitoring
The Nanit stands out from the competition because it works without any electronics on or near your baby. To a lot of parents, this is a significant differentiation that deserves attention.
However, if you are focused on getting as many statistics as you can for your baby, the Nanit only monitors breathing. Other monitors out there that track more than this, such as heart rate, oxygen level, and more.
What Are the Disadvantages of the Nanit?
There are a couple more tidbits of information that may sway your decision to purchase your own Nanit:
- There are red lights that are relatively bright and facing down towards your baby—this helps with the night vision and breathing monitoring. It’s not enough to wake them up, but they are noticeable.
- The sheets really do need to be as plain as possible to prevent unnecessary false alarms.
- The swaddles can be a bit oversized for low-weight newborns and premature babies.
- The camera does need to be positioned directly over your baby’s crib—and preferably centered.
- With no parental unit, the phone or smart device you are using may lag a bit behind real-time.
- The Nanit is on the pricier side of the baby monitors out there.
Overall, the Nanit is a great choice for anxious parents who want a constant eye on their new family member. It’s one of the only cameras out there that does not use electronics to track your baby’s breathing, and it has many great features and different ways you can use it. It’s an excellent choice for any parents who want an extra set of eyes on their little one while sleeping.