Baby Gear

Nanit Smart Baby Monitor vs. Nest Camera

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One of the most important things you can register for when you’re expecting a new baby that many parents forget about is a good baby monitor. But even if you do happen to get one, there’s still a great value in investing in the right kind of indoor security camera in addition to whatever monitor you choose.

When looking at the Nanit Smart Baby Monitor vs. Nest Baby Camera, you can see right away how much peace of mind and, well, security both cameras offer. But more than that, they offer a prolonged sense of safety that goes well beyond the years of even needing a baby monitor.

Once your child has grown out of that and you no longer feel they need a camera in their room, you can always reposition either of these outside of their bedroom to be still able to watch over him or her. And unlike most video baby monitors, you won’t need to get rid of them somewhere down the line, because there will always be a practical use for an indoor security camera in your home.

The whole point here, however, is to point out both the good and the bad when it comes to each of these options. Because some of the beauty of these kinds of cameras lay in the ability to rewatch footage later, it’s important to take note of the storage and memory each device offers.

With a purchase of the Nanit, you automatically get a year of Nanit Insights, which typically retails for $100 per year and allows you to view up to 30 days of past footage. For $50 for the year, Nest will give you continuous recording and the ability to access up to five days of previous footage. However, if you want to be able to access 30 days of footage with the Nest as well, you’ll need to upgrade the Nest Aware cloud system to the $300/year plan.

Of course, the best and worst parts of each of these go far beyond their storage options, so it’s essential to look at each baby camera from every possible angle.

The Nanit Smart Baby Monitor

As far as baby cameras go, the Nanit Smart Baby Monitor does much more than watch over your baby. It also keeps track of his or her temperature, any movements within the room, and features both night vision and a nightlight. It can be easily mounted on the wall right next to your baby’s crib so that the camera is pointed down to give you a clear and continuous feed of your baby while they sleep.

Or, you can purchase the floor stand separately and opt to use that to get the camera in the right position. Because you download the corresponding app to go with the camera, you can keep an eye on the feed on your phone at all times, even when you aren’t home and you’ve left your baby with a sitter. And when you are back and want to open other apps on your phone, you can still choose to have the sound of the camera’s feed on in the background on your phone.

And while safety is indeed a big part of wanting such a camera for your baby’s room, there’s also a certain level of fun and intrigue that comes with being able to watch your baby’s day and night when you aren’t in the same room. To do this without scrolling through hours of footage, the Nanit allows you to access a timelapse function to see your baby’s day or nighttime sleep patterns in seconds instead.

Features

  • Installation: You can either mount the camera on the wall or purchase a stand separately, but in either case, the installation allows for easy moving and repositioning once you want to move it to another spot in the room or your home.
  • Storage: For $100/year, Nanit Insights allows you to view up to the last 30 days of footage and includes time-lapse videos. For $300/year, you can purchase a subscription to Nanit Insights Unlimited, which allows you access to an unlimited amount of past recordings and videos.
  • Where To Buy: You can find it on the manufacturer’s website and Amazon or in-store at Buy Buy Baby.

Pros

  • Being able to position the camera directly above your child’s crib will give you the best view possible and not all baby cameras can provide that.
  • There is a small night light on the camera, but it’s not overly bright and won’t keep your child up, but will instead allow you to access the camera in the middle of the night without turning on an actual light.
  • The cost of subscribing to the plan with access to 30 days of previous videos is less expensive than what you will pay for the Nest’s version of the same thing.
  • The quality of the live feed and video itself it clear and won’t lag or become pixelated, even while it’s on all night long.
  • Even if your internet goes out, the camera will continue to stream, as it will remain connected to your router and network.

Cons

  • You can add other users to view and keep track of the video feed, but that means that they can also potentially accidentally delete videos you may have wanted to save.
  • Setting up and pairing the camera with your network can be a hassle and long and drawn out process.
  • Although it offers a lot regarding a reliable and reputable baby camera, some families may not love the fact that it costs almost $300, not including the second year of the subscription service.

Reviews

“My wife and I were a little skeptical at first, but after a few weeks of using this thing, we’re pleased we went with the Nanit monitor. Setup is a breeze, and the sleep tracking is cool, but it got immensely more useful when they introduced sleep tips.” – David Spitz on Amazon.

“I have a five-month-old, and this monitor is one of the best things we purchased. We’ve gone through a few monitors so far, but this one is the one we will stick with. The is so easy to use, and the functions are things that make life easier as a parent. I enjoy this monitor and highly recommend it.” – Ryan Post on Amazon.

“Nanit is truly a great product. Not only it monitors our baby in the crib while sleeping, but also provides good visual summaries of a night/naps and helpful tips. We usually start our day with a time-lapse of how the night went for our baby. The system would highlight major moves and awake times through the night. Our baby just started to roll over at night, and Nanit can capture those moments, and it makes it very interesting to watch. The system is easy to install (we attached to the wall) and set up.” – Ivan Kim on Amazon.

Nest Security Camera

You might already be familiar with or at least know of Nest’s high tech and modern thermostat and doorbell technologies. Naturally, a nest arena for the brand to tackle was indoor security in the form of the Nest Security Camera, which can be used for your baby’s room similar to the Nanit.

Unlike the Nanit, however, the Nest can truly be set up anywhere with ease and moved around the house at any given time.

This allows you to keep track of your child in any room and not just his or her bedroom, which is especially useful if you leave home for the day and leave your baby to spend time in the living room with a sitter. What’s more is that in such a situation, you can then access the stream of the video from your phone from wherever you are. And with the built-in microphone on the camera, you can even speak through it.

You’ll get regular alerts to significant movements that the camera detects, and it can even tell the difference between someone walking into a room and the more simple and subtle change of your baby shifting in their crib. Like all things Nest, this takes the technology up a few notches.

Features

  • Installation: You can easily set it on any flat surface to allow it to survey a room, or use its built­-in magnet to stick to metal. It also has a wall plate that can be mounted on the wall to attach it there, or you can opt to use it with most standard tripods.
  • Storage: There are three Nest Aware cloud storage options. The first, which offers five days of video history, is $50/year. The second, which comes with 10 days of video history, is $100/year. And the third option is $300/year and offers 30 days of video history replay.
  • Where To Buy: You can find the camera on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in store at Walmart.

Pros

  • There is the ability to not only hear activity in the room where the camera is placed, but it also features two-way audio.
  • You can mount or place the camera pretty much anywhere, and there are a few different ways to choose from to suit your needs.
  • The app will alert you to any change from the camera, including movements, noises, and anything else that changes the environment of the room.
  • You can also set up the camera through Alexa, which means that you can operate it even more accessible than with the app.

Cons

  • The subscription cost can be a bit much, mainly as the only logical option would be to pay for one that offers more than just five days of video history replay.
  • In the event of an internet or power outage, the stream from the Nest Camera is susceptible to losing connection.
  • While there is a night vision feature, it might not be bright enough to get a good look at the room where the camera is placed.

Reviews

“Purchased this camera to use as a baby monitor. It works great. The quality of the picture is excellent, in both light and darkness. The sound is OK, not great, but certainly adequate for most purposes. The camera setup was very easy, and the app has a simple user interface.” – Michael P. Utke on Amazon.

“Best thing ever! I have these plus a couple of different brands of home security cameras. These probably are my favorites for the fact that I can talk through the camera to my kids or pets. And there is a ‘ding’ noise to let them know when I’m going to speak and are done. I have regular ‘face-to-face’ talks with my four year old with these. I think he randomly talks to the camera even when I’m not watching. The picture and sound quality is amazing, I don’t know how retailers have that crappy old grainy black and white video when this amazing product is available!” – Heather Schulze on Amazon.

“I kinda love it. I can check on the kids while I am at work, and peek upstairs at 3:00 a.m. to see ‘what that noise was.’ I can say hello to the kids remotely. Of course it wants a subscription to keep any video history in a cloud… but that is optional. Overall very good.” – Maria S. on Amazon.

The Verdict

There are obviously plenty of similarities between both the Nanit and Nest Baby Camera and at their core, they’re both plenty useful in helping you watch over your baby while he or she sleeps. But when it comes down to it, the more logical and overall stronger option is going to be the Nanit Smart Baby Monitor.

Regarding cost-effectiveness, it offers plenty for families who want to get a decent amount of cloud storage without breaking the bank and it also has a very user-friendly app that can be accessed any time of day or night, even if you aren’t home. Even if the installation is a headache for some parents, in the end, it’s definitely worth it to be able to have the kind of view and access that the Nanit allows. Even if you just subscribe to the more basic package when it comes to storing videos, it’s still useful, and you’ll still get plenty of content to playback and watch. And when your baby has grown out of the need for the camera, you can repurpose it as an indoor security camera elsewhere in your home.

Final Thoughts

Even if you already have a video baby monitor or a baby monitor period, it certainly wouldn’t hurt also to have an indoor security camera like one of these. Between the Nanit Smart Baby Monitor vs. Nest Camera, the Nanit is the stronger option for most families, but really, getting a camera like one of these at all can be the difference between having a simple baby monitor and really feeling that solid sense of security and peace of mind.

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