Nanit Smart Baby Monitors are now on their 3rd generation (the Nanit Pro), and have done a good job of incrementally improving with each new version. The purchase price is steep, but Nanit monitors have features (like an aerial-view stand and breathing monitoring) that are hard to find in budget baby monitors. The Nanit Pro (3rd generation) is an upgrade from the Nanit Plus (2nd generation), and is receiving better ongoing support, so if you are shopping for a Nanit be sure to choose the newest model.
Quick Summary: Nanit Plus vs. Nanit Pro
Nanit Pro is the new version, upgraded from the Nanit Plus.
Improvements seen on the Nanit Pro include:
- 1080p full high-definition (the Nanit Plus and Nanit 1st generation both had 960p)
- More vivid night vision
- Brighter night light
- Sharper audio quality and ambient noise filtering
- Included breathing band
- Dedicated device status light
- Dedicated reset/pair device button
- Ongoing software/technical support and updates
The original Nanit has been discontinued, but is still available for purchase. The camera records in 960p, and has fairly solid picture quality. Overall, there hasn’t been a huge number of changes from the 1st generation Nanit to the Nanit Plus to the Nanit Pro. Rather, the focus has been on making each device incrementally better and improving features and quality. Image resolution has been upgraded on the newest model, but any Nanit monitor has good image quality.
Nanit Smart Baby Monitors are unique in that they are mounted in an aerial position above a crib, giving a clear view of the entire crib rather than being positioned on a shelf and needing to be repositioned when the baby moves.
Nanit monitors come with a 45 day no obligation trial, and a 1 year limited warranty. The device is also HSA & FSA eligible, so tax savings partially offset the high purchase price. The newer models include a white noise machine and a night light. But, it should be mentioned that the white noise machine is basic with unimpressive speaker quality.
Installation is simple, but many users complain that wall mounting can be destructive on sheetrock. For an additional cost, the device can be purchased with a floor stand or a travel stand.
A unique feature with the Nanit (and the reason it is a “smart” baby monitor) is that it is compatible with breathing bands. These bands are worn by your baby, and assess the baby’s breathing. If the device detects irregular breathing patterns, parents can receive an app alert. For nervous parents, this feature is priceless. But, (needless to say) a false alarm causes a tremendous amount of stress.
Official recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics advise against using at-home monitors intended to reduce SIDS risk. At the time of publish, the Food and Drug Administration also “has not cleared or approved a baby product to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS.”
Unlike Owlet (another smart baby monitor), Nanit doesn’t use a pulse-oximeter to track breathing. Instead, the breathing bands are evaluated by the monitor, and the breaths per minute are recorded. An advantage to this setup is that no wires or cables are needed inside the crib, which could be a potential hazard.
Nanit insights are available on the app, and include sleep and growth tracking. The downsides with these features are primarily just the price. For growth tracking, you need to purchase smart sheets for an additional fee. And rather than tracking growth automatically, there is a clunky process where you have to take a photo with the Nanit and then calibrate it to check how much the baby has grown. For Nanit insights, you need a paid subscription, which starts at $5/month or $50/year. Because the first year is included for free with the device, many parents feel like they have been duped when they learn that all sleep data and photo memories will be deleted if they don’t subscribe to an additional year of the service.
The app functions well, although the subscription fee seems expensive. Multiple devices can be connected to the app, and permissions can be modified as needed. Many users report internet connection problems causing the device to malfunction, even when the home has a solid internet connection.
And the overall biggest issue with the device is that, unlike traditional baby monitors, there is no dedicated monitor display. Instead, you will need to monopolize your phone or tablet. Often, this comes with increased buffering and connection time, unlike a normal monitor which is always seamlessly connected. There is also a security risk with WiFi connection, even though Nanit advertises the device data as encrypted for security.
Nanit Plus is the upgraded, 2nd generation version of the Nanit Smart Baby Monitor. Like the original, it has 960p recording with good video quality. This version added two-way audio, with better audio quality than the original. However, audio quality is still noticeably worse than the Nanit Pro.
The app performs well, and provides detailed data like monitoring of sleep cycles and habits.
Nature sounds and white noise can be played, but the speaker quality is poor. I would recommend a dedicated sound machine, which can be purchased for less than $30, rather than relying on the speaker on Nanit Plus.
The Nanit Plus is compatible with a breathing band, which is sold separately. The new generation Nanit Pro has a breathing band included with the purchase.
Nanit Plus lacks a reset button and dedicated device status light. These are not hugely important features, but have nonetheless been added to the Nanit Pro.
Nanit Pro is the 3rd generation Nanit monitor, and has many small yet substantial upgrades from the Nanit Plus.
To begin, Nanit Pro is the first Nanit model in full 1080p high definition. Many users mention that the improved video quality is especially evident when using night vision. Because it is a baby monitor, the majority of use will require night vision.
Additionally, there is a brighter night light and improved audio quality. The Nanit Plus struggles to filter out sound machine noise, whereas Nanit Pro can separate sound machine ambient noise from the noise your baby is making.
As mentioned above, the Nanit Pro includes a dedicated status light, as well as an easy reset button (which is also used in pairing the device). The included breathing band also saves money. This is noteworthy because Nanit is skilled at upselling you on accessories and subscriptions — so having a valuable accessory included for free is a significant cost savings. The most cost-effective way to purchase the Nanit Pro is the Complete Baby Monitoring System Bundle, which includes the Nanit Pro along with the travel multi-stand, smart sheets, and breathing band.
Perhaps the biggest difference, and the main reason we recommend purchasing the Nanit Pro rather than the Nanit Plus, is that the 1st and 2nd (Nanit Plus) generations are not receiving much in the way of updates and support. So, there is no point in spending a few hundred dollars on a device that is quickly becoming obsolete. We should mention that the Nanit Pro will likely go in the same direction whenever the 4th generation is introduced.
Like the Nanit Plus, the sound machine on Nanit Pro isn’t anything special. But at least the sound machine noise is better filtered by the device, so that you can clearly hear your baby through the monitor rather than just white noise.
Nanit Pro still lacks a dedicated monitor display, so you are still tied to your phone or tablet. Although the app functions well, buffer time and app connection will always cause a lag in checking in on your baby. The sleep tracking data is a great feature, and the breathing monitor is excellent for parents that wish to have this feature. The app allows for all sorts of other details, like a digital baby book to save photo memories, growth tracking, and real-time humidity and temperature readings.
We also found that the camera “click” when night vision is activated is much quieter on the Nanit Pro than it is on the Nanit Plus. For simple security cameras, this click has never bothered us. But for baby monitors, the quieter transition could result in your baby remaining asleep rather than waking up to a camera shutter noise.
Nanit Pro has some nice new features and improvements, and is simply a notch better than the Nanit Plus in most ways. We still don’t like the paid subscription model, but at least Nanit provides enough value with the app to justify the subscription. Although there aren’t enough improvements between the devices to justify replacing your current Nanit Plus with a newer Nanit Pro, the lack of ongoing support for older generations (like the Nanit Plus) means that you absolutely need to purchase the Nanit Pro rather than the Nanit Plus if you are planning to purchase one or the other.