Can the Nest Cam be used as a baby monitor?

Nest Cam
Nest Cam (Image credit: Google)

Best answer: Yes, you can use the Nest Cam as a baby monitor, however, there are some limitations as this was not the original and intended use for new parents. A dedicated app-based baby monitor like the Arlo Baby is a better option.

Where the Nest Cam excels as a Baby Monitor

If you've decided to either repurpose an extra Nest Cam as a baby monitor, or picked up a new one altogether, there are quite a few benefits. First and foremost, if you have already committed to the Nest family, then this will fit right in with your other Nest products and can be controlled from the same application.

The next benefit is that since Nest isn't a newcomer, then you already know what to expect from its cameras. This means superb camera quality, along with a live camera feed, complete with night vision.

If you subscribe to Nest Aware, you will get the added benefit of notifications whenever activity is detected in your baby's room. This will surely make you spring out of bed in no time, only to find out that one of the pets managed to get stuck in there or roamed in there on its own.

Finally, if your baby is having a rough night sleeping or having trouble falling asleep, you can speak to them from the Nest app on your phone. This will hopefully help your baby calm down by hearing your voice, without you needing to actually go into their room.

Where the Nest Cam falls a bit short

There are some downfalls to opting for the Nest Cam as your baby monitor. The main one is that the Nest Cam wasn't designed to be used with a dedicated monitor, so you're forced to open the app whenever a notification for movement comes through. While you can certainly use an old phone or tablet as a baby monitor, that requires a second device.

If you manage to catch the Nest notification, and your phone was locked, then you'll have to wait for the app to connect to the camera. This can be problematic if there is a major issue in the room and immediate response is required. Obviously, new parents are going to want an instantaneous response, and the Nest system falls just a bit short in this regard.

Nest Cameras also lack a few of the features that many dedicated baby monitors have, such as ambient temperature detection, noise-only alerts, a battery for remote viewing, and baby-specific alerts.

Why go with the Arlo Baby

Like the Nest Cam, the Arlo Baby looks a lot like a typical smart camera. But this one has been designed with parents in mind, offering a few more features like a night light, a lullaby player, humidity and temperature sensors, and more.

It's slightly more expensive, and you still need a smartphone app to use it, but it's a better option for most parents than a Nest Cam.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.