Best Prenatal Monitors Reviewed
For expectant mothers, finding a way to interact and connect with your child before they are born is oftentimes very important. Not just from a bonding standpoint, but also from a safety standpoint, mothers like having the option to monitor how their little one is doing. The easiest way to do that? A prenatal monitor!
Our Top 3 Picks
These monitors typically help you track and listen your baby’s heartbeat. Instead of having to wait until going to your next doctor’s appointment, you can listen right from the comfort of your own home! If you aren’t sure about the benefits of a prenatal monitor, or don’t know which is right for you, you’ve come to the right place. We have selected the ten best prenatal monitors and also have plenty of other information to help you make the right decision.
5 Tips to Make Sure Your Prenatal Monitor Functions Well
- Make sure you purchase a gel: This is the best tip for ensuring the prenatal monitor you select works well. Gel helps to reduce static so that you get clearer audio of your baby’s heartbeat (and other noises). Most prenatal monitors do not come with gel (with the exception of the Lansor monitor) so you will need to purchase your own. You can try using something you have at home such as lotion or aloe vera (some people even just use water) but you may still experience static.
- Use during recommended time of pregnancy: For most women, you should start listening to a heartbeat at around 16 weeks. Heartbeats can be detected as early as 8 weeks, but it is much more difficult between 8 and 16 weeks. Instead of worrying yourself if you cannot find a heartbeat, it is best to just wait until the 16 week mark and then try. As the weeks go on, it will only get easier as the baby grows and the heartbeat gets stronger.
- Do NOT use in place of regular prenatal care: It is great to be able to listen to your baby’s heartbeat at home, but you should never use an at home monitor to replace regular prenatal care. Do not skip out on doctor’s appointments just because you have your own device. Still go to your regularly scheduled appointments, but simply use your at-home monitor for listening in between appointments.
- Decide if you want a screen or not: The main difference in prenatal monitors is whether or not they display the heartbeat number or not. Both types are perfectly fine, it is simply a matter of preference. If you get anxious easily, you may not want to view the heartbeat number. However, for other parents, this might be something that actually gives you peace of mind to see the number and monitor that things are okay. You can make that decision for yourself and use that to guide you. There are several monitors on this list with screens and several without screens.
- Determine if you want to record sounds or not: Finally, recording features are not present on every monitor. Every monitor will have a listening component- either a speaker or headphone jack (and usually both), but not all will have a recording feature. If you have family that lives far away, or especially if your spouse is not with you during your pregnancy, this is a great feature that you may seriously want to use. Make sure the device you select has this option. Several on this list do- the Alayna, Foruchoice, Up & Raise, Medi-K, Lansor, Bambeego, Bjingles, and Wusic all have recording features.
10 Best Prenatal Monitors
1. Wusic Womb
PERSONALIZED LULLABY MUSIC
This baby monitor doesn’t just come with music, it comes with a personalized album that will include your baby’s name in all of the music. This is a truly unique feature that you will not find with any other prenatal monitor. This gives you even more of an opportunity to bond with your child and introduce them to music and their name.
Prenatal monitor best for use after the 16 week pregnancy mark
Can hear heartbeat and other noise and movements like kicks and hiccups
Personalized lullaby album includes baby’s name in all music
Compact and easy to travel with
Come with two sets of earbuds and a splitter so two people can listen at the same time
Comes with audio jack for recording sounds
Runs on 1 9V battery (which is included)
This is a slightly more expensive product, but considering the quality of the product and the unique lullaby feature, it is still a great value for the money. This would make a great surprise present that any expecting parents will love to use to connect with their baby.
- The personalized lullaby album is truly a unique feature that makes this product special. Great if you have a name picked out for your child and want to bond with them before birth
- Listening options are great, including audio controls and recording option
- Battery is included so you are good to go right when you get the product
- Does not have a screen for seeing heartbeat number
- Gel not included
MUSIC PLAYING APP
Instead of just listening to your baby, why not give the baby something to listen to? There is plenty of research on the benefits of playing music for your baby, and this monitor gives you access to their app which plays music you can play for your baby.
Prenatal monitor and listening device good for after 16th week of pregnancy
Lightweight design is easy to travel with
Comes with Bijingles app which plays music for baby
Comes with two sets of headphones and two headphone jacks so two people can easily listen at once
Runs on 1 9V battery, which is included
Audio recording cable allows you to share sound with friends and family
This is a fairly affordable prenatal monitor, and given the extra app feature, it is a great value for the money and makes a great gift for any expecting mother.
- Easy to setup and use- comes with battery so everything is present that you need
- Two people can easily listen at once, or hook up to speakers so numerous people can listen
- App is a nice added feature that contains soothing music to play for baby
- Audio cable allows you to easily share with family who aren’t in town
- Does not have a heartbeat number screen
- Gel not included
3. Bambeego Bundletumble
TWO HEADSET SOCKETS
This monitor makes it incredibly easy for you to listen with another person- either your spouse, or a close family member. Don’t bother messing with sharing headphones- the two separate sockets allow you to both easily listen in at the same time.
Prenatal heartbeat monitor and sound amplifier- best after 16 week mark of pregnancy
Recording cable allows you to record and send sounds to friends and family
Two headphone jacks so two people can listen at the same time
Indicator lights to ensure device is turned on and working
Requires 1 9V battery
This is one of the more affordable monitors on the list, making it a great option for any expecting parents. If you are looking for a simple monitor that listens to your baby’s heartbeat, this is perfect for you.
- Simple and easy to use- turn on and listen
- Two headphone jacks make it easy to listen
- Recording cable is a plus and makes it easy to send audio to friends and family
- No speaker option but could hook up to speakers if you want more people to listen
- No speaker option
- Does not have screen for heartbeat number
LISTEN OR RECORD SOUND
This monitor allows you to either listen to your baby’s heartbeat via headphone jack, or easily record the sound so that you can send it to friends and family. If your spouse can’t be with you during your pregnancy, this is a great way to ensure they can still feel connected to your baby.
Prenatal monitor best used at 14 weeks and beyond (from 8-16 weeks is harder to detect)
Pocket sized making for easy travel
Includes probe for detecting heartbeat
Use with headphones or via built in speaker which comes with volume controls
Record sounds to save or send to friends and family
LCD screen shows heartbeat number
Includes battery indicator
This monitor is another fairly affordable option, although is more expensive than several other monitors on this list. It is a great value for the money considering it has just about every feature you would look for with a prenatal monitor and makes a great gift for any expecting parents.
- Small size makes it easy to take with you anywhere
- Listening and recording options give you full flexibility of how you want to listen or if you want to send sounds to friends and family
- Screen allows you to see heartbeat number and also monitor battery level
- Gel is included with purchase
- Batteries not included (requires two AA batteries)
NO SEPARATE PROBE
This prenatal monitor is unique in that it is all in one easy-to-use piece that you simply touch to your stomach. Plug your headphones in, and quickly start listening to baby! Listen to the heartbeat as well as any other sounds or movements that might be happening.
Prenatal monitoring device good for after 14th week of pregnancy (can be hard to detect before that)
Two headphone jacks so two people can closely listen at the same time
Recording option also allows you to record and save sounds to your phone so you can share with other friends and family (recording cable included)
This is another prenatal monitor that is more affordable, making it a great value for the money and a great option for any parents, even those on a more limited budget. While you don’t get the heartbeat display, if you just want to listen to your baby, this is a perfect option.
- Device is easy to use and in one piece- just switch on, place on stomach, and listen!
- Two headphone jacks are convenient so two people can easily listen at the same time
- Recording cable is a nice feature for people who want to share the heartbeat with distant family who can’t be in town
- Fairly affordable
- Gel not included
- Does not display heartbeat number
BACKLIT DIGITAL LCD SCREEN
This screen makes it easy to see your baby’s heartbeat number no matter what time of day you are listening. This gives you more information than just listening to the heartbeat, a great option for parents who are concerned and want to make sure their child is okay.
Fetal doppler monitor- best used from 16 weeks on (may hear as early as 12 weeks)
Can hear heartbeat as well as other noises like kicks or hiccups
Runs of two AA batteries (which are included)
Super lightweight device even with batteries in
Emits safe ultrasound sound waves which are safe during your entire pregnancy
Calculates fetal heartbeat and displays on LCD screen
Can use headphones or listen via loudspeaker
This is another moderately priced prenatal monitor- it is not the cheapest or most expensive. It is a great value for the money and will be affordable for a majority of expectant parents. As always, this makes a great gift for an expecting parents, especially if they cannot afford the device themselves.
- FDA approved prenatal monitoring device makes you feel safe and secure using it
- LCD screen makes it easy to read the heartbeat number
- Two listening options gives you flexibility and ability to listen with a group of people
- Batteries included so you can start listening right away
- Gel not included
- Don’t have option to record heartbeat sounds
7. Up & Raise
TWO LISTENING OPTIONS
This monitor gives you the choice- you can either listen with headphones or through the loudspeaker on the base of the unit. If you have family around, the loudspeaker allows you to all hear the heartbeat at once.
Heartbeat monitoring device
Professional probe for finding heartbeat
Listen to heartbeat with included headphones or via loudspeaker on base of unit
Record and save sound clips which can be sent to other family members
Best used after 16th week of pregnancy (harder before but can try once you hit 8 week mark)
Screen displays heartbeat number- beeps and flashes on orange screen if heartbeat seems too high or too low
This is slightly more expensive than other monitors on this list but is still overall a great value for the money. If you want to experience your baby’s heartbeat at home, it is worth the investment and can give you peace of mind your baby is okay- a feeling that is priceless!
- Multiple listening and recording options give you flexibility to listen how you want
- Screen display shows number and also alerts you if heartbeat may be too high or low
- Runs on low level of power making it safe to use throughout your entire pregnancy
- Gel reduces static but is not included with monitor
LED DISPLAY OF HEARTBEAT NUMBER
What makes this monitor so great is that you don’t just get to hear your baby’s heartbeat, you get to actually find out what the heartbeat is! The LED display will easily and clearly display your baby’s heartbeat number, giving you more peace of mind that he or she is doing just fine.
Prenatal heartbeat monitor device
2.5 MHz ultrasound frequency
LED display shows your baby’s heartbeat number
Comes with monitoring device and probe
New technology makes it even easier for you to hear the heartbeat
Can detect starting at 8th week, but much easier once you hit 16th week
This is a fairly affordable prenatal monitor and is a great value for the money. This is a great product that is easy to use, but won’t break the bank. Perfect for any expecting parent.
- LED display is convenient and gives you more info than a typical prenatal monitor
- Probe is easy to use and direct towards sound of the heartbeat
- Sound is clear and is easy for you to hear heartbeat and other movements as well like kicks
- Have to purchase gel and batteries separately
ABILITY TO RECORD SOUNDS
The adapter on the side of this doppler allows you to either listen to the heartbeat or to connect it to a recording device in order to record your baby’s heartbeat. Perfect if you have a spouse who lives far away but wants to hear the sound of their baby’s heart.
Fetal doppler device
Comes with headphones for easy listening
Other option allows you to record sounds your baby makes
Easy to find and listen to baby’s heartbeat, even relatively early on in pregnancy
This is one of the more affordable prenatal monitors and makes it a great value for the money. If you don’t have a big budget for this device, this is a great option that you are sure to love.
- Simple to use and people say you can quickly detect the heartbeat
- Headphone or recording option are both convenient and allow you to listen how you want
- Doesn’t come with gel- easier to use if you do purchase gel
MUSIC TUNE ONCE COMPLETE
When you start a session, you are looking to feel ten separate movements. Once you’ve logged all ten, music plays to alert you your session is complete! This makes it easier on you so you can just focus on noticing your baby kicking, rather than having to count and keep track in your head.
Kick and movement monitoring system
Helps you count both kicks and other movements
Contains a carrying strap
Push button for each time you feel a movement
Comes with 90 day limited warranty
Plays a song when your session is complete and tenth movement is tracked
This is an incredibly affordable monitor and is a great value for the money. While it does have less features, it is also significantly less money, so it is a great option for any parent wanting to monitor their child’s movements and kicking.
- Simple and easy to use- just press the button when you feel baby kick!
- Song is helpful so you know when you can stop and feel confident baby is doing okay
- Carrying strap makes it easy to take with you wherever you go
- Very affordable
- You have to track the kicks yourself
- Does not track heartbeat
Criteria of Evaluation
Price is always a determining factor when making our decisions. This is especially true with non-necessary items such as a prenatal monitor. You do not need this item (unlike car seats, cribs, bottles, etc.) so price is important when making the decision if you want to purchase it or not. It is a tech item so there will be a substantial cost involved, but we still look to find affordable options so that most parents can afford it should they want to use it.
User ratings are always important, and we especially took them into consideration when selecting prenatal monitors. Pregnancy can be a scary time, and the last thing a pregnant mother wants is a bad prenatal monitor that scares her into thinking something is wrong with her baby. Instead, we select monitors that parents enjoy using and have had success with.
It is always important to consider the manufacturer’s reputation when selecting items you will use with your child. We prefer to select items that have a solid reputation in the baby industry as being effective, easy to use, and most importantly, safe. Prenatal monitors are no different, and we only selected monitors that are safe for you to use during your pregnancy (always use as directed).
Ease of use
Finally, it is important to select items that are easy to use. The same goes for prenatal monitors. If it is incredibly difficult to find your child’s heartbeat, that can be very stressful. Instead, we selected monitors that parents found to be easy to use. Keep in mind, you should wait until the 16 week mark, but that will be the case for any monitor you select. After that point, all of these monitors should work great and you should easily be able to find a heartbeat.
Can a Prenatal Monitor Be Harmful in Any Way?
Generally, these devices are considered to be safe for you and your little one, but there is some debate about if they are actually safe to be used by non-professionals at home.
Possible Risks Involved
The possible problems that may be run into when it comes to using these at-home prenatal monitors has nothing to do with the device itself, as the monitors are completely safe. Instead, the problems arise due to the users being non-professionals and not knowing exactly how to use the devices. This can cause problems in a couple of different ways.
Not Finding the Heartbeat of Your Baby Can Cause You to Panic
This is usually the most common reason that professionals may suggest that you stay away from at-home prenatal monitors. Since you are not a trained professional, it may not be as easy for you to find your baby’s heartbeat. If you struggle to find your baby’s heartbeat, you may, understandably, panic that something is wrong with your baby. This will likely cause you to go see your pregnancy health care provider to make sure that everything is okay with your little one and chances are that everything is fine because there are many reasons that you may struggle to find your baby’s heartbeat using the at-home prenatal monitor.
Since you are not a trained medical professional, you won’t know the best techniques to finding the baby’s heartbeat. You may not know how to feel your belly to discover your baby’s position so that you know best where to place the at-home prenatal monitor to find their heartbeat. You also don’t know exactly what to listen for so you may not recognize your baby’s heartbeat when you do come across it. Additionally, you may find your baby’s heartbeat fine one day, but not be able to find it another day because your baby has changed their position in your womb.
Many mothers may buy this type of product in order to give themselves reassurance that everything is okay with their precious little one, but unfortunately, it can often cause the opposite effect. After all, if you are searching for your baby’s heartbeat and can’t seem to find it, it makes complete sense that you would be scared and may even panic thinking that something might be wrong with your baby.
At-Home Prenatal Monitors Can Give False Reassurance
Interesting enough, a much more dangerous effect that these prenatal monitors may have is actually the opposite of the first problem that they may cause. Using an at-home prenatal monitor can actually give you false reassurance that everything is okay with your baby even when it actually may not be okay at all. Many mothers feel like if they can hear their baby’s heartbeat that everything else must be just fine with their baby as well. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all.
The real danger with these products arises when a mother starts to experience signs that may mean that her baby is distressed. Often times, one of the most common of these possible signs of distress in an unborn baby is decreased fetal movement. A mother might experience this and then decide to check on her baby’s heartbeat using an at-home prenatal monitor. It’s perfectly likely that she could find her baby’s heartbeat no problem and then assume that everything is okay and not seek any help.
However, finding the baby’s heartbeat alone does not mean that nothing is wrong. The baby could be in distress and obviously if they are still living, they would still have a heartbeat that may be found. If a mother is experiencing signs that her baby is in distress but then reassures herself that everything is okay because she found her baby’s heartbeat, this could have severe consequences. There is a chance that something is still wrong with the baby and without seeking help, the baby’s condition may worsen and the baby may even pass away in some cases.
Using an At-Home Prenatal Monitor Safely
Even though there can be these possible problems with a prenatal monitor used at home in a non-professional setting, there is nothing wrong with getting one and using it as long as you know what to expect and that you should not allow yourself to have these strong reactions to the prenatal monitor. Understand that as a non-professional, you may not always be able to find your little one’s heartbeat, but that does not mean that something is wrong. It likely just means that your little one is in a difficult or different position. If you aren’t having any other signs of any problems, don’t worry too much about it and just try again at another time or on another day.
Similarly, if you are having problems of some kind, such as noticing a drop in prenatal movement, you should seek help immediately. Go to your pregnancy health care provider. Don’t even bother checking your baby’s heartbeat yourself if there is a potentially serious problem. Even if you do find the heartbeat, it doesn’t mean that everything is okay. Going to your health care provider is the best way to determine that. Overall, the thing you need to remember with these monitors is that they are for fun and are not to be used for real medical purposes in a non-professional environment.
Are prenatal monitors safe?
Yes. It is safe for you to use a prenatal monitor during your pregnancy. These monitors use the same technology that ultrasound devices at a doctor’s office use. With low levels of power and safe ultrasound waves, these devices are safe and will not harm your baby. However, it is dangerous if you choose to use an at home device instead of going to a doctor. Never use an at home monitor in place of visiting a doctor. Should you notice something off when using your monitor at home, immediately schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN.
When can I use a prenatal monitor?
Prenatal monitors work best once a baby has developed a strong enough heartbeat that you will be able to detect. In perfect conditions, you can start to hear a heartbeat at around 8 weeks. However, it is difficult at this stage to hear a heartbeat, which can be alarming to expectant mothers. This is not a sign that something is wrong, you are just too early in your pregnancy. It is best to wait until 16 weeks to start trying to find a heartbeat. By this point, your baby’s heartbeat will be much stronger and you will have a much easier time detecting it. Should you try while between 8 and 16 weeks pregnant, do not be alarmed if you don’t find one. Also, be sure to use a good ultrasound gel to help reduce static. This will make it even easier for you to detect and hear the heartbeat.
How does a prenatal monitor work?
The main type of prenatal monitor is a doppler monitor. These monitors work via the doppler effect. The probe of your monitor will send out an ultrasound wavelength and reflect or “bounce” off of your baby’s heart. The device monitors the change in frequency and wavelength in order to determine the heartbeat rate. The waves are translated into sound, which is what you hear and recognize as a heartbeat. The number is also calculated and displayed if you have a monitor that includes a screen.
There you have it! These are the ten best prenatal monitors on the market today. Depending on the specific features you want, you will be able to make the right decision. Here is some more helpful info to ensure your monitor functions well, as well as some FAQ and other criteria we follow when creating our guides.