Unfolding History: The Invention of the First Baby Monitor and Its Impact on Modern Parenting


Technology has revolutionized all aspects of life, including the ways we maintain our children’s safety. An incredible innovation in infant care is the developed concept of the baby monitor. Remarkably, it has not always been with us. The journey of the baby monitor, from its invention to the advanced versions, we use now is an interesting one. In this article, we will share the unknown history of the first-ever baby monitor’s invention.

The Birth of the Baby Monitor

In 1937, a forward-thinking innovator named Isamu Noguchi invented the first baby monitor, known at the time as the ‘Radio Nurse.’ As a bit of context, Noguchi was a renowned Japanese-American sculptor and designer whose work straddled the domains of both arts and science. However, the Radio Nurse was his foray into home technology and was considered genuinely ahead of its time back then.

The Story Behind the Invention

The backstory of the invention, however, is quite sobering. Tragically, this invention was born out of the notorious kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh’s baby in 1932. Lindbergh, an American aviator, had his 20-month-old son kidnapped, leading to a massive public outrage and prompting parents across the nation to look into ways to keep their children safer. Zenith Radio Corporation, in a bid to provide a solution, hired Noguchi to design the first beacon for infant safety – a two-way radio system. This technology acted as a virtual nursemaid, allowing parents to listen in on their children from another room.

Evolution of Baby Monitors

|             |           |
|1937         |Radio Nurse|
|1980's       |First Audio monitor|
|1990's       |First Video monitor|
|2000's       |First Digital monitor|
|2010's       |First Wi-Fi enabled monitor|

Key Features of the First Baby Monitor

The Radio Nurse was quite an innovation at its time. It consisted of two parts: The Guardian Ear, which was placed in the baby’s room, and the Radio Nurse that was more of a speaker from which parents could listen to the sounds made by their child. This invention had a cabinet sculpted out of Bakelite and was designed to look like a traditional Japanese mask. This design was intended to not only make it look less like a mechanical device but to be sympathetic and quiet.

The Evolution of the Baby Monitor

The original baby monitor has evolved surprisingly over the years. Audio monitors became common in the 1980s, allowing parents to listen for sounds of distress but also hear the sweet coos of their baby. In the 1990s, video capabilities were added. The 2000s saw wireless monitors begin to dominate the market. Post-2010, the introduction of Wi-Fi enabled monitors allowed parents to watch their children even when far away from home, bridging the physical distance, thanks to technology.

Modern Features of Baby Monitors

  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Video and audio capabilities
  • Infrared night vision
  • Digital zoom
  • Temperature monitoring
  • Lullaby and white noise options


In conclusion, the baby monitor, from its conception as the Radio Nurse, has come a long way since 1937. This essential tool for parents, designed out of a need for added safety and security, has evolved with the technology of the times. It’s fascinating to see how far we have come from a simple radio transmission, to high-definition video monitors that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. As we move forward, no doubt this technology will continue to evolve, keeping pace with our ever-changing world – all in the name of keeping our most precious ones safe.

The history and evolution of the baby monitor is indeed fascinating. It highlights not just the progress in technology, but also our enduring concern for the safety and well-being of our children.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *