Cubo AI Plus review: This baby monitor’s smart alerts ensure your infant sleeps safely

The Cubo AI Plus has baby-welfare bona fides that should make the most anxious new parents sleep easier. The baby monitor’s proprietary technology was co-created by a mom and a pediatrician. As the brand story goes, the mother one day found her newborn sleeping with his face accidentally covered. After a half-dozen baby cameras failed to ease her anxiety—or her insomnia—she took matters into her own hands and with pediatric guidance, set about creating a camera that would.

This camera’s marquee feature addresses the issue that gave its creator so many sleepless nights: Safety detection alerts that notify parents of a covered face, stomach sleeping, and other sleep risks. But it’s also chock full of the wish-list items that make modern parents squee with joy, including night vision, temperature and humidity monitoring, sleep tracking and analytics, and automatic photo capture.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best video baby monitors, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.

The Cubo camera earns cute points right out of the box. The enclosure has been sculpted into a plump little bird, one that tweets to let you know it’s detected noteworthy baby activity. Set into its belly is a wide-angle Sony lens that captures video in 1080p resolution. This is flanked by a light sensor and a high-sensitivity microphone. The infrared light set above the lens to enable night vision doesn’t emit any visible red light, so there’s little risk it will wake your baby.

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The camera pushes alerts to your phone if the baby rolls over on their stomach or gets their head covered during sleep.

The camera enclosure also includes a night light and a built-in speaker. A multi-purpose button on the bird’s back is ringed with a status light that can be turned off if you find it’s disruptive.

Parents have some flexibility in setting up the Cubo AI. The simplest is to attach the camera to its mobile stand and set in on a shelf or dresser. If that’s not logistically possible, you can mount the camera to a floor stand or attach it directly to the baby’s crib. All the necessary parts and detailed directions are supplied with the camera; assembling either of these apparatuses is a two-person project, though, so plan accordingly.

It’s also worth noting that the floor stand requires you to insert a full plastic water bag (supplied) into the floor base to weigh it down. The camera needs to be continuously plugged into an electrical outlet and the power cord threads through a cutaway at the back of that same base. It all looks safe enough—the water bag’s lid is on the opposite side from the cord, and the cord never comes in contact with the water bag—but I still wouldn’t be comfortable with this setup in my child’s nursery, and I’d bet a lot of nervous new parent wouldn’t either. Might a bag filled with sand be better?

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You can attach the camera to the crib or its stand or set it on a shelf.

I didn’t encounter any issues connecting the camera to my network. You need to download the Cubo app and register an account. From there, the app takes the reins and guides you through pairing the device and logging into your Wi-Fi.

Cubo has put configuration tips right on the app’s launch page, and that is no small mercy for addled new parents. Rather than having to hunt through a cryptic menu, users are directed to the appropriate settings for enabling covered-face and rollover alerts and setting detection zones. Parents of infants will be most interested in the crib-detection zones, which define an area over the crib for the AI to monitor for motion, and crying detection, which sends an alert when the AI recognizes crying among the baby’s other sleep sounds.