Crib death, also known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS is the unexplained and sudden death of babies below 1 year of age. At times, the cause of death in the event of SIDS may remain unknown even after a comprehensive investigation, which is one of the things that make it so scary for mothers like me. Even though this is the case, it may seem that SIDS has a connection with defects in the part of an infant’s brain which manages arousal from sleep and breathing. A breathing monitor for baby can potentially save your little one’s life in the instance where they stop breathing for more than 10 seconds.
When you have a young baby, it can be nerve racking spending half of your nights checking on him or her to make sure they are still breathing. This is why a baby breathing monitor was the ideal way for me to put my anxieties (and myself) to bed when my baby was still a newborn. I was so scared of him suddenly not breathing and me not being there at the time that I used to keep poking him while he was asleep to check that he was breathing. This poking would end up waking him and this ended up being frustrating for both of us because he would wake up and I regretted not leaving him to sleep.
Your newborn will have a periodic breathing pattern meaning their breathing pattern will not be constant, so this is something that should not alarm you so much. This pace can be too slow or too fast as the baby may pause for several seconds before resuming breathing. Uneven breathing patterns can be stressful for new parents like myself so I knew it was time I got a baby breathing monitor.
Baby breathing monitors work by recognizing any changes in the baby’s breathing movements, specifically in the abdomen and chest. The device can have a light that flashes or an alarm that will ring when the baby stops breathing for longer than a specific pre-set time. There are monitors that also measure the heartbeat and temperature of the baby during sleep.
Monitors are essentially for babies with certain health defects that may affect their breathing and some of them can only be used under the supervision of a doctor or a medical professional. However, there are monitors that can be used from the comfort of your home but under special circumstances. A baby breathing monitor can be beneficial for families with:
A baby breathing monitor can make it easier to keep an eye on your little one so you do not have to, allowing you to get some rest. A baby breathing monitor proved to be a wise purchase for me because I was able to select brands that were tailored to my newborn son’s needs and mine at the time. I scoured the internet looking for the ideal baby breathing monitor, which I felt were so expensive but I felt that by making the purchase I would be able to ease my mind a bit regarding my son’s breathing. I ended up trying 2 types before coming across the one baby breathing monitor that really worked for me.
The AngelCare Baby breathing monitor was the first one I used and it is definitely unique in its own way. The price ranges from around $200 to $250. The device has a sensor pad that you can place under your little one’s mattress and let it do all the work. This device’s design is optimized to detect even the smallest movements that other monitors may miss. It has video, sound,and movement monitoring for your baby all in one package. The movement sensor pad to be placed under your little one’s mattress will sense if your baby does not move for 20 second and sound alarm for you. It has a video transmission (in color) feature that provides you with a live feed of your baby from their nursery to your room. The Infrared camera also has night vision and day vision options meaning it can stream video feed even in the dark. You can change the settings via the LCD touchscreen and the two-way talk back option between the motion sensor pad and the monitor in your room allows you to hear what is going on with the baby in the other room. This Baby breathing monitor offers reduced interference thanks to the 2.4 GHz digital transmission for optimum privacy. Additional features that may appeal to parents include a nightlight, battery backup in the event of a power failure, and a temperature display. A note to take home about the AngelCare Baby breathing monitor is that it is best used with a standard regulatory baby mattress, whichever size, or thickness. You cannot use it with Purflo mattresses, mattresses with hollow frames, dual-sided mattresses, or memory foam mattresses. The downside to using the AngelCare Sensor Pad monitor would be that you could not use it if you sleep with your baby in the same bed, which was the case for me. My son sleeps next to me at times so I felt it would not be the right fit for me. Some parents have reported this monitor as having a low battery life while others have been unsatisfied with the camera sound.
Find the AngelCare Breathing Monitor here
What makes this breathing monitor so distinct? Well, for starters, it is portable and you can clip into onto your baby’s diaper waistband. The fact that it is portable makes it great for monitoring your baby’s sleep even when you are travelling. You can buy the vibrating breathing monitor for roughly $100. Factors that would have hindered other breathing monitors from working do not affect this baby monitor being that you can use it when you are out and about. It has a stimulation feature enabling the device to vibrate when it detects a lack of movement from your baby for 15 seconds. If the device vibrates for 5 seconds and your baby still does not move then the monitor activates an audible alarm for you. The Snuza Movement monitor does not have any cords or wires (the term “wireless” may be a selling point in itself) so that it cannot cause possible harm to your baby. The monitor has been manufactured using medical grade and hypo-allergenic plastics. Given that it will be so close to your baby’s skin, this is quite a beneficial part of the device. The Snuza Hero does not receive or send out any radio frequency signals as well. You can get additional features on the Trio PlusMonitor system comprising a camera and video monitor in addition to the vibrating clip-on monitor. The annoying part of this monitor for me, was that if I had not clipped it on to my son’s diaper before he fell asleep, I would risk disturbing him and waking him again. The Snuza Hero monitor came across as clumsy to me because it was hard to get a good grip of it on my son’s diaper so it used to fall off quite often. It was not secure so I had to keep making sure my son was wearing the right clothes for me to place it on him correctly. It was not a good fit for mybaby boy and me so I had to move on to the next one, which I found to be the perfect fit. In addition, the fact that you do not need to connect it to an app may mean that you will not have the option of collecting your baby’s data as you would with other monitors.
Find the Snuza breathing monitor here
The MonBaby breathing monitor comprises a clip-on button allowing you to clip it on to your baby’s shirt so it does not fall off. It goes for about $170. The clip-on button is secure and it still works even when your baby is sleeping next to you in your bed. The MonBaby smart button conducts measurements in real-time at five times/second and then transmits the results directly to your smartphone for your convenience. You can install the Android or iPhone MonBaby app on your phone. The app allowed me to receive information about my baby and displayed it in a manner that was easy for me to comprehend. You will receive information on the device’s connection status, battery status, phone proximity, fall detection, the baby’s body position, and breathing movements. You also have the option of selecting the specific results you would like to receive. All you have to do is clip it onto your baby’s clothes, connect the device to your smartphone via the app, and begin monitoring your baby’s movements and breathing in real time. You will receive an alarm if the device detects a fall, removal of proximity, lack of breathing movements, or a shift in body position. You should make sure your baby is always sleeping in the correct position, which is on his or her back. With the MonBaby app, you have the option of receiving an alarm on your phone whenever the baby rolls onto his or her stomach. The smart button has sensors so precise that it can detect even the faintest breathing movements by your baby. If there is no movement detected by the device for 15 seconds, the app will notify you immediately. The Proximity alarm on the MonBaby app allows you to make sure your baby is still in the vicinity. The fall detection alarm is ideal for when your baby is still learning to take their first steps and happens to fall down at which point the app will notify you. The MonBaby smart button sends updates directly to your phone app in real time at the rate of five times per second. MonBaby allowed me to monitor my baby proactively by sending me his activity and breathing data in real time with audible alerts to boot. Babies who sleep on their tummies may have a higher risk of SIDS compared to babies who sleep on their backs, which is why I thought the MonBaby breathing monitor was an ideal choice.
Find the MonBaby Breathing Monitor here
Monitor usually vary in their prices based on the functionality with audio-only monitors costing less than those with an added video function, wireless network compatibility, high-definition, and multiple handsets. You can expect to get one for as low as $20 and as high as $400. The main thing to consider would be to make sure you buy one that is the ideal match for you and your family. Most monitors work on a specific frequency (2.4GHz), which is shared with certain devices in your home such as cordless phones from your neighbor’s house. Try to look out for breathing monitors with a separate frequency, ideally 1.9 GHz, to avoid the occurrence of background interference.
Monitors come in three types namely movement monitors, wireless network monitors, combined audio and video monitors, digital monitors, and audio monitors.
A wireless network monitor is a digital one connecting to a wireless network so you can use your phone, tablet, or computer to receive the signals. You can get direct notifications in the event of any changes in the baby’s movement or breathing.
Combined audio and video monitors usually include a small camera that you install in your baby’s room to watch the baby or hear the baby.
Digital monitors emit encrypted transmissions meaning neighboring receivers as mentioned above cannot pick up sounds from your baby’s room. They often have a higher sound quality so they may be more expensive than you expected.
Audio monitors enable you to listen to your baby while he or she sleeps.
A movement monitor allows you to know if your baby has not moved in their sleep for longer than a set period, usually 20 seconds. Mat monitors fall under this category and are also referred to as under the mattress monitors. This movement monitor records your baby’s breathing mat when placed under your child’s crib bedding’s. If there is no movement, the mat sensor sounds an alarm waking you up. They are ideally used on surfaces that are flat so if you travel often, you are better off going with an alternative option. Some movement monitors are attached to your baby’s clothing or diapers and detect changes in your baby’s movements accordingly. This type of monitor is portable making it more practical for traveling. Movement monitors are considered ideal for tracking your baby’s breathing compared to video or audio monitors because they send you an alert if there is an irregularity or absence of breathing. They are also very sensitive to detect slight movements by your baby. Breath and heart monitors note the baby’s chest movement and electrical activity by the heart via two electrode rods that are attached to your baby’s chest. They have a heart alarm that is set at a specific heart rate (80 bpm for younger babies and 60bpm for older babies).
Make sure the monitor has an option to sound an alert when your baby is in any danger. A good baby breathing monitor should also monitor the baby’s breathing and heart rate, which, of course, are the most vital signs of the infant.
It should be very sensitive in that it can be able to detect even the smallest movements and send you an alert accordingly. The breathing monitor should also be capable of tracking the baby’s breathing patterns in the most accurate way possible.
Look out for the monitor’s extensive features such as the battery life, area coverage, and audibility. There are also some commercially sold baby monitors that might not comply with the approved standards, which is something to watch out for before buying one.
Ensure the baby breathing monitor you buy is portable, easy to use, and dependable for your convenience as well. It should not wake you for no reason thanks to false alarms.
If you feel like a combined audio and video baby breathing monitor would be the best fit depending on your baby’s condition then it is advisable to go with that. Such a monitor can allow you to view as well as listen in on anything going on your baby’s room or the baby’s sounds. This is the ideal combination in regard to keeping vigilant on your babies health while sleeping.
I believe having a breathing monitor for my son when he was first born helped ease my anxieties of him being a S.I.D.S statistic so it was well worth the investment and time I put into finding the right monitor for my needs.
No expense is too great when it comes to looking out for your baby’s health.
What do you think about breathing monitors for babies? Do you feel like they are useful? Do you think they are a unnecessary expense or something vital to have when you first have a baby? Share your thoughts in the comment below!