For many parents, sleep is a time of anxiety. Questions reel over and over in our minds…
- What if he stops breathing?
- What if she wakes and I don’t hear her?
- What if I am awake nonstop because I’m worried about him while I sleep?
- I don’t want to co-sleep but I am worried about my baby at night, what can I do?
The introduction of baby monitoring has made the answer to these questions much easier for parents. Today, video monitoring is most common but health monitoring is on the rise. Devices like the Angelcare, Snuza, Owlet, and others allow parents to have a deeper look at their baby’s sleep habits and reduce anxiety for some.
The Angelcare monitoring system tracks your baby’s breathing by using a pad which detects movement (or lack thereof) under the baby’s crib mattress. Please be sure to check that your crib mattress is compatible with this monitor. They are not recommended with memory foam mattresses, dual sided, a mattress with a hollow frame, or a Purflo mattress. This is one of the few health monitoring devices which does not require contact with the baby. It is easy to set-up and most monitors have features like temperature, sound monitoring, and a nightlight. They typically cost between $100 – $250 depending on the additional features purchased. Some reported complaints have been that the pad is too sensitive, alerting and awaking parents unnecessarily, it has unsightly wires, and battery issues.
The Owlet is another option! This is a “Smart Sock” that tracks heart rate and oxygen levels in real time, alerting parents of any changes and concerns. While using this monitor, no extra monitors are needed. Parents can check their baby’s status via a cell phone app or peek at the base which will glow with movement. It can be worn on either foot, has a range of 100 feet via Bluetooth connection, and has backup systems in place should WiFi be disconnected. It can be worn anywhere baby is sleeping even the car. The device costs $299 but can be broken into 3, 6, or 12 payments. The stories of babies that have benefitted from the Owlet are amazing! Some reported complaints have been the cost, app updates/crashes, and remembering to charge the sock.
Like most of the monitors, Snuza offers a few options but the idea behind the Snuza is that it is portable, uses replaceable batteries and attaches to the baby’s diaper. It monitors the baby’s breathing movement via the tummy and alerts you if there is no movement detected. Snuza cannot be worn on older babies that sleep on their stomach, in the car, or while being held. The Pico model tracks sleep patterns, skin temperature and body position. It’s very simple to use, has no wires, and vibrates/alerts parents when necessary. There is no app or base station, the device itself makes the alert. The cost is around $100 making it an affordable option for many. Some reported complaints have included the device being difficult to clean, false alarms, and a difficult fit to the diaper.
Other Options Include:
Sproutling: A wearable device that monitors sleep patterns and heart rate. It will alert when the baby rolls over and provides suggestions based on the baby’s age and sleep habits. $249
MonBaby: A device which clips to baby’s pajamas, connects to a phone, and monitors baby’s position, breathing movements, fall detection, proximity, and sleep cycles. $79
Mimo: A wearable kimono with monitor which allows you to see breathing, body position, skin temperature, and wake/sleep all in real-time. $199
None of these devices can prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and should be used in conjunction with sleep safe guidelines
Written by: Melissa Nauss, Owner | Lead Doula of Stars and Stripes Doulas of New Orleans