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If you're in a hurry and just want to find out what the best baby breathing monitor is, I'd recommend the Babysense 7.
It's not uncommon for new parents to spend a lot of time worrying about their little bundle of joy. This is particularly true at night when your mind races and you wonder if baby is ok. For that reason, a lot of parents look to baby breathing monitors to provide peace of mind, and hopefully help them get a little much needed rest.
In this article, I am breaking down the best baby breathing monitors, and in the end, I'll choose the winner.
Here are the monitors I will be reviewing:
Types Of Baby Breathing Monitors
The two main types of baby breathing monitors are mat monitors and wearable monitors. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you will want to take a look to see which one is right for you.
Mat monitors are placed on a hard surface under your baby's mattress. These monitors have very sensitive sensors that are able to detect very small movements.
Mat monitors are considered the most reliable breathing monitors. They also tend to produce far less false alarms than wearable monitors.
The biggest drawback with mat monitors is that they are not very portable. So, if you travel with your baby, you will probably end up leaving your mat monitor behind. One reason they are tough to travel with is that you need to place the sensors on a hard surface. Generally, this means purchasing or finding a piece of wood or a board to put on top of your crib springs. These monitors also tend to require a bit of work to install, compared to wearable monitors that simply clip on.
Wearable monitors clip onto baby's diaper, clothing, or sleepwear. So, it's easy to take them with you whenever you and baby go on a trip.
In addition to monitoring breathing, a lot of wearable monitors can track temperature and other types of movements. Some will even let you know if baby rolls from back to stomach.
The biggest drawback with wearable monitors is that they tend to produce a lot of false alarms, particularly once baby starts moving and rolling around. Often times, the wearable device becomes loose or falls off when baby moves. As a result, it stops detecting movement and the alarm goes off. While this isn't the worst thing in the world, a false alarm will probably get your heart racing if it wakes you up in the middle of the night.
Benefits Of Baby Breathing Monitors
The biggest benefit that these devices deliver is peace of mind. I can tell you that in the early days, particularly with our first child, we worried about everything. There were a lot of nights that I would lean in close to my son to try and listen for breathing to make sure everything was ok. A breathing monitor would probably have helped me to relax a little.
That said, there are no breathing monitors that have been proven to prevent SIDS. So, while they might help, it's still important to follow the AAP's recommendations for safe sleep.
My Top Baby Breathing Monitor Picks
Personally, I prefer mat monitors since they are generally considered to be more reliable and have less false alarms. That said, there is a strong case to be made for wearable monitors, since they are easy to travel with, and track more than just breathing. I have included both mat breathing monitors and wearable breathing monitors below, so that you can pick the one that is right for you.
This is a pretty impressive mat monitor that deserves serious consideration.
This monitor is able to sense each and every one of your baby's movements. If there is no movement detected after 20 seconds, an alarm will sound.
It comes with a full color digital display which is easy to read, and it's capable of monitoring your baby's movement, sounds, and room temperature. While you might be purchasing this device to monitor breathing and movement, it's a nice bonus to have temperature and audio included as well.
The parent unit is portable and rechargeable. So, you can move around the house with confidence.
It has a nursery light that provides a gentle glow. So, you are able to find your way around whenever your walk into your baby's room.
The open field range is up to 820 feet, but the indoor range is more like 262 - 328 feet. This is pretty good compared to most other breathing monitors. It also has an out of range indicator to let you know when you're out of range.
This one gets good marks for reliability and for not producing too many false alarms. While false alarms aren't the end of the world, they can be a little stressful and anxiety producing. So, it's nice if they can be avoided.
The biggest drawback is that set up takes some time, and some parents reported that the directions are a little complicated. You need to put a board (or something hard) on top of the crib springs. Then, slide the sensor pad on top of the board, under the crib mattress. You can purchase a board for this purpose or find one around the house.
The Babysense 7 is an impressive mat monitor. In fact, I think it's the best baby breathing monitor for most parents.
This one sounds an alarm if no movement is detected for 20 seconds or if the rate of movements slows to less that 10 micro movements per minute.
It comes with two sensor pads to ensure that the entire crib is covered. This cuts down on false alarms. If there were only one sensor pad, it could set off an alarm when baby rolled too far away. This one also comes with enhanced sensitivity features to cut down on false alarms even further.
Parents report that installation is super easy and only takes a few minutes. As a new parent, you have a lot to worry about. So, being able to get this installed quickly and easily is one less thing to consider. You do need to place the sensors on a piece of wood or hard surface so that they work properly. Some parents purchase boards for this purpose, and others find them around the house.
The biggest drawback with this one is that the blue light that indicates that the monitor is turned on is too bright. Some parents have resorted to covering it or drawing over it with permanent marker to dampen the light.
The Snuza Go! is a really nice wearable breathing monitor. In fact, if you prefer to go with a wearable monitor, this is the one that I would recommend.
This device clips onto your baby's diaper, and then monitors them while they sleep. This design makes it really easy to take with you any time you travel.
An audible alarm can be set to go off after 15, 18, or 20 seconds with no movement depending on your preference. There is also a movement rate indicator to warn you if movements are weak or infrequent. You will receive an alert if baby's abdominal movements fall to less than 8 movements per minute.
The biggest issue with this one is that you will receive lots of false alarms. Any time the device falls off or the diaper becomes too loose, it will fail to detect movement and an alarm will go off. This happens with greater frequency once your baby starts moving and rolling around.
False alarms have a tendency to make your heart race the first few times when you wake up and worry that your baby isn't breathing. After a while, you will probably get used to it, and just go check on your little one and re-secure the device, but it will disrupt your sleep. Still, false alarms are not the worst thing in the world as long as the device works properly when there is actual danger.
This one is a wearable monitor that connects with your smartphone.
This monitor provides you with notifications if baby is not breathing, or if breathing is too weak or too fast. It will also let you know when your baby rolls from back to stomach. This is quite useful since it's safest for infants to sleep on their back.
The Sense-U Baby also monitors the ambient temperature and humidity level around baby. This extra bit of information can be nice, and help prevent your little one from overheating or getting too cold.
This device works by clipping onto your baby's sleepwear. Its design makes it very easy to take with you if you travel.
Since this connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, the range is limited to about 50 feet. A lot of parents use this when they are in the same room as their baby.
The biggest drawback is that there are a lot of false alarms. That's true of all wearable monitors since they will fall off or become loose from time to time. In addition, some parents report that this one sends way too many weak breathing alerts.
This is another breathing monitor that connects to your smartphone.
For both iPhones and Android phones, this will connect via Bluetooth. So, it works best when the smartphone and sensor are in the same room. If you have an Android phone, you can also use the free MonBridge app to extend it's range.
This one provides alerts when baby stops breathing, rolls from back to stomach, falls, or if there is some other unusual activity.
The design makes this one easy to take with you whenever you and baby travel.
The biggest issue is that, like other wearable monitors, there are a lot of false alarms. Parents note in particular that the fall alert seems to go off way too frequently.
Parents also noted that the battery life is not great.
When looking at breathing monitors, you first want to choose between a mat monitor and a wearable. Personally, I prefer mat monitors in large part because they produce less false alarms. I think that the Babysense 7 is the best baby breathing monitor for most parents. That said, if a wearable monitor is more appealing to you, I would recommend the Snuza Go! Baby Monitor.