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Best Baby Apnea Monitor: Complete Buying Guide

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Best Baby Apnea Monitor: Complete Buying Guide

 

Have you ever found yourself waking up several times in the night to check on how your baby is sleeping? Well, you don’t have to stress about it because most parents do the same. Most people continuously check on their babies when sleeping to check on their breathing. That is common with parents who have babies that were born prematurely, or those that have respiratory problems.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case because there are baby apnea monitors that can help you to keep track of how your baby is sleeping. An apnea monitor will help you to check on your baby’s breathing pattern, giving you peace of mind. However, you must know that there exist different brands of breathing monitors on the market. That’s why we will walk you through some of the best baby apnea monitors, plus a buyer’s guide to help you with your purchase decision.

When to use a baby apnea monitor

Usually, newborns don’t have a constant pace of breathing, some breathe too fast, while, others breathe too fast. And the uneven breathing patterns might fill butterflies in your stomach. One of the best ways to ease this worry is by relying on a breathing monitor. When your baby’s breathing pattern deviates from the usual, the monitor sounds an alarm to alert you.

Keep in mind that apnea monitors are meant for babies that are healthy and normal, and also those who have some medical complications. There are monitors that you can use at home, while some need to be used under medical supervision.

The best time to use a home apnea monitor is when your baby has breathing problems. You can also use one when your baby has a chronic lung disease, or when your baby relies on home oxygen. An apnea monitor is also effective when it comes to tracking your baby’s heart rate.

How to determine if your baby has a breathing problem

It is normal for newborns to have irregular breathing patterns, and since babies cannot talk, they cannot tell you what’s happening to their bodies. As a result, it is hard for parents to differentiate between normal and irregular breathing, but it is not impossible to detect breathing problems.

Typically, a majority of babies take 30 to 60 breaths per minute, but this rate declines to 20 breaths per minute when they are sleeping. When babies reach about 6 months, their breathing rate will rise when sleeping from 25 to 40 breaths per minute. You can identify breathing problems with your baby when his or her breathing rate deviates from this pattern. And a baby apnea monitor can help you detect your baby’s breathing pattern. Parents are advised to consult a pediatrician when they identify a problem.

Do not jump into conclusions that your baby has breathing problems when a doctor hasn’t conducted a proper evaluation. It is also advisable for parents to let their babies sleep on their backs.

Some of the common signs of breathing problems with your baby include:

  • Regular breathing pauses
  • When you notice that your baby’s skin has turned blue in tint
  • When you see a blue tinge around your baby’s mouth and lips
  • Rapid breathing happens more often
  • When your baby doesn’t respond as usual or acts lethargic/sluggish

Where should you place an apnea monitor

When your baby’s doctor advises you to get an apnea monitor to watch your baby’s breathing pattern, then you need to get a good location to place it. You should keep the monitor out of baby’s reach, plus it should be away from where your pet can tamper with it. It is also wise to keep the monitor away from wireless devices or electronic products that could cause interference. The ideal location should be at the top of your baby’s crib.

Types of breathing monitors

Before you make your purchase decision, you need to know that there are several types of baby monitors out there. As a result, you need to make a careful assessment to ensure that you get an apnea monitor that best suits your needs. Here are the types of breathing monitors that are available on the market.

  • Heart and breath monitors

There exist heart and breath monitors, which feature two electrode dots. The electrodes get attached to your baby’s chest so that they can register the heart’s electrical activity as well as the chest movement. Interestingly, these monitors are portable, and each one comes with a rechargeable battery.

As for the heart monitor, the alarm is set at 80 beats per minute for a young baby and 60 beats per minute for an older baby. On the other hand, an apnea or breath monitor is set to sound an alarm if there is a delay of over 20 seconds between each breath.

  • Movement monitors

Next up, we have movement monitors. Parents prefer these monitors because they [provide an ideal level of safety for your baby. They work by alerting you when your baby’s movements are irregular or absent over a specific period. One of the best things about these monitors is their high level of sensitivity; they can even detect slight movements.

There are several types of movement monitors, which include:

Movement monitors – these monitors require you to attach them on your baby’s clothing, diaper, or tummy. The monitors sound an alarm when there is a pause in your baby’s tummy movements for over 20 seconds. Keep in mind that these monitors are portable, and you can go with them to any location that you would like.

Mat monitors – these type of movement monitors are placed under your baby’s beddings. They are capable of detecting and recording your baby’s movements. They also feature a sound alarm, which will alert you when there is a pause in your baby’s movements for about 20 seconds. However, you must know that these monitors are ideal for flat surfaces, and that’s why they are not recommended for traveling.

  • Oximeters/ Oxygen measurement monitors

If your baby has respiratory problems, then an oximeter might be used to measure his or her breathing rate. However, oxygen measurement monitors are hardly used at home. You mainly find them in a hospital setting. These monitors also feature sound alarms, which alert you when the oxygen percentage of your baby’s skin falls below a specific limit.

Things to consider before choosing the best baby apnea monitor

Before you venture into the market to get an apnea monitor to help you monitor your baby’s breathing, there are several considerations that you have to make. You need to keep in mind that there exist several brands of baby apnea monitors, and their quality varies. It is imperative to get a monitor that will guarantee your baby’s safety. Here are some of the critical aspects that you need to look out for.

        i.            Size

When you’re searching for a baby apnea monitor, one of the major things to consider before making your purchase is the size of the monitor. If you regularly travel with your baby, then you have to get a monitor that is small in size to enhance its portability.

Additionally, if you want to get a movement monitor, its size should be your major concern. You have to get a monitor whose sensor pads are compatible with the thickness of your baby’s mattress. That ensures that the monitor detects your baby’s movements.

      ii.            Sensitivity level

Another critical feature that you must look out for is the sensitivity level of the apnea monitor. You need to know that each baby is different, and there are those who are stiller compared to others. As a result, you need to get a monitor that allows you to adjust the sensitivity level to suit your baby’s movements.

If you get an apnea monitor whose sensitivity level doesn’t match up to your baby, then the alarm will go off even when there is no emergency. That’s why we advise you to invest in an apnea monitor that has adjustable sensitivity levels.

    iii.            Battery life

The majority of apnea monitors come fitted with batteries, but you can also find those that feature a plug-in cord. Most parents prefer a monitor that has batteries because it allows you to use it anywhere, and most feature rechargeable batteries. However, battery life differs from one baby apnea monitor to the next.  Therefore, it is important for you to get a device that can retain its battery life over an extended period.

    iv.            Range

Most times, your baby’s crib is in a different room from the one that you spend most of your time in. As a result, it is recommended for you to get a monitor that has an extended range. The receiver should get the signal from the transmitter at all times. Losing reception may prove tricky for you, especially when your baby has respiratory problems. Therefore, the range has to be a significant consideration to guarantee the safety of your baby.

      v.            Durability

An apnea monitor, like any other devices, is an investment. Therefore, you need to get a product that delivers value for your money. And the durability of the monitor you would like to get is one of the factors that determinants.

You have to remember that you are getting the device for your baby, and babies are known to throw things around. Getting a device that is made of feeble material will have you running back to the retailer, which is a waste of your time and money. You should purchase an apnea monitor that’s made of sturdy material to prevent easy damage.

    vi.            Movement sensors

Another crucial feature that you should look out for before making your baby apnea monitor purchase is the movement sensors. The sensors allow the device to track your baby’s breathing and or heart rate, keeping him or her safe when taking a nap or throughout the night. Ensure to get a monitor that has sensitive movement sensors to alert you when your baby’s normal breathing is altered.

  vii.            The alarm

When you are out on the market to purchase an apnea monitor, you need to consider the alarm that’s fitted on the device that you would like to get. You cannot have your eyes on the receiver at all times, and that’s why you need to get a monitor that has a sound alarm to alert you when a problem occurs. It’s advisable to settle for a monitor that has an annoying alarm, which will get your attention. You could also get one that has flashing lights.

viii.            Versatility

When you want to get an apnea monitor to guarantee the safety of your baby, you also need to consider its versatility. You can find monitors that have extra receivers, enabling you to share them among parents or keep them in several rooms. Moreover, some monitors feature cameras, and some come with extra cameras for you to mount them on different angles within your baby’s room.

     ix.            Receiver unit

Most baby monitors have a receiver unit, which alerts you when your baby has a breathing problem. There are monitors with audio receivers, which allow you to adjust the volume accordingly. Other receivers feature LED lights, which light up depending on the volume of the alarm. Other devices also have video receivers, which allow you to see your baby clearly. Settle with a model that best suits your preferences.

Product Reviews

Without further ado, let us get down to the main products

1.      Snuza Hero (SE) Baby Movement Monitor

If you have been looking for a portable baby apnea monitor, then you might consider checking out this device. Snuza Hero is a movement monitor, which is wearable. You can strap it on your baby’s diaper to monitor tummy movements. The monitor has no cords, sensor pads, or wires, but it can detect any slight movement your baby makes. That allows you to check whether your baby’s abdominal movements are normal or irregular.

The device is constructed to inform you when your baby’s tummy movements are less than 8 per minute. That notwithstanding, the Hero will detect when your baby has no abdominal movements for 15 seconds, then vibrate to wake up your baby to resume tummy movements. If your baby rises, the device goes back to monitoring mode.

However, when the vibrations fail to wake up your baby on three occasions, the device will alert you. If the monitor detects no abdominal movements after an extra 5 seconds, then a sharp alarm will sound.

Pros

  • Small size for easier portability
  • Has a sturdy build
  • You just need to clip it on your baby’s diaper
  • Alerts you in case of less or weak movements
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • The alarm may go off even when there’s no issue

2.      Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor

Have you been waking up most nights with worry to check on your baby’s breathing? Well, you could minimize your worry if you choose to get this baby apnea monitor. The Smart Sock 2 is designed to track your baby’s oxygen levels and heart rate through its clinically-proven pulse oximetry. This is an important feature that can notify you whenever there is a problem.

Interestingly, this device comes with a base station, which glows green when your baby’s heart rate and breathing levels are okay. When these levels are abnormal, the device has three ways to alert you – through sound, light, and app notifications.

If you’ve never used a baby monitor before, you don’t have to worry about using this one because it is easy to use. Every gadget comes with three washable socks, which you need to wrap around your baby’s foot. The socks will fit most babies between 0 and 18 months, but you should ensure to wash them regularly. The base unit has a range of up to 100 ft., but it’s advisable to keep it about 3 ft. away from your baby’s crib.

Pros

  • Measures your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels
  • No wires
  • Easy to use
  • Has a smartphone app

Cons

  • You need to charge it daily
  • The sock might slip off

3.      Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitor

Do you need a device that will help you monitor your infant’s breathing pattern during naptime, giving you peace of mind? Well, then you might want to check out this gadget. This is a movement monitor that features a sensor pad to detect the slightest movements.

The monitor is meant to be placed under a mattress, and it is fitted with an alarm that sounds when no movement is detected after 20 seconds. The parent unit also has a full-color digital display that allows you to adjust the settings accordingly, plus it also displays sound lights and the temperature.

The parent unit is also portable and rechargeable, allowing you to use it in different rooms within the house. That notwithstanding, this monitor has a great range.

Pros

  • The device features an easy-to-read display
  • It has a nursery night light for easy visibility
  • It’s portable
  • Allows you to adjust the settings
  • Features two-way audio controls

Cons

  • Has a short battery life
  • The parent unit has a loud background noise

4.      Cocoon Cam Plus

Having a newborn with respiratory problems can be quite stressful for any parent, but that doesn’t have to be the case for you. You might have some peace of mind by getting a baby apnea monitor such as Cocoon Cam Plus. This monitor displays your baby’s real-time BPM and breathing rate, plus it features night vision HD video.

The night vision mode lets you see a heat map, which displays your baby’s movements. The monitor is also designed to give you instant alerts when your baby’s breathing pattern changes. That is a great feature that gives you peace of mind so that you can have a restful sleep.

Moreover, Cocoon Cam has no wearables or wires, which means that you can monitor your baby without affecting his or her sleeping comfort. That notwithstanding, the gadget is easy to use. You also don’t need to worry about the security of this monitor because it has HTTPS encrypted video, audio, and vitals. It also has a free app.

Pros

  • It has a camera function
  • Has a night vision HD video mode
  • Comes with a built-in speaker and microphone
  • Camera links are secure

Cons

  • You cannot remove the camera function from the app
  • The free app intensely drains your smartphone’s battery power
  • You have to mount it on the wall

5.      NANNY Baby Movement European Monitor

Last but not least, we have this baby apnea monitor, which might help you to improve your baby’s safety when sleeping. It is an EU Certified Medical Device, which goes at quite the fair price considering its effectiveness in monitoring your baby’s breathing pattern.

It is a gadget that is known to minimize the risk of SIDS, and that’s why it’s used in hospitals and homes alike.  The device is meant to be placed under your baby to detect changes in breathing and movements. In case of any danger, the monitor will alert you through its loud acoustic and visual alarm.

Installing this monitor is considered an easy task because you can attach it anywhere on your baby’s crib. It also has accessible settings that allow you to adjust the sensitivity levels. Besides, it has excellent battery life.

Pros

  • Runs on batteries, protecting your baby from any electrocution
  • Recommended by pediatricians
  • Can be attached anywhere on the crib
  • Has an excellent battery life

Cons

  • Can only be used in one room
  • Has a blinking light which may bring you discomfort when you try to sleep

Conclusion

Most parents live in constant worry about their infants experiencing breathing problems when they sleep. You can, however, bring yourself some peace of mind by getting a suitable baby apnea monitor like the ones mentioned above. Such devices are effective, especially on newborns who have respiratory problems. But before you get one for your baby, ensure to consult with your pediatrician, and keep in mind the major aspects of these gadgets. Doing so will help you get the best baby apnea monitor for your baby.

 

 

 

 

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