Babies look lovely when they sleep. There’s actually nothing cuter! However, if you’re an anxious parent, or if your baby has suffered from breathing troubles in the past, checking up on them, again and again, can feel like quite a task, but necessary.
As it is, the full-time responsibility of caring for a baby is not easy. It is rewarding in its own sense, but the effort you have to make is not something to be ignored.
Apart from changing and feeding, taking care of their safety should be a number one priority.
This is where baby monitors come in. Now with new technology, you can easily know if your baby is well and happy without having to get up and check every time. Baby monitors come in many shapes and sizes with a variety of different features.
However, here we will focus only on baby breathing monitors since they seem to perform the most crucial task of reassuring you that your baby is actually sleeping with normal vital signs.
Enlisted and explained below for your convenience is a list of some of the best breathing monitors out there.
After reassurance from these helpful devices, you yourself can sleep like a baby with peace of mind instead of worrying whether your little one is struggling to breathe.
Who Needs A Baby Breathing Monitor?
Shopping for a baby can be expensive, especially if you want to be on the safer side and prefer buying anything there is even a slight chance you might need.
As far as baby monitors go, they’re not necessary for everyone. However, you should definitely buy one if:
- You had a premature baby. They tend to have irregular patterns of breathing
- You have already lost a baby through SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). A baby breathing monitor can be reassuring in such cases
- You suffer from anxiety and can’t sleep for fear that your baby will stop breathing. SIDS is very rare, and parents should always relax and enjoy time with their babies instead of feeling anxious about every little thing! However, a baby breathing monitor can be a source of comfort to such parents
How Do Baby Breathing Monitors Work?
Baby breathing monitors are of different kinds. Most are movement monitors that detect your baby’s breathing by making use of the fact that infants have notable abdominal movements when they breathe.
These movement monitors may be in the form of small devices with movement sensors that can be clipped on to your baby’s diaper to sense tummy movements.
Alternately, they may be sensor pads that can be placed under your baby’s mattress to detect movement. Most monitors sound an audible alarm when no movement is detected for about 20 seconds.
Another type of baby monitor makes use of oximetry, alerting you when your baby’s skin oxygen levels fall below 92%. These can keep the heart rate and pulse in check as well.
Some video monitors may also come with an option for detecting breathing. These often use WiFi and Smartphone apps to alert you about your baby’s sleep and breathing cycles.
However, not all monitors can deliver what they promise. Although many complaints with popular breathing monitors may be due to user error, some are just not competent enough to be used as potential life-saving devices.
It is therefore essential to choose only the best baby breathing monitor to give your infant the care they deserve.
Our Top Picks
Snuza Hero (SE) Baby Movement Monitor
If you’re looking for one of the best-rated baby breathing monitors out there, the Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor is definitely a winner!
The small, conveniently sized monitor can easily be clipped on to your baby’s diaper to detect his abdominal movements while breathing, without the need of any cords, wires or sensor pads.
Activate the Hero to give off a gentle clicker sound that will let you know it’s on. In case your baby’s movements are weak or lesser than normal (less than 8 per minute), the Snuza will warn you through flashing indicator lights.
If no movement is detected within 15 seconds, the device will vibrate in an effort to awaken your baby to breathe.
This often works and the baby should start breathing again, silencing the Snuza. However, if 20 seconds pass without movement, or if 3 vibrate incidents have already taken place, the sharp, audible alarm on the Snuza Hero will go off, alerting the parents of some possible problem.
Since the Snuza is sensitive to movements around it, it is not suitable for co-sleeping, bed-sharing, car seats or strollers. Overall, a great product that we recommend you to try out for yourself.
- Easy to use
- Portable due to small size, no wires, cords, or sensor pads
- Complaints of false alarms
- Problems with staying in place for babies who move a lot while sleeping
Snuza Go! Baby Monitor
The Snuza Go! Baby Monitor is just as good as the Snuza Hero, with only a few further options for your convenience. This is also one great product, as far as baby breathing monitors are concerned.
Just like the Snuza Hero, the Snuza Go! can be clipped on to your baby’s diaper to detect abdominal movements while breathing. Just slide the device over your baby’s snug-fitting diaper so that it’s sensor is in contact with his tummy.
Activate a gentle clicker sound which indicates that the device is up and running.
Green movement indicator lights will assure you that everything is normal. For small or weak abdominal movements (below 8 per minute), an orange light with warning sound will go off, which can be disabled.
For the final red light with an audible alarm that goes off after no movement has been detected for a while, you can set for 15, 18, or 20 seconds without movement, as per your choice.
The Snuza Go! is easy to keep with yourself when traveling, with a protective case, lightweight, and small size. It works by a CR2 battery which can normally last up to 6 months. Just like the Hero, the Snuza Go! is not suitable for babies sleeping together, or for car seats or strollers.
Try out this movement-sensitive product for some remarkable breathing detection at night! The Sunza Go! has rarely, if ever, disappointed those who rely on it.
- Sensitive device for detection of babies’ breathing
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to use
- The audible alarm can wake parents up immediately upon sensing danger
- May not work well for moving babies
- Only a Snuza brand battery can work on this device
New Babysense 7 – Under-The-Mattress Baby Movement Monitor
A highly sensitive device, the New Babysense 7 is one of the best baby breathing monitors out there, thanks to its Enhanced Sensitivity and a combination of useful features.
The brand Babysense is recognized globally and sells its monitors in over 35 countries around the world, including regions of Europe, Asia, and Australia.
This original non-contact infant monitor provides full bed coverage and is a certified Class IIB Medical Device in Europe. In case of no movement for 20 seconds or unusually fewer movements (less than 10 micro-movements per minute), the New Babysense 7 will alert you through red lights and an audible alarm as well.
Along with super-sensitive sensors that cover the whole crib area without being in contact with your baby, the monitor consists of connecting wires that are kept out of your sight.
The sensors are placed between your baby’s mattress and the base of his crib or bed to detect your baby’s breathing movements.
Get your hands on 4 AA batteries and fix them up in this device. Turn it on with just the push of a button to watch the whole process of the Babysense guarding your baby’s movements throughout the night.
Strongly recommended by many parents, this product could be the answer to your baby monitoring needs!
- Easy to set up
- Sensitive and reliable
- Two sensors make it more sensitive to movement detection, hence false alarms rare
- The monitor is not portable so you can’t track your baby’s breathing outside the room since the alarm may not be heard
- Few complaints of ’false positives’ in rooms with fans – the monitor, at times, keeps detecting movements even with no baby in the crib
- Few complaints of false alarms
Cocoon Cam Plus – Baby Monitor with Breathing Monitoring – New 2018 Version
The wildly popular Cocoon Cam is back in an updated form! The New 2018 Version has not only video and audio functions but a breathing monitoring graph as well.
Enjoy your peace of mind as Cocoon keeps watch for you. Validated by leading pediatricians and IRB-approved studies, the device is indeed a great safety measure for all infants while providing relief to anxious parents who just want their baby to be safe.
With no wearables, wires, or mats, the all-in-one monitor is designed with ease of use and efficient functionality in mind. The Cocoon Cam’s free app gives you instant alerts right on your phone while enabling you to look at, listen to, and talk to your baby when away.
Real-Time Breathing Monitoring technology provides a graph of your baby’s breathing cycles over a clear, HD live-stream video with night vision and zoom capability as your baby enjoys their sleep.
Get notified as soon as your baby wakes, cries, or sleeps, wherever you are. Whether across the hall or in a different country, the Cocoon Cam Plus reaches you with all your baby’s activity log!
- Non-contact, so can’t be shaken off by the baby’s movements
- Easy to set up
- Video and audio features are present along with breathing monitoring
- Instant alerts even when the baby stirs
- Few false alert complaints
- Considerable use of internet bandwidth
- May not work in all countries
Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor
The Owlet Smart Sock 2 is exactly what – a sock you can secure on one of your baby’s feet to track their heart rate and oxygen levels.
Although not literally a breathing monitor, the Smart Sock 2 actually goes a step farther than that. By using clinically approved pulse oximetry technology, it alerts you when it detects any lack of oxygen levels or an irregular heartbeat.
Know that your baby is safe and sound, all thanks to the Smart Sock App, free to download on both iOS and Android. Wherever you are, you can stay aware of your baby’s health.
Just make your baby wear the sock and watch the base station glow green, indicating that everything is as it should be. If in case any irregularity is detected, you will be alerted through lights, sounds, and app notifications.
Each package comes with three washable socks that can easily be wrapped and secured around your baby’s foot as long as your baby is 0-18 months, or in the 6 to 25 pounds range.
Alternate securing the sock on each foot – if your baby wore it for a night on the right foot, the next night the sock should be on the left foot, and so on.
The promising product comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee and a plethora of happy customers, making it a safe purchase and something worth trying out!
- Easy to use
- Real-time heart rate and oxygen level monitoring
- Rare false alarms due to superior sensitivity
- Suitable while bed-sharing too
- Needs to be charged often
- Few complaints of false alarms and false positives
Levana Oma+ Clip-On Portable Baby Movement Monitor
This is one of the most popular baby breathing monitors, and very similar to the Snuza Hero. The Levana Oma+ Movement Monitor works by detecting your baby’s tiniest abdominal movements through a sensor that is placed near the belly button when it is secured on your baby’s diaper with a clip.
When working, the Oma+ detects regular abdominal movements as your baby’s normal breathing and stays quiet, indicating that all is well.
However, once it detects complete stillness for 15 seconds, it vibrates again your baby’s abdomen in an effort to rouse your baby so that breathing can be resumed normally. If 5 more seconds pass with no movement, the audible alarm alerts you for possible danger.
Another optional feature of the Oma+ is the detection of weak and irregular breathing movements. In such instances, an orange light will flash with a different-sounding audible alarm to warn you about the anomaly.
This feature can easily disabled since parents may not like to be aroused when possibilities of false alarms are high in such cases.
The compact, battery-operated device is easily portable so that you can ensure your baby sleeps safely wherever you take them.
All in all, the extraordinary ratings and a great number of happy parents indicate that this device could give you considerable peace of mind while tracking your baby’s safe breathing.
- The battery already comes installed so the product is ready to use
- Easy to use
- Portable, can be taken along while traveling
- Sensitive to effective movement detection
- Few false alarms which may be due to user error
- The battery needs to be replaced as often as 3 to 4 weeks
- May not be ideal for babies who tend to move a lot while sleeping
Angelcare Movement Only Monitor
For parents who just need to be reassured that their baby is breathing fine, the Angelcare Movement Only Monitor can be a great option.
With highly sensitive sensor pads that are not directly in contact with the baby, the Angelcare Movement Only Monitor detects the slightest movements through your baby’s mattress to keep you notified that your baby is well and sleeping soundly.
If no movement is detected for 20 seconds, the monitor gives off an alarm to alert you about possible accidents.
The sensor pad of the Angelcare comes with an adjustable sensitivity feature. This allows you to set the lowest level of movement you need it to detect.
The Audio Tic feature makes the monitor produce a background ticking sound when your baby’s breathing movements are detected as normal.
The sensor pad is designed to work under regulatory standard baby mattresses with no restrictions of their size or thickness.
However, it won’t be able to detect movements when placed under memory foam, hollow-framed, dual-side, or Purflo mattresses.
This Movement-Only Monitor can work well with other Angelcare monitoring systems to effectively monitor multiple babies as long as they are sleeping in separate cribs.
- Small, lightweight and portable
- Sensitive (can be adjusted)
- Easy to set up
- The visible wires are not good to look at and may cause a strangulation hazard. Safety measures are suggested by Angelcare but the implementation is a hassle
- Few complaints of false alarms
Looking for the Best Baby Breathing Monitor? Here’s How To Choose Wisely
When shopping for one of the best baby breathing monitors, there are a few important questions to address that will make the ultimate decision on which one to choose.
Ask yourself the following before making a final purchase so that you can make the most of your monitor!
Where Does Your Baby Sleep?
Sensor Pad monitors are usually only suitable under baby mattresses. If you’re buying one of this kind, make sure it is compatible with the surface your baby sleeps on.
Secondly, if you make your baby sleep with yourself or other children, you should know that a clip-on or sensor pad is not recommended for bed sharing due to false positives.
What Do You Want from a Baby Monitor?
For most parents, breathing detection is enough to reassure them that their baby is doing fine. Here, a normal movement-only monitor may suffice.
However, if you’re looking for extra features, you can opt for something like the New Cocoon Cam Plus that offers HD video, two-way audio, and breathing graphs.
Monitors with some adjustable features can also be more user-friendly.
Is the Alarm Audible Enough?
This depends on your unique sleep setting – whether your baby sleeps in the same room, or in a different room for which you may have to question whether the warning alarm will be able to awake you.
Make a choice according to your personal preference.
Are the Previous Buyers Happy?
A single device cannot please everyone, but once you consider a product for purchase, reading reviews of previous customers can help you choose wisely.
If the majority recommends it, you can go and make the purchase with confidence.
Go Get One!
Now you know everything you should about buying one of the best baby breathing monitors. Being potential life-saving devices, baby monitors should be chosen carefully.
Go with what you feel will be the best for your baby, and enjoy the restfulness that comes with knowing that your little one is safe throughout his sleeping time.