As a new parent I found myself frequently going to check on my newborns – i’d stare at them until I saw their chest rise and fall as they took each breath. If they slept longer than I was expecting i’d check on them more frequently. It became a source of constant anxiety for me, and prevented me not only from getting the other things done in my life, but also from resting and taking care of myself while I had the chance.
There are many new baby monitors and alarm systems that help protect your child from SIDS. (they’re often referred to as vitals monitors) This alarm is designed to monitor babies and detect Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) as well as other potential dangers, like suffocation, choking or even breathing problems. The alarm can also be programmed to give off an audible warning if it senses one of these conditions- so it’s easy to know when something isn’t right! Every parent worries about the safety of their children, but these devices can ease those fears by giving you peace of mind!
A SIDS alarm may give you peace of mind, but it will not protect your baby from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). If your baby has a condition that makes him or her particularly vulnerable to SIDS (for example, breathing problems) then a monitor could help your doctor assess this.
When you’re preparing everything for a new family member, it’s easy to get ready for the common and positive things. Buying diaper supplies, clothes, getting the nursery ready, picking out toys. It’s easy to get carried away with all that sugar, spice, and everything nice. But, should you get a SIDS alarm? Here’s how we see it.
Is a SIDS monitor necessary?
You can absolutely raise a healthy and happy child without a SIDS monitor- families have been doing it for years and will continue to do so. However, if a monitor is within your budget and you would feel safer with this type of product, then it could be well worth the expense!
SIDS alarms are not medical grade monitors, or a substitute for medical care. They can however help present a more whole picture of baby’s health for your child’s pediatrician, and help your family as a whole rest more easily – particularly in the early months.
What is a SIDS monitor?
A SIDS monitor is a product designed to monitor the vital signs of sleeping infants. They track baby’s breathing, heart rate and blood oxygen levels, and will sound an alarm if these vitals go outside of the expected range.
There are many different types of monitors, some requiring a pad that fits under the cot mattress, and others with sensors attached to the body such as on the waist or foot.
Newborns breathe at an inconstant pace – sometimes faster, other times slower, and sometimes, they even stop breathing completely for a few seconds. These patterns are odd and bring a lot of stress, and that’s where a SIDS alarm steps in. These breathing monitors will observe your little one’s breathing patterns, and alarm you if there are any deviations. For instance, if your baby isn’t breathing for 10 seconds, it can sound an alarm.
Are SIDS monitors worth it?
Many new parents will pick up baby monitors when their little one is born – an audio one so they can hear baby’s cries when they wake, or a video one which can help alleviate parent anxiety as their little one is sleeping. Some homes have multiple monitors to be able to see multiple children at once. A SIDS monitor is an additional purchase. (Though Owlet sell a smart sock and camera combo)
You will need to weigh the cost of the monitor against your expectations and needs. A few things to consider are:
- SIDS monitors do not prevent SIDS. The device is intended to alert you to changes in baby’s readings for oxygen levels, breathing, and heart rate, but simply monitoring these vital signs will not prevent SIDS itself. Using a monitor does not reduce the risk of SIDS – rather it reports
- Monitoring can help alleviate parental anxiety. I am absolutely a data person, and I tracked my children’s development (growth, sleeping, eating etc) over and above what I really needed to do. I found it helped me feel more calm and confident about my new family, and I was able to more accurately answer questions of my children’s pediatrician. A SIDS monitor would have automated a significant part of this process for me, and enabled me to get on with other parts of life.
- SIDS monitors do have false alarms. Some parents have reported times when their baby’s sock has slipped off or when low battery has impacted monitoring. Think about whether false alarms would cause you more stress than is healthy for you and your family.
- There is no substitute for safe sleep environments. Accidental suffocation is often reported closely alongside SIDS statistics. Ensure the crib mattress is fitted correctly, that baby does not use unsuitable bedding, that no toys are kept inside the cot while baby is sleeping, and that your child is laid on their back to sleep.
- These are not medical grade monitors. You will need to take your child to the pediatrician if you feel something is wrong. A SIDS monitor is not a substitute for frequent health checks with your child’s pediatrician.
What are the most popular SIDS monitors?
There are lots of brands out there, but the standouts are made by Owlet and Snuza.
The Owlet Smart Sock
- Track Baby's Sleep Trends Using Award-Winning Technology - Wear for every nap and bedtime to track your baby’s sleep indicators, including number of wakings, heart rate, oxygen level, sleep quality, and total hours slept.
- Personalized Sleep Program - From 4-12 months old, access Owlet’s award-winning sleep program and receive an adaptable sleep schedule tailored to your baby’s needs. See better sleep in as few as 7 days.
- Weekly Expert Parenting Tips - From 0 to 18 weeks old, receive weekly tips to learn about sleep, feeding, postpartum adjustment, self-care and more!
- Use Sleep Data & Expert Tips for Better Sleep - View your baby’s sleep data and helpful sleep tips from Owlet sleep experts to support your baby as they learn to embrace sleep and develop life-long healthy sleep habits.
- See Sleep Quality Indicators - See number of wakings, your baby’s heart rate, average oxygen level, and sleep movement and make adjustments to support restful sleep for your baby during every nap and bedtime.
The Owlet Smart Sock system monitors the most important indicators of your baby’s health. It alerts you when your baby needs your attention and helps you know when they are safe. Owlet is durable, secure, and can be used with any type of bedding thanks to its adjustable elastic band. The app also has sleep tracking features so you can monitor trends in how often your little one wakes up or their quality of sleep.
The Smart Sock is compatible with any sleep environment and can be used with babies from 0-18 months. The sock does not interfere with the normal growth of your child’s foot so you don’t have to worry about what happens once they no longer need the monitor.
Track Baby’s Sleep Trends
The Owlet Dream Sock is a great way to keep track of your baby’s sleep patterns. It uses sensors to monitor heart rate and oxygen levels, as well as movement and sleep state. This information is then used to create a digital Sleep Score that can be used to identify trends and areas for improvement. The sock also includes a built-in digital coach that provides customized recommendations for better sleep.
Personalized Sleep Program
This innovative sleep feature allows you to create a personalized sleep program for your little one, based on their unique needs. The Owlet Dream Sock will monitor their heart rate and oxygen levels as they sleep, and provide you with valuable data that can help you tailor a sleep program that will encourage healthy and restful sleep. Additionally, the Owlet Dream Sock comes with digital sleep coaching prompts that can offer guidance and support as your baby learns to self-soothe and fall asleep independently.
Weekly Expert Parenting Tips
Having a baby can be tough, and sometimes you need all the help you can get. That’s why we love this feature of the Owlet Dream Sock – weekly expert parenting tips! No matter what your question or concern, there’s bound to be an expert out there who can help. And with the ease of receiving these tips straight to your inbox, you’ll always have access to sage advice when you need it most.
View Sleep Quality Indicators
The Owlet Dream Sock is a unique baby monitor that not only lets you see heart rate and average oxygen levels, but also uses sleep quality indicators to help you understand your baby’s sleep patterns. This can be especially useful in understanding why your baby is waking up at night or how well they are sleeping. With this information, you can make changes to improve their sleep habits and overall health.
Review Sleep Readings in Owlet Dream App
The Owlet Dream Sock is a smart baby monitor that tracks your child’s heart rate and oxygen levels as they sleep. The data collected is then transmitted to the Owlet Dream app, where you can review your child’s sleep readings and get tips on how to improve their sleep quality. The app also includes a digital sleep coach that can help you troubleshoot any problems you may be having with your child’s sleep.
The Owlet Dream Sock is a high-tech baby monitor that not only keeps track of your little one’s heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep, but also provides valuable sleep coaching tips to help them (and you) get a better night’s rest. And best of all, it’s HSA/FSA approved, so you can use your flex spending dollars to purchase it.
Snuza Hero SE Movement Monitor
- WEARABLE baby monitor that easily clips onto your baby's diaper or clothes.
- Snuza Hero monitors your baby's breathing movement and will attempt to gently rouse your baby after 15 seconds of no breathing movement.
- Snuza Hero will alarm after 20 seconds of no breathing movement allowing you to act quickly
- Heading out? Simply pop the Snuza into your bag - no cords, wires or complicated sensor pads
- No need to hover over your sleeping baby at night. Enable Snuza's tick mode to "hear" your baby's breathing movements at night.
We all want to be able to keep a close eye on our little ones, but sometimes it’s just not possible. The Snuza Hero SE allows you to do just that monitor your baby’s breathing without being in the room with them. It’s a wearable device that clips onto your baby’s diaper and will vibrate if it detects no movement for 15 seconds. If there is still no movement after 20 seconds, the Hero SE will emit an audible alarm, alerting you that something may be wrong.
Wearable baby monitor
The Snuza Hero SE is a wearable baby monitor that clips onto your child’s diaper. It’s a cordless, portable device that gives parents peace of mind while their baby sleeps.
Gently Rouses Baby After No Breathing Movement
The Snuza Hero is a wearable baby monitor that gently rouses your baby after it detects no breathing movement for 15 seconds. It’s cordless and clips onto your baby’s diaper, so you can monitor their breathing while they’re sleeping.
Alarm after 20 Seconds of No Breathing Movement
The Snuza Hero SE monitors baby’s breathing and will sound an alarm after 20 seconds of no movement, helping to ensure that your little one is always safe and sound.
Pop into Bag for Easy Traveling
The Snuza Hero SE is perfect for busy moms on the go – you can pop the monitor in to a bag without having to worry about cords, wires or sensor pads.
In conclusion – SIDS monitors have a place, but make sure that they’re right for your family
A SIDS alarm can be a worthy investment. There are many different options available, and it’s important to do your research in order to find the best one that fits with your needs and budget. Technology can unfortunately offer a false sense of security sometimes, so it is important to remember that a SIDS monitor is not a substitute for safe sleep environments, regular parental monitoring, and appropriate health care.
A SIDS monitor can help bring you peace of mind. It is important to remember that it is not 100% fool-proof. Considering reports of false alarms, you’ll need to be aware that they do exist and may impact your life depending on the situation.
If you are at all concerned about your child’s health or safety, do not hesitate to take them to see a licensed medical professional.