Can a baby movement monitor save your sleeping baby from SIDS or sleep apnea? Or will these monitors give you false sense of security. Baby movement monitors, often known as Angelcare Baby Monitors
, consists of a baby unit, one or two sensor pads and a parent receiver unit.
It works like this: when sleeping, baby lies on the sensor pad(s). These pads detect baby's movements, even the very very slight ones during normal sleep. But if they does not move for 15 seconds or more, an alarm will alert parents.Because too long breathing pauses are linked to severe sleep apnea and SIDS, this type of monitor is also called a sids monitor. It does sound like the perfect supervisor if you worry about SIDS or sleep apnea.
But there are of course pros and cons - some parents can't even imagine getting one - thinking those that use them are paranoid, others only sleep when it is on and have reported saving their baby's life thanks to an Angelcare Baby Monitor
. A Baby Zone Direct customer has reviewed one these monitors, and she said:
"I can't recommend this monitor more highly! I haven't had one false alarm with the movement monitor and it clearly picks up Bub's crying from the other side of our house (even right up the back of our yard). The temperature display is also very handy. If you are a paranoid parent (or parent to-be), I really suggest getting a movement monitor like this one. I can sleep easy at night knowing that it will alarm (VERY LOUDLY) if no breathing is detected for longer than 10secs." (Posted on 16/07/11)
I use one of these myself. I was told I was paranoid - that it was unnessary. It got to me a bit, so I put it out there on the Baby Zone Direct Facebook page
- and got some interesting feedback. The one bit that did cement that I wasn't paranoid was a story from a dad, who had lost his child to SIDS. For his children since the one he lost, he will not take that chance - he takes the movement monitor to the hospital and sets them up in the crib as soon as he can. I can't imagine how horrible it must be to lose a child. Another mother said that she still uses the sound and movement monitor with her 16 month old. It provides the with peace of mind, as well as allowing them to sleep a little easier at night.
The alarm for my son's Angelcare Baby Monitor
went off for the first time last week. It went off at 3.00 in the morning, and I can honestly say that I've never jumped out of bed and ran so quickly in my life. J has taken to sleeping on his belly. I roll him over whenever I get up thoughout the night, but he must just turn straight back over to his belly. Anyhow, when I got into his room, he was on his belly - but head up and startled. I am not sure why his monitor went off, perhaps he hadn't breathed for 15 seconds. All I know is I grabbed him and was filled with the hugest relief that he was OK. I keep on thinking - what if - what if I hadn't had the monitor under his mattress. What if he did stop breathing. You can't watch them 24/7 unfortunately - we need sleep too. After that experience I will not listen to anytone trying to put me down about having it.
It is important to remember that these monitors can never replace adult supervision! Do keep checking on your baby (and the monitor set up) regularly too.
The main complaint from parents who have used a baby movement monitor
, is that it sometimes sounds a false alarm. The alarm just goes off unnecessarily. This is usually when baby is older (3 months+), when they starts rolling off the pads. Or if batteries are nearing their end. Nowadays, movement monitors, like the Angelcare Baby Monitor
have improved this quite a bit. Sensitivity can be set and fine tuned - even if it takes some fiddling and trying - and the dual-pad monitors have fewer false alarms. The Angelcare monitors
also doubles as a sound monitor, has a temperature sensor in baby's room with display on the parents unit (even an alert if the temperature moves out of range).
In conclusion, If you have a healthy baby and feel confident about supervising her regularly (having her in your room the first months is recommended anyway), you will most probably be fine without a movement monitor.
If your baby, or any of her siblings, have had serious breathing stops, have (had) sleep apnea or near-SIDS experiences, a baby movement monitor can be an important tool to help supervise them. Your doctor may also advise this.
If you are a natural worrier or know that you sleep very deeply and are afraid you wouldn't hear or feel when your baby is in trouble, ... then yes you might feel (and sleep) better thanks to one of these.