First time parents have much to learn about their little one’s patterns and habits, especially sleep patterns. For instance, infants actually have a naturally irregular breathing pace and so its sometimes very hard to judge if holding their breath for seconds at a time is natural or of concern. Baby breathing monitors are a great way to judge what’s natural and what isn’t. These devices monitor your child’s regular and irregular breathing and learn to sense concerning breaks in that pattern. For instance, a monitor would certainly sound an alarm if your baby wasn’t breathing for 10-20 consecutive seconds. Of course, not any monitor will work, so as a parent you should consider the following list for the best baby breathing monitor.
In the following review we considered each facet of these devices to determine their value and usefulness in the home. These most important of these features were the technologies included: power source, range of the monitor in a large house, strength of the sensors, as well as intensity and sound of the alarm. Other more aesthetic parts of our review consider each monitors size, weight, dials, and other extras. Each feature is listed in more detail further on with examples of fantastic products.
Top 6 Baby Breathing Monitors Review 2019
While designing the buying guide we took a look at a wide range of monitors and chose the best products by speaking with manufacturers, pediatricians, and verified customers with children of their own. Based on the questions we asked, advice we were given, and other general comments and concerns we wrote the following review with products containing in organized charts, a buying guide at the end, and a section answering frequently asked questions. It’s our hope this article will greatly simplify your buying process for the best baby breathing monitor.
|Name and Features||Image||Rating||Price|
Cocoon Cam Plus (Editor’s Choice)
A compact camera that tracks child’s movements and breathing rate transferring the data directly to parents’ phone in real time
Owlet Smart Sock (Best Baby Heartrate and Breathing Monitor)
View your child’s heart and oxygen level right on your phone anytime anywhere with this baby breathing monitor’s accurate data
Angelcare AC701 (Best Adjustable Sensitivity Monitor)
Rest assured that your baby is breathing normally with this in-home baby monitor that can catch even the slightest changes of your baby’s status
NANNY Baby Movement European Monitor (Best Baby Breathing Monitor To Track SIDS)
Hospitals recognize this baby monitor as one of the most helpful for an in-time reaction on baby’s breathing changes
Babysense 7 (Best Device Compatible Baby Breathing Monitor)
A long-range baby monitor with an incredibly sensitive movement tracking that trigs an 85 dB loud alarm at any sign of SIDS
Snuza Go! Baby Monitor (Budget Pick)
A small but sensitive budget baby monitor that is placed on youк baby’s diaper to track the breathing in 15 to 20 seconds intervals
- Size: 8.5 x 4 x 4’’
- App compatible
- Sensors: real time breathing graph
- Weight: 1 lbs
More features: night vision HD video, free app connected, contact-free, zoom capability, built-in speaker and microphone
OVERALL RATING: 10 out of 10
This high-tech solution offers real time footage and monitoring of your baby with night vision HD video as well as fantastic day time surveillance. Top Pediatricians suggest this as one of the top products, this is especially to the device being IRB-approved and designed specifically for use in Children’s Hospitals.
It comes with a ‘SLEEP’ setting that notifies you – via phone application – when your baby falls asleep and breathing patterns change, as well as when your baby begins to wake and cries. From another room via a speaker built into the camera you can talk to your baby using the app and sooth them back to sleep or keep them happy while you walk upstairs.
This camera attaches right to a crib or shelf corner and adjusts for a bird’s eye view of your infant with the best picture being at approximately 3-feet away from the mattress. With this device you’ll finally get the rest you deserve instead of constantly watching over your baby.
- Includes a camera function which provides night vision HD footage
- Secure camera links directly to your app and cannot be accessed from anywhere else
- Built-in speaker and microphone
- Installing the app with this monitor greatly drains your phones battery power
- The camera function cannot be removed or turned off in-app
- Size: 3.5 x 3.5 x 0.7’’
- Range: base station 100 ft
- Sensors: real time
- Weight: 1 lbs
- Warranty: 45-days trial
More features: heart rate and oxygen levels, lights, sounds and app notifications, 3 washable socks included, free cloud-connected app, BPA free, latex free, lead free
OVERALL RATING: 9.9 out of 10
A one-of-a-kind tracking device and included application, the Owlet Smart Sock device monitors a baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels by using clinically-proven pulse oximetry technology.
Instant notifications reach your phone if your babies heart rate ever drops or rises below the regular tracked patterns of their breathing, and include loud alarms on your phone and the machine itself. How it works: the unit includes three washable socks which wrap over your babies’ foot and use a Bluetooth connection to relay data from crib to machine (up to 100 feet away).
For the best and most accurate results experts suggest you alternate between the left and right foot each night in case your baby receives better or worse blood pressure to either or both of their limbs. Additionally, these socks are guaranteed BPA free, pediatrician approved, water safe for nightly bed wettings, lead free, and latex free.
The included base charging station creates a soothing green nightlight and uses light, app, and sound notifications if anything concerning happens during the night.
- Monitoring socks fit comfortably any baby up to 18 months
- App and device can be connected to multiple devices
- Comes with three socks which are safe to hand wash and will not be damaged over time
- App extras are not free and result in additional one-time payments
- One of the most expensive baby monitors on the market
- All stations require constant charging, including the monitoring socks. However, three socks are included with your purchase
- Size: 10.5 x 10 x 4’’
- Range: up to 820 ft
- Sensors: 20 seconds movement rate
- Weight: 3.3 lbs
- Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: LCD touchscreen, adjustable sensitivity, out-of-range indicator, location feature, sound lights, low battery alert and much more, two-way audio
OVERALL RATING: 9.6 out of 10
This more traditional baby monitor comes with two devices, one for the baby’s bedroom or crib and the other for your desk, bedside table, or kitchen counter; wherever you go without your baby, it can go. The baby unit provides a gentle glow in your baby’s bedroom and has manual sensitivity settings to measure motion in the crib with instant alerts after 20-second non-motion intervals.
Angelcare’s parent-unit includes smart features on an LCD touchscreen which allow you to control the motion detector sensitivity and track low-battery, breathing alerts, temperature of the room, and sounds in the room. If your baby is particularly loud or rambunctious, the speaker can be muted, although this will not mute notifications or alarms in case of breathing problems.
Two-way audio options are available so you can talk to your little one from anywhere in the house, additionally this machine has an insane range for large houses and can transfer from baby’s room to your hand at up to 820-feet. Setup is simple but does require batteries for both devices and doesn’t offer a charging function.
- Two-way audio controls so you can talk to your baby from another room.
- This device allows you to set the motion-detector sensitivity settings based on your knowledge of your babies’ patterns.
- A cost-efficient choice for your household; also, a great device for larger homes.
- 1-year limited warranty.
- The parent monitor has very static-sounding loud background noise; however, it does offer a mute function
- Does not offer footage of your baby and only alerts you if your baby isn’t moving and not when they’re awake or crying
- Requires batteries
- Size: 21 x 12.5 x 2.5’’
- Battery life: 6 months
- Sensors: 20 seconds movement rate
- Weight: 2.5 lbs
- Warranty: 2-years limited
More features: loud acoustic and visual alarm, battery operated, SIDS certified
OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10
This is rated as one of the best monitoring devices to reduce the risk of SIDS. In fact, its commonly used in hospitals as well as homes for placing under your baby to detect all motion rates including those subtle rises and falls of the chest.
However, this is specifically a device for a baby-bedroom near the parent’s bedroom or a crib right in the parent’s bedroom. It does not include an additional monitor for elsewhere in the house and instead provides warning alarms and visual lights directly from the crib. Device is entirely battery operated but has a long-lasting battery life which in no way decreases the brightness of the light alarms or sound of the acoustic ringing alarms.
Installation is simple and the sleeping pad can be inserted on top of the crib mattress, under the bedsheet, or even under the mattress itself. Next, the monitoring device attaches anywhere on the crib you want it with great hands-on controls that offer sensitivity settings and instant warnings.
- The size of your crib mattress does not affect the movement monitors detection capabilities.
- Baby monitor is only for one bedroom and does not include a separate device for elsewhere in your house.
- Hospital approved and commonly used in Children’s Hospitals. Pediatrician recommended.
- Constant blinking green light can make it hard for parents to sleep.
- This pad may be too wide for some cribs and will curl around the sides a bit if your baby is sleeping directly on it.
- Battery operated.
- Size: 8 x 3 x 6’’
- Range: up to 900 ft
- Sensors: 20 seconds movement rate
- Weight: 2 lbs
- Battery life: 6 months
- Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: two sensor pads, sound activated LED indicators, 85dB alarm
OVERALL RATING: 9.3 out of 10
One of our more cost-efficient professional choices, this baby monitor is quite simple and provides two sensor pads which fit under a baby mattress to pick up micro-movements and distribute information on breathing, motion, temperature, with available audio and even visual options.
Up to four cameras can be linked to this unit and mounted in the bedroom or crib which with the pads are all high-definition capable over a secure interference-free connection for stable streaming and crystal-clear vision with sound. Pads and machine are designed not to disturb your babies sleep and all components are chargeable.
Parent device include tabletop or wall mounting options and has a massive number of additional feature including Eco Mode Voice Activation, temperature alerts, camera zoom controllability, playable crib-side lullabies, and warnings which register as an alarm or vibration or pulsing light.
This device features an original patented design and is truly the first of its kind.
- Offers the largest number of features.
- Up to 4 cameras can be linked to this unit.
- Most sensitive non-touch movement monitor of its kind.
- Includes separate purchases for additional elements, such as extra cameras.
- Phone application is not included, instead you receive a chargeable LCD parent device.
- At night the flashing movement light is very bright and distracting, it has been reported to keep some infants up.
- Size: 2.7 x 1.5 x 1.5’’
- Battery life: 6 months
- Sensors: 15-20 seconds movement rate
- Weight: 0.64 oz
- Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: movement-rate indicator lights, wearable
OVERALL RATING: 9.0 out of 10
This unique monitoring device clips to your babies’ diaper and remains secure so long as their clothing stays in place, it’s also water-proofed against bed-wetting and slobber. On our list this is the best budget pick for your household and at its affordable price it includes fantastic extras which monitor your baby’s movement-rate and breathing.
Manual settings on the device allow you to set an audible warning for when breathing or movement stops for 15, 18, or 20 seconds. Audible register of the alarm is enough to reach through the wall into an adjacent room, however this is not the best device for babies sleeping on a different floor away from their parents.
Additionally, the clip-on sensor includes indicator alarm lights, a storage case, baby-safe clip on teeth, and very simple directions for use. For any cribs directly in a parent’s bedroom, this is our number one suggestion for parents. It’s simple, secure, very sensitive, and has a long-lasting battery life.
- Very simple easy-to-use design; clips right to your babies’ pants or diaper.
- Extremely long-lasting battery life.
- Warnings register as a loud alarm or bright flashing light.
- Light warning may be hidden if your baby has a small blanket or have rolled over on their stomachs.
- Does not include separate monitoring devices for elsewhere in the house.
- If diaper becomes loose it will set the alarm off.
The remainder of our buying guide is provided to elaborate on the uses of baby breathing monitors and reasons why pediatricians insist you have one in your home. Additionally, we discuss product features and give examples of monitors which have the high-quality aspects you might be looking for. Frequently asked questions along with our top nominations are listed and discussed below; it’s our hope the remainder of this guide will greatly improve your ability to confidently purchase the best baby breathing monitor.
Always on guard. Why should you buy a baby breathing monitor?
Not all pediatricians will suggest you get a monitor from the get go, typically this suggestion is only made when your toddler or infant indicates habits which aren’t normal or healthy; however, with children its often very hard to determine if a baby’s breathing pattern doesn’t fit the norm. Getting on just in case is often the best course of action, however you should certainly get one if your baby has had any apparent life-threatening event. These events include an absence of breathing, parent resuscitation of the child, or skin coloration which is blue or deep white. Typically, these events indicate a breathing disability (many of them a temporary part of your child’s development) or poor blood circulation. For premature babies these sleeping problems are much more common and parents of early born children would do best to invest in a monitoring device.
Aspects of a baby monitor which are well worth the investment include alerts which allow you to respond immediately when your baby is in danger, along with a slew of other useful extras. Vital sign monitoring devices track breathing and heart rate, audio functions let you listen in on your child, video monitors let you see everything whenever you’re nervous about your sleeping baby, and many of these devices are easy to use with great portability functions.
Types of baby monitors
On the current market there is a wide selection of baby monitors, however not all of these devices are doctor or pediatrician certified so make sure to keep to our list or do your research before making any purchase. Additionally, not all of these monitors are the same, different types perform different functions which you may or may not want.
Movement monitors, for instance, are one class which are designed specifically to detect motion, or rather the absence of it. These monitors often include wide-range sensors, wearable products for your baby, or motion pads which tuck under your infant or under the bed. The range of motion that movement monitors can sense is often adjustable per device, but typically these monitors can sense up to the shallowest breaths and rise/fall of your babies’ chest. Sometimes you might hear these referred to as ‘Mat monitors’ (mattress monitors).
Heart and breath monitors register chest movement and can even register the electrical activity of your infant’s entire system – though these devices require highly expensive electrode dots to be attached to your infant’s chest. One reason you’d get something like a heart monitor, rather than a motion monitor, is that your infant is rambunctious and disrupts or removes motion sensors attached to them or attached to their crib. The perks of heart and breath monitors include an alarm which can be set to ring when an infant’s heart rate rises or falls dangerously, and additionally these typically include rechargeable batteries.
Oximeters are a third class of baby monitor. These devices are rarely used in-home and more frequently seen in hospitals. They are perhaps the most sensitive type of monitor and alarm is there is a prolonged pause in breathing due to sleep apnea or irregular airflow between two breaths (typically 20-second apart). Additionally, these devices detect and report a percentage of oxygen intake.
Tips on detecting baby’s breathing problems
Since newborns naturally have irregular breathing patterns and can’t tell you themselves when there is a chest, blood-flow, or air-flow problem, it’s often hard to distinguish between natural behaviors and indicators of a life-threatening problem. For instance, its typical for an infant to breath fast, take long pauses between breaths, and also make unusual noises in the process. After all, these little ones are used to breathing amniotic fluid in the womb, there’s going to be some learning curve before you register their behaviors as ‘normal’.
However, typically you can be comforted by the fact that babies take 30-60 breaths per minute. While sleeping this can slow down to 20 breaths per minute. At around 6 months their sleeping breath rate might rise to 25 or even 40 breaths per minute. Behaviors which break this pattern are certainly worth discussing with your pediatrician, and a baby monitor is always worth the added expense in your budget.
What you should do
One rule of thumb: always reach out to your doctor. If you have any concern related to your baby and how they sleep or breath, your doctor will be able to inform you in the behavior is regular or not. If they can’t tell what the problem is there are always test that can be done and light suggestions which can be made to ensure the health of your little baby. For irregular breathing specifically, on your own you should check your babies’ pulse and make sure they are in distress or not. If a baby can’t breathe, they will let you know – perhaps not audibly, but with their actions and their eyes.
Features to consider while buying the most reliable baby breathing monitor
You’ll notice that many of the following features were previously mentioned in our individual product reviews. In this section we talk about each feature as it relates to the product in hopes this makes the purchasing process easier for you at every step of the way.
Typically size only matters with baby monitors that include pads to be inserted under your baby or under a mattress. Consider the NANNY Baby Movement European Monitor and Babysense 7, both of these products include pads which will detect and report your baby’s movement and breathing during sleep and at all other times while in a crib. Certain cribs or thick mattresses may not be compatible with the size of these sensor pads.
One of our monitors with the best range is the Angelcare AC701 with an extended range of up to 820 feet. A baby monitors range indicates how far a transmitter can be from a receiver, or put more simply how far you can be with your monitoring device from your babies’ crib. Video surveillance systems and audio systems typically have a range of several hundred feet before you lose reception and can’t check in on your baby. Make sure you keep this in mind!
Although some baby monitors come with a plug-in charging cord, certain products are made to attach to your baby, slip under the baby’s bed, or sit elsewhere in a room or crib. Typically, these separate devices run on battery power which allows them to be portable. However, many of these low-end products will also have the low battery life and even non-rechargeable batteries. If you’re considering buying a video receiving device, know that these monitors probably use up the most battery power the quickest.
The monitors which allow you to adjust the sensitivity of your transmitting part are well worth the extra investment or added research. Some babies are naturally stiller than others, so for these infants you’re going to want to set the alarm settings to detect at a lower level (longer breath interval) than other products. Otherwise you’re going to have monitor alarms going off every time your baby takes a nap and that can quickly get frustrating. Some great products with adjustable sensitivity levels are the Owlet Smart Sock, Angelcare AC701, and NANNY Baby Movement European Monitor.
Alarm functions should be loud and a little bit annoying, after all if a product doesn’t immediately get your attention and warn you of a problem than it’s not worth the money. Alarm functions include loud tones and even flashing lights and these functions can register on separate parent devices or just on devices in the baby bedroom or attached to the crib.
Movement sensors are one of the most common forms of tracking a baby’s breathing and safety throughout the night or during naptime. These devices either clip to your baby, slide under them, or fit under their mattress. Typically, movement sensors also include sensitivity settings. A great product which illustrates this function is the budget friendly Snuza Go! Baby Monitor.
If you’re picking a product which attaches to your child or fits under them or under the mattress, don’t pick something made of shoddy materials. If your baby tends to throw things, perhaps don’t pick a clip-on monitor as these have a lower durability. Most mattress pad monitors are designed to be highly durable and difficult for your baby to move or damage, so these are great options. However, the best option for durability are those devices which just sit in the room and monitor motion, breathing, and sound from afar. The Cocoon Cam Plus is a monitor highly rated by pediatricians and parents alike.
Indicators will indicate low battery or improper working/broken sensors. Typically, these indications are a low beeping sound or flashing warning lights.
Two-way audio is a must for those parents who want to be there to comfort their crying babies without having to step into a room and disrupt their sleep. These products include a receiver and transmitter so you can hear your baby and they can hear you. Such products on our list include the Cocoon Cam Plus, Angelcare AC701 and Babysense 7 which is two-way connection capable.
For your safety purchasing and testing a product which works best for your home and child, choose the products with the longest available warranty. These products will give you enough time to test all the features of the product to ensure everything works the way it should and monitors those vital functions which have been concerning you.
Unfortunately, monitors can often create a false sense of security for many parents. These monitors are a fantastic solution to a widely common problem, but in the event of an emergency they aren’t full-proof solutions. However, they greatly reduce the risk and parents are suggested to purchase one based on the information and research from experts at the National Institute of Health and Academy of Pediatrics.
Again, your child has increased safety if you’re using the proper tools to check on them and their breathing, however there is no fool-proof safety measure to ensure your child’s peak health. It is unfortunately common for newborns to experience obstructive sleep apnea – where oxygen is prevented from reaching a baby’s lungs – and regular breathing-only-monitors cannot detect this condition.
First and foremost, become familiar with your baby’s regular breathing patterns before you start worrying about what might be irregular. If you do not know this difference many patterns and sounds will register as ‘wrong’ to you. However, some common sounds do have potential concerns; whistling or wheezing noises, crying, and a barking cough are some of these most concerning sounds.
For the best response you should make sure to place the monitor out of your newborns reach and the reach of pets. Additionally, it should be kept away from electronic products and wireless devices which might cause interference. With these precautions, the best place is typically attached at the top of a tall crib or in any other area that offers an unobstructed view of the baby’s crib without the added danger of hanging power cords, etcetera.
Last but not least, we leave you with our top three highly-rated products. In our opinion and also based off our research, these are easily the best baby breathing monitors. We hope listing them hear will further simplify your buying process when caught between multiple different options and opinions.
Cocoon Cam Plus. This device has the longest wireless range and lets you check on your baby even while you’re at work and they’re with the Nanny. Monitor comes with two-way audio connections and HD quality video with night-vision after all the lights are out.
Owlet Smart Sock. Our favorite thing about this product is that it gives you a direct look at everything going on with your baby in every stage of their sleep process. It includes technologically advance socks which fit over an infant’s foot to detect blood pressure, breathing rate, motion, temperature, and so much more.
Snuza Go! Baby Monitor. The clear budget choice for our list, this is the favorite parent product for those infants who sleep in the adjacent bedroom or right along with the parent in the same bedroom.