Are you an anxious mommy looking to buy a baby breathing monitor?
Welcome to the club Mama!
Those first few weeks of parenting a newborn are super hard, but oh. My. Word. No-one ever prepared me for how anxious I would be about putting my baby down to sleep.
That fear of not being able to watch over them as you sleep is quite frankly petrifying.
That is until the super-duper baby monitor companies came along and said: “fear no more mamas we’ve got you covered.”
Let’s face it baby breathing monitors are a fantastic invention for stopping you staring at your baby all night giving you peace of mind.
You might even get some of your sleep back, without having to prod you baby to check they are still ok.
But before you start typing “Best baby breathing monitor” into Google, we need to chat.
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What does a baby breathing monitor do?
First, you need to know that there are lots of different types of baby breathing monitors on the market. You’ve probably heard of the most popular ones like the Owlet and the Snuza.
These monitors are really well made and use technology usually to sense at least one of three things for your baby:
- Breathing movement
- Oxygen levels
- Heart rate
If any of these drop in your baby it could signal that they have stopped breathing.
What you may not know is that it’s quite normal for your baby to stop breathing for up to 20 seconds and then start back into a normal rhythm again.
Depending on what breathing monitor your use for baby, you may get a few false alarms if the sensor is sensitive to these breathing pauses.
Which, let’s face it, will be pretty annoying if you’ve jumped up in a panic at the breathing sensor alarm going off.
So just be aware that these devices may actually add to your anxiety if they continue to give you false alarms. Out of the current breathing monitors available to buy the Snuza Hero seems to have the least negative reviews for false alarms, I think that’s probably because one size fits all.
However, the Miku Smart baby monitor is new to the market but is getting fantastic reviews, and your baby doesn’t need to wear anything. Plus it saves you from needing to buy an extra baby monitor.
The downside is that it cost about the same as a lovely new crib, so you may want to add it to your Amazon baby registry and drop lots of hints to your family and friends.
Another thing to remember about baby breathing monitors is that they will not prevent any incidence of SIDS.
It’s vital you know that any device that advertises that it will prevent or reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS is false advertising. If this were true the rates of SIDS would have fallen all over the world, and unfortunately, they have not. Even the AAP does not recommend sleep devices as a method of preventing SIDS (source).
The greatest risk of SIDS is within the first 6 months of a baby’s life. However, it can still happen up to a year old and very rarely over this age.
If you want to know more about creating a safe sleep space for your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS, head on over to my baby sleep space guide.
Although a baby breathing monitor won’t prevent SIDS or suffocation risk, what it can do is compliment your efforts to reduce your baby’s risk. Should something happen to your baby as they sleep, the monitor will alert you quicker to tend to them, which can save your baby’s life.
Related: A Sleep Positioner warning for new moms
Before You Buy – The Most Important Question
There is one important question I need to ask you before you buy a baby breathing monitor.
What would you do if your breathing alarm went off and you found your baby lifeless?
Because ultimately, there is no point in buying one of these devices if YOU don’t know what to do once it has done its job, right?
You probably already know the answer is baby CPR.
But do you know how to do baby CPR?
Don’t worry you’re not alone. I’d say most parents who buy baby breathing monitors but don’t know what to do if they found their baby not breathing.
Yes, these devices are great, but they won’t start your baby breathing again, that’s your job.
Don’t worry though. It’s super simple to learn and an amazing skill for you to have as a parent.
You may need to use it on someone else’s baby and not just your own.
How to Do CPR on a Baby
This guide will walk you through how to resuscitate your baby if you find them without signs of life.
I would highly recommend taking a class in person, so you practice with a dummy baby and get feedback from a trained CPR practitioner. You can find classes available in your area here.
Step 1. Call For Help
The first step is to get professional there as soon as possible. Shout to get the attention of an adult in the house and get them to call 911. If you are alone, use a cell phone on speaker phone, so you can get help but start CPR as soon as possible.
If you don’t have a speaker phone, start CPR and do it for at least 1-2 minutes before stopping to call for help. When you need to move to a telephone, take your baby with you.
Try to make a mental note of the time.
Step 2. Check the surface.
Move your baby from their sleep space to a firm, flat surface where you can easily reach their chest and mouth. The floor is often the best place in a bedroom environment.
Step 3. Move the head.
You want your baby’s head in a neutral position, so their airways are open. So when your baby is lying flat move their chin up off the chest, but make sure the chin isn’t pointing upwards.
Step 4. Start the breaths
Before you start, Look in your baby’s mouth, if anything is in the way gently remove it. Do not stick your fingers down your baby’s throat to remove an obstruction.
Take a deep breath in and place your lips over your baby’s mouth and nostrils, creating a tight seal. If you can’t get a tight seal, cover only the nose and close your baby’s mouth shut (for toddlers it should be the opposite way around).
Breathe out for one second and watch your baby’s chest rise and fall.
Repeat this, so you’ve done 5 breathes in total.
The start compressions
Step 5. Give Compressions
Before you start quickly check your baby’s head position and adjust to neural is needed.
Point your index and middle finger together (similar to the scout’s honor) and place it onto the middle your baby’s chest between their nipples.
Press quick and deep into your baby’s chest (at least one-third depth) and do this 30 times. For every second that passes you want to do two pumps.
The pace is steady so keep your finger on the chest the whole time. Let the chest fully rise between pumps.
Now give two further breaths like in step 4.
Step 6. Repeat
Continue a pattern of 30 compressions to 2 breaths until help arrives or baby comes around.
IF you have adult help available, you may want to switch over as you can start to tire and compression become less effective.
Step 7. Recovery position
If your baby starts to breathe you need to keep them in a recovery position.
Pick your baby up and hold them on their side with their tummy facing yours. Slightly tilt their head downwards, so their feet are slightly higher on one side.
Continue to monitor their breathing.
Soothe and reassure them in this position until help arrives.
Baby CPR Demo
I hope you’ve found this guide on baby breathing monitors useful. We’ve discussed how handy these devices are as a new parent.
But we’ve pointed out that baby sleep monitors can give off false alarms. Remember you are still responsible for creating a safe sleep space to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS.
If you take away one thing from this article, it will be what you need to do if your breathing monitor alarm does go off and your baby is not breathing.
There is no point in dropping your hard earned dollars on these devices if you don’t know how to react to them.
As parents, we hope that day never comes, but without a doubt knowing infant CPR can save your baby’s life.
And always remember, you’ve got this Mama.