Pros and Cons of a Baby Movement Monitor
Latest update: September 18, 2018
Author: Heidi Holvoet, PhD
Can a baby movement monitor save your sleeping
baby from SIDS or sleep apnea? Or will an angelcare baby monitor give
you false peace of mind?
A baby movement monitor, often called an angelcare baby
monitor, 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 she does not move for 20 seconds or more, an alarm will alert
Because too long breathing pauses are linked to severe sleep
apnea and SIDS,
this type of monitor is also called a sids monitor.
And it does sound like the perfect supervisor if you worry about SIDS
But there are of course pros and cons: some parents can't even imagine
getting one, others only sleep when it is on and have reported saving
their baby's life thanks to an angelcare baby monitor.
Pros and Cons of an Angelcare Baby Monitor
My main concern: these monitors may give you too much peace of mind ...
I know, you need peace of mind to get some sleep and this monitor can
really help with that.
But only if you keep in mind that no
monitor can ever replace adult supervision!
Let the monitor help you, but it will always be a thing
. so trust it
for what it is. Do keep checking on your baby (and the
monitor set up) regularly too.
The main complaint we hear 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+) and starts rolling
off the pads. Or if batteries are wearing down.
Nowadays, movement monitors, like the top-brand Angelcare Baby Audio & Movement Monitor have improved
this quite a bit.
can be set and fine tuned - even if it takes some fiddling and trying -
dual-pad monitors have fewer false alarms.
The Angelcare monitor 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).
There is also a built-in night light and the units work with batteries
only - they are rechargeable though.
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 likely be fine without this
kind of 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 her. Your doctor may also advise this.
If you're naturally anxious 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.
In any case, always discuss it with your doctor or health advisor.