Before you ever have kids, there are a lot of products you never knew existed. For me, one of those was a baby movement monitor.
You mean like a baby monitor where you watch your child when he or she is sleeping?
No, this is completely unrelated to that.
Can’t I just see when my baby is moving? Why do I need a special monitor for that?
This was basically my inner-monologue before I had any clue what a baby movement monitor was. As it turns out, a baby movement monitor is not only a useful little gadget, but it can actually save your baby’s life and drastically reduce the risk of SIDS.
A baby movement monitor is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a little electronic device that clips to your baby’s diaper and senses movement. If your baby were to stop breathing for any reason, the monitor would stop detecting movement and alarm would sound after a set period of time (usually 15-20 seconds).
Okay, we’re all caught up now. Let’s take a look at what I found to be the best baby movement monitor.
(Note: This post contains affiliate links.)
Is a Baby Movement Monitor Actually Useful?
Before we get into the best baby movement monitor, I think there are a lot of skeptics out there that I’d like to address.
When we purchased our movement monitor for our newborn daughter, it was honestly for peace of mind more than anything.
If you’ve been a new parent before, you probably remember standing over your baby while he or she is sleeping, motionless, and wondering, “are you still breathing?” I’ve known parents who have gotten so worried that they’ve actually woken the baby up, just to verify that he or she is still alive.
Most of the time, it’s an irrational worry, but we know SIDS is a real thing, so you can’t blame someone for worrying.
That’s where a baby movement monitor becomes useful: the one we have flashes a little green light every time it senses the slightest bit of movement on the baby’s stomach. This gave us SO much more comfort that everything was fine.
But what about when you go to sleep at night and you’ve left your little newborn swaddled? SIDS normally occurs when everyone is sleeping and you aren’t able to visually monitor your baby because you’re sleeping too.
We slept easily knowing that, if there were to be an issue where the baby stopped breathing, we would be alerted to it right away.
Baby movement monitors are also great for parents who like to co-sleep in the same bed. We all know it’s more dangerous, but there are advantages to it that make it worthwhile to some parents. Having a monitor like this puts some of those worries to rest because you’ll always know if there’s a problem with your little one’s breathing.
To sum it all up, these things are great because:
- You, as a parent, actually get some peace of mind that allows you to sleep when your baby is sleeping.
- It really does reduce the risk of SIDS because you’re alerted right away if there’s an issue.
Okay, so What’s the Best Baby Movement Monitor then?
As you would expect, there are a few different types of these available. I mentioned above that the one we use is a little device that clips to your baby’s diaper and senses movement on the stomach.
There’s actually another type that is basically a sensor pad that goes below the baby’s mattress, and senses movement that way. I’ll explain more about this below when I actually show you some examples.
The Best Baby Movement Monitor in 2017: The Snuza Go!
You can set the Snuza to alarm at either 15, 18, or 20 seconds since last movement. Our daughter never had an issue with it being clipped to her diaper (I’m positive she never even knew it was there), and as I’ve said already, this gave us tremendous peace of mind.
The reason I prefer the Snuza over the type that sits below your baby’s mattress is that you can use this anywhere.
I mentioned in another post that we actually had our daughter sleeping in a rock ‘n play for a period of time when she was a newborn (you can read all about that here), and we would have never done that without the Snuza.
Rock ‘n plays aren’t exactly the safest place to sleep, given the fact that the baby can potentially turn and suffocate (although this is extremely unlikely when they are immobile newborns). Having the Snuza on her allowed us to remove that risk from the equation, knowing that IF something like that should happen, we’d be alerted right away.
I thought it might be interesting to pull a pretty powerful review that someone wrote on Amazon, just to highlight how this little gadget could actually save your little one’s life:
“Yes you do occasionally get a false alarm when the diaper is to loose or when baby moves around a lot and the connection is lost. That is what I thought happened one morning when my 4 month old son was sleeping in his bassinet beside my bed and the Snuza alarm went off. I sat up and looked at my son and he was not breathing. I rubbed his chest still not breathing so I picked him up in a panic and when I did it shocked him enough to take a breath. I ended up taking him to the ER to be checked out (he was fine). Two days later when I was holding him (he was a sleep) the alarm went off again. I looked down and he was not breathing, my husband and I rubbed him, lightly shook him and was about to start CPR when he gasped for a breath. We called 911 and went back to the ER for more test (could not find a cause) he was then put on a medical apnea machine. Without the Snuza my son would be dead. I would not have gotten to him in time. It is the most terrifying experience to see your child not breathing and I wish no one to ever have it happen to them.”
As the reviewer said, hopefully that never happens to you, but you can at least put your mind at ease with something like this.
Other Baby Movement Monitors
Although we think the Snuza Go! is the best baby movement monitor, there are some other varieties out there including this other type of Snuza:
- It vibrates your baby 5 seconds before the alarm goes off.
- It costs about $20 more than the Snuza Go!
The vibrating feature is interesting, but I find it to be a little unnecessary. If your baby stops breathing, and the alarm goes off, the first thing you’re going to do is pick your baby up and try to get a response. There’s no clear evidence that a little vibration is going to make much of a difference if there is something actually wrong with your child.
The only scenario where I could see the vibration being effective is if you baby is completely unattended, and you’re relying on the vibration to startle your baby into breathing again…but I hope most parents wouldn’t leave their baby unattended or at a distance where they couldn’t hear the alarm going off.
If you like the idea of the vibration, by all means, it may be worth the additional $20 to have that feature.
This product has a lot of bells and whistles that the Snuza doesn’t have, but has a few flaws:
- It needs to be placed flat under the mattress where your baby is sleeping.
- I call this a flaw because it doesn’t travel with your child. I was able to use the Snuza in the rock ‘n play; you wouldn’t be able to do that with this. Some parents like to put the Snuza on their baby throughout the day, such as when they are traveling in a car seat – you couldn’t do that with this.
- The other flaw is that it relies on you having the handheld unit turned on (vs. the Snuza that just emits a loud sound that you can probably hear anywhere in the house).
With all of that said, there are some benefits to the Angelcare that the Snuza doesn’t have:
- The handheld device displays the room’s temperature.
- The handheld device also functions as an audio baby monitor.
- For babies who sleep on their stomachs, this may be more effective (and have fewer false alarms) than the Snuza.
If you didn’t already have a separate baby monitor, this one could be pretty appealing.
However, at least in our case, we already had a baby monitor that includes video (which most parents opt for these days considering they are relatively inexpensive) and gives the room’s temperature.
Therefore, these extra features weren’t enough to make the Angelcare worthwhile. Still a solid product, but not the best baby movement monitor in our eyes.
If you are interested, however, click here to read more about the Angelcare movement and sound monitor.
How’s that for a life saving product?
Ever since we got the Snuza, I’ve been telling every new parent about it. As I said before, this is just one of those things you never even think you need (most people don’t put it on their baby registry).
But trust me, once you have one, you’ll wonder what you ever did without it. Having that peace of mind is just so important.
What do you think about these baby movement monitors? Is there a different one you prefer? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you. 🙂