How to Buy Baby Sleep Monitors

Baby Breathing Monitor


physiological baby sleep monitor

Baby sleep monitor is helpful in detecting Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or crib death and may give sufficient warning to revive the baby. Crib death is a significant cause for baby fatalities worldwide. SIDS occurs when a baby stops breathing with no apparent reasons and this normally happens while the baby is sleeping.

A good baby sleep monitor should have the following features :

  • Generate an alarm with sufficient time to revive the baby.
  • Minimize false alarms.
  • Look for early warnings and assess SIDS risk levels.
  • Alarm thresholds should be configurable as different babies would have different sleeping patterns.

There are several types of baby monitors, depending on how the monitor works. The best Baby Monitors by far are the kind that measures a baby's vital signs and the second best detects the lack of breathing motion. The baby sleep monitor shown on the right column are examples of Baby Vital Signs Monitors.

Physiological baby sleep monitor

A Physiological baby sleep monitors includes two types; the Baby Vital Signs Monitor and the Baby Breathing Monitors. They measure the baby's vital signs, such as pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation level. (SpO2)The best Baby Vital Signs Monitors are usually equipped with an alarm that is activated any time the blood oxygen saturation levels or the pulse rate levels falls outside a preset range that can vary depending on the individual conditions. These two types of Baby Monitors provide the most comprehensive indication of a baby's health condition right at home.

The Newborn Foundation is the only organization of its kind dedicated to leveraging technology innovation to save newborn lives and improve health outcomes for the newest, most vulnerable citizens. This organization is a strong advocated for this type of inexpensive portable technology that helps save hundreds of thousands of newborns. To learn more about this foundation and the importance of screening for oxygen saturation and pulse oximetry watch the video below.

Although the primary cause of SIDS has not be determined, there is growing evidence that the victims have had previous hypoxic episodes. Hypoxic episodes may be an early warning sign for SIDS. Hypoxic episodes can be detected by measuring a person's blood oxygen saturation level. Blood oxygen saturation level is also general indicator of the baby's condition. Healthy baby at normal conditions should have a reading of 97 to 99%.

Low blood oxygen saturation level is the direct result of apnea or insufficient oxygen intake. If there is a sudden drop in the SpO2 level of ≥ 4% and if it stays below 90%, this is an early warning sign of trouble. Normally the baby should snap out of this condition within a short time; otherwise action may be required.

Several groups in the medical field theorize that a lethal arrhythmia is the primary cause of sudden infant death syndrome. However, in Sudden infant death syndrome (crib death), the author (Guntheroth WG.) argued that the arrhythmia may be the result of hypoxic apnea, rather than the cause of SIDS and bradycardia (low heart rate) is also indicator of trouble.

Measuring heart rate has a definite advantage over measuring hypoxic episodes alone. Although the result is not definitive, there are signs that bradycardia and heart rate variability may be early indicators. The ability to change heart rate is a measure of your ability to adapt to changes in the environment. Heart rate variability shows the ability of the body to respond to changes in the environment. For example, if one rests, the heart rate decreases; if one runs, the heart rate increases. Good heart rate variability is good.

Baby movement (breathing) monitor

Baby movement monitor detects baby's movement or the lack of it and an alarm will sound if no movement is detected for a pre-configured time period. It works by putting sensors around the baby and making sure that the baby is breathing. The sensor may be put on the mattress or attached to the baby.

It is important to calibrate the monitor to prevent excessive false alarms. Too many false alarms is as bad as no alarms at all.

Baby video monitor

Baby video monitor can show you what your baby is doing all the time without going to the baby's room. This can be interesting and reassuring for parents.

Baby audio monitor

Baby audio monitor allows you to hear what the baby is up to; crying, laughing, or talking to himself. Some monitor can even hear the baby's breathing.


The need for a baby monitor is controversial, except in high risk cases. However if it can relieve burden on some parent's hearts, it is still worth the price just to get peace of mind. If you decide to buy a baby sleep monitor, get a physiological baby sleep monitor.