Wearable baby monitors are the popular new kid on the block, offering parents an unprecedented ability not just to see and hear their children, but to access vital health information with the tap of a finger.
Are these new “smart” wearable baby monitors worth their salt? Here’s a look at how they stack up against conventional baby monitors.
Conventional monitors give parents the ability to see and hear their baby by providing audio and video feeds. They’re great for this purpose. However, if there is no audio or video to report and the parents are sleeping, there could be a silent threat.
Conventional monitors lack one essential feature: active monitoring. If you’re sleeping soundly or you’re away from the video monitor, you have no way of knowing if something is wrong in the crib.
Smart breathing monitors, on the other hand, offer the benefit of active alerts. Via an audible alarm or smartphone alert, they can get your attention at a critical moment, for example if the baby has stopped breathing.
However, many smart monitors forgo audio and video altogether, which may be an adjustment for parents used to traditional monitoring. Many moms and dads find it helpful to use wearable monitors to complement their existing monitoring system.
The Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree the safest position for babies to sleep is on their back. The rate of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, has been greatly reduced by educating parents on the dangers of stomach sleeping.
Still, stomach sleeping persists. What’s more, many parents have no way of knowing if their baby rolls over during her sleep. The new genre of rollover monitors can assist on this front, sending an alert if your baby turns from her back to her stomach.
The most convenient feature of baby breathing and rollover monitors is their lightweight, compact size. When was the last time you disassembled your video monitor system and took it with you in the car? Not recently (or ever), we’re willing to bet.
Wearable breathing monitors go wherever the baby goes, in many cases without cords or wires. They connect over Bluetooth (let’s just say Bluetooth) to the receiving end, which, in most cases, is the parent’s smartphone.
That’s another mobility feature – if you’re like us, your smartphone is probably attached to your palm. That means alerts about your baby are only a swipe away.
Perhaps the coolest thing about this new, smart genre of baby monitors is their potential big-picture implications. Devices like the Fitbit have already become mainstream for tracking and recording the health information of adults; in the very near future, parents will be able to track this same information for their children.
But it doesn’t stop there; the sky (or at least the reach of the internet) is the limit for what parents can do with the data. From sharing it with a pediatrician to sending it to first responders in an emergency to detecting abnormal patterns before they become a problem, this is the aspect of baby wearables that most excites us.
At the end of the day, all parents must decide which system of monitoring is best for their baby, and none of them can replace proper parental care. Traditional monitors still have a big place in the baby product marketplace, and wearables add an exciting array of new features.
Whatever your choice, it’s comforting to know monitoring technology is more precise than ever before, and new, even more effective ways to keep our children safe are being developed each day.
For more information on monitoring and other helpful resources on infant sleep, visit Safesleep.MonBaby.com.
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