What is a Baby Movement Monitor?
In this post I am going to consider whether or not the Snuza Hero is the best baby movement monitor available on the market.
But, before considering that issue, I probably ought to briefly explain what baby movement monitors are and what they are used for. I will also give some guidance about what they are NOT and what they CANNOT be used for.
In short, a baby movement monitor is a device that is designed to detect if your baby has stopped moving during their sleep. If the monitor detects that your baby has stopped moving for a specified period of time (20 seconds in the case of the Snuza Hero), it sounds a warning alarm.
Although each model varies in the precise manner in which it operates, they all follow this same general style of operation.
When we talk of movement in the context of a sleeping baby, we are primarily concerned with breathing and, indeed, these devices are very often called “Baby Breathing Monitors”. It is this type of breathing movement that the Snuza Hero (and other similar models) are specifically designed to detect. So, if your baby stops breathing for specified period of time, you will be alerted to this fact by the monitor’s alarm.
What are the Benefits of a Baby Movement Monitor?
As I have already mentioned briefly, the benefits of a baby movement monitor are often overstated by enthusiastic parents and I have heard some making claims that these devices can help to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other childhood medical conditions.
SIDS is a complicated issue and one that the medical profession continues to grapple. I am certainly not qualified to offer any opinion on the likely causes of SIDS or the steps that can be proven to reduce the risks. But, the important thing to note for the purposes of this post is that baby movement monitors are NOT designed to deal with the risk of SIDS.
So, to be perfectly clear, whilst I think that these monitors are a great idea, they are NOT primarily designed as “Safety Devices”. They cannot be relied upon to detect or prevent SIDS, or any other medical condition for that matter. What they can do though is alert you to the fact that there might be something wrong with your child’s lack of movement / breathing at an early stage and give you the opportunity to do something about it.
But, by far the biggest benefit of these monitor is that they give parents a certain amount of “peace of mind”.
“Baby Breathing Paranoia” is a perfectly natural phenomenon – I certainly suffered from it when all of my kids were babies. It doesn’t matter how many times people tell you that it is irrational, we seem to be hardwired to obsess over this issue, and it can be a very stressful and intrusive feeling to have to deal with. I still have some very vivid memories of constantly going back and forth to my babies’ cots to check that they were still breathing.
A good quality baby movement monitor would have made my life a lot easier than it was by removing (or at least reducing) the number of occasions that I felt the need to check on my babies.
Of course, as with all electronic devices, they are not foolproof, and I’m sure that I would have and to deal with a few false alarms. But, I’m pretty sure that the number of false alarms would have been just a small fraction of the number of unnecessary visits that I made to my twins boys’ cots during the first 6-9 months of their lives.
The Snuza Hero Portable Baby Movement Monitor Reviewed
The Snuza Hero Portable Baby Movement Monitor has probably now become the most popular device on the market today. There are other options, like the Angelcare range, but parents seem to love the additional features found on the Snuza Hero.
So, what are the Snuza Hero’s great features?
- Movement monitor alerts both you and baby if no movement is detected
- Vibration alert to stimulate regular movement after 15 seconds
- Audible alarm after 20 seconds if no movement
- Fully portable, battery powered unit with no wires or cords that can be used anywhere baby sleeps
- Superior clip keeps the soft sensor snug against baby’s abdomen
The most important difference between the Snuza Hero and some of its competitors is the 15-second vibration alert. This means that, if baby hasn’t moved after 15 seconds, the monitor gently vibrates to stimulate them back into a normal breathing pattern. If the vibration stimulant doesn’t cause baby to move by the 20 second stage, then the alarm will sound.
This feature obviously helps greatly to reduce the number of false alarms. The Snuza Go, for example, will emit a warning alarm straight away after 20 seconds of no movement without first attempting to stimulate baby back into action.
There is also a “repeated vibration” alert to warn you that your baby is persistently inactive for 15 seconds. The way this works is that, after three vibration/rouse incidents, a warning will alert you to the fact that your baby’s abdominal movements have stopped for 15 seconds on three occasions. If no further movement is detected for another 5 seconds, an alarm will sound to alert you of that fact.
Finally, there is also a warning alarm system to tell you if your baby is suffering from persistent weak or infrequent movements.
Don’t worry if this all sounds confusing, it is all explained within the instruction manual that is supplied with the unit.
Those parents that are worried about exposing baby to potentially harmful radio-frequency radiation will be reassured by the fact that the Snuza Hero does not emit any. Since it does not transmit anything other than sound in the form of a beep directly out of the unit and light in the form of an LED light, it is perfectly safe.
The Snuza Hero is held close to your baby’s abdomen by being attached to their diaper using the clip. Obviously, if the diaper is too loose this can adversely affect your chances of getting a proper fit and lead to an increase in false alarms. One of the simplest solutions that I have heard suggested is to swaddle baby – this will help to keep the monitor sensor close and reduce annoying false alarms (if not prevent them altogether).
But, perhaps the best method is to create a “Snuza Hero Belt” using a hair band and some velcro.
Watch This Great YouTube Video on How to Secure the Snuza Hero Using a Hair Band
Is the Snuza Hero the Best Currently Available Movement Monitor?
Of all of the baby movement monitor units that I have looked at, this is by far my favorite one. Although no product is ever perfect, this monitor gets consistently excellent user reviews from parents.
I would certainly buy one if I ever had another baby.
Where to Buy the Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor
The Snuza Hero is available in both the USA and the UK.
Watch Missy Lanning’s Excellent Review Video
In this video, Missy Lanning explains the Pros and Cons of the Suza Hero Baby Movement Monitor and why she continues to use it with her baby.
It is a very well-balanced review and I hope that it helps you decide whether to buy one for your baby.
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If you have any opinions to share on the subject of the Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor (or any other similar product), please send me an email or leave a comment in the box below.
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