How to Choose Breathing Monitors for Toddlers and Infants

breathing monitor

Choosing the right breathing monitor for your toddler or infant is a crucial decision for any parent or caregiver. This comprehensive guide aims to help you navigate the options available, understand the features to consider and make an informed choice that ensures the safety and well-being of your little one.

Breathing Monitors Meaning

Breathing monitors, also known as respiratory monitors, are devices designed to alert parents or caregivers if an infant or toddler experiences breathing difficulties during sleep. These devices have become increasingly popular as they offer an additional layer of reassurance. However, choosing the right monitor can be daunting due to the plethora of options available.

Understanding the Need for a Breathing Monitor

Before diving into the types of monitors, it’s important to understand why you might need one. Breathing monitors are particularly useful for infants with health conditions that could affect their respiration, such as premature birth, low birth weight, or respiratory disorders. They’re also considered by parents who want to keep a close eye on their child’s breathing patterns for peace of mind.

Also Read: How to Take Care of a Premature Baby?

Types of Breathing Monitors

  • Wearable Monitors: These devices are attached directly to the baby’s body, usually on the foot or diaper. They track the baby’s vital signs, including breathing patterns, and alert you through a connected app or base station.
  • Under-Mattress Pads: These monitors are placed under the crib mattress and detect movement, including the subtle rise and fall of the baby’s chest as they breathe.
  • Smart Monitors: Advanced models that can track a variety of parameters including breathing, room temperature, and even video monitoring.
  • Audio and Movement Monitors: A combination of a traditional audio baby monitor with a breathing sensor pad.

Also Read: Ways to Respond When Your Toddler Uses Baby Talk

How to Choose Breathing Monitors for Toddlers and Infants

When selecting a breathing monitor for toddlers and infants, there are several key features to consider to ensure you choose a device that is reliable, effective, and suitable for your needs:

Accuracy and Sensitivity

  • Precision: The monitor should accurately detect the baby’s breathing patterns and movements.
  • Sensitivity: The device must be sensitive enough to pick up even subtle breathing movements without being prone to false alarms.

Ease of Use

  • User-Friendly Interface: The monitor should be easy to set up and operate, without requiring extensive technical knowledge.
  • Clear Instructions: Look for products that come with straightforward, easy-to-understand instructions or guides.

Comfort and Safety

  • Non-Invasive Design: Especially for wearable monitors, ensure they are designed to be comfortable and safe for the baby, without posing any risk of choking or other injuries.
  • Baby-Friendly Materials: The materials should be safe, non-toxic, and suitable for sensitive infant skin.

Battery Life and Power Options

  • Long Battery Life: Monitors should have a long battery life or offer a reliable power connection to ensure continuous monitoring.
  • Backup Power Source: Consider devices with a backup power option to ensure functionality during power outages.

Range and Connectivity

  • Effective Range: The monitor’s range should be suitable for your home’s size and layout.
  • Connectivity: For smart monitors, check the compatibility with your smartphone or other devices.

Reliability and False Alarm Rate

  • Low False Alarm Rate: A high rate of false alarms can be stressful for parents.
  • Reliable Alerts: The monitor should consistently alert you to any real issues without delay.

Additional Features

  • Extra Monitoring Functions: Some monitors offer additional features like room temperature monitoring, sound or motion alerts, or even video monitoring.
  • Data Tracking and History: Advanced models might provide insights into your baby’s sleep patterns and historical data.


  • Compact and Portable: If you travel often or move the baby between different rooms, a portable monitor might be beneficial.

Compatibility with Your Lifestyle

  • Lifestyle Fit: Consider how the monitor fits into your daily routine. If you are often away from the baby’s room, a monitor with remote access might be preferable.

Price and Warranty

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Compare features versus price to ensure you are getting value for your money.
  • Warranty and Customer Support: Look for products with a good warranty period and responsive customer service.

Considerations for Different Ages

  • Infants (0-6 months): At this stage, choose a monitor that is highly sensitive and provides the most accurate readings.
  • Older Infants (6-12 months): As babies become more mobile, consider a monitor that allows for more movement without compromising sensitivity.
  • Toddlers: You may opt for a less intrusive monitor, as the risk of SIDS decreases.

Also Read: 12 Ways To Prepare Your Older Child For A New Baby


  1. Q: Are breathing monitors necessary for all infants?
  2. A: Breathing monitors are not essential for every infant. They are particularly useful for babies with health issues or those at a higher risk of sleep-related problems. For many parents, these devices provide an added layer of reassurance.

  3. Q: Can breathing monitors prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?
  4. A: No, breathing monitors are not proven to prevent SIDS. They are designed to alert caregivers to potential issues with a baby’s breathing but should not be relied upon as a safeguard against SIDS.

  5. Q: How do I know if the breathing monitor is working correctly?
  6. A: Regularly test the monitor according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Many models have test modes to ensure they are functioning properly. Also, be familiar with the device’s alerts and notifications.

  7. Q: What should I do if I get a false alarm from the monitor?
  8. A: First, check on your baby to ensure they are safe. Then, review the monitor’s setup and positioning to see if adjustments are needed. Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for troubleshooting.

  9. Q: How long should my child use a breathing monitor?
  10. A: The use of a breathing monitor usually depends on individual circumstances. They are most commonly used during the first year, especially in the first few months when the risk of sleep-related issues is higher.

  11. Q: Can I rely solely on a breathing monitor for my baby’s safety?
  12. A: No, a breathing monitor should not be the only safety measure. It should be used in conjunction with safe sleeping practices, such as placing the baby on their back to sleep, using a firm mattress, and keeping the sleeping area free of soft objects.

  13. Q: Are there any risks associated with using breathing monitors?
  14. A: The main risk is over-reliance on the device for the baby’s safety. For wearable monitors, there is also a small risk of skin irritation or, in rare cases, entanglement. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe use.

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