What made me decide to get a breathing monitor?
My mum had a friend who had a daughter that died of SIDS when I was a kid. When I asked my mum why she told me that sometimes babies forget to breathe.
This was my mum’s simple explanation to a small child but I was an anxious child and it stuck with me.
When my younger sister was born I would always watch her to make sure she was breathing. I probably kept checking on her until she was around 3. I was terrified.
As an adult, I now know SIDS is rare and if you do all the right things your baby should be fine.
But that doesn’t stop me from being scared that my baby would stop breathing, or that there would be some kind of freak one-in-a-million accident that would occur that would stop my baby from breathing.
I was constantly asking myself irrational questions such as… What if his mobile falls down and suffocates him? What if the sheets suddenly disconnect from the bed and smother him? What if he rolls on his face? What if he chokes on his dummy? What if he pushes his face against the side of the bed and can’t breathe?
I know these are all extremely unlikely things to happen to a newborn but I have anxiety and I wanted to be sure.
Some people in the older generation thought it was weird that I got a breathing monitor. They essentially laughed at me and told me their kids never had them.
After all, 40 years ago babies never had breathing monitors, they often co-slept, used heavy blankets and some babies even used pillows and most of them survived. But luckily this isn’t the 1970s. I needed it for my own sanity.
Basically, I got a breathing monitor because I wouldn’t have been able to sleep without one. I would have just been watching my baby sleep to make sure he was still breathing and wasn’t rolling on his face or getting into any other mischief.
How Does the Snuza Pico Work?
It’s pretty simple. It clips onto your baby’s nappy and moves up and down when your baby breathes. When It senses that the baby has stopped breathing for 15 seconds it will vibrate to remind the baby to breathe. If the baby still has not taken a breath after another 5 seconds an alarm will sound.
If you have the Snuza connected to your phone via the app using Bluetooth an alarm will also go off on your phone to let you know. However, you do not need to have the Snuza connected to your phone in order for it to work.
Benefits of using the Snuza Rather Than an Under Mattress Monitor
I got the Snuza rather than an under the mattress monitor because it can be used anywhere. It can be used when your baby naps in their pram or when they’re in their car seat.
If I had an under the mattress monitor I would need to move it from his bassinet to the cot. With the wearable monitor, I don’t have to worry about moving it.
I was also worried that the under the mattress monitors wouldn’t be as accurate because they don’t come into contact with the baby.
Snuza Pico 2 vs Snuza Hero
I ended up buying the Snuza Pico over the Hero because the Snuza Pico is rechargeable. It also tracks the baby’s sleep position and temperature and can connect to an app on my phone. The Hero doesn’t have this but if you just want a standard breathing monitor the hero is a great cheap alternative.
Pros of Snuza Pico
It Gives An Idea Of Your Baby’s Temperature
While I don’t think the thermometer is completely accurate it gives you an idea. You can also set temperature alarms. So if your baby’s temperature goes above or below a certain temp an alarm will sound.
It Can Be Used Anywhere
Unlike under the mattress monitors it can be used anywhere.
It is Rechargeable
There are no batteries to change and the app will tell you when the battery is running low so you can charge it. But please note I had to find a USB-C cable around my house to use as it came with a US charger. So if you’re struggling to charge yours a USB-C cable will work fine.
It Has a Long Battery Life
It only takes around an hour to fully charge and once fully charged it usually lasts me around a week and I use it day and night.
It Tells You When Your Baby is Asleep
I found this function mostly accurate. It will also tell you if your baby is in deep sleep or light sleep which I found helpful.
Cons of Snuza Pico
An Alarm Will Sound If It Falls Off
There have been multiple times when my baby has moved around at night and the monitor has fallen off causing a false alarm to go off.
It is incredibly frustrating when your baby has finally fallen asleep and it wakes them up, then you need to undress them and find the monitor to reattach.
Luckily you can turn the alarm off via the app on your phone BUT you’ll probably further wake up your baby if you decide to try to reattach it. This has caused me to have a few rude awakenings. Luckily this hasn’t happened very often. So make sure it’s on tight if you don’t want this to happen to you.
The In-App Alarms Took a While to Figure Out
I couldn’t work out how to turn off the alarm via my phone when there was a false alarm. So I would end up undressing my baby and fishing around for the alarm when he was asleep!. This woke him up a few times. To turn off the alarm you need to swipe the alarm notification to the left. I wish I knew that. But I’m always one of those people that think instructions are for chumps.
It Has a Terrible Bluetooth Range
The Bluetooth range isn’t great. My house isn’t even that big but if my baby is in his bed and I’m in the living room, an alarm will go off on my phone telling me that I’m out of range. This was really annoying when I couldn’t work out how to turn those notifications off. Luckily you don’t need to be in range for the alarm to go off. You should still be able to hear the Snuza alarm from your baby’s room or through your baby monitor if you have one.
If the battery dies in the middle of the night when your baby is asleep an alarm will keep going off until you turn it off!
This was SO ANNOYING. If the battery happened to die in the middle of the night my phone would rudely beep at me until I charged the Snuza Pico or turned it off.
The problem was I wasn’t going to wake my baby up to take the Snuza off him then go put it in charge. So I ended up turning it off so we could both get a good night’s sleep. I just wish the battery would tell me that it only had a few hours left BEFORE I put my baby to bed to save me and my baby from being rudely awoken in the middle of the night.
If your baby rolls onto their tummy it won’t work
The Snuza knows your baby is breathing because it moves up and down on their stomach. But if you have an older baby who rolls onto the tummy it won’t work.The monitor isn’t able to move up and down if it is pushed against your baby’s bed. So it’s not great for older babies. But it is good for those first few months when you’re most concerned about SIDS,
Should you get one?
If it gives you peace of mind then sure just get one. They aren’t recommended by Rednose or other safe sleep organisations but it really saved my sanity.
Just make sure you:
- Know how to turn the alarms off via your phone
- Ensure it’s clipped onto the nappy tightly so it doesn’t fall off and wake you and your baby up
- Make sure it’s well charged before bed so that the low battery alarm never goes off in the middle of the night.
Would you get one? What do you think of wearable baby sleep monitors? Let me know 🙂