The 10 Best Baby Breathing Monitors to Buy in 2020

The 10 Best Baby Breathing Monitors to Buy in 2020

There is nothing more exciting and filled with joy than having a new baby. For most parents, however, there is also nothing that can cause more fear and anxiety. While most babies grow up without incident, a small percentage of them develop breathing problems. Thankfully, parents can keep track of their infant’s breathing and find some extra peace of mind by using a baby breathing monitor.

As the name implies, a baby breathing monitor will closely watch your infant while they sleep in their crib. If your little one stops breathing for any reason, the alarm will notify you so you can rush in and check on them. Many of these monitors also come with other features to help you to know what is going on in your nursery while you are in another room.

If you are thinking about purchasing a baby breathing monitor, you want to make sure you get the right one. Read through this page to learn more about how these monitors work, which ones are the best on the market today, and much more.

Before Picking a Breathing Monitor for Your Baby

Unlike a traditional baby monitor, which allows parents to watch or listen in to their baby in their crib, all of the products on this list are able to monitor your child’s breathing.  Here are the important things we considered when picking which ones to recommend.

What is Being Monitored

All of the products that are included in this list will monitor your baby to make sure they are breathing. There are a few different ways they accomplish this. Some of them monitor using sensors that are clipped onto your child’s clothes, others will use sensors that are placed under the crib mattress, and still others use a video camera to detect movement. You can read about how each of these options works in our full buyer’s guide below.

All of these options can be very effective in making sure there aren’t any problems. The main differences between them will be how they are installed, and the extra conveniences offered.

Many of the monitoring tools will also have other great features. For example, some of them include an audio and video monitor that will display either on your phone or on an included device. Others will monitor your child’s temperature, the temperature in the room, or even if your baby has a wet diaper. For many parents, choosing a breathing monitor that will also monitor these other things will make it an excellent investment.

Accuracy of Alerts

One of the most important things that you need to consider when purchasing this type of monitor is how accurate it will be. If a monitor is not sensitive enough, it could fail to detect when your baby has stopped breathing, which would be disastrous. On the other hand, if a monitor is too sensitive, you will get a lot of false alarms.

If a false alarm wakes you up several times each night, you will quickly stop using it and either go without this peace of mind or have to spend money on another unit. We looked closely at how accurate each baby breathing monitor was when reviewing them and made sure to only include models that had an excellent reputation in this area.

Notification Methods

Some baby breathing monitors will sound a loud alarm from the monitor or a base station, some will send a notification to your phone, and others come with their own portable monitoring device that you carry with you. Each of these options has its own pros and cons, so make sure to carefully consider which one will work best for you.

Whenever shopping for something as important as this, you will want to make sure that you find the perfect one for your situation. Below you will find the top 10 baby breathing monitors for 2020.

Top 10 Best Baby Breathing Monitors 2020

1. Best Overall Pick: Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor

Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor

Why we like it: Extremely easy to use, more accurate than many other options, and also displays your baby's pulse oximetry.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Vitals Monitored: Heart Rate, Pulse Oximetry
  • Video/Audio Monitoring: No

The Owlet Smart Sock 2 is easily one of the best baby breathing monitors on the market today. Rather than relying on the movement of the baby’s chest and stomach to check for breathing, this model actively checks the heart rate and pulse oximetry. This is done using a simple sock that has built-in sensors.

The sock fits comfortably on most baby feet. They say it will fit infants from birth to about 18th months, or up to 25 pounds. You get three of these washable socks with the monitor, so you always have one available to use. The three socks are different sizes, so they might outgrow the smaller ones over time.

The monitor connects to a base station as well as your smartphone to display information about your little one. If the sock detects that your baby is not breathing, or their pulse oxygen levels are getting too low, the base will light up red and sound an alarm so you can check on your little one right away. It will also send a notification to your smartphone so you can be aware no matter where you happen to be.

Using the app on your smartphone, you can keep track of information about your child’s heart rate and pulse oxygen levels over time. This is an especially useful feature if your child has any kind of breathing problem, and the doctor may want to look at this data. One of the best things about this model is that as long as the sock is properly secured, it gives very accurate readings. This means very few false alarms that will wake you up in the middle of the night.

Pros

  • Clearly displays oxygen levels
  • Monitors heart rate
  • Very accurate readings
  • Easy to track patterns over time

Cons

  • No video or audio monitoring

2. Best Premium Pick: Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor

Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor

Why we like it: This infant breathing monitor offers xcellent audio and video monitoring along with accurate breathing alerts.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Vitals Monitored: Sleep Patterns, Breathing, Temperature
  • Video/Audio Monitoring: Yes

The Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor is an all in one monitoring device, so you do not need one breathing monitor and a separate one to listen and watch your child. This system uses a great video camera that you can mount directly above your sleeping child.

The camera streams sound and HD video to your smartphone so you can check on your little one any time you would like. You can even snap pictures from the video stream if you catch your child doing something cute while sleeping or playing in their crib.

When you have the full monitoring setup, this device will keep close track of your child’s breathing and notify you if something is wrong. Please note that in order for you to have the breathing monitor features, you have to purchase the breathing wear from Nanit. This is a simple, onesie-style piece of clothing that your baby wears at night.

The onesie has a specific black and white pattern that allows the camera to accurately see even tiny movements on your baby’s chest and stomach, which his how it detects breathing. We found that this allows the device to provide very accurate monitoring, so you don’t experience many false alarms with this model.

In addition to monitoring audio, video, and breathing, this device also tracks the temperature and humidity in your nursery. This can provide valuable information for figuring out why your little one wakes up at night. Another great feature of this baby monitor is that it gives you the ability to talk to your child through your smartphone, which can be helpful in comforting them if they are starting to wake up. You can also signal the monitor to play gentle sounds to help your little one sleep. All of these great features make this an excellent option. They also make this one of the most expensive baby monitors on the market today.

Pros

  • High-quality audio and video camera
  • Very accurate breathing monitor
  • Displays the temperature and humidity in the room
  • Interact with your baby remotely

Cons

  • Breathing monitor onesie is not included
  • One of the more expensive monitors

3. Best Dedicated Breathing Monitor: Snuza Hero Premium Baby Movement Monitor

Snuza Hero Premium Baby Movement Monitor

Why we like it: This is a simple breathing monitor that does not have any complicated features. It can also be brought with you on the go.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Vitals Monitored: Breathing
  • Video/Audio Monitoring: No

The Snuza Hero premium baby movement monitor is focused entirely on making sure your little one is breathing safely while they sleep. Unlike most other monitors, this one does not have any extra monitoring capabilities or features beyond those focused on breathing. While those other features are nice, the fact that this one is so simple means it can be taken with you anywhere you go. Just grab the device and bring it with you when you travel so your little one never has to be without the monitor while they sleep.

The monitor works by clipping directly to your child’s diaper so it can sense the movement in their stomach while they breathe. Just make sure that it is clipped on properly, so it gets a good reading. There are no cords or other dangerous things for your little one to get tangled up in, so it is completely safe.

If the sensor does not detect any breathing movement for 15 seconds, it will gently vibrate to gently prompt your baby to take a breath. In the majority of situations, this will get your baby to start breathing normally again without even waking them up. If your baby still does not take a breath for another five seconds, the monitor will sound an alarm so you can come to check on them to ensure everything is ok.

If your child has breathing problems, or you are an especially concerned parent, you can also turn on the tick mode. In this mode, the monitor will emit a soft tick sound with each breath your child takes. The tick is soft enough so it doesn’t disturb their sleep, but still noticeable to a parent. Parents will likely find that they will quickly notice if the ticking stops for longer than normal. This device is battery operated with long battery life for your convenience.

Pros

  • Easy to bring with you on the go
  • Encourages your baby to breath if there are no breaths for 15 seconds
  • Very simple to use

Cons

  • If the device is not positioned properly, you will get lots of false alarms

4. Best for Twins: Angelcare 3-in-1 Baby Monitor

Angelcare 3-in-1 Baby Monitor

Why we like it: This is the only breathing monitor we have found that can watch two babies at once.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Vitals Monitored: Breathing, Movement
  • Video/Audio Monitoring: Yes

The Angelcare baby monitor works by combining a sensor pad that is placed under the mattress and an advanced video camera that is mounted on the wall near the crib. The sensor monitors for the tiny movements that are made when your baby breaths or moves. The video camera will also watch for movement in the crib. If the system does not detect any movement for 20 seconds, it will sound an alarm so you can quickly come check on your little one.

Unlike most systems, which pair with your smartphone, this one connects to its own dedicated display pad. This is almost like its own proprietary tablet that serves as your interface to the system. It has a 4.3-inch display screen that shows the high-quality video and audio. You can pair two sensors and camera systems to one monitoring system, which is ideal for parents of twins. On one device, you can check in on both of your little ones to ensure everything is safe. If one of them does stop breathing, the monitor will display which one it is so you can respond right away.

Overall, this is a very easy to use monitoring system, and one that is quite accurate. You are not likely to have many false alarms unless your little one happens to scooch out of sight of the camera somehow. One other thing to note is that if you choose the upgraded version of this system, it will also monitor the temperature in the nursery and display it on the camera.

Pros

  • Able to watch two babies at once
  • Easy installation and setup
  • High-quality video streaming

Cons

  • One more device to keep with you since it does not stream to your phone
  • Temperature monitoring requires an upgraded version

5. Best Budget Pick: MonBaby Baby Monitor

MonBaby Baby Monitor

Why we like it: This is an affordable model that still has a ton of excellent features.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Vitals Monitored: Breathing, Rollover, Temperature, Movement, Ambient Temperature
  • Video/Audio Monitoring: No

This is one of the most feature-rich baby monitors that we found, and it still costs far less than most other options. The price was clearly kept down by eliminating the video camera from the device. This device uses a sensor that snaps on to your child’s onesie or shirt to gather information. This one sensor will monitor breathing, body movement, whether your child has rolled over, and the ambient temperature of the room.

If your child stops breathing, the sensor will send a notification to your smartphone to let you know so that you can come to investigate. You can also set the monitor to alert you if your baby rolls over onto their tummy since this is not a recommended sleeping position for infants. The sensor pulls data multiple times per second, so it knows what your child is doing at any moment.

The sensor itself does not have to come in contact with your baby’s skin, which helps to avoid discomfort. It does, however, need to be securely snapped in place on clothing that will not bunch up. If you use the wrong type of clothing for this, you are almost certain to get a lot of annoying false alarms. We recommend using a onesie since it fits snugly and will not move the sensor out of place.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Alerts you if your baby rolls onto their tummy
  • Breathing alerts are sent to your smartphone

Cons

  • Must be used on snugly fitting clothes
  • No video or audio monitoring

6. Best for Sleep Tracking: Sense-U Baby Monitor

Sense-U Baby Monitor

Why we like it: This tracks the body temperature of your baby in addition to monitoring for breathing.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Vitals Monitored: Breathing, Rollover, Temperature, Movement, Ambient Temperature
  • Video/Audio Monitoring: No

The Sense-U baby monitor is a great option for those who want to keep track of not just whether their little one is breathing, but also their sleeping position. The latest recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) say that having infants sleep on their backs is the safest option.  If your baby happens to roll over onto their belly, this monitor can send you an alert so you can go and check on them and reposition them into a safer position.

The monitor also keeps track of your child’s body temperature, so you know if they are getting too warm or cold. The breathing monitor is quite sensitive so that it will not only tell you if they have stopped breathing but also let you know if they have weak breathing. This occurs when they are not taking breaths frequently enough or deeply enough. Having access to this type of information can be a great early warning so you can check on them before they stop breathing completely.

The monitor will send alerts and other information directly to your smartphone as long as you have their mobile app installed. If you choose to purchase this baby breathing monitor, make sure you select the new 2020 model. Older versions of this monitor are still for sale, so it is easy to confuse them. While the previous version works fine, we recommend this newer one to ensure you get the best possible results.

Pros

  • Alerts you if your baby has rolled over onto their belly
  • Monitors breathing quality
  • Monitors body temperature

Cons

  • No audio or video monitoring

7. Best for Under the Mattess: Babysense Under-The-Mattress Baby Monitor

Babysense Under-The-Mattress Baby Monitor

Why we like it: Monitors the entire mattress for movement without anything actually touching your baby's skin.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Vitals Monitored: Breathing, Movement
  • Video/Audio Monitoring: No

We must admit that we were a little skeptical about this one since it works by placing two rather large sensors under the mattress in your baby’s crib, given how little a sleeping infant moves when breathing. However, these are extremely sensitive and can detect even the smallest amount of movement taking place in the crib.

If the sensors do not pick up any movement for 20 seconds, or there are fewer than 10 ‘micro-movements’ per minute, it will sound an alarm so you can come to check on your little one.

The installation of this device is very simple. You just place the sensors under the mattress and hook the base unit to the side. There are no wires exposed, so there is no risk of your little one getting tangled up. In addition, there is nothing that actually touches your child, so it is great for babies with sensitive skin or those who are easily woken up. The device will then connect to your smartphone, where it will send alarms and other information as needed.

Pros

  • Extremely sensitive readings
  • Easy to install
  • Nothing is touching your baby

Cons

  • No audio or video

8. Best Basic: Snuza Go Baby Monitor

Snuza Go Baby Monitor

Why we like it: This is a very simple and affordable monitor that still does a great job.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Vitals Monitored: Breathing
  • Video/Audio Monitoring: No

This is the second Snuza monitor on our list. The Snuza Go is the budget model, but it is still an excellent option for parents who want that added sense of safety while their little one sleeps. Like the other model, you simply clip this onto the front of your baby’s diaper, ideally right against their skin. It should go right in the middle of their belly so it can get accurate readings.

Once there, it will closely monitor your baby’s breathing and sound an alarm if they stop. The alarm is both audible and displays lights, so it will not only alert you to the situation but may also stimulate your child, so they start breathing on their own. This model sounds the alarm as soon as it does not sense the breathing. The other model will vibrate first to try to stimulate breathing before it alerts you to the situation. Both are great options and work well, so just choose the one you prefer.

Keep in mind that this is a very basic breathing monitor, so you won’t get any extra features. This option does not connect to your smartphone, so you need to be close enough to your nursery to hear the alarm. The alarm is quite loud, but depending on the layout of your house, it is something to take note of.

Pros

  • Quite inexpensive
  • Very easy to install
  • Loud alarms will wake you up

Cons

  • No audio or video monitoring
  • Does not connect to your smartphone

9. Best for Travel: Levana Oma Sense Baby Breathing Monitor

Levana Oma Sense Baby Breathing Monitor

Why we like it: Easy monitor that you can take with you anywhere to help keep your baby safe.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Vitals Monitored: Breathing
  • Video/Audio Monitoring: No

The Levana Oma Sense baby breathing monitor is an easy to use option that is great for parents who are often on the go. You simply clip the monitor onto either the diaper or the onesie of your little one, and it will begin monitoring your baby right away. If it does not detect breathing for 15 seconds, it will begin vibrating to try to gently rouse the baby to start breathing again. If your baby does not start breathing after five more seconds (total of 20 seconds), it will sound an alarm so you can come and check on them.

When in use, this monitor will have a soft blue light that flashes so parents know that it is working. Since this monitor clips right onto the diaper or clothes of your little one, it needs to be positioned properly on their tummy. If it is not put on right, or it is moved while sleeping, it will almost certainly give off false alarms.

This monitor is not intended for use with babies that sleep on their belly, so keep that in mind. Because of this, it is really only supposed to be used for the first 3-6 months, after which time your little one will likely be rolling over.

Pros

  • Easy to clip onto your baby
  • Vibrates to try to stimulate breathing
  • Soft blue indicator light lets you know it is working

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than similar monitors
  • Must be positioned properly or you will get false positives

10. Best for Wet Diapers: AKOi Heart Real-Time Baby Care Alarm System

AKOi Heart Real-Time Baby Care Alarm System

Why we like it: This is the only breathing monitor that will also let you know when your baby has a wet diaper.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Vitals Monitored: Breathing, Rollover, Diaper
  • Video/Audio Monitoring: No

This is a low-cost breathing monitor that actually has quite a lot of features on it. The monitor attaches directly to your infant’s diaper where it will track both movement and wetness. The location of the monitor will depend on what it is you are monitoring. The monitor will connect to your smartphone so it can send you alerts if there are any problems.

If your baby stops breathing, it will send an alert to your phone, so you can quickly come to check on them. Likewise, if your child rolls over, there will be an alert so you can gently place them on their back where they are safest. Finally, the most appealing feature of this monitor is that it will alert you when your baby urinates.

If your little one has issues with diaper rash, this will be a real blessing. Every time the diaper is wet, you can quickly change it to protect their skin. This feature could even be used throughout the day and not just during nap time.

The one downside to this monitor is that while it can watch for breathing, rolling over, and wet diapers, it cannot do them all at the same time. If you want to watch for a wet diaper, the monitor snaps to the lower side of the diaper. For rolling over and breathing, it clips up near the belly.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Monitors for wet diapers
  • Alerts you on your smartphone with any issues

Cons

  • Cannot use all three monitor options at once

The Complete Baby Breathing Monitor Buyer’s Guide

When purchasing any type of device that is designed to help protect your new baby, it is important to choose the right one. Baby breathing monitors are a relatively new option in the history of parenting but have already saved many lives and helped many parents enjoy increased peace of mind.

Whether your little one has a breathing issue that requires careful monitoring, or you simply want to make sure you are alerted in case there is a problem, these monitors are an excellent option. In this buyer’s guide, we will analyze all the key features of this type of device, what to look for when comparing them, and much more.

Why do You Want a Baby Breathing Monitor?

One of the first things you should do when you begin shopping for a baby breathing monitor is to ask yourself why you want one. Make a list of all the benefits you hope to attain with this purchase. This will help you to identify the features you need. For example, if you are just looking for a standard baby monitor but think that being able to monitor breathing is a nice additional feature, you will want a model that includes audio and video streaming. Some questions to ask yourself include:

  • Do I Need Video Monitoring of the Nursery?
  • Do I Need Audio Monitoring of the Nursery?
  • Will I Take This Monitor With Me While Traveling?
  • Does My Baby Take All Their Naps in Their Crib?
  • Do I Want Alerts On My Smartphone?
  • What is My Budget?

As you browse through the various baby breathing monitors reviewed on this page, you can narrow down your choices by ensuring each one meets your requirements based on these questions. In addition to meeting your specifications, you will also want to find an option that is accurate, durable, and easy to use.

Types of Sensors

When it comes to a baby breathing monitor, one of the most important things to understand is what type of sensors are used, and how they work. We will not go into the technical details on how each type of sensor works. It is good, however, to have a basic understanding of the different methods used as it can greatly influence how useful a monitor will be in your situation.

Video

Some baby breathing monitors utilize video monitoring to determine if your child is breathing. In these models, a high-definition camera is used to ‘watch’ your baby while sleeping. The monitoring system is able to detect even very small amounts of movement in your little one’s chest and belly. Of course, the video and audio will also be live-streamed to a device such as your smartphone, so this option also serves as a normal baby monitor.

Many people are impressed with this type of monitoring because even when they cannot see the tiny movement of their baby breathing, the system is able to detect it. In most cases, these monitors are very accurate, but if your baby is sleeping with thick pajamas in the winter, you may get a few false alarms.

Also, you need to make sure the cameras are set up to see the entire sleeping area, or your child could squirm out of view, thus setting off an alarm. To see a great example of a device that offers great video monitoring, look at the Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor.

Under the Mattress

As the name implies, under the mattress sensors are placed under the mattress in your infant’s crib. When activated, they will monitor for even the smallest amounts of movement within the crib to determine if your baby is breathing or if there is a problem. It is almost hard to believe that a sensor can be sensitive enough to pick up a sleeping infant’s tiny breaths from through a mattress, but they really can.

In fact, this type of sensor tends to have the fewest false alarms of all the options because the entire mattress is monitored. A great example of a device that uses under the mattress sensors is the Angelcare 3-in-1 Baby Monitor.

On-Body

The third type of sensor is one that is actually placed directly onto the infant themselves. Depending on the model you choose, this could be done by clipping the device onto your baby’s diaper, placing a special sock onto your child, or buttoning the sensor to your infant’s onesie.

All of these options work in the same general way. They are in direct contact with your child, so they can ‘feel’ the precise movements in order to determine if there are any issues. In addition to being accurate, this type of monitor is also the easiest to use no matter where you happen to be, which is great for families on the go. We have found that the best device that uses this type of sensor is the Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor.

Additional Features Offered

Most baby breathing monitors will provide a variety of additional features on top of simply making sure that your child is still breathing. While the ability to detect when a child has stopped breathing is the most important aspect of these monitors, you still need to know what else the device can do. The following is a quick introduction to the various other features that you will find on some monitor models so you can make the right purchase:

  • Audio Monitor – Audio monitors let you hear what is going on in the nursery, so you know when your infant wakes up.
  • Video Monitor – Video monitors let you see into the nursery so you can peek in on your little one without disturbing them.
  • Baby Temperature – This option lets you track your child’s body temperature, so you know if they are getting too warm or cold.
  • Ambient Temperature – This monitor displays the ambient temperature of the room so you can make sure your baby is comfortable.
  • Humidity – The humidity in a room will have a big impact on how comfortable your baby is sleeping.
  • Sleep Tracking – Many baby monitors will track your child’s sleep time so you can spot patterns that may help them sleep better.
  • Wet Diaper Monitor – Some monitors will alert you when your infant has a wet diaper, which is very important for children who struggle with diaper rash.
  • Pulse Oximeter – This monitor measures the oxygen saturation in your child’s bloodstream. This is great for babies that have weak or sporadic breathing but do not stop breathing entirely.
  • Heart Rate – Keep track of your baby’s heart rate while they are sleeping.
  • Rollover – As your baby gets older, you will want to know when they roll over so you can ensure they are sleeping in a safe position.

Each device is going to offer a specific set of these features. Making a list of which ones are most important to you will help ensure you select the right model. In most cases, you will be able to find a monitor that provides all of the key features that you need in one unit, so you do not have to purchase multiple devices.

Baby Breathing Monitors Provide Safety and Peace of Mind

No matter which baby breathing monitor you choose, you will benefit from the added safety and peace of mind that they provide. As long as you install it properly, all of the models on our list will provide accurate and reliable monitoring throughout infancy. Whenever looking into products for your baby and their health, however, it is a good idea to talk with a pediatrician to see if they have any specific advice or recommendations based on your unique situation.