About baby breathing monitors
Baby breathing monitors have an alarm that goes off if your baby stops breathing.
Your doctor might recommend a baby breathing monitor if your baby was born prematurely or has breathing problems.
If your doctor has recommended the monitor, follow your doctor’s instructions for using it. Keep information about the monitor where you can find it, and share this information with anyone who looks after your baby.
If you have a baby breathing monitor or you plan to get one, make sure you know who to call and what to do if the alarm goes off. For example, you might want to ensure your CPR skills are up to date. If other people look after your baby, make sure they also know what to do.
Baby breathing monitors: things to consider
You might choose to have a breathing monitor for your baby even if it hasn’t been recommended by a doctor.
In this case, it’s worth knowing that babies don’t breathe in the same regular rhythm as older children and adults. Sometimes babies have pauses in their breathing. These pauses are normal and can be very frequent. Sometimes pauses that are close together can cause the alarm on baby breathing monitors to sound.
These false alarms can be very stressful if you think that your baby has stopped breathing. When false alarms happen during the night, it can also be hard to rest.
If you need help deciding whether a baby breathing monitor is right for your situation, talk about it with your child and family health nurse, GP or paediatrician.
There’s no evidence that baby breathing monitors protect babies from sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and fatal sleeping accidents. It’s important to follow safe sleeping guidelines, even if you use a baby breathing monitor.