do ?The baby monitor can be a wonderful tool to use during sleep training. It an alert you as to when your baby is waking up in the middle of the night and lets you know when your baby’s nap is over. What should you be looking for when selecting a baby monitor?
I started off with the basic portable video monitor with my daughter a few years ago. It was great for me to keep an eye on her but as with most parents of newborns, I was very concerned about SIDS. So any noise she made, I would go running over to her crib to see if she needed me. And if I hadn’t heard any noises for a while, I’d get concerned and go check on her. My basic portable monitor also lost battery power pretty quickly and had a very short range, so I couldn’t bring it outside in the backyard with me while she was napping.
After my clients started asking me for recommendations, I decided to do some research to find a better baby monitor for parents that they could use during sleep training and beyond. My preference these days is a wireless baby monitor that you can control from your smartphone.
Do I need a Newborn Breathing Monitor
No, this is definitely not a necessity. But at lot of parents of newborns do love having a real-time breathing monitor. The main concern with newborn sleep is of course SIDS. If you find that having a video monitor that monitors breathing helps to ease those anxieties, then by all means get it.
But choose wisely. Some baby monitors with a breathing monitor require some of the technology be inserted in the baby’s mattress or even require the baby to wear it. For the safest sleep environment, you want to focus on monitors that can detect baby’s breathing from the camera. Many wireless monitors send instant alerts to parents’ smartphones if baby’s breathing has changed.
My Favorite Feature: The Activity Log
While the breathing monitor feature is great for newborns, as a baby sleep consultant, what I really look for in a baby monitor is the activity log feature. These monitors send notifications to your smartphone when your baby is starting to wake up, has fallen asleep or is crying.
These notifications allow you to track your child’s sleep throughout the day and night. So you can see how long it takes for your baby to go to sleep, how long night wakings are and what time your baby wakes up in the morning. This is great to track your progress over the first week or two of sleep training baby. I know that the nights can start blurring together, so it’s great to have a tool that can track this for you.
I especially like the activity log for naps. Usually babies who are struggling with nighttime sleep are also taking short naps. Baby naps should ideally be 1 ½ – 2 hours long. But when I initially speak with parents during our complimentary sleep evaluation, one of the most common complaints I hear about naps is that their child is only sleeping about 30-45 minutes, or just one sleep cycle. By tracking how long your baby’s sleep cycles are, we can use that data to try to prolong your baby’s naps using the Live Love Sleep nap extension methods.
A Baby Monitor That Helps Parents Sleep Well Too
Once you have completed the Live Love Sleep Program and your baby is sleeping well, a smart monitor is going to help you as the parent sleep better too. The notifications allow parents to have a more restful sleep. You don’t need to hear every single squeak and squawk that your baby makes through the night. And some babies, like my own, are very noisy sleepers. Every time they squeak and squawk, you’re going to wake up because you’re so in tuned to that. And you can see how that’s going to wreak havoc on your sleep.
If you’ve got a baby who is now successfully sleeping well through the night, I would encourage you to just turn on the notifications. That way you don’t have a loud monitor right by your ear at night, waking you up for no reason.
To healthy sleep,
Your Certified Baby Sleep Consultant
Founder of Live Love Sleep