The best baby breathing monitors to give you peace of mind

best baby breathing monitor

by Samantha Ball |
Updated on

While most baby monitors offer an array of different features to help reassure you that your little one is OK when they're asleep, there's nothing that brings more peace of mind than the best baby breathing monitor.

Designed to measure the gentle movement of your baby breathing, baby breathing monitors will alert parents to any unnatural pauses in that movement. Doctors may recommend one if your baby is born prematurely or if they have breathing problems.

Best baby breathing monitors at a glance 2024:

Best baby breathing monitor with breathing band: Nanit Pro – Buy now on Amazon
Best sock baby breathing monitor: Owlet Smart Sock Baby Monitor 3 – Buy now on John Lewis
Best baby breathing monitor using AI technology: Lollipop Baby Monitor with True Crying Detection – Buy now on Amazon
Best baby breathing monitor with movement pad: Angelcare AC527 3-in-1 SensAsure Baby Movement Monitor with Video – Buy now on Amazon

There are two ways in which your babies breathing can be monitored, either through oxygen levels or movement. These home monitors If your baby breathing monitor detects baby may have stopped breathing, an alert will sound. If you do get a baby breathing monitor, it's important to know what to do if the alarm does sound. Firstly, check on your baby as babies don’t breathe in the same regular rhythm as older children and adults. Sometimes babies have pauses in their breathing which are very normal. These pauses 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. In the case that it isn't a false alarm, call 999. You should also make sure you feel confident with your baby CPR skills.

Best baby breathing monitor with breathing band

With the Nanit Pro, your baby wears a band around their tummy as they sleep; this band then transmits data to your smartphone to alert you to breathing changes and unusual breathing patterns. This monitoring band is in addition to the baby monitor camera, which you set up above the cot; this monitors your baby’s movements, and will alert you to changes such as if your baby stands up. You can also receive notifications about your baby crying or other sounds, or other motions too.

Essentially, if your baby moves, breaths, or makes any sound, you can be notified about it on your smartphone; our mum tester Hannah James said: "This is the best baby monitor I have ever seen or used. I do like it. It has so many smart features that others do not. The amount of reassurance and peace of mind this product brings is irrefutable.” 

The camera is wide angled; with 1080p HD video quality. The app gives you a wide range of analytics on sleep patterns, plus there’s even the ability to check the temperature of baby’s room and the humidity. This is a serious piece of kit to make sure you know everything you need to about your baby’s surroundings and wellbeing during sleep. 

The tech is also compatible not just with the app, but also Google Home, my.nanit.com, and Amazon Alexa. Plus, if you needed even more features, there’s two-way audio, the ability to play white noise, and a nightlight; not to mention the peace of mind about the tech’s safety, thanks to 256-bit AES encryption, keeping all that data safe. 

A comprehensive piece of tech like this obviously comes with a larger price tag than most standard baby monitors; our tester Hannah said: “However, if it isn't within your budget, it is not a necessity. There are plenty of other baby monitors that work efficiently and will also allow you to check on your baby.” 

We tested this baby breathing monitor as part of the Mother&Baby Awards 2024, where it won Bronze for Best Baby Monitor. 

Read our full Nanit Pro review.

Pros

  • Includes breathing data and analysis 
  • Features sleep tracking and pattern information 
  • Compatible with various apps and smart systems 
  • High level of encryption and security for data 

Cons

  • Can be complicated to set up
  • Very pricey compared to others 
Video:Yes
Two-way talk:Yes
Night vision:Yes
Sound alerts:Yes
Motion alerts:Yes
App Control:Yes
Screen size:HD 1080p image on mobile device
  • Breathing tracker
  • Memory saver
  • Video capture
  • In-app sleep coach
  • In-app baby expert
  • 2-way audio
  • Adjustable nightlight
  • Humidity and temperature alerts

Best sock baby breathing monitor

Owlet Smart Sock MonitorRobyn Cann

The Owlet Smart Sock isn’t actually a sock, but a band which wraps around your baby’s foot. The band monitors your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels, using pulse oximetry - which is a non-invasive method of measuring how much oxygen there is in your blood, telling you how well the lungs are working. 

The tech in the band connects to a base station, which then transmits the data to an app on your smartphone; the base station has a green light indicating if everything is at normal levels, meaning it’s easy to check all is ok with just a glance; our tester Kimberley said: “I loved the feature that sees the base station glowing green to indicate all is well. It means that when I woke up in the night, I could just glance at it and was instantly reassured that my daughter was fine.” If any of the data points leave the pre-set safe zones, you receive a notification that all is not well. 

In addition to those vital health data points, the monitor also provides information on sleep patterns, how often and how many times your baby wakes, and the quality of your baby’s sleep. 

The data being sent to the app means you can check your baby’s stats even if someone is babysitting and you’ve gone out for the evening; our mum tester Kimberley said: "One of the features I loved about the Smart Sock was the fact I could check the app no matter where I was when leaving our little girl with relatives. It made the first night out leaving her so much more enjoyable.” 

This is an investment piece of tech with a price tag to match, but it does grow with baby thanks to different-sized socks; our tester said: “As the product is in the premium price range, I love the fact that three different sock sizes are included. This means it will definitely last my little girl until she is 18 months old."

Read our full Owlet Smart Sock review.

Pros

  • Monitors health datapoints as well as sleep patterns 
  • Impressive battery life
  • Easy to check thanks to coloured lights 

Cons

  • Some customers mentioned the app could be better
Video:No
Two-way talk:No
Night vision:No
Sound alerts:No
Motion alerts:No
App control:Yes
Screen size:N/A
  • Out-of-range indication
  • Suitable from birth
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Low battery indication
  • Tracks heart rate and oxygen levels

Best baby breathing monitor with movement pad

The Angelcare AC527 3-in-1 SensAsure video monitor has an adjustable camera with pan and zoom functionality so you can see your baby close up on the parent unit screen, which is a respectable five inches wide.

It features a wireless movement sensor pad, which sounds an alarm if no movement is detected from your baby after 20 seconds. This is placed under your baby’s mattress, and is designed to sensor movement across the whole mattress area; our mum tester, Rachel, said: "One of the most expensive monitors on the market but worth every penny. I love it! Despite the sophisticated design, it's surprisingly easy to set up. The sound quality is excellent, and the image is great, even at night. The wireless motion sensor mat is what makes this monitor stand out. It gave me real peace of mind."

You can also add a second sensor pad, and see two children on one screen – great for siblings sharing a room, and twins in particular - note, the second pad is sold separately. 

Other features include two-way audio so you can talk to your baby through the monitor, temperature monitoring, and it all works without wifi so there’s no need to worry about internet security. 

Read our full Angelcare AC527 Baby Movement Monitor with Video review.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Clear image quality
  • Built-in thermometer for nursery temperature 
  • Can add a second pad to monitor two babies on one device

Cons

  • Our mums would have liked to have seen a better and wider angle lens
Video:Yes
Two-way talk:Yes
Night vision:Yes
Sound alerts:Yes
Motion alerts:Yes
App control:No
Screen size:5-inch LED touchscreen
  • Non-contact monitoring
  • Alarm will sound if there is no movement after 20 seconds
  • Wall-mount or table top unity
  • Room temperature display

Best baby breathing monitor using AI technology

The Lollipop baby monitor’s big selling point is the bendable arm, meaning it’s super flexible and easy to set up in your baby’s nursery. Without needing a base, you can wrap the silicone arm around your baby’s crib, meaning views and angles are totally individual and not hindered by where your furniture sits; our mum tester, Amy, said: "You can place the camera anywhere at any angle. It's flexible and easy to place, and we have a big awkward cot! The quality from the camera to the phone is amazing, along with the sound. I'm able to play lullabies through the camera as well as talk to her when she wakes from a nap in the daytime. It notifies you when the baby is crying and records the crying overnight also so you can re-watch it."

The camera itself is fixed, however, unlike other baby monitors that allow you to move the camera angle remotely. The design is modern and cute, with a variety of colours available. 

This baby monitor reviews your baby’s breathing using AI technology, removing the need for a wearable monitor in addition to the camera. 

You automatically get seven days’ access to your data, and upgrading to a subscription plan for a further cost means you get 24/7 access. You can also buy an additional sensor for further features including humidity, temperature and air quality monitoring. Other features include advanced night vision, two-way talk, a built-in noise machine, and lullabies; you can play music from the monitor remotely, and speak to your babies via the Push 2 Talk function.

The Lollipop also features what’s called the ‘true crying detection’, which means it blocks out background noise - great if your baby has noisy siblings crashing around during nap time. There’s also a preset zone function, meaning you’ll be alerted if your baby gets a leg stuck between the crib bars, or even tries to climb out, as some are prone to do.

Read our full Lollipop Baby Camera review.

Pros

  • Good quality camera
  • Quick to set up
  • Sturdy but also very portable 
  • Fun design that’s different to most monitors 

Cons

  • Additional monthly or yearly payments for features on the app
Video:Yes
Two-way talk:Yes
Night vision:Yes
Sound alerts:Yes
Motion alerts:Yes
App control:Yes
Screen size:N/A
  • Data history
  • Live viewing
  • Crying detection
  • Crossing detection

Best certified medical baby breathing monitor

The Snuza Hero is a breathing monitor, which clips on to your baby's nappy. It vibrates if no breathing or movement has been detected within 15 seconds, with the aim of waking baby; it then sounds an alarm if no breathing has been detected after 20 seconds. It's cordless and portable; it doesn’t have a base unit and doesn’t need a phone or app to work, so there’s no need to think about additional tech or complications with wires and cameras. 

It’s easy to set up and gives instant peace of mind; one reviewer said: "Our child stopped breathing and as first time parents we then couldn’t sleep moving forward. So we bought this so we could try and sleep and this was a life saver for both us and him alarm works great. It's enough to wake ourselves and our dogs to any issues. Once your child start rolling around then take it off as it will go off a lot.”

Do bear in mind that constant contact with the skin is required for this to work properly; if your baby rolls, or if the nappy is a little loose, it might set off the alarm. Also note that using it in the car isn’t recommended, as the constant vibrations from the car’s movement will convince the monitor that baby is breathing. 

One downside of this working independently and not connecting to an app is that you are relying on hearing the alarm; it is loud, with three volume settings, but bear in mind that perhaps if you’re in a room furthest away from baby there is the potential of not hearing it.

Pros

  • Easily clips to baby's nappy
  • Cordless and portable
  • Certified medical device

Cons

  • Might not be suitable when baby starts to roll
Video:No
Two-way talk:No
Night vision:N/A
Sound alerts:Yes
Motion alerts:Yes
App control:No
Screen size:N/A
  • Portable
  • Small clip
  • Adjustable settings
  • Volume-controlled audible function

Best baby breathing monitor clip

Similar to the Snuza Hero (above), this monitor clips on to your baby’s nappy, monitoring their breathing, sleep position and temperature. Unlike the Snuza, this connects to both a base unit and an app on your smartphone, meaning you can monitor the information from your phone. The app, Sense-U Baby, is free to download. 

The monitor will alert you to temperature changes - you can preset a range and be alerted if the temperature goes outside of that range; abdominal movements to alert you to weak breathing or a stop in breathing; plus information such as when baby is wriggling, or rolls on to their front; one reviewer said: "This little smart baby monitoring device has become an indispensable part of my parenting journey. Its reliability, ease of use, and cutting-edge features have provided me with the peace of mind I need as a parent. While the initial investment might seem a bit steep, the value it brings to my daily life is immeasurable. If you’re a parent looking to enhance the safety and care of your baby, I wholeheartedly recommend giving this device a try."

Pros

  • Alerts you if baby rolls on to their front 
  • Tracks breathing, temperature and movement 
  • Works with a smartphone app so you can see data anywhere 

Cons

  • Some parents mentioned the app could do with some work
Video:No
Two-way talk:No
Night vision:N/A
Sound alerts:Yes
Motion alerts:No
App control:Yes
Screen size:N/A

Do I need a baby breathing monitor?

While they're not compulsory, they can offer reassurance to parents that your baby is safe while they are asleep. If you already have a baby monitor, it's worth checking the features to see if it does have additional accessories that help to monitor baby's breathing.

If you are looking at some temporary reassurance, it could be worth buying a clip monitor alongside a more affordable baby monitor.

Are breathing monitors safe to use?

Breathing monitors are safe to use when used following the instructions of the product. According to the Lullaby Trust however, there is no research evidence to prove that movement monitors prevent SIDS, so they won't make their sleep environment any safer.

Do breathing monitors prevent SIDS?

According to the Lullaby Trust, there is no research evidence that breathing monitors can prevent SIDS. It does however, offer reassurance that you will be alerted if your baby was to stop moving or breathing.

Some benefits of using a monitor to track your baby's breathing is that they also offer additional tracking features. Some will monitor your baby's temperature and their sleep positions too.

What is the NHS approved breathing monitor?

While all these baby breathing monitors can help put your mind at ease, it's worth noting that the Snuza is not only endorsed by The Lullaby Trust, but it's also medically certified. This partnership focusses on supporting bereaved parents who have gone on to have another baby to provide them with some comfort in those first few months.

Samantha Ball is a Product & Lifestyle Writer for Mother&Baby and freelanced for the website for two years before joining the team full time. She's a mum of two and loves browsing for the best products and cute outfits.

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