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Baby Sleep Monitor Guide
Baby sleep monitor will help save babies from SIDS. The leading cause of infant death is SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). SIDS mainly affects babies aged between 2 months to 4 months. 90% of attacks occur before six months. SIDS also occurs more frequently in the winter and among Native Americans and African Americans. SIDS happens suddenly without warning and usually while the baby is sleeping.
A baby sleep monitor eases the mind of parents and sounds an alarm when something wrong (such as lack of movement, low oxygen saturation level) is detected. There are different types of baby sleep monitors and they work on different principles. The best measures the baby’s vital signs and the second best detects lack of breathing or movement. A good baby sleep monitor should have the following features:
- Give early warning so parents can help the child
- Collect data to determine early warnings for SIDS
- Reduces the occurrence of false alarms
- Have an adjustable alarm threshold to accommodate individual needs
The first warning signs. The researchers reported that in many cases, the victims had previous periods of apnea that finally led to the fatal event. Later the occurrence of apnea events would give first indications for the possibility of SIDS. These “near misses” can be detected by using a pulse oximeter to measure and record the baby’s blood oxygen levels while they sleep. This information is important to help a parent evaluate the risk of your child.
Baby vital signs sleep monitor
A vital sign sleep monitor tracks heart rate, blood oxygen level (SpO2), or breathing. If abnormal readings persist for more than a certain period of time, the monitor will raise an alarm. This monitoring directly measures the physiological condition of the child and is the key advantage over other methods.
The cause of SIDS has not been decided, although several hypotheses have been disproved. It is now accepted that there are many causes for SIDS. The two main hypotheses being investigated are arrhythmia and apnea.
Apnea causes insufficient oxygen intake, which leads to a low level of oxygen (SpO2) in the blood. For a normal child, SpO2 should be around 96 to 99%. When an apnea occurs, the blood oxygen level will drop by 4+% and stay below 90%. When this happens, it’s a sure sign of trouble. The child must be able to come out of apnea in a short time; otherwise help is needed. A vital sign sleep monitor can monitor the oxygen level and issue an alert.
Researchers have observed that lethal arrhythmias occur during SIDS and suspect that this could be a main cause. However, some (Guntheroth WG.) have suggested that the arrhythmia is not the cause, but rather the result of apnea, which leads to bradycardia. However, measuring heart rate is certainly more useful than measuring oxygen level alone.
Baby movement monitor
The baby’s movement monitor tracks the baby’s movement or breathing. Lack of movement for a specified time interval would cause an alarm. Since the movement is very subtle, the sensor must be sensitive enough to detect the slightest movement and also be smart enough to filter out false alarms. Excessive false alarms would have the effect of crying wolf, which defeats the purpose. Alarm thresholds can be configured in most models.
The sensors are either attached to the child’s body or placed on the mattress. Some models have a video monitor for parents to remotely observe the child.
Video baby monitor
The video camera can broadcast the video throughout the house. Parents can see what the child is doing while watching TV or cooking in the kitchen. Seeing is believing. Video can be reassuring and entertaining.
Baby audio monitor
A microphone can pick up the sound generated by the child. You can hear the sound of the baby – laughing, crying, or talking to yourself. This type of baby monitor is not very helpful with SIDS.
Buy a baby sleep monitor
With the exception of high risk situations, the use of a sleep monitor for the child depends on the parents. If you believe that a baby sleep monitor will help your baby and keep you comfortable, get one. If you want to get a baby sleep monitor, my recommendation is to get one that measures your baby’s vital signs.
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