Do you need a wearable monitor for your baby?

Do you need a wearable monitor for your baby?

As a parent-to-be, one of the most exciting parts of preparing a home for a baby is creating a registry. From hair bows to strollers to cribs, the list of items can be long. Wearable monitors have become a popular item on registries. These devices claim to monitor oxygen levels, heart rate, or sleep to detect potential health issues.

As a new parent, these devices may offer some peace of mind, but are they necessary?

“Many parents buy these monitors for peace of mind, but home cardiorespiratory monitoring has not been proven to prevent sudden unexpected deaths in infants (SIDS/SUID),” says Dr. Christina Swanson, a pediatrician at Advocate Children’s Medical Group in Libertyville, Ill. “In addition, the accuracy of these monitors has not been verified by outside institutions and false alarms can lead to unnecessary emergency department visits and testing.”

Dr. Swanson also notes that monitoring is not recommended in healthy infants. It may be warranted in children who are high risk due to prematurity, technology dependence or severe cardiorespiratory disease. However, this need should be determined by the child’s doctor.

If a parent uses a wearable monitor, Dr. Swanson says it should not be a replacement for safe sleeping practices that decrease the risk of sudden infant deaths such as:

  • Supine positioning
  • Use of a firm sleep surface/avoidance of soft bedding
  • Breastfeeding
  • Room sharing without bedsharing
  • Routine immunization
  • Consideration of a pacifier
  • Avoidance of overheating and exposure to tobacco smoke

If a device does alert, Dr. Swanson says parents should take time to observe their baby and call their doctor with any concerns before heading to the emergency department.

Are you trying to find a pediatrician? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin. 

Related Posts


Subscribe to health enews newsletter

About the Author

health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.