I wish I could tell you that it’s easy to tuck in your baby, turn off the lights in their room, walk back to your bedroom, and sleep peacefully until you hear them cry.
Knowing so well that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a common terror that you’ll have to grapple with, you’ll want to know if your baby is still moving, if they are still breathing, if they are still alive, if those movements are regular and consistent.
You do have the option of making several trips to their room to confirm if they are okay. But you would end up waking up a sleeping baby for no reason.
The best thing you can do is to invest in a baby movement monitor that does the job right.
Since your main goal is to monitor your child’s movements, especially during the night, this guide will focus only on baby monitors designed to monitor movements in the nursery.
- 1 Our Top Recommendation
- 2 What to Look for When Buying a Baby Movement Monitor
- 3 The Best Baby Movement Monitors of 2021
- 3.1 1. New Babysense 7 Non-contact Infant Monitor
- 3.2 2. Angelcare AC701 Touchscreen Movement and Sound Monitor
- 3.3 3. Snuza Hero SE
- 3.4 4. Angelcare AC403
- 3.5 5. Snuza Go
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Our Top Recommendation
The New Babysense 7 may not have a parent unit, but it’s the best baby movement monitor with the highest level of accuracy and sensitivity.
Since it doesn’t give false alarms, going off only when it really should, you can sleep peacefully knowing that your bouncing baby is safe in their crib.
It takes only a few minutes to setup this unit in the baby’s room. You place the two sensor pads under the mattress and then hook the control unit on the front of the crib.
With no exposed wires for a child to grab, because they all go under the mattress where one can hardly see anyway, you don’t have to worry about possible child strangulation.
The working concept of Babysense 7 is quite straightforward, too. The control unit has a built-in alarm that’s set to go off loudly if a child doesn’t make any movement within 20 seconds.
With its high level of sensitivity, this unit helps you to react quickly in moments when your child stops to breathe. It’s definitely a lifesaver.
What to Look for When Buying a Baby Movement Monitor
So, how exactly do you choose one that works well and doesn’t suck at any one point in time? Below is a comprehensive buyer’s guide on the same.
1. Determine the Type of Movement Monitor that Best Suits You
There are two types of movement monitors and their working concept is pretty much the same.
Since the two devices monitor whether your child’s body moves during sleep or not, what you choose to buy eventually comes down to your personal goals.
Sensor pads are the most reliable options to choose and they are quite good for home use.
Once you install them properly under a crib’s mattress, these units can detect even the slightest movement that a child makes.
If a child’ movement stops for about 20 seconds, an alarm will go off to signify that the baby needs helps.
It’s important to keep in mind that these sensor pads aren’t good for travel. And you cannot use them in most hotel rooms because they are not compatible with memory foam mattresses.
Wearables are another option that you can go for, especially because they don’t require so much workaround.
You just have to attach them on your baby’s clothing, diaper, or foot. They vary in size depending on the model.
But since they can easily detach and lose contact with the baby, they are quite unreliable and more likely subject to false alarms.
2. Determine if You Need a Parent Unit
Almost 95% of movement monitors have alarms integrated on the sensor pads or attached to the nursery unit.
The built-in alarms on this should still go off loudly, so you should get the alert on time if something is wrong with your child.
If you know you’ll have difficulties in hearing the alarm go off, especially if you are a heavy sleeper, you may need to change rooms so that you are within a hearing distance.
Even then, both you and your partners can’t miss to hear the alarm going off if there is a problem in the baby’s room.
A few movement monitors come with parent units. Others fall in our list of the best long distance baby monitors, allowing you to move further away from the baby’s room and still get an alert if their movements stop.
There is also an option that’s compatible with smartphones and it lets you receive an alert via an app.
3. Determine if the Unit is Easy to Use
Depending on the type of unit you choose, you will need to do some workaround to get things working well for you.
Sensor pads are actually very easy to use, but the initial setup can be quite challenging.
Wearables, on the other hand, may be somewhat tiring to handle, especially because you have to take them off your baby and put them back on every time you want to bathe them or change their diaper.
Whatever the case, it is best to read the manual of the unit to determine how easy or difficult it might be to use. I’d recommend doing this before you buy the device.
4. Don’t Compromise on Reliability
It’s unfortunate that not all units are as reliable as parents would wish them to be. This explains why a majority are subject to false alarm.
If you think about it, false alarms are quite pathetic and traumatizing.
They can make you go insane, leave you with more questions about your child than you can find the answers, and even subject you to depression and anxiety.
So when shopping for this kind of a unit, be careful to choose a gadget that’s more reliable and subject to zero false alarms or just a few if any.
Now, wearable monitors aren’t bad to use. But they can be quite unreliable when a baby becomes mobile.
As babies begin to move their body during sleep, the wearable might become loose and detach from the baby’s body.
Before you know it, the alarm goes off and before you know it, you are in your baby’s room when you really shouldn’t be.
Sensor pads, on the other hand, aren’t subject to false alarms. That’s because they work well.
It does not matter of your child is calm, stationery, or mobile.
Since they are placed under the mattress, they can detect motion in the entire crib and then only go off if your child actually stops moving. As such, they are the most reliable units that you should buy for your little one.
The Best Baby Movement Monitors of 2021
It requires some initial setup.
But once it’s properly placed under the mattress, it works well straight out of the box.
And it works so well that you never have to worry about irregularity in its functionality.
To begin with, the New Babysense 7 features two sensor pads and a crib alarm. I’d like to assume that one pad would work just well if fitted properly.
But having the two is a big deal because it increases the accuracy of the unity no matter your baby’s location on the mattress.
The control unit attached to the crib receives data from the two pads whenever necessary. That’s to mean that you should turn the monitor off when it is not in use, otherwise it will go off when it shouldn’t.
When your baby is peacefully sleeping in the crib, the sensor pads will detect if the child is moving or otherwise.
If it doesn’t detect movement for 20 seconds, the alarm will go off to alert you that your little boy or girl might be in trouble.
The New Babysense 7 does not register any EMF. Of course, there are no solid conclusions on whether electromagnetic fields can affect your baby’s growth.
But since it’s better to be safe than sorry, Babysense 7 is an ideal option as it doesn’t expose your little one to any electromagnetic radiation.
What We Like
- It has two sensor pads that enhance accuracy in tracking
- Takes a few minutes to set up
- The unit is very easy to use
- It doesn’t register any EMF
- The pads are under the mattress, so there’s nothing to wear
What We Don’t Like
- The crib alarm can upset a peacefully sleeping child
- It doesn’t have a parent unit
- Not good enough for parents that love traveling
Angelcare AC701 takes credit for being a reliable unit that gives real results.
It might be subject to a few false alarms, but such cases are often very rare.
Unlike the New Babysense 7, this unit has only one sensor pad that goes under the mattress.
It’s best to place it under the middle of the crib for the best results.
I’d like to think that the sensor pad has a decent size, so it should feel your baby’s movements without any irregularities.
Like Babysense 7, the alarm of this unit will go off if the sensor pad doesn’t detect movement in the crib for 20 seconds.
This unit features a nursery and a parent unit.
Equipped with a 1.8GHz digital transmission with an integrated FHHS technology, this nursery unit is one of the most secure units for baby monitor.
The Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum encrypts sound signal end to end, making it difficult for hackers to decrypt the data.
You can read more about baby monitor hacking here.
Now, with the enhanced privacy and guaranteed safety, you can be sure that no one else can hear your little one but you.
The parent is also handy as it connects you with your baby at any time of the day. Since the unit covers a diverse area, about 880 feet in effective operation range in open field, you can use the PU from anywhere around the house.
The two-way communication lets you sooth and talk to your child when you are out of their room.
The temperature indicator will beep if the heat in your baby’s room is too high or too low.
And the ECO and VOX mode are quite handy when you need to extend the battery life of the parent unit.
What We Like
- The touchscreen feature makes it easy and convenient to use
- The battery can last up to 16 hours on a single charge
- You get accurate results; there’s hardly ever a false alarm
- There is an out-of-range indicator
What We Don’t Like
- This product is quite expensive
- The sound quality isn’t really up to par
It is one of the simplest units ever built for moms and dads.
It’s lightweight and portable, a good option to bring with you when traveling to different destinations.
Snuza Hero SE is the only unit that has an arousing effect. And it can detect even the slightest abdominal movement that a baby makes.
You get an alert if your baby’s tummy movement is weak. You also get a notification if they make less than 8 movements per minute.
If this movement baby monitor does not detect tummy movement for 15 seconds, it will vibrate to rouse your child and then switch back to monitoring mode.
If the unit does not detect motion after the third vibration and arousing attempt, you will get rouse alert.
The monitor will then wait for another 5 second, after which the alarm will sound to notify you that the baby is not moving.
One of the things I love about Snuza Hero SE is how easy the device is to use. The battery comes charged, so you just have to clip the unit on your baby�?s diaper and then start monitoring their movements.
As good as this baby monitor is, it does have a number of shortcomings that affect its performance.
It doesn’t have a parent unit. So if you choose to use it, you will need to be close enough to the baby to hear the alarm go off. This unit is less than ideal for mobile babies.
If your child moves, crawl, or roll over a lot in the crib, the unit can detach itself from the diaper and cause false alarms. This can be quite frustrating, especially for paranoid parents.
What We Like
- The vibration is strong enough to rouse your baby
- It lightweight, small in size, hence portable
- It is easy to use
What We Don’t Like
- Clipping the unit on diaper every now and then can be quite frustrating for some parents
- It doesn’t have a parent unit
Angelcare AC403 was designed for the peace of your mind.
It gives you the assurance that your young one is safe so that you can sleep without worrying a lot.
With this unit in place, making frequent visits to a child’s room isn’t necessary.
For the price, you get just one sensor pad and you cannot buy an additional sensor even if you are willing to spend extra.
For the most part, the one sensor should be enough.
Since it goes under the crib’s mattress, it is highly unlikely for the sensor to lose contact with the baby. As such, the unit is reliable and not subject to false alarm.
This device works 24 hours a day to sense every single move that your little one makes.
If it doesn’t detect movement for 20 seconds in a row, the integrated alarm will go off to alert you that something is wrong with the child.
Angelcare AC430 may not be good enough if you have a child that rolls in the crib quite often.
That’s because it has just one sensor.
If the baby rolls away from it, the unit loses contact with their body. This could lead to false alarm and lead to unexpected panic.
So if you have a baby that rolls a lot in the crib, you should consider buying the New Babysense 7 non-contact device instead.
This unit requires a hard surface to work well. So if your child’s crib has a hollow core or memory foam mattress, this may not give you the kind of results that you are looking for. This is something you want to keep in mind when buying a mattress.
You can also opt to purchase Angelcare Wooden Board for Monitors to use with the unit. It is a good option that solves the hard surface issue.
Like Angelcare AC701, this unit also has a dedicated parent unit. This gives you the ability to keep in touch with your baby from anywhere around the house, provided you don’t exceed an effective operation range of 820 feet.
What We Like
- You can easily adjust the sensitivity of the device
- This unit can also monitor sound
- The parent unit connects with your child from anywhere around the house
- It’s more reliable than wearable units
What We Don’t Like
- It is not portable and therefore not good for travel
- The one sensor pad may not be sufficient for a baby that rolls too often
- Requires a hard surface and won’t work with memory foam mattresses found in most hotels
5. Snuza Go
This device is a good option for traveling, especially because it is lightweight and easily portable.
Unlike the New Babysense 7, Snuza Go does not require an initial crib setup or device modification.
It’s ready to use straight out of the box.
The working concept of this unit is the same as that of Snuza Hero SE.
It features a soft and flexible sensor that detects movement and sounds an alarm in the crib if it doesn’t detect motion for 20 seconds.
It is important to note that this device does not come with a parent unit, so you will have to be close enough to your baby’s room to hear the alarm go off.
The only difference between Snuza Go and Snuza Hero SE is that the former does not have the rousing effect, but it still does its job quite well.
It is important to remember that Snuza Go isn’t as reliable as sensor pads for a number of reasons. It can easily detach from the baby’s diaper and lose contact. This is a common scenario if you have a baby that likes to move a lot in the crib.
In the event that the unit detaches itself from the baby’s diaper, it ends up creating a false alarm that might end up making you anxious for no reason.
So if you have a child that rolls and turns a lot in the crib, it is best to consider using a motion sensor pad instead of wearable units.
What We Like
- The unit is easy to use
- It is small, takes up less space, and easily portable
- It is one of the cheapest units out there
What We Don’t Like
- It doesn’t feature a parent unit
- The alarm can sometimes scare your child
- It is not reliable as it is subject to false alarms
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does a Movement Baby Monitor Do?
A baby movement monitor is a unit designed specifically for monitoring the body motion of a child. And the working concept of each gadget in the category is quite simple.
If the unit does not detect movement for a specific timeframe, usually 20 seconds, the built-in alarm goes off loudly to alert a parent that the baby could be in trouble.
The units are neither designed nor priced equal.
And although they all have a similar working concept, some are so advanced that they track more than just movements.
As such, the unit that you choose to use will depend on your personal goal as well as how much you are willing to pay.
Do I Really Need this Kind of a Baby Monitor?
If you are a paranoid parents who can’t stop making trips to the baby’s room to check if they are sleeping peacefully, then you probably should get this kind of a device.
The whole idea of buying the best baby movement monitor isn’t just to minimize the trips you make to your little one’s room but also to give you peace of mind.
A baby monitor of this kind makes it easy for parents to sleep peacefully, especially during the first few months of parenthood.
That’s because if a child’s movement pattern isn’t regular, or if they stop moving altogether, the built-in alert system sounds an alarm immediately.
How Reliable is a Baby Movement Monitor?
While sensor pads and wearable monitors do their job quite well, it is normal to question their effectiveness as well as their reliability.
And that’s okay, because not all of them are as good as tons of sales pitches out there want you to believe.
Although it is okay to buy a wearable unit like Snuza Hero SE and Snuza Go, they aren’t quite reliable because they are susceptible to detachment from the diaper. They work fine on babies that don’t rolls a lot in the crib. But they aren’t the best option for the ones that toss and turn all the time.
Since wearable units are highly likely to detach and lose contact with a child, they are subject to false alarms and could lead to unnecessary panic
Senor pads, on the other hand, are the most reliable units that money can buy.
They go under the mattress. And they detect even the slightest movement that a child makes.
In my opinion, therefore, sensor pads are not subject to false alarm and, as such, they are the most reliable units that money can buy.
Can Audio and Video Baby Monitor Track Movements?
If audio and video baby monitors were good enough to keep you up to date on your little ones body motion, there would be no need for the best baby movement monitor.
The two types of monitoring devices can only do so much.
An audio unit only lets you hear your baby’s sound from their room. And a video unit lets you see them in real time.
But none of these let you know if your little one’s body is actually moving.
Can a Movement Monitor Prevent SIDS?
SIDS is every parent’s nightmare.
Given that it happens in the first few months of a child’s life, nothing could be more sickening and threatening.
Some parents have been made to believe that baby monitors could help with SIDS, but that’s not always the case.
Baby monitors that track movements are great. But they are not medical equipment. And there is no proof that they can save lives.
They’ll provide the peace of mind you need to sleep without worry, but as ABC News puts it, you cannot use a baby monitor to prevent SIDS.