For the last several weeks, I have had the privilege of product testing an absolutely amazing baby monitor. The BabySense7 Under-the-Mattress Monitor is a device that is placed under the mattress of your infant’s crib and detects the micro-movements of your baby as they sleep through the day and night.
When my first baby was about three months old, we had a dear friend lose her baby—also three months old—to SIDS. Before this I had worked hard to get her sleeping all the way through the night, which at the time was so desperately needed. Watching my friends grieve over the loss of their sleeping baby opened my eyes to the reality that I could easily lose my daughter during the very thing I worked so hard to attain: sleep! When my second baby was born and started sleeping through the night very early on, I had a hard time taking advantage of the long stretches of sleep. I woke up frequently to check on my son, even though I knew he was healthy and happy. Even when I did sleep, I wasn’t getting quality nights as I would wake up so eager to check on my son in the morning.
The BabySense7 Monitor has completely changed all of that. The monitor is made up of a control unit and two disc-shaped sensors that sit underneath the mattress in the crib. The sensors detect micro-movements as small as a baby’s finger twitching or breathing and send those to the control unit. If there is no movement detected for 20 seconds or if the micro-movements slow to ten-or-fewer in one minute, the control unit sets off an alarm alerting both baby and parent. The unit retails for $129.99 on Amazon and has an average star rating of 4.4/5.
The reviews were mixed, which worried me initially. There were several cases of false alarms. Having a baby that has been sleeping 12 hours through the night consistently for months made me a bit wary of changing anything up. I was nervous to try the unit in case it did set up a false alarm and wake my sleeping baby. After using the product for three weeks I had absolutely no false alarms and have been sleeping peacefully at night knowing my son is safe and that I will be alerted in time if he is not. There were several other Amazon reviews claiming that the product saved the lives of customers’ children when they stopped breathing. I would say that any parent would take the off chance of a few false alarms if it meant they could reduce the chance of losing their baby.
My only negative comments about the system as a whole is that it is more particular than I thought it would be about the type of crib mattresses it works with. The ideal crib is a wooden base crib with a standard spring crib mattress. Any foam mattresses will not transmit movement enough, and if you have a somewhat older crib with springs as the base instead of wood slats, there is an extra step that involves cutting plywood squares and placing them particularly in the crib. I do have a spring crib and had to follow these steps, and while they weren’t overly exhausting, they were a minor inconvenience as I had to wait a few days to put up the monitor after receiving it in the mail.
My other complaint is in the sensitivity of the sensors. If a fan (ceiling or otherwise) is blowing directly towards the crib, the air movement can be registered as micro-movements, meaning your baby could stop breathing or even be taken out of the crib without the alarm sounding. We resolved this issue by pointing our fan toward the door of the nursery, since we primarily use it for white noise; however, come the hotter summer months we may have to figure out a different solution. That being said, the nature of the product is to be overly sensitive to movement, and I find more comfort knowing that it really is that good at detecting baby’s breathing. Adjusting a fan is yet again a minor inconvenience when the safety of my baby is the reward on the other side.
All-in-all, I am so pleased with this monitor and highly recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable, non-contact baby monitor to give them peace of mind and restful nights’ sleep. I am eager to use it when our third baby arrives this winter during the newborn stage when sleep is so much more precious!