Not All Smart Baby Monitors are Created Equal: A Pediatrician’s Perspective
Today’s baby monitors have changed the way parents tend to their children. They have extended our eyes and ears beyond the nursery, and now, beyond what we are natively able to detect. Newer versions of more advanced smart baby monitor can measure vital signs such as heart rate, oxygen levels, and breathing. But not all monitors are created equal, and it’s important to know as a parent that you’re paying for quality, reliability and safety.
Why parents want a smart baby monitor
Let’s face it, a sleeping baby is the most beautiful thing to watch as a parent. While the days of sneaking or crawling into a baby’s room to make sure they are safe might be waning, checking in on your little one will never fade. Parents need what is best for their baby, starting when they’re in the womb until the day they can no longer tend to their children. We instinctively want them to be safe, healthy and happy, and monitors help parents be present, available and reassured.
Why pediatricians hate them
As a pediatrician in practice for almost 20 years, I can attest to the fact that, in general, pediatricians dislike these new-generation baby monitors that measure vital signs for several, valid reasons. Up until now most have been unreliable, producing lots of false alarms, with many contact lead issues (babies wiggle a lot!) and unnecessary visits to the ER. This includes hospital grade monitors as well. But luckily, technology has caught up dramatically to parental needs in the past decade, and I now feel much better about the practicality of some monitors.
Let’s back up and talk about what’s important to measure. Newer smart baby monitors measure different vital signs— some measure heart rate, others monitor oxygen levels. Personally, I would choose one that measures breathing, and here’s why. Normal respiratory rates in newborns and infants range anywhere from 30-60 rpm (respirations per minute) while awake, and between 20-40 rpm while asleep. Respiratory rate is an important vital sign in infants and children because changes in respiratory rate can often be a first indicator of apnea and many other concerns. Measuring breathing in contrast to many other vital signs, allows a baby monitor to be useful later on, helping you make decisions about your child well into childhood.
I’ll be honest, until recently, I was one of those skeptical pediatricians who thought smart baby monitors were a waste of money and created more anxiety than reassurance for parents. But then I met with the Miku team. The technology, testing, and overall philosophy convinced me otherwise and made me a believer of this spectacular device! Let’s discuss why it sold me.
Miku Smart Baby Monitor is the most sophisticated and technologically advanced monitor on the market. Its SensorFusion technology, Qualcomm processor and HD night vision optics deliver clear, immediate and understandable results. And Miku requires no belts, clips or socks of any kind. Nothing in contact with your baby. How cool and soothing is this as a parent? Their local-processing approach decreases lag time to give you real-time breathing waves and, in the end, sleep tracking as well. Other monitors on the market send their signals to a cloud and then back to the smartphone, creating lag time and potential security problems—and if you’re tracking a breath, this can be a serious issue. Miku provides higher real-time accuracy, period.
The mom in me loves the high-def speakers playing custom sleep sounds and the two-way talk, and the pragmatist side of me knows the temperature and humidity sensors can really help parents understand the daily conditions of the nursery to adjust accordingly.
Those detailed sleep analytics provided in the easy-to-use app help to see your baby’s quality and consistency of sleep. One of my favorite features as a working mom is having the ability to connect with and see your baby where ever you get an internet signal.
As a doctor and a scientist, this is probably most important to me. Miku has been extensively tested not just in homes, but in a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) against medical grade equipment with excellent results and the highest degree of reliability. Miku has gone above and beyond what the standard of testing requires for a consumer product, and as a pediatrician and parent, this means the world to me regarding safety, reliability and reassurance.
Miku is focused on raising parental awareness. They aim to help parents establish a safe and ideal sleeping environment from infancy through childhood. Research has shown time and time again how important healthy sleep is to developing brains and to the overall health of people of all ages, therefore Miku allows parents to support early healthy sleeping patterns that endure.
Miku also believes that knowledge is power, and as a parent, knowing your baby’s normal breathing patterns, sleep cycles and nursery conditions will empower you to seek medical advice when things don’t look right. It also gives you the comfort of knowing your baby is immediately ok and provides the data to spot ongoing events and patterns.
I hope to have shed some light on the subject of measuring breathing as an important tool for you in your quest to keep your child safe and healthy. I also hope my belief that the Miku Smart Baby Monitor can serve as an ally and resource to you by helping to provide your child with safe, quality sleep now and for the developmental years ahead.
Jacqueline Winkelmann, MD, FAAP (Doctor Jacq)
Board-Certified Pediatrician and Former Chief-of-Staff
CHOC Children’s and CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital
Chairman, Medical Advisory Board, Miku