6 Best Baby Heart Rate Monitors

There’s one thing on every new parent’s mind when they hold that precious bundle in their arms for the first time. They all look at those tiny fingers and squinty eyes and think, “I will protect you, no matter what.”

It’s only natural to do everything in our power as parents to keep our children safe, and this is a particular worry when they are first born.

The Statistics for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome aren’t pretty, but we do need to know them. Safe sleep guidelines are there to help keep our little ones safe and protect them from SIDS, but still, it can be a worry.

The anxiety around SIDS has created an opportunity for companies such as Angelcare and Owlet who create monitoring technology that will alert the parent to any dangerous readings from the baby while they sleep.

There are baby movement monitors that detect if Baby stops regular movement like breathing for 20 seconds. This protects against a parent’s worst nightmare, that their baby stops breathing, and they don’t know it’s happening because they are asleep themselves.

There are also other devices that help to protect your baby while they are asleep. Let’s go through the pros and cons of some of these devices, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not one of them would help you get a more restful night’s sleep.

OUR TOP PICK

Owlet Smart Sock 3 - Baby Monitor - Track Heart Rate, Oxygen and Sleep Trends (0 - 18 Months) - Mint Green

The Owlet smart sock has received some very prestigious awards to date. It won silver status in the innovation of the year category of the Mother & Baby awards, Platinum in the Loved By Parents Awards, and Gold in the Dadsnet Awards.

Those are some impressive pedigrees, but what does a smart sock do? Wash itself, then magnetically pair up with the other matching sock when dry? Well, no.

The smart sock is designed to be worn by the baby when it is asleep. It then tracks their heart rate and blood oxygen level.

If either of these readings falls below the safe line, then it sends an immediate notification to your smartphone, so you can go and check on them.

The idea of this is to be able to know if anything is blocking your baby’s airways or preventing normal breathing before it has a fatal effect.

Pros

  • Tracks heart rate and blood oxygen levels via the smart sock.
  • The smart sock works in conjunction with the Owlet app on your smartphone.
  • The sock fits most infants from birth to 18 months.
  • The sock comes in several attractive colours.
  • The app also tracks sleep trends, so you can see your baby’s sleep quality.
  • Wireless charging with the “drop-and-go” charging base station.
  • 16-hour battery life is a plus.
  • Provides a left and right sock in each size.

Cons

  • Fully charged in 90 minutes sounds great if you’re well-prepared and always remember to put it on charge between naps, but new parents are notoriously disorganised because of chaos caused by their new, demanding infant. 90 minutes is a long time to wait if you forgot to charge it and the baby is tired now.
  • Price: This product will seem very dear if you’re used to traditional audio monitors, but you can’t put a price on your peace of mind.
  • No visual or audio monitoring is included. It can be reassuring to see or hear your baby through the night, but this package doesn’t include a camera or audio monitor. 

EDITORS CHOICE

Owlet Duo - Cam and Smart Sock 3 - Baby Monitor with HD Video Camera - Night Vision and Audio - Track Heart Rate, Oxygen and Sleep Trends (0 - 18 months) - Mint Green

The Owlet Duo has everything that the Smart Sock 3 pack includes but with the addition of a camera unit, so you can see and hear your baby through the night.

This is helpful if you want to be able to listen out for cries as well as be notified of potential dangers. 

The Smart sock alone doesn’t tell you when your baby is awake until you analyse the data later. It would be good to know when they are awake during the night and check on their sleep positions too.

For even closer monitoring and a more comprehensive system, the Owlet Duo is pretty perfect. That is, if you don’t mind the price.

Pros

  • Tracks heart rate and blood oxygen levels via the smart sock.
  • The smart sock works in conjunction with the Owlet app on your smartphone.
  • The sock fits most infants from birth to 18 months.
  • The sock comes in several colours.
  • The app also tracks sleep trends, so you can analyse your baby’s sleep quality.
  • Wireless charging with the “drop-and-go” charging base station.
  • 16-hour battery life is a plus.
  • Provides a left and right sock in each size.
  • Includes a night vision enabled camera feed to your device or phone.
  • Room temperature monitor, two-way talkback and sound/motion notification help to comfort you and your baby.

Cons

  • Fully charged in 90 minutes: 90 minutes is a long time to wait if you forgot to charge it and the baby is tired now. 
  • Price: This product is expensive for a video baby monitor, but not more expensive than other alike movement or heart rate trackers.

BEST VALUE

Owlet Duo Plus - Cam and Smart Sock 3 - Baby Monitor with HD Video Camera - Night Vision and Audio - Track Heart Rate, Oxygen and Sleep Trends (0 - 5 years) - Mint Green

If you’ve got even more cash to burn, you could upgrade to Owlet’s most premium baby heart rate monitor, which enables heart rate monitoring up to 5 years old.

This may not be for everyone, but if your child has respiratory problems, this can be a real help to parents. 

While most five-year-olds probably won’t require such close monitoring, some who struggle with underlying health difficulties may benefit from the added observation.

So what’s different to the more basic models?

Pros

  • All the features of the Smart Sock 3 are included.
  • Expanded sizes mean that the socks will fit children from birth to 5 years old.
  • Includes video and audio monitor too which features room temperature readings, two-way talk, night vision, and wide-angled view.

Cons

  • Price: The Owlet Duo Plus is a premium product with a premium price tag. 

RUNNER UP

Multi-function Baby Monitor, Wellue Heart Rate & Oxygen Monitor with Base Station, Body Movement with Alarm, Export Report via PDF or CSV for Baby Children

This is a similar product to the Owlet items. It is a sort of foot harness with a small heart rate monitor that sits in a pouch next to the skin. This records the baby’s heart rate, oxygen levels and sleep motion.

The main difference between this product and the owlet versions is that the Wellue monitor comes with a parent unit.

They call it a base unit, but the point is that in addition to being able to link the device to your smartphone to monitor trends in sleep patterns and see live results, the monitor also transmits to a remote unit with a small screen.

It communicates Baby’s pulse rate, blood oxygen data and the battery level of the base unit. That is a handy thing to have by your bed, so you can see all is well if you wake in the night.

Pros

  • Monitors Baby’s heart rate, blood oxygen level and movement.
  • Notifies your phone and the base unit if levels fall below normal.
  • Soft wrap design means comfortable wearing for infants from 0-3 years.
  • Free App and data reports to your IOS/Android/PC/Mac device.
  • Competitive price. This is priced more or less to match the Owlet smart sock.
  • Comes with spare soft straps for the device.

Cons

  • No visual or audio monitoring - this is the heart rate and movement sensor only, so it won’t alert you to sounds in the baby’s room or notify you when they wake.
  • A small wire in the foot sensor might worry some parents that things can become unplugged or pulled. The cord is not long enough to pose a strangulation risk.

RUNNER UP

Bluebell Baby Monitor – the ultimate smart monitor designed by UK doctors. 7-in-1 includes sensor, hub and app

This is a clip-on sensor with monitors your baby’s breathing, movement and body temperature. It sends alerts to your phone when your baby needs your assistance.

The device is water-resistant, although we don’t recommend putting it through the washing machine, even by accident.

The accompanying app is camera monitor compatible. While the pack does not include a visual or audio monitor, you can add one to the existing app if you felt you want one in addition to the Bluebell monitor.

This device comes with a wireless parent wrist strap which can let you know while you’re out and about how Baby is doing at home.

This can help give you peace of mind if you work away from home and leave your baby in the care of others. This can be a source of anxiety, but you can check on the current readings without the internet from the wristband.

Pros

  • Monitors Baby’s breathing, movements and body temperature.
  • Notifies your phone and the base unit if levels fall below normal.
  • Includes lullabies, white noise, two-way audio and handy nightlight.
  • Free App helps you to gain insights into your baby’s natural routine.
  • A parent wristband can be added to the 7-in-1 model or is included in the V1 version. This means you can keep an eye on your baby’s readings when away from home. 
  • Not only does it track the baby’s skin temperature, but it also shows the room temperature, so you know if the air temperature in Baby’s room is too low or too high.
  • Baby position tracker shows if they have rolled onto their tummy.

Cons

  • No visual monitoring - this is a breathing and movement sensor with audio, so you cannot see the baby. A camera can be added with little difficulty, though.
  • The clip attaches to clothing, which can easily be forgotten about or left on while the clothes go through the laundry. 

RUNNER UP

Bluebell Baby Monitor – the ultimate smart monitor designed by UK doctors. 9-in-1 Ultimate includes sensor, hub, app, HD cam and wristband

This version of the Clip-on style monitor includes a sensor, parent unit, smartphone App access, a camera, and a parent wristband. This gives you a complete picture of your child’s wellbeing from home or work. 

The camera feeds to your smartphone via an App, while audio and breathing/movement/temperature data is fed to both the parent unit and the App.

You can also track Baby’s health data via the parent’s wristband without needing to be in close proximity to home.

The camera means you can see what your little one is up to from your device, at any time of the day or night, with effective night vision and 180-degree view.

Pros

  • Monitors Baby’s breathing, movements and body temperature. While this is not technically a heart rate monitor, it does the same sort of thing by alerting you to any changes in the baby’s breathing pattern.
  • Notifies your phone and the base unit if levels fall below normal.
  • Includes lullabies, white noise, two-way audio and handy nightlight.
  • Free App helps you to gain insights and develop your baby’s routine.
  • The parent wristband allows you to monitor your baby’s health data from anywhere without the need to be connected to Wi-Fi.
  • Not only does it track the baby’s skin temperature, but it also shows the room temperature, so you know if the air temperature in Baby’s room is too low or too high.
  • Baby position tracker shows if they have rolled onto their tummy.

Cons

  • Price: This is slightly more expensive than similar Owlet items.
  • The clip attaches to clothing, which can easily be forgotten about or lost in the laundry basket.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Baby Monitor

6 Best Baby Heart Rate Monitors

When considering which type of baby monitor to buy, you’ll need to consider your budget and whether you need visual monitoring as well as audio and heart rate or movement tracking.

Some parents prefer a mat-type movement sensor that goes under the baby’s mattress, such as the Babysense 7 or the classic Angelcare products. 

These types of detectors don’t mean putting an electrical device next to your baby’s skin. Then again, they do not alert you of any cries.

They are purely breathing detection devices, so you may need an additional type of monitoring device such as an audio or video monitor, so you know when you need to get up for feeding and changing (or when to kick your partner).

You will also need to balance the price of the product against how long you think you’ll be using it for. It’s not cost-effective to spend a lot of money on a product that will only be used for six months or so. 

As the baby gets older and develops greater control over their limbs and neck, their risk of SIDS decreases. 

While these items can be pricey, there is nothing more precious than your confidence in Baby’s wellbeing and if you’re about to be a new parent, you’ll soon find out that there’s little you won’t give for a good night’s sleep.