Keeping an eye on your little one—whether they’re in or out of the womb—is essential for safeguarding their health.
Monitoring a baby’s movement and breathing is among the most important things a parent can do, both before and after birth. In addition to spotting potential health problems, this may also go some way in preventing stillbirths and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
During pregnancy, it is important for mothers to observe the movement of their developing baby. Usually, movement will start occurring between weeks 16 and 20 of the gestational period and last up until—and during—labour. Such movements may be felt as a swish, roll or kick. It’s usual for these movements to intensify and become more frequent up until week 32; after that time, it’s normal for them to remain constant. Mothers should always report any changes in the pattern of movement to their midwife as it may be a sign that the baby is unwell.
After birth, there are countless options for parents who wish to monitor their baby’s breathing and movement during every stage of early childhood. These mainly come in the form of tech gadgets and products. Consumers will be able to choose from clip-on monitors, breathing trackers compatible with iOS and Android devices, ‘smart’ clothing able to monitor heart rate, oxygen levels and body temperature and bio-sensor onesies. When they are old enough to sleep in their own room, parents may also decide to install electronic monitors in the baby’s room that will be able to detect movement as well as sound for greater peace of mind. These gadgets work by sounding an alarm when such activity isn’t detected.
Investing in baby monitoring devices may be needed if your baby was born premature. This is because they might have irregular breathing patterns compared to a baby born at full term. Bereaved parents who have lost a child due to SIDS may also find the use of a monitor reassuring, especially during the night.