Baby Monitoring: How Much Is Too Much?

Baby Monitoring: How Much Is Too Much?

Beth Callaghan
Jul 24, 2014

Later this year, the newest generation of baby monitors will be appearing, with capabilities to send all sorts of data directly to your smartphone. My kids are still in elementary school, but the options since they were infants have multiplied exponentially, and show no sign of abating. When, though, do we have enough monitoring, and when is it just too much?

When my kids were infants, your only option was a sound monitor, which we used with both boys. Since then, motion monitors like the Angelcare appeared, which uses an under-the-mattress pad that alerts parents when no movement has been detected for twenty seconds. Then, video monitors became popular, as well as iPhone apps that can serve as baby monitors.

Now, with the impending launch of the Owlet Smart Sock (pictured above, a device that fits on an infant's foot and sends data to your smartphone, including baby's skin temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and alerts when the baby is rolling over), parents can monitor a host of vital signs as well as visual and auditory cues.

At what point, though, is more monitoring too much? I can see using the Owlet for babies with special needs, like preemies or those born with health challenges. But it's certain that there will be a host of parents with healthy, to-term babies who will jump at the chance to have what will likely be dubbed "peace of mind." But is it really peace? With more data, are you only more likely to worry?

Can you have too much of a good thing when it comes to a baby's sleep safety? What kind of monitor did you or would you use in a nursery? Let us know your opinion in the comments.

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