We left the hospital on May 17 but found ourselves right back in it one week later. Elinor had struggled to breathe and was continuously making a sound that sounded like a puppy barking.
Her blood oxygen levels were consistently low (79%-86%), and was hospitalized as a direct result. Our doctors ran an intense amount of tests. We ended being sent home with orders to watch her, use our instincts, and report back for more tests several times over six weeks. Yet, how do you watch an infant without not sleeping?
We were sent home from the hospital with a downright awful oxygen monitor that constantly went off. Our doctors ultimately advised us to stop using the monitor because, in our case, well-rested parents are better for babies than even a monitor, but what if we could have both?
Only a couple of days after we got home, Smart Beat Reached out and asked if we would be interested in reviewing their video-based baby and breathing monitor.
Smart Beat Review
The exciting thing about this product is that it uses video and infrared technology to detect breathing rates–it doesn’t attach directly to your infant, which is where I find that most breathing/blood oxygen monitors fall short. When the monitor attaches to your baby, it can get kicked off or trigger false alarms so incredibly easy. In our time with using Smart Beat, I haven’t had a false alarm–not once. The monitor isn’t overactive in that when you get an alert, you genuinely know it’s serious and not a false alarm. I hooked up my daughter’s blood oxygen monitor while she was using the video monitor, and you guys, it works. When her breathing slowed, which it did in the beginning, the monitor sent me an immediate alert to my phone.
It can also tell when her breathing changed, in that, when she wakes up, it sends an alert to me. I love that I don’t feel like I have to be staring at the monitor or listening like a crazy lady to know when she started stirring. It alerts me before she even had time to fuss, which makes it so I can grab her before she wakes my four-year-old.
I love that I can control the camera’s angle from my phone. The corresponding app (which works with your smartphone) has a nightstand mode so I can use it as a video monitor through the night.
Smart Beat’s customer service is incredible. They helped me get it hooked up and running when I ran into an issue that was honestly mostly user error. The monitoring system is only available to me and runs through my network, which is inaccessible to anyone but my family and me. You attach the camera to the wall using unique Command strips, which means this is perfect for renters. The Command strips are strong enough that the monitor is not going to fall on your baby, but they also allow you to move the monitor quickly if you so choose. The instructions also explain how to run the power cord (and use their non-damaging cord guide) in a way that will keep your baby safe.
The only drawbacks to this product are that initially, it can be a bit tricky to place, which is why it’s essential to read the instructions. You need it closer to your baby than you would think. Again, I stress that customer service can help you figure this out. Next, if your phone dies, your access to the monitor dies, too–unless, you have a second device that you can sync. Personally, if my phone’s battery is low, and I’m unable to plug it in, I use my iPad. I know that not everyone has multiple devices, so this is a point to keep in mind if you’re like me and consistently find yourself with a drained phone battery. Finally, this is not a cheaply made product, so it does require an investment mentality.
While, yes, this is an investment product, I know that this product is something that I’ll use for years. It gives me the peace of mind that I need for me to transfer to her room (eventually) confidently. In comparison to other monitors, I highly recommend Smart Beat. As a parent, we all worry. We all find ourselves checking to make sure the baby is breathing–this device does it for you. I definitely recommend Smart Beat.