As a first time parents, the rare but real threat of SIDS was always a fear looming over my husband and I both during my pregnancy and the first few months after our daughter was born.
Despite our fear, we were hesitant and reluctant to get a baby movement/breathing monitoring system before our daughter arrived. Some of the products on the market were very expensive costing as much as $349! Some appeared intimidating to use, with numerous parts and pieces or requiring syncing the monitoring device to your smartphone through an app. Some were notorious for technical glitches causing “false alarms” that went off randomly and often. We had even read reviews about one particular monitoring device that caused burns to babies when used! We thought that having a monitoring system would make us worry even more about false alarms and other malfunctions that could potentially harm and injure the baby (this on top of our already existing concerns about SIDS!) so we initially decided against getting a monitoring device.
It was actually not until our daughter was almost six months old that we finally used the Snuza Go Portable Baby Movement Monitor and realized what we missed out on. By then, we knew that our daughter was at an age where the highest risk of SIDS had peaked and passed. However, our daughter also caught her first cold around this time, which set off a whole new set of fears for mom and dad. We worried whether our daughter’s stuffy nose and congestion would allow her to breathe safely at night. So we finally decided to use the Snuza Go, and were very pleased with this product.
The Snuza Go retails for around $100; it is one of the more affordable devices available in the market. It is a very portable, single-piece device that measures about 2 inches by 3 inches, weighs barely anything (maybe 1 or 1.5 ounces) and fits very nicely in the palm of your hand. The device comes in a clear plastic container for safe and easy storing.
The Snuza Go is very easy to use. The instructions provided are easy to read and understand. The device has two buttons. The left button turns the Snuza Go on, and the right button deactivates the device if it alarms and is also used to modify settings. Push both buttons to turn the Snuza Go off. There are two flashing light indicators on the device– one to detect low battery power and one to indicate the rate of your baby’s abdominal movements.
You simply clip the Snuza Go to your baby’s snugly fit diaper and the device monitors your baby’s abdominal movement. The sensitive, flexible orange tip is designed to detect the slightest of movements and will alert you if your baby’s movements are very weak, or falls to less than eight movements per minute. If no movement at all is detected for a period of 20 seconds, the Snuza Go will emit an audible alarm to alert you. The 20-second period can also be reduced to 15 or 18 seconds.
We used the Snuza Go for the entire duration of our daughter’s first cold, which lingered on for a full three weeks until her cough, congestion and stuffy nose finally cleared. During those three weeks, the Snuza Go really provided us with peace of mind, especially at night. We of course worried about the “false alarms” we’ve read about with other devices. To my pleasant surprise, even after weeks of using the Snuza Go during naps and at bedtime, we never experienced a false alarm. I then worried that perhaps we were sleeping through the alarm sounding. However, the device emits a very sharp, chirping sound (similar to a fire detector beeping or an alarm clock sounding off in the morning) that would be difficult not to hear. As a test, I turned the Snuza Go on and left it on the coffee table downstairs while my husband was napping upstairs one day. It promptly emitted an alarm after not detecting any movement 20 seconds just like it should, and was loud enough for my husband to be woken up from his napping upstairs. I also had a concern whether the Snuza Go would fall off my daughter’s diaper, but was happy to find that the clip on the back of the Snuza Go secured the device very snugly to her diaper and stayed on during all her naps and through the night as well. It also stayed on whether my daughter slept just in her diapers, or when wearing pajamas, onesies or pants!
I am very pleased with the Snuza Go’s ease of use. In hindsight both my husband and I wish we had this product sooner. We definitely see how this product would have been very useful for us not only during the very first few months after our daughter’s birth when we were so worried about SIDS, but also for other concerning moments as first time parents, such as with her first cold, or when we first moved her into her own room, or when she started daycare and we were worried about her napping safely in her new surroundings.
There are only a few slight disadvantages to the Snuza Go that we experienced. We found the battery cover on the back of the device (under the clip) was hard to access and open at first, but it has become easier the more the case cover is opened and closed. Additionally the Snuza Go uses lithium batteries which are pricier batteries to replace than your standard alkaline batteries. Also, our daughter has not yet started rolling in her sleep yet, so we are unsure how well the Snuza Go will stay on our daughter’s diaper the more mobile she becomes in her sleep (the website for the product does suggest using a safety pin as an option to attach the device more securely to your baby’s diaper). The Snuza Go can pick up external movements very easily, so it should not be used when the baby is in motion such as in a car seat or a stroller.
Overall, our experience using the Snuza Go has been a positive one and we would recommend this product to others. It is also important to stress that the Snuza Go, as with all movement/breathing monitoring systems, while helpful in alerting you if your infant stops breathing normally, is not a device that prevents SIDS. Because we do not totally understand why some babies are more vulnerable to SIDS than others, we cannot completely prevent SIDS. However, in our efforts to help lower our daughter’s risk, my husband and I used the Snuza Go in conjunction with maintaining a safe sleep environment as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (putting our daughter to sleep on her back, not having any crib bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals, pillows in her crib, co-sleeping but not bed sharing, not smoking, etc etc). And within such a setting, the Snuza Go fits in nicely as a monitoring tool potentially useful in helping to lower the risk of SIDS, as well as giving parents some sense of security and a chance at a slightly more sleepful night!