Baby monitors do not reduce the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI), Red Nose advises.
Many parents purchase home monitoring systems because they want to provide the best possible care for their baby. Some manufacturers also claim monitors prevent sudden death.
While an audio and/or visual monitor can be reassuring for parents when babies are sleeping during the day, there is no scientific evidence that using any type of monitor will prevent a sudden unexpected infant death, said CEO of Red Nose, Assoc Prof Leanne Raven.
“There is no evidence of advantages associated with monitor use. The monitor is only an alarm, it is not a life saving device,” Leanne said.
Health professionals supply some parents with baby monitors at home in special circumstances, for example, when a family has experienced a sudden unexpected death in infancy it can be helpful for parents in reducing anxiety when they have further children. “If this is the case we do recommend parents and carers consult with their doctor about the use of home monitoring systems,” Leanne said.
The best thing parents can do to sleep their baby safely is to follow Red Nose’s recommendations, which are based on scientific evidence. These are:
1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side
2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after
4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day (safe cot, safe mattress, safe bedding, safe environment)
5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to 12 months
6. Breastfeed baby
Read more about baby monitors here.