Everyone experiences pauses in breathing once in a while. This doesn’t only happen to adults but to babies as well. This breathing pattern is called apnea. Although this is completely normal to some, it may also be related to some health conditions that should be a cause for concern especially when it happens to your baby. Being in this kind of predicament, you may opt to seek for the help from specialized doctors and also make use of related products such as baby sleep apnea monitors.
The Different Types of Apneas
The word apnea has its origin from a Greek word which means “without wind”. It is the medical term used to describe the occasional cessation of breathing of a person. Even though it is normal, it may also be a symptom of something more serious that is health related.
Basically there are three types of apnea: obstructive, central and mixed. Obstructive apnea is most common in babies and children. It is caused by obstructions in the airway such as adenoids and enlarged tonsils. This is quite dangerous especially for babies since it usually happens during sleep time. And as babies, they still can’t articulate whether they are already experiencing symptoms of the condition.
Symptoms of this type of apnea include snoring, labored breathing, gasping for air, and changes in color. But the cardinal sign of obstructive apnea in babies is restlessness.
Another type of apnea is central apnea. This is usually caused by defect in the part of the brain that controls breathing. In babies, this could be a congenital defect. Central apnea is very rare in adults but quite common in babies especially those who were born prematurely. Unlike obstructive apnea, this can happen at any time of the day.
The third type of apnea is called mixed apnea. This condition is the combination of obstructive apnea and central apnea. This is particularly very common in infants. It could occur any time, whether awake or asleep.
What To Do If You Think Your Baby Has Apnea
When your baby is born, he or she is automatically evaluated for any problems in health like deficiencies in breathing. But this is just an initial evaluation and his or her health condition can change in the next few months. The first step is to have your baby checked up by his or her doctor. If apnea is detected, the doctor can suggest different ways to help you monitor your baby; one of which is with the use of baby sleep apnea monitor.
What to Look for In Baby Sleep Apnea Monitors
There are a lot of different baby sleep apnea monitors, each with different features. In choosing a baby sleep apnea monitor, there are certain features that the device must have to ensure the proper monitoring of your baby.
The first and most important is heart beat monitoring. This feature is a must for this kind of device that you will choose since no apnea monitor is 100 percent accurate in detecting cessation of breathing. This will serve as a backup in case the apnea monitor fails to detect apnea because it will also manifest in the heart rate of the baby.
Another must have feature is a remote alarm. Even if you are not in the same room with the baby, a remote monitor will notify you if anything goes wrong. It must also have a power loss alarm. This is used when the devices are low in power. Last but not the least, the device must also be equipped with an AC power for recharging and powering the device.