The Snuza Hero Mobile Baby Movement Monitor is one of the most popular and highly rated movement monitors by consumers. It clips onto the baby's diaper, providing a compact and portable way to monitor breathing anywhere the baby sleeps. The Hero vibrates and then sounds an alarm if motion is not detected. It used to be called the Halo, but the name was changed in May 2012. According to the manufacturer, it is otherwise the same product.
A reassuring tic says baby is sleeping safely. Unlike traditional monitors, the Snuza Hero Mobile Baby Movement Monitor is a single unit that clips onto a baby's diaper. The Hero makes a soft tic to indicate that a baby is sleeping safely. If motion isn't detected after 15 seconds, the Hero vibrates to arouse the baby and encourage breathing. If motion isn't detected after 20 seconds, the Hero sounds an alarm.
Under ideal circumstances -- a good fit, predictable baby movements -- there are few false alarms with the Snuza, but they do occur. Since the alerts are attached to the baby, both the vibration and the second alarm can wake a sleeping baby. Parents say most false alarms occur when the Snuza falls off a diaper.
Users report that when used in conjunction with a sound monitor, the Hero's tic provides the reassurance they need to get a good night's sleep. Some parents are awakened by the sound of the vibration. Users say that the alarm is loud and clear. Because there is no radio broadcast, the Hero is interference free as long as a parent can hear it through a wall or a separate sound monitor. The Hero's placement inside the baby's clothing eliminates interference from fans, crib mobiles and ambient movements to which other motion sensors are susceptible.
Reliable if the right position is found. The compact Snuza Hero Mobile Baby Movement Monitor clips onto a baby's diaper and can be positioned at the tummy or on the side. Most parents say positioning the Hero is easy, but parents of very small and premature infants report fit problems. Other parents find that they have to make diaper adjustments to ensure the Hero stays in place. Parents of tummy sleepers may have to opt for side positioning, which in some reported cases makes the Hero less sensitive to subtle, deep-sleep breathing.
With wiggly babies, keeping the Snuza in place can be particularly tricky. One user comments that the Hero works well as long as you get it placed in the diaper before baby falls asleep. If baby falls asleep before the Hero is attached, putting it on may wake him or her.
Works anywhere a baby sleeps. Unlike most motion monitors that use sensor pads placed under a crib or bassinet mattress, the Snuza Hero Mobile Baby Movement Monitor can be used anywhere a baby sleeps. This makes the Hero a good choice for families who co-sleep or who want to monitor babies sleeping in car seats or swings, or on trips. Parents of twins or multiples point out that mattress-based motion sensors can't be used for more than one baby sharing a sleep space. By contrast, the Hero offers isolated monitoring of the baby wearing it, making multiple Hero units a good, albeit pricey, way to monitor more than one baby in the same space.
According to experts, movement monitors are not necessary to ensure the safety of a baby and have not been proven to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. One expert source gives all baby movement monitors an F rating, saying they prey on parent's fears and make misleading claims. Experts say that if a baby suffers from severe sleep apnea or other conditions that place him or her at risk when sleeping, a medical grade monitor should be used. However, many parents whose babies do not require hospital grade monitoring say they find peace of mind with movement monitors, and parents report that this is why they purchase the Snuza.
Website may be misleading. The Snuza Hero Mobile Baby Movement Monitor carries a one-year guarantee from the manufacturer. We did not find any complaints about customer service. Snuza does not make claims that the Snuza Hero can prevent SIDS, but the website is less forthcoming about the limitations of this kind of monitoring than other motion monitor makers.
Review Credibility: Excellent The FDA lists baby monitors as one of the baby products that are marketed for SIDS prevention. The FDA states that it has never cleared or approved a baby product to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS because the agency has not found any scientific proof that baby products, including monitors, can prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS.
Review: Medical Devices-Baby Products with SIDS Prevention Claims, May 30, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good In more than 145 reviews, the Snuza Hero (formally Halo) receives an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Users say that the Snuza is lightweight, portable and easy to use, and it has a loud alarm. Others wish that there was a handheld device for parents, say that the Snuza isn't as comfortable for tummy sleepers and isn't as good a fit on very small babies. False alarms reported by users are typically due to the Hero falling off a particularly active baby or cloth diapers. A few users complain that the battery life is awful, while others say it is great.
Review: Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good The Snuza Hero (formally Halo) receives an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 based on more than a dozen reviews. Users say that the Snuza offers them the peace of mind to get a good night's sleep. They appreciate that the Snuza is highly portable compared to other motion monitors that only work in the baby's crib. Parents do say that the Snuza can fall off a diaper and cause false alarms, but most find that they can remedy this with careful placement. One user complains that the Snuza's 15-second vibrate feature wakes up the baby unnecessarily.
Review: Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor, Contributors to BabyEarth.com, As of December 2012