Parents worry about newborn and infant breathing, especially with first babies. We have written about several wearables designed to monitor babies and alert parents such as Spoutling’s strap-on device and the Raybaby video monitor and motion sensor.

Levana takes a different approach from most baby monitor designs with the Oma Sense Baby Breathing Monitor. Designed for babies from 0 to 6 months, the Oma Sense attaches to the baby’s clothing with a one-handed clip and does not require skin contact to detect breathing. The website notes that the wearable doesn’t work correctly with side sleeping. The only suitable sleeping position for the Oma Sense to work is the baby sleeping on her or his back (which is the National Institutes of Health recommendation for healthy babies). Also, the monitor does not use wireless signals for alerts, relying instead on vibration and sounds to stimulate the baby and alert parents.

The cordless, battery-powered Oma Sense runs on two CR2450 coin-cell batteries for approximately 30 days. It flashes a blue LED light every 30 seconds so parents can tell it’s working with a quick visual check. If the on-board accelerometer does not detect breathing movement for 15 seconds, the device begins to vibrate irregularly and sounds an audible alert. If the baby does not start moving within 5 seconds after the first alert, the Oma Sense goes into the parent-alert mode, sounding a 70-decibel emergency alarm and flashing bright LED lights.

The 70-decibel alarm the equivalent of a running vacuum cleaner or normal conversation. If the baby’s room is far from where parents sleep it could be hard to hear the alert, in which case parents will probably want to use an audio baby monitor in conjunction with the Oma Sense.

Because the Oma Sense isn’t dependent on a smartphone app or other secondary technology to receive wireless signals, the simplicity of this baby monitoring solution is a plus. The only concern is to be sure you can hear the parent alarm should it sound off, whether you’re sleeping, listening to music, or watching a loud movie or TV show.