Home Apnoea Alarms


Advice and information for parents who have a baby using an apnoea alarm at home. The apnoea monitor you have been given to use is on loan for 6 months from National Women’s Neonatal Homecare Service.

It is important that you return the monitor to us after the six months so we can make it available to another family. When your homecare nurse is no longer visiting you and your baby, she will keep in regular contact with you by phoning every two months until the monitor is returned.

If you have a problem with your monitor contact Neonatal Homecare on 307 4949, ext 25472, or NICU Ward 92 on ext 24920 if after hours.

If your baby becomes unwell contact your GP or nearest Emergency Dept. In an emergency ring 111 for an ambulance. If your baby requires hospital treatment they will go to either Starship Children’s Hospital at Grafton or Kids First at Middlemore.

Please notify neonatal homecare of any change of address or telephone number

Keeping your baby healthy

We recommend the following:

  • Keep regular contact with your General Practitioner.

  • Make sure baby is weighed and measured frequently by your WellChild Provider (at least once a fortnight initially).

  • No smoking in the house or car where the baby is.

  • Avoid long journeys, or tiring occasions and mixing in crowds for six months.

  • Complete normal immunisation while baby is on the monitor.

  • 'Keep people with infections away from baby.

  • Put your baby on her/his back with plenty of space around their face/head when sleeping.

Safe use of your apnoea monitor

  • Sleep baby in the same room as an adult who can answer the alarm.

  • Do not sleep baby in the same bed with other people.

  • Make sure someone is within hearing of the alarm at all times.

  • Always keep spare batteries. Use the black and gold Duracell batteries – 9 volt for Eastleigh Monitors or 4 x AA batteries for the MR10 Monitor.

  • Test your monitor daily.

  • The monitor must be used every time the baby is put to sleep.

  • Never leave your baby unattended when the alarm switch is in the off position.

  • Do not use your monitor when travelling in a car as vibrations can be picked up as breath signals.

  • Wipe monitor as necessary with non-abrasive cleaning solution. Do not immerse in any solution, or water.

  • If the monitor is dropped or damaged in any way, ring the Neonatal Homecare Nurse. The monitor must be checked carefully to see if it is functioning.

If the alarm on your monitor goes off

Check your baby:

  • Is the baby breathing?

  • Is the baby’s chest and stomach moving?

  • Is there air coming from baby’s nostrils?

  • Is the baby a normal colour?

If the baby is not breathing, perform infant CPR and call 111. If the baby has stopped breathing and started again, the baby needs to be seen by a doctor immediately. DO NOT drive the baby to see a doctor yourself. Call 111 as the baby may have another apnoea attack. If your baby is breathing when the alarm goes off, check the monitor is working correctly and that the monitor is correctly positioned.

Eastleigh apnoea monitors

  • Test monitor daily. Turn alarm to on position with your baby not in the cot. The alarm should sound after 20 seconds providing there are no vibrations. All apnoea monitors are set at 20 seconds in the home environment.

  • Connect the sensor pad to the monitor.

  • The sensor pad must be used on a firm surface and placed under where the baby is sleeping, printed side upper most. It can be placed under a mattress or under a sheet or nappy on top of the mattress. Do not tuck blankets under the mattress.

  • Secure the sensor pad and connecting cable from any movement.

  • Make sure the alarm is in the ON position when the baby is put back to sleep.

  • The light should flash to indicate a breath.

  • The audible tick on the monitor can be turned down off at the switch on the back of the monitor.

  • All apnoea monitors are set at 20 seconds in the home environment.


  • Check to see if your baby is breathing. Commence CPR if your baby is not breathing.

  • If the audible alarm has sounded and stopped but the light is still flashing, your baby did not take a breath for 20 seconds but has taken one since.

  • Turn alarm off and on again to reset.


The monitor has a light indicating a low battery. It takes a 9V battery. Pull out the battery holder in the rear of the monitor to replace.


MR10 Apnoea Monitor

  • Check alarm before using. Press ON 10 sec button. You will hear a beep and it will light up to confirm selection. The alarm will light up and sound in 10 seconds. Push reset to cancel the alarm and turn off.

  • Ensure abdomen is dry. Apply sensor to lower part of abdomen with surgical tape. Place over sensor and tubing to avoid kinking. Bring the tube down through clothing to avoid getting entangled around neck or fingers.

  • Plug tube into Inlet socket at end of monitor. Make sure it is secure.

  • Switch on by pushing ON 10 secs or ON 20 secs. A light will flash and a click will flash and a click will indicate a breath. To silence the click push the reset button and the ON 10 sec or ON 20 sec simultaneously.

  • To turn off, press and hold down the off button until you hear a beep.


  • Check the colour of your baby and see if your baby is breathing.
    Commence CPR if your baby is not breathing.

  • If the audible alarm has sounded and stopped but the light is still flashing, your baby did not take a breath for 10 or 20 seconds but has taken once since.

  • If the audible alarm is sounding push reset.

  • If it is alarming and your baby is breathing check the sensor is attached firmly to your baby’s lower abdomen. If it is, you may need to change the sensor. You can check this by removing the sensor from the inlet socket on the apnoea monitor and tapping your finger over the socket. This should produce breath signals.


  • Keep a store of 4 spare AA size batteries.

  • The batteries should last three months.

  • A low battery light will flash and the batteries should be changed within 36 hours. If it is ignored it will become a continuous audible alarm.