All About Baby Dopplers
There’s nothing in the world like hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. I remember holding my breath in the exam room, anxiously awaiting to finally see and hear our bean on the ultrasound. And then there it was: the Dr. pointed to a little flickering grey dot on the screen that sounded like a galloping horse, that we clocked at a speed of 167 beats a minute. How incredible, it was our baby’s heart! My husband and I both ugly cried the happiest of tears during that moment.
Baby Dopplers allow parents to enjoy that magical sound from home. It’s now undeniable that you aren’t just you anymore…you’re actually growing another person in there! For me, it was the evidence I was desperately waiting for. Seeing and hearing my mini-me on the ultrasound made the 12 BFPs, missed period and pregnancy symptoms pale in comparison to the realness of that experience.
I’m interested…So Which Doppler Should I Buy?
Like anything you buy for your baby, there’s an assortment of features to choose from! Below are my recommendations with listed specs so you can decide on the Doppler that best suits your individual needs. And yes, I’ve already done the FDA and safety checks for you, so you can focus on the fun stuff like recording options, automatic heart rate counter, double listener headsets and more!
Ohana Mom’s Picks: Best Baby Dopplers
- Comes with single and double headphones, plus a connector for speakers
- Recording capabilities allowing you to download baby’s sounds onto your computer and share with friends!
- Gift Card included for a free lullaby album with personalized songs with your baby’s name in them
- Registration gets you special offers, discounts & possible free trials of new products
- High performance model with digital LCD display
- It has 3 working modes: real time FHR, averaged FHR and manual
- Built-in speaker plus output for headphones or attaching to a PC to record
- Comes with gel so you can use it immediately!
- Independent probe that is waterproof, coiled for plenty of stretch and is even detachable
- Includes access to the Bijingles app so you can bond and play music for your baby…and then later, your infant!
- Recording cable plus two sets of headphones for simultaneous listening
- 9 volt alkaline battery included
- Moms have confirmed hearing baby as early as 8 weeks with this particular doppler!
- Monitor and included gel made and shipped from the USA
- Sound can be heard from built-in speaker or with headphones
- Back light LCD to display heart rate in various work modes
- Highly intelligent 3MHZ probe…produces crystal clear sound!
Tips and Tricks for Using Your Doppler:
Although their use it pretty standard, be sure to check out the manufacturers instructions for each individual product. Based on personal experience and research, here’s some tips on making the most out of your baby heart beat monitor!
- Use a lubricant. This will help decrease the static from moving the monitor around on your belly. Some dopplers come with gel, some do not. Some alternatives I recommend are Personal Lubricant (KY), Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Baby Oil, Aloe Vera, pregnancy safe lotion and even Vaseline.
- Always check your heartbeat first. This ensures that the monitor is connected and working before trying to find baby’s (which can sometimes be a challenge in the beginning!). This also allows new users to better distinguish which heartbeat their hearing…the average FHR falls between a speedy 120-180 bpm!
- Don’t stress if you can’t find the heartbeat early on. Most dopplers list their detection rates to be around 90% by 13 weeks. I know some have been able to find it as early as 8 weeks, and as late as 16. Be sure to review a Gestational Chart to determine where you should place the monitor depending on how many weeks you are. It also gets easier the further along you become…after the 16 week you should have no problem finding it!
- Learn your sounds! You may hear all kinds of noises in there! The baby’s heartbeat is much faster than yours, and can best be described as sounding like a galloping horse. Did you know you can also hear the pulse of the placenta? The placenta’s rate is roughly your heart rate and has a “whooshing” sound to it. You’ll also here some lovely bowel sounds from time to time. Again, the more comfortable you become the easier it’ll be for you to distinguish what’s what.
How Do Baby Dopplers Work?
A Doppler is handheld device that uses sound waves to hear your baby’s heartbeat. When these waves encounter movement (heartbeat, kicks, hiccups, etc), they bounce back to the device…translating the movement into sound. If you’ve already been to a couple of your prenatal appointments, your doctor has likely used one to detect the baby’s heartbeat and determine the heart rate. It’s an especially useful tool in the first half of pregnancy to help gage the well being of the baby, before regular fetal movement can be felt. For me, having a Doppler at home helped offer that peace of mind that my anxious self needed to hear at the end of the day.
Are Baby Dopplers Safe?
Yes, ma’am! Handheld Dopplers are perfectly safe if used according to the guidelines. These Dopplers only transmit sound waves and use very low power levels. However, if you’re like me and tend to always err on the side of caution, I recommend limiting active use time to less than 10 minute increments…which I’ve found to be a pretty standard time frame among home Dopplers. As much as I’d love to listen to my baby all day long, you really don’t need more than a couple minutes to find the heart beat and check the rate. I also recommend checking the safety information on the individual product you’re interested in. For example, I would still only buy a Doppler that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared for “continuous use”, just to feel 100% comfortable with my purchase.