Respiratory rate monitoring is of paramount importance in neonatal care. Manual counting of expansions and contractions of the abdomen or diaphragm of the neonate is still the widely accepted measure of respiratory rate in most clinical settings. A practical, affordable, easy-to-use technology to continuously measure respiratory rate in neonates is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of respiratory disorders. Clinical validation of a system for continuous and long term respiratory rate monitoring of neonates, in a wearable form factor with the capability of remote monitoring is presented in this paper. The respiratory rate monitor was validated in clinical settings on 10 premature babies with various disease conditions and respiratory rates varying from 25 to 90 breaths per minute. Results show a high degree of correlation between the respiratory rate measured by the device and reference measurements. An intelligent algorithm which can remove motion corruption from the accelerometer data and provide reliable results is essential for large-scale adoption of the technology for both clinical as well as home monitoring. The technical details of implementation, results and analysis of the clinical study and observations made during clinical study regarding the feasibility of integrating the device in neonatal care are covered in this paper. © 2018 IEEE.