Akmal, 25, disappointed behind the stumps in Pakistan's 2-1 Test series defeat to the South Africans, dropping a number of catches and missing several stumping opportunities.
Former captain and top grade wicketkeeper Bari said he had advised captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and coach Bob Woolmer to play reserve keeper Zulqarnain Haider in the five-match one-day series starting on Feb 4.
"Sometimes a good rest does you good and it clears your mind and stress," Bari told Reuters.
"If he continues to play in this bad patch his confidence will get badly affected. Kamran's reflexes are slow and he is under stress and lacking confidence.
"The basics are the same for a good wicketkeeper. He needs to take a break and get his confidence back."
Akmal has played 33 Tests and 57 one-day internationals for Pakistan