Owlet Baby Monitor review article main feature

Owlet Baby Monitor Review – Smart Sock or Little Crock?

by Holly Harris - Last Updated: May 4, 2017

Owlet Baby Monitors are expensive however they give you invaluable information about your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels that could save their life. The smart sock technology is compact and it syncs up to an app you can get on your smartphone.

The sock is a cool concept but as with anything that has several different components, it can be complicated and doesn’t always work the way you think it should.

Owlet Baby Monitor review article main feature

The Owlet Baby Monitor is Well Rated

Currently the Owlet Baby Monitor is only sold at Owletcare.com. Because of that, there aren’t many ratings sites available. However there are a good number of customer reviews as well as comments on their website and the review site Viewpoints. The ratings are all fairly high.

  • 4.6 stars, 1,726 Reviews – Owlet Care
  • 4.5 stars, 865 Reviews – Viewpoints

Over the years new parents have all faced the fear of bringing home their baby for the first time and anxiously watching over them as they sleep. There is nothing more tragic than Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) and while no one knows what causes it exactly there are lots of ways to lower the likelihood it’ll happen to your baby. One of the most prominent ways is by using baby monitors. These monitors have been around for a long time and originally started off allowing you to hear your baby from different rooms in the house using a remote monitor.

This lets you know when they are awake and hear if they become restless. Soon these monitors were supplemented with ones that allowed you to see your baby as they slept or change the camera angle. But now Owlet Baby Monitors has come up with a new way to keep tabs on your baby and ensure that they are kept safe and sound throughout the night. The Owlet  Baby Monitor is a little smart sock that your infant wears to sleep that monitors their heart rate and oxygen levels.

Owlet Smart Sock - a baby monitor that's a sock

The Owlet Baby Monitor entered the scene in 2013 to give parents peace of mind with their new babies. In addition to real time monitoring of your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels it will also alert you if your baby stops breathing. The alert will go to your cell phone as well as a loud beeping on a docking station set up in your home. But be forewarned if the little sock slips off your baby it’ll alert you as if your baby has stopped breathing. Though it often works well some mothers reported other forms of false alerts.

This revolutionary new technology started off on Selfstarter, which is a crowdfunding website. It received such a huge  backing that they exceeded their goal of $100,000 by $40,000 days before their deadline.

Sudden Infant Death has robbed parents of their peace of mind for many years. The Owlet Baby Monitor can be worn under pajamas and will alert parents to signs of an issue so that they can get help and save their child. According to Owlet, 83% of parents who use the Owlet Baby Monitor report sleeping better as they know their child is safe and that they’ll be alerted should something take a turn for the worse.
There are some other good options to consider.


Key Features

Monitors Heart Rate: The Owlet Baby Monitor uses pulse oximetry to monitor the baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels. This is the same safe and accurate technology that hospitals have been using for years. At the hospital or doctor’s office it often looks like a little clip that goes on your index finger. The Owlet Baby Monitor is simply a redesigned version of this technology so that it is more comfortable for your baby and more user friendly.

Sends Alerts: In addition to monitoring your baby it will alert you if your baby’s heart rate goes too low or too high or if their oxygen levels start to drop. There are preset levels within the Owlet Baby Monitor but you can also set a specific threshold that you would like to be alerted at. The Owlet Baby Monitor will alert you in two ways. It will set off a loud beeping noise on the docking and charging station and it will also begin beeping through the app on your phone.

The alert will be given before your child stops breathing or their heart stops so that you have time to reach them, call for help or begin CPR. When your baby becomes distressed and has trouble getting oxygen every second counts. I am currently pregnant with my first baby and I know that I would do anything to save my child, the Owlet Baby Monitor would allow me to be there in time to help.

Connected to Your App: One of the other convenient features is that you can monitor your baby’s levels in real time through an app on your phone. Even on a day where everything is going well you can still check in and see how they are doing. So if you leave your baby with grandma while you run out for groceries you can check in at any time and make sure that their little heart’s still beating within healthy parameters. It would also be a great way to keep tabs on your baby while they are at daycare or at home with your partner.

Monitoring from a Distance: Anyone can download the app and be given credentials to log in and check on your baby. So if you have a relative who is knocking at the door to check on their new little loved one every day this could be a way to give them more peace of mind.

Smart Sock baby monitor

Easy to Use

Comfy Sock! The Owlet Baby Monitor is lightweight and soft. It can be worn under socks or pajamas while your baby is sleeping. However the technology is designed to be used while your baby is sleeping not moving around. It also needs to be charged daily so it isn’t ideal if you tend to forget to charge things or remember to use them.

Grows With Baby: One of the great things about the Owlet Baby Monitor is that it comes with 3 different sock sizes so that you can use it for your baby’s entire first year. This makes the technology more useful as you wouldn’t want to buy it and have your baby outgrow it too quickly.

Easy to Clean: Another important feature to note is that it is easy to wash and keep clean. I’ve been around enough baby’s to know they are the messiest little creatures so it’s critical that that you can wash this monitor. Thankfully all of the electronic components are removable so all you have to do is take them out and you can wash the sock in the washing machine.

Yikes, Might Slip Off! Though the sock will likely stay secure during  your newborn days I think that as your baby grows and becomes more restless as they fall asleep they may try to remove the Owlet Baby Monitor or kick it off completely. I was worried that the false alarm from the sock coming off would freak me out. It still might, but it turns out the alert sound for the sock coming off is different than the other sounds. So it is a matter of getting used to the different sounds.

The Owlet is a baby monitor sock that connects to a smart phone app to alert you when there is a problem with the baby's heart rate or oxygen levels.

Cautions

David King, an author and lecturer at University of Sheffield in pediatrics, cautions parents against relying on the Owlet Baby Monitor instead of taking precautions against Sudden Infant Death, like having your baby always sleep on their back. He also advises that though these monitors can be helpful parents should always be trained in simple observation techniques, use of the monitor and infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation (infant CPR). King is concerned that additional peace of mind that these devices give will stop parents from taking other necessary precautions. The other primary concern is that the Owlet Baby Monitor makes claims that it will alert you should anything happen however these claims are not required to be substantiated with any real data since it isn’t considered a medical device.

False Alarms?

Although we would all rather get a few false alerts than not get an alert when one is needed, sometimes the device does give “yellow” false alerts. Some of these are explainable because the sock cord came unplugged from the base. As I mentioned above, some are from the sock coming off baby’s foot. But others seem to be because the device loses its connection to the base or there isn’t a obvious reason. The majority of people haven’t had this problem, but it does happen and can be a bit disconcerting when you wake up thinking something is wrong.

Pros

  • Could prevent Sudden Infant Death
  • Gives parents peace of mind
  • Allows you to monitor your baby remotely
  • Notifies parents immediately if baby is having issues
  • Easy and intuitive to use

Cons

  • Costs $249 plus shipping (at this writing)
  • Only works when baby is sleeping
  • Could slip off causing unnecessary panic
  • Must charge daily

My Overall Recommendation

As an expecting mom there is nothing more important than my baby’s safety and I think that it is worth the cost to know that my little guy is safe and if he is ever not, I want to be there doing everything in my power to help him. Though it is expensive it is reusable. You can use it for all of your children and you could also re-gift it or sell it once you are finished using it as it will probably still have plenty of life left. I will be definitely be getting one soon.

The Owlet Baby Monitor is a safe and easy way to monitor your child’s oxygen levels and heart rate. It alerts you should your baby ever be put in danger from either a high or low heart rate or oxygen levels. You can also keep tabs on your baby from anywhere via the nifty cell phone app. This smart sock will allow you to breath easy knowing that your baby is doing well. It is a very wise purchase for any parent.

 

Holly Harris
I'm a mom, an avid writer and a dedicated researcher of all things baby.

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Comments 1

  1. I’ve used this thing and it’s honestly a waste of money. This was given to me by a friend. I wanted to love it I really did but no matter how I put the sock in her foot or which foot I put it on. I got no readings but instead a bunch of yellow alarms I hope expecting parents read this before spending their hard earned money on a product that cost a lot of money and is essentially useless you get more sleep not using the owlet in my opinion. My daughter has been weezing for the past few days and I’ve been desperately trying to get this thing to work and it’s the most frustrating thing. I won’t recommend this product to a friend or family member until they make this product more reliable for $300 you shouldn’t have to check on your baby every 3 minutes.

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