The Owlet Smart Sock – a Review of This Baby Heart Rate Monitor

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If you haven’t been following me on social media, then you might not be aware of my love and obsession for the Owlet baby monitor “smart sock” device. In my opinion, it is revolutionary and worth a lot more than currently listed price tag. Honestly, I would pay much more than that.

Although to be totally upfront about it, my lovely readers gave this particular device to me as a gift for review purposes (so nice, thank you all!). I have recommended this to family and friends who are expecting/already have kids, so I am probably responsible for 20 people purchasing it at least that I am aware of. In the beginning of life with my little one, it was the only reason I got any sleep.

How It Works and Owlet Reviews

Pulse oximetry is used by this smart device to monitor the heart rate of your baby, and will alert you if he stops breathing. This technology is basically the same as that clip that is put on your finger when you are at the hospital. It has now been designed to be used at home for babies, and can be paired with the new Owlet Camera. This company has created a sock that cleverly stays on your infant’s foot and does the same thing, all from your home. Then the device that goes on their foot pairs with an alarm and your phone, and both of them will be alerted if there are any changes to your baby’s oxygen, breathing, or heart rates.

There are many skeptics who might think that babies will kick off the device while sleeping, or find it uncomfortable. However, I am happy to report that this simply isn’t true. The material fits quite comfortably on their little foot (and is available in 3 sizes at the time of this writing). It fits inside of a footed onesie quite easily, which helps to prevent the device itself from moving around. It is invaluable having the ability to monitor our baby’s oxygen levels and heart rate.

Peace of Mind

There are, of course, always going to be people who say monitoring at that level is crazy, but for parents who get peace of mind from having more information instead of less, this gadget is truly priceless (especially when you sleep!). The monitor saves us from needing to get up to check to make sure our child is still breathing every two minutes, and it gives me a couple of extra minutes of much-needed sleep knowing that I will be notified by the device via my alarm if anything is wrong.

What About False Alarms With the Owlet Smart Sock?

The product is not perfect, of course, and there is still the risk that the device will come off or that a false alarm will sound. For me, though, it is definitely worth it. So far we have only had one false alarm, and that was before we discovered that this isn’t something to be used during the day. My mother-in-law was babysitting and we had left this on as a precaution. However, we quickly learned it was just intended to be used while your baby is sleeping.

In the U.S., the leading cause of death for infants under the age of one is unintentional suffocation. That is one of the reasons why so many parents end up not being able to sleep at night. Parents can rest much easier when they have this device monitoring their little one, knowing that if the infant becomes distressed that they will be alerted.

Potential Issues

I have had a couple of issues with my device, though. First of all, this left small marks on my baby’s foot when it was tightened too much. The mark didn’t go away for a couple of days, but my daughter didn’t appear to be anywhere near as bothered about it as I was. My phone also had problems connecting to the base station. That means that the notifications on my phone might not work.

However, the alarm on the base station still goes off (it’s so loud that trust me you won’t be able to miss it, and you will wake up). I gave the company’s help center a call and they were very helpful. They remotely downloaded something to my device and it fixed the problem. The representative I talked to was a pleasure to work with and was very proficient.

The App and Base Station

The only wish that I have for the Owlet Smart Sock is if I could move the base station further away from where my daughter sleeps. She doesn’t sleep in our room any longer, and I wish that I could take the base in my room rather than having to rely on getting phone notifications via the app itself. Although, fortunately since I have a small house, our room is still quite close to my daughter’s room so I can hear the device from my room.

My last wish is for the company to make these for children all the way to college age. That way I can rest easy at all times knowing my child is sleeping safe and sound!

Note from the Editor:

This is an outstanding tool. I think it really is an industry-changer. I am very impressed with all of the time, research, and testing that has gone into making this device. However, there are a couple of things that this baby monitor is not:

An excuse to forgo safe sleeping practices: There are many things that can be done to make the sleeping environment safer for your baby. You can rest a lot easier having the device hooked up. However, it isn’t an excuse to not follow safe sleeping practices.

A medical device: This monitor isn’t a medical device. Although the monitor does use some of the same medical technology that doctors’ offices and hospitals use, it doesn’t replace professional care.

A life-saving device: Although you will be alerted by the device if your baby’s heart rate rises or drops significantly or stops breathing, it won’t save your baby’s life for you. If you get an alert from the unit, it is still up to you to determine what needs to be done. That is why I recommend that you become educated on infant CPR so that you can help to stop your baby from choking and other issues that may arise.

A diagnostic tool: You can’t use the Owlet Smart Sock to diagnose illness. It might provide you with some useful information that you can take to your baby’s doctor appointment, but that is only anecdotal information. Make sure to consult with your physician if you have any concerns regarding your baby’s health. There have been some cases where the parent noticed their baby was having low oxygen levels consistently from the monitoring system. They went to the doctor who was able to diagnose that the child had sleep apnea.

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