Product: Owlet Smart Sock
Size: Fits a child up to 12-18 months
Overall Rating: I give it a 7 out of 10
The Owlet is a baby monitor smart sock that’s designed to alert you if your baby stops breathing.
It looks like this product just came on the market at the end of 2015 and Owlet says that they had nearly 3,000 pre-orders so many people are excited about this technology and the reassurances that come with it.
What it does
- Uses technology (pulse oximetry) that hospitals are known to use. Light is projected from the sock to your baby’s foot to estimate blood flow and oxygen levels.
- Alerts you if your baby stops breathing through the main base and your smartphone (Iphone/ipad now, android ability coming in June 2016). Note that more than one phone/device can be used to monitor it as well so if husband/wife both want the app on their phone, that works.
- It provides comfort to new parents, knowing that their baby’s vitals are being monitored
Is it safe?
My first question when I saw this was… is it safe? It’s using a light and transmitting a signal via Wi-Fi. So I wanted to know, what are those signals doing to my baby? Well, the Owlet website states
“The Smart Sock uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to communicate to your Base Station. The radio waves generated from the device are more than twenty times below that of cell phone”.
The technology has also been used in hospitals since the ‘80’s with no long-term issues found, so that’s reassuring.
I’ve also read that it will not interfere with other devices used in your home and you can even have 2 Owlets, for twins, that won’t interfere with each other.
How does it fit?
- Comes with 3 washable socks that vary in size to fit your child’s foot until 12-18 months of age
- Has an adjustable strap to make it snug
- Can be worn underneath other socks or footie pajamas; this is especially helpful if your baby kicks it off. Also, a tune is played to alert you if the sock does come off
Materials and Washing
It’s made of organic cotton that is hypoallergenic.
It is washable; you just have to remove the electronic part inside.
The company offers a 1 year warranty if it stops working as long as it’s from just normal, regular use. With this warranty, you can return it and they will give you a new one.
They also have a ‘100 day peace of mind guarantee’ where you can send the monitor back if you’re not satisfied with it, for a full refund.
What others are saying
- Had no false alarms
- Made them worry less and become more relaxed
- Were able to sleep better
- It’s taking advantage of parents fears
- It doesn’t reduce the risk of SIDS
During my research of this product, I read an article in TIME magazine that argues that this device doesn’t reduce the risk of SIDS.
What the Owlet does is alert you if something is wrong. If they stop breathing due to being smothered, if the baby is overheating because they are wrapped in too many layers, if they are freezing because the electricity/heat went out in the middle of the night, etc.
The owner of Owlet replied to TIME magazine stating:
I have hundreds of comments from Owlet testers and none of them focus on SIDS. They just want to know if something is wrong. That’s what pulse oximetry does in hospitals and in homes worldwide. Parents simply want something that can monitor their child pro-actively (something that video and sound can’t do). As parents we’re tired of monitors that only serve a purpose when we’re awake. We want something that can let us rest easier. That’s the purpose of Owlet and for many parents it is worth the expense.
I’ve read testimonies that parents believe these devices saved their child’s life. That the alarm went off, the baby was not breathing, and after being gently shaken or patted, that they gasped for air.
Yet, I’ve read that pediatricians don’t feel they are necessary.
I believe it’s up to the individual parent. Only you can decide if this product will give you more peace of mind. However, this technology comes with a hefty price tag. [Read more reviews]
If you feel that is worth the price – go for it! As parents, we have enough to worry about. If we can have one less worry, that’s great. My goal with this post was to give you as much information as I could to allow you to make an informed decision.
It looks like the only place you can buy this right now is direct from their Owlet website.
If you’re looking to get a baby movement monitor that is less expensive, but still something to help ease your mind some, I recommend you take a look at the Snuza. It attaches to the diaper so it can also be worn anywhere your baby sleeps. If no movement is detected in 15 seconds it vibrates to help make them move and if no movement is detected in another 5 seconds it then sounds an alarm. Check out the Snuza, the cheaper Owlet alternative.