When my son, Ezra, was born, my husband and I had no idea what we were doing. The first night of his life I think we got one hour of sleep.
Aside from the nurses constantly checking on us, we kept leaning over his bassinet to make sure he was still breathing. When I did drift off to sleep in those first few weeks of his life, I would wake up in a panic if he wasn’t crying.
The sad truth is, SIDS is still a real problem in America, not to mention SUID (Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths). Combined, 3,500 infants die every year in America from accidental suffocation, strangulation or unknown causes.
From what I’ve heard, nearly every parent experiences anxiety about this. I thought I wouldn’t worry so much with my second child, my daughter. But I do. I still put my hand on her stomach at least once a day to check and see if she is breathing—but only when she isn’t wearing her Owlet monitor.
The moment I saw the Owlet advertised online I was pretty convinced I needed one. Then I saw the price, and I wondered, “Do I really need this?” $250 can be hard to reconcile when you are already purchasing necessary baby equipment like a car seat and a crib.
The way the Owlet works is pretty genius.
It’s a tiny sock (you get three sizes when you purchase) that has a monitor inside. The monitor measures the baby’s heart rate and oxygen level. It’s actually the same technology as what they use in hospitals. (My nurse brother-in-law confirmed this!) All of the information monitored feeds into an app on your phone and also back to the docking station.
When baby is hooked up to the monitor and all is well, the docking station is green.
When the monitor is disconnected indicating the sock has fallen off, the alarm will sound and the docking station turns yellow. If the monitor is not within range of the docking station, it will turn blue, letting you know there’s a technical problem. If your baby’s heart rate or oxygen level were to drop into the unsafe zone, the alarm would sound and the docking station would turn bright red.
There are some cons to the Owlet monitor.
You have to incorporate it into your bedtime and naptime routine. So it’s one more step, making sure it is charged and on your child when naptime and bedtime roll around.
You also have to make sure you stay in range of the docking station. It’s not usually a problem when your baby is young and still sleeping in your bedroom, but if your house is large and you are putting your infant to sleep in another room, you may have to move the docking station from your bedside. You can work around this problem because the alarm is quite loud and the app will still notify you on your phone if there’s a problem.
Although you get three sock sizes, if your baby is particularly small, getting the sock to fit snugly and stay could be an issue. In those first few days of my daughter’s life I found that putting her to sleep with footed pajamas helped keep the monitor in place.
We all know the death of a child is one of the worst things that can happen to a family.
And it’s sad that with all of our technological advances that this is a problem we haven’t been able to solve. I think the Owlet is a step in the right direction. In my opinion, it is one of the most amazing new products on the market and I’m thankful I have it this time around.
The makers of the Owlet want parents know that using the Owlet is not an excuse to use unsafe sleeping conditions. It’s not intended for use so your baby can sleep on his stomach or with a blanket in the crib. Safe sleeping guidelines should still be used.
After Ezra was born I remember thinking “I would literally pay for sleep right now.”
And that’s essentially what the Owlet does. You are paying for sleep. For peace of mind. For a less anxiety-ridden journey as a parent. I love that when she’s wearing the monitor, I can open the app on my phone and see all of her stats instantly.
Just last night I woke up at 1:30 am. My 5-week-old hadn’t woken up for her first feeding. Instead of waking in a panic and checking on her instantly, I remembered she had on her socklet and the docking station was lit green—letting me know all was well with my newborn.
If you have more questions, the Owlet website is a wealth of knowledge. You can chat instantly with one of their reps or you can watch videos of real parents telling their stories of how the Owlet saved their babies’ lives.