I'm a first-time mom to an amazing baby boy and a wife of five years! I've learned a LOT along the way, and I hope to share some tips!
I am by nature a huge worry-wart. And when I got pregnant, those worries quadrupled. One of those worries, like most moms, was SIDS. I've read way too many horror stories online and have always been so terrified of the possibility.
During my months of research while pregnant on how to prevent SIDS, I came across an ad for the Owlet Smart Sock. The fact that it monitors your baby's heart rate and oxygen levels was very intriguing, although the price hurt to look at.
I'm all about savings, and I have rarely ever paid full price for anything. But this was SO important to me. Knowing how much of a worrier I am, my husband told me to go for it. I've been using it with my baby boy for a few months now, so if you're on the fence about getting a smart sock for your little one, here are my thoughts . . .
What You Get With the Owlet Set
First of all, the Owlet set comes with three different size socks to grow with your baby.
- Size 1: Newborn to 1 month
- Size 2: 1–4 months
- Size 3: 4–18 months
So far, the sizing has been true for my baby boy, but of course every baby grows differently.
Also included of course, is the actual heart monitoring sensor. It slides in and out of the sock, so it's easy to go up a size or wash the sock when you need to.
3. Base Station
The other important part is the base station. It plugs into the wall, connects to your WiFi, and lets you know what's going on either by the light on the base itself or through the app where you will see the live stats. I'll get into that shortly.
Using Owlet Without WiFi
Side story: My husband, baby and I traveled to see my uncle in Tennessee when baby was about 6 weeks. On the way, we stayed in a cabin in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere, with hardly any cell signal and no WiFi. I brought my Owlet set for the trip; it's not at all hard to travel with. But, it wasn't until I was getting baby boy ready for bed when I realized that no WiFi means no Owlet connection. I was so upset—how in the world was I going to sleep tonight?
But, after reading through the guide on the Owlet Care app, I discovered that you can still use the smart sock without WiFi. It won't connect to your phone, so you won't be able to watch the live readings, but the base station will still show and alert whether everything is okay or not. So that was a relief and nice to know!
4. Charging Cords
Finally, you have the charging cords, nothing complicated there.
Optional Extra Purchase: Baby Monitor
I also bought the Owlet Baby Monitor with Camera and Audio. It does some pretty cool things, like tell you the temperature in the room to make sure it's not too hot or cold for baby. It is also connected through WiFi. and you watch it in the same app and at the same time as the smart sock. So you see all the stats at once right from your phone, which is awesome. Let me know if you have any questions about the monitor in the comments!
No Subscriptions Required
One important thing to note is that neither of these items requires any kind of subscription service. I've read about some similar heart monitoring systems that you have to pay monthly or yearly to use. But this is not one of them, which I think is a plus when you're going to pay so much for the product itself.
How to Use the Sock
Putting on the smart sock the first few times was definitely tricky. It ended up going on upside down and/or backwards more than once. Finally, I watched the video on the app that explains it, and the most important thing was to look for a little notch on the band that lines up with the itty-bitty pinky toe of your little one. Once that's lined up, gently wrap the rest of the sock around the ankle and Velcro in place.
Once you have it on, then you can turn on the heart monitor device. You can do this from the app, or I learned you can actually press the base station itself and it will turn it on. The app turns it on pretty slowly, so I've found that pressing the base station is more convenient.
One note about turning it on and off: It makes a chime that is quite loud, so I try to make sure to turn it on before I put baby to sleep so that the noise doesn't startle him awake.
Base Station Colors and What They Mean
So, once you have the sock in place and the base station turned on, the base station is going to turn one of five colors:
- White: Sock is plugged in and charging.
- Blue: Sock is not connected (could be out of range or no WiFi signal).
- Green: Everything is good!
- Yellow: The sock is not in place and can't get a proper reading. (When this happens, it plays a very loud melody of "Mockingbird" and sends an alert to your phone. It can be quite startling, so make sure to turn the system off before removing the sock. It has gone off if I was holding baby and his foot got a little squished and the sock couldn't read correctly. You'll just need to turn off the station, readjust, and turn it back on, and it should be fine.)
- Red: Something's not right. (Thankfully, I have never seen this color, but I'm assuming it will also make a very loud noise if it's anything like the yellow light alarm.)
Live Tracking of Baby's Heart Rate and Oxygen Level
Once it's gotten a proper reading and turned green, the app will show you live tracking of your baby's heart rate and oxygen level. It has cute little meters for each, and it shows the range they should be in. The green area for oxygen levels is 80–100%, and the heart rate should stay between 60–220 BPM.
I would say it updates about every three seconds, and you will eventually learn your baby's BPM average when they are awake or sleeping and be able to tell the difference. This is nice because if I don't have the camera on him, I can tell if baby boy is awake or in a deep sleep based on his heart rate.
Final Thoughts: Anxiety-Free Sleep for Parents
I have been very happy with my decision to purchase the Owlet Smart Sock. It has contributed tremendously to my being able to get some good, anxiety free sleep with an infant. It's such a comfort to have something quick to tell me that everything's okay and to know that something will alert me if it's not. I hope these tips help you if you're considering it. Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to know about my experience with it!
The Smart Sock is an information-gathering product intended to assist in tracking the well-being of healthy babies from 6 to 25 pounds and up to 18 months of age. It is not a medical monitor or other medical device and is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, alleviate or prevent any disease or health condition or investigate, replace or modify anatomy or any physiological process. You should always follow pediatrician-recommended safe sleep practices when using the Smart Sock.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Ashley Redmond