Before having Tad, I never imagined how anxious I would be about falling asleep at night. I had read about SIDS and felt comfortable that by creating a safe sleep environment and following other guidelines to minimize the risk that I would be able to sleep soundly knowing we had done all the right things. I saw an ad for the Owlet monitor a week or so before my due date and went ahead an ordered one thinking maybe we’ll use it, maybe we won’t and if not, at least I can return it. Unlike other sleep monitors that detect movement, the Owlet measures blood oxygen saturation and heart rate. Those are metrics that my data minded self liked the sound of, and sounded much more sensible than trying to use movement or lack thereof to tell you anything about your baby’s breathing. Why wouldn’t you just monitor that they are getting the oxygen they need and that their little hearts are beating…especially when the price tag is on par with all of the other monitors out there that are notorious for false alarms, or not working through double-sided mattresses?
Our first night home, I was so glad I had ordered it. Ted immediately took it out of the box and got the app set up on our phones as soon as I showed it to him. The monitoring system includes a base station and a monitor that is inserted into one of several different sized socks that the baby wears during the night. You can turn the monitor on and off from your phone, and see real-time data. An alarm also sounds if the heart rate or blood oxygen saturation falls out of range, or if the sock is too far from the base station. The alarms sound different so you know immediately what is happening – a nursery rhyme for too far away, and a typical alarm sound for worrisome data. The base station works without the app as well. You won’t see the actual numerical data, but the alarms will still sound and the green glow light will turn red.
One of the main criticisms is that if the baby is moving too much, the sensor can’t get a read. I’m okay with this because if my baby is moving, he is alive and at least trying to breathe, and the alarm will sound if he’s not getting enough oxygen. It also does not have a camera (as that is not the purpose), but it’s quite possible that a camera could be integrated on later models. Overall, I am so glad I bought the Owlet. It not only gives me peace of mind, but I have also learned Tad’s typical heart rate when he is awake, just nodding off, or in deep sleep so I know how soundly he is sleeping. If this all makes me a paranoid new mom, I’m okay with that. I’d rather be extra cautious than wish I had taken advantage of the technology available to me.
New (and seasoned) moms – what monitors are you using? Is anyone else using the Owlet?