Little child, especially a newborn, is very fragile. So many things can go wrong in their life, even while in slumber. We all know that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome can happen in their sleep. The Owlet Baby Monitor has been a popular model in the breathing and movement monitor category, a device that could monitor baby’s breathing, but is it really helpful in monitoring baby’s breathing? So, I decided to learn more about the product.
In this Owlet Baby Monitor Review, I will share my thoughts on it and why it’s a great thing to have for new parents or first time guardians. If you are interested to know how this Owlet monitor compare to Snuza, do check out my articles on how the Owlet baby monitor compare with other equally popular brands like Snuza, Mimo and Angelcare:
Let’s get right to the review then!
Owlet Baby Monitor – Infant Heart Rate and Oxygen Monitor
Owlet Baby Care was established back in 2015, and became a well-known brand in the baby monitor market later when it debuted its rather revolutionary intelligent wearable monitor that uses a baby-sized sock fitted with sensors to track breathing data. It wasn’t a cheap technology, but it found its place among parents who wanted a handy device to keep an eye over their little one’s breathing to get some peace of mind.
Owlet Baby Monitor is a baby sleeping monitoring system that uses a simple method (aka using a sock) to track your child’s heart rate and oxygen levels via pulse oximetry. It’s similar to other market-leading products like Angelcare Baby Movement Monitor.
With the purchase, you will get the following:
- Three different sizes of sensor socks
- A base station
- An iOS mobile app
It is the older sister of the second latest version called Owlet Smart Sock 2. The first version of Owlet offers similar features but with shorter Bluetooth range and original socks.
Now, Owlet has the 3rd generation up for grabs, the Owlet Smart Sock 3. To provide a complete value-added monitoring system, they also have a bundle, whereby you get the Smart Sock package together with a video camera to see your baby, which you can check here.
If you have a premature baby or worry about the vital of your newborn, Owlet is ideal for you. However, it is not a medical device. So, it might not be suitable if you have a kid with severe health issues like heart diseases. You may need a proper care for it.
- The sock is snug and comfortable for babies
- High-quality materials
- Long battery charge, up to 18 hours
- Easy to use
- Mobile app shows accurate numbers of heart rate and blood oxygen level
- The pulse oximetry works as expected
- Can be used on babies up to 18 months old
- False alarm if babies move a lot in sleep
- App is not available for Android
- Does not help you track sleep patterns
- Expensive price tag
OWLET BABY MONITOR REVIEW: Features
Simple Design & Ease of Use
Owlet is a well-designed baby monitor system that does not feel intrusive to your infant. There is no large gear or long, easily-strangled wires to put on your little one’s body.
Out of the box, you will get three different sizes of socks. So, you can choose it accordingly as your child grows from newborn to a toddler.
Now, inside the sock, there is a hospital-standard pulse oximetry that detects your baby pulses and oxygen level in his blood system.
From here, it will send the pulses data to the base station via its built-in Bluetooth connection.
I found many users complimented how comfortable the Owlet sock is to the baby’s foot. Plus, the Velcro strap helps to keep it tight and snug. However, some also said the strap tends to wear off after a while, a situation that is also seen in another similar monitor like the Baby Vida Baby Monitor.
Overall, the simplistic design makes it is easy to use. Check out this tutorial video to learn how to snug fit it:
Wired Base Station with High Accuracy
The dock is the interaction medium between your baby’s sock to your smartphone. It is another important feature that helps you to get the much-needed peace of mind.
What it does is it receives the data from the oximetry and display alert lightings and emits alarm sound as below:
- Green LED with no alarm sound – It means your baby’s oxygen level is normal. He/she is safe.
- Yellow LED – The base is having a difficulty getting a good read from the sock. If the yellow alert persists, the base will trigger an alarm sound.
- Red LED with alarm sound – It indicates that there is a problem with your baby’s breathing or oxygen levels, the alarm sound on your smartphone will let you know.
So, how does the Owlet set its alert rating? It rates your baby’s BPM (beats per minute) in the range of 60 to 220 bpm. If your baby’s heart rate goes out of this range, the alert occurs on both the dock and iOS mobile app.
For the oxygen level, the range on Owlet is 80% to 100%. If your baby loses oxygen, for any reason, and the reading goes below 80%, you will get the alert and alarm notification.
Good Battery and Charging
To use the dock, you need to plug it into a power outlet – it is not wireless. The nice thing about using the Owlet monitor is that the sock is rechargeable, so you don’t have to spend extra getting batteries. Simply plug in the sock to recharge it, and I recommend doing that immediately when you stop using the device on your baby so that it is ready for the next use.
It’s also nice to note that the battery can last about 18 hours of continuous use, something that many baby monitors may not live to such an expectation despite various claims on their performance. The Owlet smart sock certainly doesn’t disappoint in this aspect.
NOTE: In the latest Owlet Smart Sock 3, Owlet made improvements to the base station after the Smart Sock 2 and Original Smart Sock. The dock is now smaller in design, plus you get to enjoy the perks of charging the sock wirelessly, which makes the monitor great for travel use.
Decent Range and Connectivity
The only thing to keep in mind when using the Owlet dock is you will need to make sure it stays within 10 feet from the sock. It is operating on a Bluetooth connection, so it makes sense that the range is not that long.
I noticed that some users have tried to separate the sock and the dock from one room to another. The result is not as satisfying.
The connection is not stable, and lots of false alerts can be triggered. I recommend you to keep it in the same room.
If you find the alarm sound from the dock to disrupt your baby’s sleep, what you can do is you can set the Nursery Mode on from the Owlet mobile app.
I found this adjustable mode to be well-thought and helpful because it keeps the base silent even on a Yellow Alert. Only the alarm on your smartphone will be triggered.
Record and Track Your Baby’s Overall Sleeping Status
The next feature is the Owlet mobile application that is installable on your Apple smartphone. It is responsible for receiving data and alarm notification from the base to your phone.
Owlet uses your home’s Wi-Fi to establish a connection between the base and your iPhone or iPad. I found the setup process to be straightforward, and the phone app is highly navigable.
You will get the direct reading of your baby’s oxygen levels from their sleep last night. So, let’s say everything went well the other night, you can see on the app that the reading of his or her oxygen is 100%. However, the app doesn’t track your baby’s sleeping patterns though, in terms of rollovers.
As a parent, if I see this positive number, it makes me blow a sigh of relief knowing that my daughter sleeps (and breathing) well on her own!
Things You Need to Consider Before Buying a Baby BREATHING Monitor
The main reason why we need to purchase a baby monitor is we need a device that could help us track our baby’s breathing pattern and inform us whether he is asleep well at night.
A high-quality movement baby monitor is a must-have for parents who are nurturing newborn infants or toddlers between 0 to 18 months.
If your son or daughter is older than this age, you might not need it. An installation of CCTV inside his or her room should be sufficient (something like Nest Cam), though many parents prefer sticking to baby monitors due to the functionality these devices provide that are tailored to watching over your kids.
But before you decide to go ahead with a breathing monitor for your baby, consider these basic criteria:
- Functionality – In essence, a good baby monitor should be able to tell at least two things about your newborn: the breathing status and heart rate.
- Reliability – The thing that annoys me (and I am sure you too!) the most is an unreliable product. Your baby monitor should not be prone to false alarms that can disrupt your baby’s sleeping quality.
- Sensitivity – Some baby monitors can be quite insensitive. They do not detect the pulse of your child accurately enough. The one that can track even the slightest hint of breathing (normally for premature babies) is the ideal product.
- Ease of Use – The product should also be easy to operate. You should not hassle yourself with the setup, maintaining or tracking. Intuitive and user-friendly are the keywords.
OWLET BABY MONITOR REVIEW: Product Alternatives
There are three other similar products for you to consider as alternatives.
#1 Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor
Snuza Hero is a great alternative to Owlet. It works in a similar manner, which is to detect an irregularity in breathing. However, instead of using a sock, it uses a sensor device that you clip on your child’s diaper.
It is ideal for you if you do not want your child to wear any sensor – a simple clip and you are all set!
It detects the breathing from tummy’s movement. It vibrates if there is no movement after 15 seconds and emits an alarm sound after 20 seconds. It is also cheaper at about $100.
Similarities & Differences:
- Both the Snuza and Owlet detect breathing movements
- The Snuza works as a clip-on but the Owlet works via a smart sock
- The Snuza monitor has rousing vibration if no movement is detected after 15 seconds
- The Snuza does not have a phone app nor main monitoring unit unlike the Owlet
- The Snuza does not monitor heart rate or oxygen readings unlike the Owlet
- The Snuza is cheaper
#2 Angelcare Baby Movement Monitor AC517
The Angelcare baby monitor also has similar functionalities. However, it makes use of a sensor pad. Just place it under the mattress, and it will detect your child’s breathing pattern.
Again, if there is no movement after 20 seconds, you will hear an audible alarm sound. It is slightly expensive at about $300. If you have an extra budget, it is for you. We have did an extensive review on Angelcare Baby Monitor as well.
Similarities & Differences:
- Both the Angelcare and Owlet are in the expensive range
- The Angelcare has a parent unit with video display to see their baby
- The Angelcare works via a sensor pad
- The Angelcare monitor also has room temperature monitoring
- The Angelcare cannot monitor heart rate and oxygen levels unlike the Owlet
- 5" LCD touchscreen parent unit
- Under-the-mattress wireless Breathing Sensor Pad tracks subtle movements that audio and video monitors can't detect (This product is intended to be used only for parental reassurance to monitor your baby’s movements.)
- Alarm will sound if no breathing movement is detected after 20 seconds
#3 MonBaby Baby Breathing Monitor
If you are on a tight budget, I recommend you the third alternative: MonBaby Baby Breathing Monitor. Similar to the Owlet, it monitors your baby’s breathing on the smartphone app with real-time data tracking. If the reading of the pulses go out of the standard range or your , an alarm will set off.
However, the device uses a patented snap-on clip that attaches to your baby’s clothing above the chest instead of a sock. If you prefer a device that grows with your baby without the need to change sizes, it is worthy of your consideration.
Similarities & Differences:
- Both the MonBaby and Owlet detect breathing movements
- Both the MonBaby and Owlet have an app to track baby’s activities
- The MonBaby works via a wearable snap-on clip
- The MonBaby can track rollover movements but not the Owlet
- MonBaby monitor is much more affordable
- IMMEDIATELY KNOW IF BABY ROLLS ONTO THEIR TUMMY: A smart and proactive alternative to you having to check if your baby rolled over onto their stomach while sleeping.
- NO SKIN CONTACT NECESSARY. Only snap-on wearable monitor in baby monitor category.
- BLUETOOTH LOW ENERGY and MEETS CPSC REQUIREMENTS: Bluetooth connectivity has a near zero radiation level and a communication distance up to 50 feet(15m). Consumer Product Safety Commission accredited laboratory allows us to certify compliance and state that the product meets CPSC requirements.
EXTRAS: Social Proof ON OWLET BABY MONITOR
As I scoured the internet for more information and feedback on this Owlet Baby Monitor, I found that thousands of users have purchased it and so far, the rating is excellent.
Below are some of the feedbacks from happy and satisfied mommies who finally earned their well-deserved peace of mind. Let’s check them out together!
Bradi is a first-time mom who said that the Owlet is worth every penny!
Nads from California shared her experience using the device. She experienced no false alarms so far.
Sara Lynn left a review on her personal blog and highly recommended it to all mothers out there.
Kate who hailed from California is a new mom who relies on Owlet to check her daughter’s, Ruby, breathing – it has made her life easier!
Sudden breathing problems are scarily prevalent in infants. Plus, they also tend to experience irregular breathing and if left unattended, can lead to SSID (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
With Owlet Baby Monitor, you can prevent it. Now with an improved version in the form of the Owlet Smart Sock 3 (you can still get the Owlet Smart Sock 2 as well, though it’s slowly phasing out), the device will track your child’s oxygen levels and pulses every day. If no breathing is detected, you would get an alarm.
Most importantly, false alarms seldom happen with Owlet – unless you fit it improperly.
You and your baby can sleep peacefully in the middle of the night without those annoying beeping sound, and at the same time, being alerted if he is deprived of oxygen and stop breathing!
The sensor device is also small and accurate. It will not bother your child and function as expected.
Join other mothers who have finally achieved a good night sleep, knowing that there is a reliable device they can trust to keep their babies safe!
Last update on 2022-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API