Let me preface this post with saying that I have not been paid, sponsored nor given an Owlet monitor in exchange for a review. With that said: Is it worth the money? It depends. It depends onwho you are as a parent.
If you've been researching the Owlet monitor it is more likely than not that you have seen first hand the various parenting styles I am referring to. There are the "chillaxed" parents, the "better safe than sorry" parents, and the "worry wart" parents. The chillaxed parents generally avoid monitors and think that they are unnecessary all together. The better safe than sorry parents want some sort of monitor but are unsure whether the Owlet is actually worth the price. The worry wart parents typically want ALL THE MONITORS available.
This article is geared towards the parents who, just as I was, are unsure of whether the Owlet is actually worth the price.
What is the Owlet, and what does it do for the price?
The Owlet is a smart sock that monitors your baby's heart beat and oxygen levels (retails for $249). It uses the same technology utilized in hospitals and provides accurate readings through a small removable device within a sock.
You can use the system through your wifi network or use it "off-line." You can also view the stats and disable the monitor through your smart phone.
You are notified through the base as well as the smart phone of any alerts. Yellow alerts = sock fell off/incorrectly places. Blue alerts = sock unable to communicate with base. Red alerts = high or low heart rate/low oxygen levels.
Peaceful Sleep vs. False Alarms
One of the selling points that led us to purchasing the Owlet monitor was the hope of having peace of mind and in turn better sleep. Before the Owlet, I use to get up multiple times during the night just to peek into the bassinet and make sure Baby was still breathing. After the Owlet, there was no need to get up. Because the Owlet base glows green when the baby's stats are okay, all I needed to do was look up towards the base or open the app on my phone and verify that his levels were normal.
I've heard from some people that they have received false alarms and that in turn this has defeated the promise of better sleep. Frankly, I have had a total of 3 false alarms in the 4 months since my son's birth. These alarms have been due to him either kicking his sock off or the sock not transmitting a signal because I was holding him. Both of these signal types are either yellow or blue. I have NEVER had a false red alarm. I resolved the issue of the baby kicking his sock off by either placing a regular sock on top of the monitor or tightening the velcro on the sock. I resolved the issue with the blue alerts by turning the monitor off if I am going to be holding him.
In all honesty, the weight of the "false alarms" is greatly outweighed by the benefit the monitor provides. The monitor, in my opinion, provides a great service and I do not care if I occasionally have to disable the monitor to either put his sock back on or change the baby's position.
Prevention of Catastrophic Events
SIDS can happen even when you do everything right. It is one of the most common causes of death in babies between 1 and 12 months of age. A small percentage of children who die from SIDS have apnea symptoms prior to death. A variety of medical conditions can cause infant sleep apnea or make it worse, such as:
- Acid reflux
- Lung disease
- Metabolic disorders
- Neurological problems
- Small upper airway
Because the Owlet monitor detects dangerous levels in oxygen or heart rate, it can notify parents of the child's distress or possible underlying issues that might need further medical attention. This could help prevent devastating tragedies from occurring!
The monitor costs $249. It will fit your child through 18 months by interchanging the device with the various sized socks provided. If you divide the cost per day, it equates roughly to $0.46/day. Weighing the price per day with the services it provides, there is no question in my mind that the Owlet is worth every penny.
If for some reason you have any issues with your device, you can contact their customer service and they will gladly help you resolve the issue. The company stands by their product and is willing to back all of their claims with a 30 day money back guarantee. Their excellent customer service is also evidenced by their follow up emails asking if I need assistance or if I am liking the monitor. Well, I don't like it. I LOVE it.
So... Is it worth it?
It serves as my peace of mind and allows me to sleep better. It helps keep an eye on the most precious being in my life. It satisfies the techie in me. The company has great customer service. Because of all of these reasons, the owlet is worth every single penny.
Hope this helped tackle some of the concerns you had about purchasing the Owlet monitor. Let me know if you end up purchasing it or if you have any other questions.