If you’re interested in purchasing the Owlet smart sock monitor but aren’t sure if it’s right for you and importantly, if it’s worth it, then this post is for you! I’ll go through all of the reasons I love it (and also some reasons why I don’t love it so much…), which will hopefully help you to make your decision.
If you’d like to purchase the Owlet, click this link!
Don’t feel like reading? Check out my review over on YouTube!
When I was preparing for our baby’s arrival, I spent hours upon hours researching “newborn must-haves” and reading reviews on pretty much everything, trying to figure out which products I needed and which ones I could probably live without. I had my eye on the Owlet Smart Sock but the hefty price tag of £269 made me wonder if it was really worth it, so I decided not to get it. After all, a breathing and heart rate monitor that you put on your baby every time they sleep is a bit much right… right…?
Well fast-forward to Day 4 of having our brand new baby home and she fell ill and needed to be rushed to the hospital. This sent my anxiety into overdrive and I decided that if I was ever going to have any hope of sleeping again, I needed a bit more peace of mind. So, off to Amazon Prime I went and purchased the Owlet Smart Sock.
Spoiler alert: I love this device and highly recommend it. If you know you’ll be buying it, try to get it during one of their sales which happen throughout the year!
The Owlet Smart Sock is a device that you put on your baby’s right or left foot to monitor their oxygen levels and heart rate. It comes with a base station that you plug into the wall, and which is also used to charge the Owlet sock. You can use the app to monitor your baby’s stats in real-time, and to turn the base station on or off. If the app detects a dip or a spike in your baby’s stats, then the base station will flash and play a sound letting you know something’s up. If you use the app, then you will also get an alert on your phone, and if you have an Apple Watch, then you’ll get an alert on there too! Setup was very easy and only took a few minutes.
Some people love the Owlet, and some really hate it. It works for our family and we love it, but I should point out some of the reasons people don’t like it.
Firstly, the thing can be buggy and give false alerts (I’ll explain my experience with this down below). Some people feel it might make their anxiety worse as a result of false alerts (or even the mere fact of having the device). Secondly, if you’re in any “Safe Sleep” or parenting Facebook groups then you’ll know that the Owlet is often discussed and some feel that parents might be more inclined to practice unsafe sleeping because they’re “relying” on the Owlet Smart Sock to alert them if there’s a problem.
Those things didn’t apply to me, so I felt comfortable using it.
I’ve already said I love the Owlet Smart Sock, but there are definitely some things I don’t love about it.
- It is not uncommon to get a defective or faulty device: when we first tried to use the sock, it didn’t work. After several frustrating nights of getting no readings or yellow alerts telling us that the sock was not “placed” correctly on the baby’s foot, we gave up. When I contacted the supplier though they sent a new sensor replacement and charging cable, and the Owlet then worked perfectly. Really disappointing given the cost of the product!
- The app is buggy and sometimes it will disconnect from the base station, and you have to hard-close out of it and re-open it.
- I suspect the range of the base station to your phone/app is not great. My apartment isn’t huge but when I’m on our balcony, the app cannot connect to the base station so I can’t keep an eye on it.
- There is a green pulsating light on the base station letting you know whether it’s taking readings or not. This light is so bright it’s excessive… it was lighting up the whole room in a green glow. You can dim the light by pressing on the base station and holding it for a few seconds, and once I discovered that I found the light to be much more bearable.
- If your baby moves even the tiniest bit, then the Owlet cannot take a reading. This could potentially be a problem if you’ve got a baby that moves a lot or… if you have a Snoo bassinet.
- The Owlet Smart Sock does not work for us if the Snoo is soothing at any level higher than “baseline” so if you plan to lock you Snoo on Level 1 for example, it’s highly likely that the Owlet Smart Sock won’t work for you.
- You can’t adjust the ranges that trigger alerts – they are hard coded into the device. We don’t need to change the levels as they are ok for us, but I can imagine a case where a parent might want to be able to manually adjust them.
- The UK version of the app does not have historical data!! This is a huge disappointment, and my understanding is that this is GDPR-related. The US version of the app lets your review your baby’s stats so you can wake up in the morning and see how well they slept and what their vitals were all night. This would really set the Owlet apart from other monitors if it had the same functionality as the US version. I didn’t know this didn’t work on the UK version until I received it, and was sorely disappointed when I realized that feature was missing!
The Owlet Smart Sock is clearly not perfect and has room for improvement, but… I still absolutely love it and am thankful that it exists; I honestly don’t know how I would sleep without it.
Now onto the good stuff!
- We have not experienced any false alerts thankfully and I am confident that the readings the Owlet Smart Sock is taking are accurate. It is NOT considered a medical device, but it has given me the same readings as medical-grade devices, so I feel reassured with the readings it gives.
- The sock is very easy to put on – even on a wriggling baby – and stays on all night. Sometimes our Little kicks it off if she’s in a sleep-fighting mood, but you can just put a regular sock over it to prevent that. I’ve managed to put the sock on while nursing, with my non-dominant hand, and in the dark…! I was worried that it would be a hassle to put the sock on every time we put our baby down to sleep, but it takes around 5 seconds and I don’t even think twice about it now.
- Monitoring works even if you don’t have the app open. For me, this point was crucial!! I have another breathing and roll-over monitor which I never really trusted to alert me if needed, because it didn’t have an independent base station – it was just bluetooth.
- There is very little lag with the readings on the app. As soon as the baby moves, this is immediately picked up on the app. This is particularly useful as it tells me when baby is waking up. I can also use the readings to know when she is in a deep sleep or not (for our little girl, a heart rate below 125 usually means she’s sound asleep).
You might be noticing that my list of things that are not-so-great is literally twice as long as the things I love about it, and wondering why I’m still recommending this product.
The answer is simple: it works, and the pros far outweigh the cons. Could it be better? Absolutely. Does it do what it’s supposed to do (when the sensor isn’t defective…)? Absolutely.
If you’re anything like me and love a good baby gadget, or if you just want to have a little extra peace of mind, then I highly recommend checking out the Owlet Smart Sock.