I have been fascinated by the Owlet smart sock for a very long time. It is designed to notify you if your baby’s oxygen levels or heart rate fall out of a preset range. I’ve heard mainly positive things and a few negative things about it. I asked my friend to use it for months and give an honest and unbiased review of it. I found her review very informative and helpful. Owlet even replied to a few of the things she struggled with. Here is her experience:
Being a new parent is so much harder than I expected, so anything to make life a little easier is always welcome. That is why I was extremely excited to get the Owlet! When I first heard of the Owlet, I thought it sounded like an all-powerful object that could save my baby and give me complete peace of mind.
Though it didn’t turn out to be all-powerful, it has offered much needed solace. It isn’t a perfect product, but overall I’m glad I own it.
I was pleasantly surprised that set up only took about 15 minutes. It probably would’ve taken less time, but my internet was being finicky.
I wasn’t looking forward to setting it up because I hate reading directions. I read the first page, and it told me to download the app to set up the device. After I did that, it took me through the whole process step-by-step, and it was all very simple. I was initially annoyed that there were videos you had to watch and that they quizzed you on them. But if they hadn’t, I would’ve had no idea how to fit the sock right, what alarms meant, or how to use the Owlet in general.
Overall, it is very simple to set up. The implementation of 3 alarms to cover technical issues as well as real alerts is great, and the alarm sounds for the 2 lesser alarms can be silenced if you so choose, while the red alert can never be shut off. In any case, you always get phone alerts when something happens. The multiple sock sizes allow you use the Owlet for months during the most worrisome parts of an infant’s life. The sock charges really fast, too!
When I first started using the Owlet, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders. I felt I could put my baby to sleep at night without worrying that something might go wrong while I slept. So I was finally able to get better quality rest and not be constantly on edge.
There were a few times where the base station seemed a bit finicky. A number of times the yellow alarm went off, which signifies the sock being improperly positioned. I would check it, only to find out it was still properly placed. After a few minutes the base station would say it was normal again, despite me doing nothing. I still don’t know why that happened. This was mostly annoying because it would wake up our baby.
I really liked the app at first; I didn’t have any issues with it for the first 2 months. I could put pictures of my cute little baby on the app, and it was great seeing his normal heart rate and oxygen levels all through the night. I also could see when he was wiggling, which I liked because I could tell when he was awake before he started crying. I could also tell when he would actually be asleep and stop wiggling, so I wouldn’t have to go in his room and risk disturbing him. I also found it cool when my mother-in-law babysat him: I could see when he woke up from naps and when he slept using the phone app. It was so nice to be able to ‘check’ on him while I and my husband were out.
About two months in, however, the app quit working for awhile! I tried everything: deleting and re-downloading it several times, logging out and in, but nothing worked to get it past the loading screen. Luckily, it hasn’t happened since, and in hindsight it might have been around a time the app was updating. So other than that, I have loved the app.
For me, these past few months have been crazy with visiting family and moving. I was a little worried that setting up the Owlet just for a night at different places would be a bit of a nightmare. Thankfully it was still as simple as plugging it in. One nice facet is that even without an internet connection, the base station still reads the sock. The only difference is that it no longer sends notifications to your phone.
Something I wish the Owlet had was a wider range for reading the sock. My husband and I are deep sleepers, so having the base station in our room would be ideal, but it can’t connect with the sock in my son’s room that’s no more than 20 ft away. So I either have to have him sleep in our room or have the base station in his room, which in my case means I have to have the station with him. To compensate for this issue, I use a normal baby monitor to make sure I hear the station if it goes off.
I have had 2 false red alarms since I got the Owlet. Both times I was holding my baby, and one of those times he had a cold which apparently increases the risk of false alarms. I think the other time I had the sock on wrong but both times I had a serious panic attack. I had no peace of mind those nights. I figured if the Owlet gave false alarms then maybe it could fail to go off. This isn’t true, and after learning that, I haven’t worried about it since.
I do wish you could turn off the audible chime that happens when you turn on the base station. Since I forget sometimes to turn it on while my baby is awake, it’s annoying that as soon as I finally get him to sleep I have to put up with that chiming and risk waking him up. Granted, this is mostly an annoyance and not a big issue.
This product says it’s meant only for bedtime and doesn’t work as well in the light. I don’t understand why that is, but I still use it for nap time and I haven’t had any issues.
I love the Owlet at home, but at least for the first few weeks when my baby was so quiet in the car, it would have been great to have something to give me peace of mind on the road, especially for my long trip when I moved. I know there are products out there that are portable (I don’t know how good they are), which is what I thought the Owlet would be like. I assumed it could be used anywhere as long as it was charged. I was therefore disappointed when I realized that wasn’t the case.
Overall, I have been pleased with my Owlet and I would recommend it to any concerned. It is easy to use, has a fun design, and it offers a very welcome peace of mind!
Here’s Owlet’s response to this review:
Thanks for sharing this. I do have some info that may be helpful for the user!
- Turn off monitoring when you hold the baby. Your body can interfere with the monitoring and cause false alarms (or blue alerts, for disconnect — as your body blocks the signal).
- With regard to the range, great feedback. Range varies based on a number of things, like construction of your home (e.g., solid concrete walls versus hollow walls, etc.). In my house, I can keep it about 25′ away from the Smart Sock, but again, it varies by home. We are looking into improvements on that in the future.
- The app has greatly improved too! We’re always working to improve it and take user feedback seriously in making it a better experience.