Is Owlet Baby Monitor Good For Your Baby?

A woman’s journey to motherhood is never a smooth and joyous ride to a new motherland! It is characterized by a roller-coaster of emotions, physical, and physiological challenges. If motherhood tales are to be told, all speakers would be mothers. Fathers if present, would be silent witnesses!

With the arrival of your bundles of joy, excitement reigns supreme, a new phase begins. Will it be always filled with blissful nights and dreams? I guess not.

Your newborn is now in a new strange world. Close care, and monitoring his/her a condition is critical.  Take this for granted, and you fail as a mother!

A time comes when you sense your baby is unwell, and you are not just sure of what to do.  You have to closely monitor your baby’s condition before taking any action. This is when you can consider the Owlet Baby Monitor. But is Owlet Baby Monitor good for your baby? Well, before you can answer this, it’s important to be enlightened first.

What is Owlet Baby Monitor?

Owlet Baby Monitor is a baby device that uses oximetry technology to monitor your baby’s pulse when he/she is asleep.

It is equipped with an alarm to alert you whenever your baby stops to breathe. The device works by monitoring oxygen saturation and blood volume changes on your baby’s skin.

Owlet Baby Monitor, therefore, helps in detecting a Hypoxemia condition. This is often a signal that there are breathing or blood circulation problems. If not addressed, this can affect breathing and be fatal especially to your young baby.

How Does It Work?

When the baby monitor detects a critically low level of oxygen saturation of blood through pulse signals, an alarm is activated.

When well fitted, you don’t need to keep an eye on your sleeping baby. The baby monitor will be monitoring your angel’s heart-bit rate and oxygen level for you as you and your baby enjoy your night rests.

Do you know that a healthy baby of below one year can unexpectedly die due to a condition called Sudden Death Syndrome (SIDS)? This can be scary indeed.

Owlet Baby Monitor can, therefore, be a preventive measure. But is it? Well,  shall investigate further on this…keep reading.

 How Do you Use Owlet Baby Monitor?

Owlet Baby Monitor comes in the form of a Smart Sock 2 equipped with certified pulse oximetry or Smart Sock sensor. It comes with 18-hour battery life and a Base Station. The Base Station receives sensor data for intelligent processing. It is also Smart Sock’s charging dock.

To monitor your sleeping baby’s blood oxygen levels and heart rate, you wrap Smart Sock 2  around your baby’s tender foot. It comes together with the Base Station.

Green-light from the Base Station assures you that all is well. In case of a problem, it emits an alarm sound.

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With your smartphone (iOs 8 or higher version or Android 4.4 or higher), real-time data of your baby’s heart-beat rate, and blood oxygen levels are within your reach.

You will, however, require a Wi-Fi connection to your Owlet App. Base Station’s light intensity, sound, and smartphone notifications can all be adjusted accordingly.

 How Do You Select Smart Socks 2?

It is important that you only select the right Smart Sock for your baby. There are 4 sizes to select from based on your baby’s age as follows:

  1. Size 1 (0-4weeks),
  2. Size-2 (1-3months)
  3. Size 3-(3-10months)
  4. Size-4(10-18months).

Always remember that your baby’s foot is tender. Selecting the right sock size is very important. Also, ensure you position both the sock and sensor correctly when wrapping around your baby’s foot.

This is important…

Don’t over-tighten the sock! Not selecting the right sock or not wrapping it correctly can subject your baby to other risks related to pressure marks, red marks or blisters appearing on your baby’s foot. You definitely don’t want this to happen.

When the sock is not in use, remember to turn it off to save battery power. For safe-keeping,  attach it to its Base Station.

How Do You Identify, and Respond to False Alarms?

False notifications can be as a result of the following conditions:

1. Smart Sock is disconnected from its Base Station-Blue light warning.

This can be experienced because Smart Sock operates on low-frequency and low-power. Any obstruction thus affects the connection.

Correction:

  • Properly repositioning your body so that you do not act as a barrier between the Smart Sock sensor and the Base Station. Disconnection activates Base Station’s blue light as a notification.
  • Ensure that you first turn off the base station, then after you have positioned yourself well and the baby, switch it on.
  • Remember Owlet sock works best when the baby is asleep, so, do not disturb or rock your sleeping baby when the device is on.
  • Ensure that the Base Station is positioned closer to the baby with no obstructions in between.
  • Any time you are leaving a room with your baby, always turn –off monitoring.

2. Improper Wrapping of Smart Sock-Yellow light warning.

Yellow notifications may arise when:

  • Smart Sock has fallen off or is not properly wrapped on your baby’s foot. It, therefore, means the Base Station is not able to capture your baby’s pulse for data processing.  A simple check and correction clear the notification.
  • Incorrect Positioning of Smart Sock Sensor. Smart Sock sensors are positioned to be visible from two clear openings. Improper positioning will also lead to a false yellow alarm activation.
  • Interference From Light and Movements. Smart Sock is sensitive to movements and other external sources of light. These may lead to false activation of the Base Station’s electronic sensor causing it to emit yellow light. To address this, ensure that you only use the sock when your baby is asleep. When in use, ensure there are no external lights or movements towards the surrounding area.
  • Smart Sock Kicked off By Your Baby. Smart Sock is designed to resist removal by a baby’s kicks. However, as your baby grows, its kicks become more and more powerful, and frequent!  The trick to beat this is either covering Smart Sock with foot pajamas or covering it with a regular well-fitting sock.

3. Incorrect Fitting of Sock-Red Light Notification. 

  • Poorly Fitted Socks: Ideally, a red light notification ought to only be activated when there is an abnormality. That is when your baby’s heartbeat rate or if oxygen saturation is detected by the sensor as abnormally low. Incorrect fitting socks can, however, create a wrong notification. To clear the error, ensure that your baby’s Smart Sock is of suitable size, and is correctly fitted.
  • Your Baby Maybe Unwell: When your baby is unwell, there are changes in his/her system that may lead to low oxygen level in his/her bloodstream. Any variations below your configured level will automatically activate notification alarm. When you notice your baby is not in his/her normal body condition, take action immediately. Take your baby to a pediatrician for correct medical investigation.

How Do You Maintain Owlet Smart Sock?

  • Save battery life by turning the Smart Sock off when you’re not using it! Just touch the Smart Sock to the top of the Base Station and the Sock Electronics will shut down.
  • To turn the Smart Sock back on just plug it into the Base Station which should be stationed in a secure place to avoid accidental tampering.
  • Owlet Smart Sock should be washed with a gentle detergent as with other of your baby clothes. It is however important that your first remove the Smart Sensor before dipping Sock in water!
  • Always ensured that the Smart Sock is well charged, and Base Station notifications configured accordingly.

How is Owlet Baby Monitor Beneficial to You?

Well, they say Smart is good…but is Owlet Smart Sock good for you and your baby? Let us explore both sides:

Cons:

1. You are Assured of Peaceful Night Sleep

Taking care o your baby, and other house tasks daily stress and strain your entire system. When your baby is sleeping, that is the time you also need to rejuvenate your system. You deserve a good night’s sleep.  With Owlet Smart Sock baby monitor, you are assured that in case your baby’s condition changes adversely, you will be woken up by a Smart system!

2. Your Peace of Mind!

By letting Smart Sock do monitoring and relay back information to you, your stress level is significantly reduced. Your peace of mind means your improved mental health.

3. Your Baby’s Conform is Guaranteed.

Owlet Smart Sock is designed with a soft and tender organic cotton fabric for your baby’s comfort. The sock fits snuggly and therefore does not affect your baby’s tender skin. Due to the sock’s small size, you can use it with regular socks or footed pajamas to keep your baby’s feet warm for a comfortable night sleep.

4. You Convenience and Flexibility Assured

With the mobile app and internet connectivity, you can monitor your baby’s condition in any location. Whether you are studying in a room downstairs or has gone for a short trip, you can always access vital information about your baby’s state, and act accordingly.

5. You are Assured of Safety

Technology in Owlet Baby monitor has been tested to ensure that there are no adverse clinical impacts. This creates desired positivity to effectively utilize the system for full benefit without any fear or medical worries.

 Pros:

1. Medical Concerns/Risks

Academy of Americas Pediatricians declared that monitors that are linked to a cardiovascular system such as Owlet Baby monitors, don’t actually prevent sudden infant deaths (SIDs)

It has further been argued that monitoring products such as Owlet monitors need to be approved by US FDA (Food and Drug Administration). However, their suppliers and manufacturers don’t categorize them as medical devices for required medical tests and approval. In essence, as a mother, you may not be fully sure of the type of tests the Baby Monitor has actually undergone if any.

It has been argued that devices such as Omelet monitor can put your baby at risk. This is according to publications such as the Journal of the American Medical Association. Some doctors and researchers have also argued that such devices have risks. Such baby monitoring devices, they reason, creates a false pretense of death prevention through Sudden Infant Death (SIDs).

2. Risks of False Alarms

Red Alarms Notification from Owlet Baby Monitor is only expected when the baby has serious breathing conditions. False notifications can subject you as a mother to unnecessary stress and panic.

Cases of false alarms may be frequent based on your home conditions. This may add more stress to your nights instead of reducing.

Other Cons:

  1. It’s expensive: For a complete Owlet Baby Monitor solution, you will need to part with from USD 150-USD 300 for its suitable smartphone loaded with Owlet app. Complete with Owlet Smart Sock and other related accessories, the cost just gets much higher.
  2. Your Baby must first be asleep for it to work.  This is a limitation since a baby may still have serious conditions when awake that as a mother, you may need to monitor effectively.
  3. It requires daily charging which is inconveniencing to a nursing mother.

Conclusion.

Owlet Baby Monitor is indeed a new innovative way meant to help you monitor your baby’s conditions.  Like any other technology, it has its pros and cons.

By going for Owlet Baby Monitor to reap its full benefits, you must as well be ready to deal with its negative impacts. This includes receiving its false notifications!

If you already have enough care support and feel there is no much to worry about, it may not be a priority.

However, if you can afford it, and believe it is your ultimate solution, go for it and….and have a peace of mind!

(Researched, written and published by Meshack Sewe).


Image Source: Owlet

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