Have you heard about the Owlet monitor?
One of the founders emailed me back in 2013 asking if I thought it would be of interest to parents. It’s a “mini pulse oximetry device that is contained in a sock and placed on a baby’s foot while sleeping. It tracks the child’s heart rate and oxygen levels, and notifies the parents if those levels fall outside the preset zones.”
Um, yes. Yes, I think I lot of parents would like that.
When my son was a baby, I was constantly checking to see if he was breathing to the point where “sleep when the baby sleeps” was never happening in our house because I was on constant patrol.
We had one of those monitors that slipped under the crib mattress, but the only problem was that kid was never on the mattress. He was in a bassinet, the swing, the pack n’ play, or on my chest but rarely, if ever, in the crib.
So I love the fact that this little sock travels with your baby – not what your baby is sleeping in.
It uses the same technology hospitals use, pulse oximetry – it’s that little clip they put on your finger. A small light shines through your skin and the amount of blood flow and oxygen levels are estimated based on how much light is transmitted to the sensor. They’ve combined this technology with a sock to give you an extra set of eyes on your baby while they’re asleep – tracking both their heart rate and oxygen saturation.
While it’s not a life-saving device, it’s designed to notify you, so you can intervene and take action or, as would be in my case, bust through the wall like the fucking Koolaid man.
The sock is soft, wireless, and doesn’t use any adhesives. The electronic components are housed in a water-resistant, silicone case to protect your child from any electrical contact.
Side note: it’s not a medical device so if your baby is sent home on medical monitors you use that stuff. I don’t need to tell you that, right? You’re smart.
Now, I’m sure there will be people tsk tsk’ing that they didn’t have all this crap when they had a baby and their baby was just fine, and I totally agree that you don’t HAVE to have one of these. But I remember those nights when my baby would be sound asleep – where I could have grabbed 20 consecutive minutes of rest myself – and I would think, “He’s sleeping awfully soundly. He seems too quiet.” and it would make me panic and I would end up checking on him which may or may not wake him up.
It was like this perpetual dance of insanity I was in, so this would have been a game changer for me.
For some parents, something like this would make them feel even more twitchy and the price tag is also nothing to sneeze at (although, I will say that I spent $300 on much dumber stuff.) Personally, I would have found the feedback reassuring at a time when I couldn’t believe that I was in charge of an actual live baby. Maybe that’s just me.
What do you guys think? Would you find it helpful?
If you wanted to find out more about it, you can check it out on the Owlet site.