How the Owlet Sock Monitor Changed Our Lives

May 10, 2019

I saw a post the other day for new moms. It was asking what the most life-changing product was for you this far into motherhood. Lots of people responded with the usual stuff. Swaddles, rock and plays, Dr. Browns bottles, a stroller, and even a few other typical baby products. I wanted to jump in and shout, “The Owlet Sock Monitor! It literally changed our lives!”

Maybe it’s the social awkwardness of autism that held me back or maybe it’s because writing about something this vulnerable just feels like a bit too much on such a casual post. How do you say it probably saved your child’s life in just a few words that you drop and leave in the comments?

Exactly one month ago today I was sitting awake at 5am completely exhausted. We had been up pretty late. I sent my husband to bed and decided to stay up as late as I could this time. We had just left the ER after a long night. The only reason we went was because the Owlet had been setting off red alarms as soon as we turned it on. Howie had a bad cold and seemed to be on the mend so even though we were struggling through the nights and he wasn’t that interested in eating, we did notice he seemed to be doing better. He was on the downhill side of a bad cold. Those red alarms on the Owlet made us rethink the simplicity of a bad cold. The alarms were going off because his oxygen was reading as less than 80%, an automatic trigger for the alarm to go off. Sure, these devices are known to have a few false alarms. However, this alarm kept going off while our child was sick. I decided that we should head in to the ER. There was no way I was going to turn the alarm off with him being sick and there’s no way we were going to get any sleep if it kept going.

What I didn’t know at the time was the connection between him looking unusually pale and blue-tinted to his oxygen. I had remarked just hours before on how he looked a little blue, but maybe it was just paleness from being so sick. The two were connected. He was not getting enough oxygen and it wasn’t circulating well either.

I’ll spare you the details of one of the most rural ERs in the continental US. We live in a pretty remote area. What I will say is that you can’t always expect the same standard of care in a rural place as you would somewhere populated unfortunately. This is true of many things, not just healthcare where we live.

After a few hours in the ER that evening we left with a diagnosis of RSV and on oxygen, with very little information on what to do next. The ER only casually suggested we follow up with our pediatrician. Turns out we had an x-ray that should have been followed up on much sooner than they suggested.

Regardless of the ER and the fact that he was much sicker than we thought, the one thing I do know is that the Owlet probably saved his life. Without it, we wouldn’t have known how much he was struggling – and we may not have even known until it was too late.

The moral of all this? If you’re a new mom – get yourself an Owlet sock. It’s a little tool that works a lot like the little finger monitors in the hospital. It measures your oxygen levels and heart rate. With the Owlet you can do that at home with your baby. It’s a simple sock that connects to an alarm. The alarm works with wifi or without it. With wifi it can also send notifications to the app on your phone and you can track sleep and awake time in addition to the oxygen and heart rate. Without wifi, the alarm would still go off and you’d still know to take your baby in to the doctor.

Originally I bought this for peace of mind. Any new mom knows what it’s like to constantly be going in and checking to see if your baby can breathe or not. This does that for me and has allowed me better sleep on a regular basis. I thought when I bought it that it would be like Murphy’s law. Since I bought it, I wouldn’t end up needing it. Turns out I did need it. I would buy it over and over again. Everyone should buy it. I can’t say I love all of Owlet’s tools or customer service, but the sock monitor is worth it. I have the camera and despite help from customer service – it doesn’t work at all for me. You can buy their products if you have an HSA (health savings account), which is what we did when I was pregnant.

Basically, if you don’t have one. Go get one. It could save your child’s life.

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