Mother and Baby

Owlet Smart Sock Review


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Mother&Baby Awards
  • 2020 Silver Innovation of the Year Awards

At a glance: 

The Owlet Smart Sock does more than monitoring your baby, this monitor tracks your little one's heart rate and oxygen levels all from your smartphone. You can feel assured and rest knowing that your baby's health is in safe hands. The smart sock uses pulse oximetry, wrapped in a tiny sock, and notifies you immediately if their levels leave preset zones. 

Why do you think this product is so different to anything else on the market?

Kimberly: I think this product is different from anything else on the market because, whilst similar products are available, they don't notify you as quickly. The Smart Sock 2 gives you peace of mind that if something was troubling my daughter I would be notified straight away and be able to sort out the issue. Battery life is also impressive, it easily lasts the night and then recharges in 3 hours.

Louise: This product uses a sock to obtain direct contact with your baby as opposed to other products that work via indirect contact. The positioning on the foot would, in my opinion, be less obtrusive than anywhere else on the body. Unfortunately, the sock would not work. The sock connects to a base station which in turn connects to the Internet via WiFi. An app on your phone then communicates with the sock via Owlet’s servers. The setup of the product appeared to be simple. The first step was to connect the sock to the base station which was relatively seamless. The next step was to connect the base station to the WiFi. The app listed my SSID and I entered my password. After a minute the app showed an error indicating a timeout. Trying again multiple times did not solve the problem. I tried an Android phone inside of an Apple phone and experienced the same issue. 

Samantha: There is no other monitor that I am aware of that monitors their heart rate and oxygen levels such as this product. Traditional monitors don’t provide parents with the information they need to feel the reassurance that when their baby is sleeping their breathing is within the normal range. As a new mum I felt like this product gave me peace of mind knowing that if my baby's breathing and oxygen was to fall below the normal range, the owlet base would alarm and notify me - the product comes with an app that you can download easily to your phone or tablet making the information generated each time you use this monitor very interactive. It is also worth mentioning that the information is always individualised. When setting up the product you are asked to input personal details about your child such as age and weight etc.

Why does it change your life with your baby?

Kimberley: With both my now toddler and little girl, I was extremely anxious when it was time for us to all sleep. I was forever waking up and checking on them to make sure they were still breathing, even with the Angel Care mat in their cot. We had to spend a couple of nights in hospital and I didn't sleep a wink worrying - having the Smart Sock then would have been a Godsend. Since I have used the sock I am now able to get some sleep knowing that the base station will notify us if there are any issues. It is amazing to access live reading at any time of night, especially now my little girl is in her own room. SIDS is always something that plays on your mind but the Smart Sock has helped ease my worries. Luckily, my little girl had no medical issues but that wasn't the case for my son; he suffered from laryngomalacia and reflux. He would sometimes choke and stop breathing for short spells. I only wish I'd heard of the Smart Sock three years ago.

Louise: The item did not work, even after support from the manufacturer and so it made no difference whatsoever.

Samantha: This monitor is interactive and simple to use, it gives you the freedom to take your mobile phone around the house knowing that if there was a problem you would be notified via the owlet app. Knowing that this product is interactive through my phone, it helped me to have a better night's sleep and did reduce my anxiety. However, I did find that at times that when the sock fell off my baby's foot, the constant alarms did keep me awake. I also found that when my baby's feet became warm, the sock did struggle to get an accurate reading. Overall, I feel positive about this product and feel this could help to improve anxiety significantly, especially with new mums, as you don’t need to be constantly checking your baby's breathing as the owlet does it for you.

What excites you about this product?

Kimberley: One of the features I loved about the Smart Sock was the fact I could check the app no matter where I was when leaving our little girl with relatives. It made the first night out leaving her so much more enjoyable. Also, I loved the feature that sees the base station glowing green to indicate all is well. It means that when I woke up in the night I could just glance at it, and was instantly reassured that my daughter was fine. As the product is in the premium price range, I love the fact that three different sock sizes are included. This means it will definitely last my little girl until she is 18-months-old.

Louise: I was excited by the prospect of peace of mind by the monitoring of my baby. Sometimes it is not always easy to tell at a glance on the video monitor that everything is ok. I would be careful and not rely on it too much, given it is technology and could be prone to failure or misinterpretation. I would have found the statistics from the app to be useful in determining the quality of her sleep and how much she tends to move around overnight.

Samantha: This product is designed to a high-quality overall and found it to be very useful with it being interactive and synced to my phone. I was excited to use this product with my new baby as I was hoping it would give me confidence and reassurance that my baby was sleeping soundly and breathing ok. Although after using this product for a few weeks, I did feel like I would only feel the benefit of using it with my baby for the first few months only. This is mostly due to me becoming confident and getting to know my baby and her sleeping habits and routines.

What one thing would you change about this product?

Kimberley: In all fairness, I wouldn't really look to change anything about the Smart Sock. Yes, it is pricey at £269 but this soon becomes a small cost for the peace of mind it gives. At first, we had trouble connecting to the base and then realised we needed to download the European version of the app. It would have helped if this had been a bit clearer. Although I don't think anything is wrong with the sock, the app could do with a little more work to make this product truly top of the range.

Louise: I would make it less picky about the WiFi channels that the product supports. Owlet state that “you have to ask your Internet Service Provider to do this for you” but in the United Kingdom, that is not something that Internet Service Providers tend to support; it tends to be buried deep inside the settings of a Wireless Access Point and beyond the understanding of most people. Customers who have spent this much money should not have to care about such things. Wireless Access Points broadcast channel information as part of the broadcast of their SSID. I could even see the app receiving the data packets containing the channel number. It would have saved both me and Owlet a great deal of time if the app had detected the channel number that was in use and informed me that it wasn’t supported.

Samantha: The one thing I would change or adapt to this product would be the addition of the room temperature and the baby’s body temperature. I also found the sock hyper sensitive resulting in multiple notifications, but this could be a pro or a con depending on the individual and the baby.

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