A certain level of paranoia is simply a byproduct of parenthood for many moms and dads. Especially in the newborn days, it can be really difficult to have your baby out of your sight for even a few minutes without worries creeping in. Products like the Owlet Smart Sock have come on the market in the past few years to help soothe anxious moms and dads, and now the company is taking things a step further. The new Owlet Cam video monitor takes checking in on your baby to a whole new level when it's used with the Smart Sock.
The Owlet Cam, which retails for $149, lets you see, hear, and speak to your little one no matter where you are, and keeps tabs on the temperature of your baby's room. The picture you get won't be a blurry mess either: The camera's HD 1080p video quality means you get a clear view of your baby and nursery, and even has night vision. Lots of other baby cams do those same things, of course, so what's the big deal? Well, there are two noteworthy things about this camera, a first for the Owlet brand. First, is their secure, encrypted WIFI that keeps your stream secure. Second, you can pair the camera with the Owlet's Smart Sock ($300, Amazon) to not only monitor the sights and sounds coming from your baby's nursery, but also track your little one's their heart rate and oxygen levels, collecting all relevant data in one streamlined app. And if you're pregnant later this year and decide to invest in the Owlet band, you'll have even more baby-related data to collect in the app.
The in-depth level of monitoring that the Owlet sock provides may be too much information for some parents, but for others, it's been a literal life-saver. Back in 2017, a dad took to Facebook to share how the Owlet sock saved his newborn son's life. He and his wife were woken up by an notification from it in the middle of the night that said their baby's heart was pumping abnormally fast at 286 beats a minute. They rushed him to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), a heart condition that can block blood flow to the body. The Smart Sock allowed those parents to catch the problem and treat it, making it more than worth the $300 price tag for the family.
Owlet's websites notes, of course, that it's not a medical device and it's "not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, alleviate or prevent any disease or health condition." Rather, it's about offering sometimes sorely needed peace of mind to moms and dads. The company collected data from users which found that more than 90 percent of parents reported that they slept better once their baby was using the Smart Sock. For perpetually sleep deprived parents, that alone may be reason enough to buy it. With the new Owlet Cam in the mix, perhaps you'll be able to sleep a little more peacefully and leave the house for some grown-up time a little more often.
Before you invest in any kind of wearable baby monitoring device though, you should remember that the American Academy of Pediatrics is quick to point out that they're no substitute for following safe sleep guidelines. Those guidelines can be summed up as the ABC's: baby should be alone (no blankets, toys, etc.), on their back, and in their crib. If you're following those rules and you're able to monitor your baby's breathing pattern as well as their heart rate, much of your parental paranoia should be soothed.