When my second daughter, Petra, was a month and a half old, she stopped breathing.
She was wearing a movement monitor called the Snuza Hero, when the alarm went off during her afternoon nap.
I ran over to my daughter, picked her up, and gave her a shake. She took a big gasp of air and continued sleeping.
In that moment I knew we could have lost her. I also knew that I was never letting her sleep without a baby monitor again.
And I’m glad that I didn’t. Over the next month, her alarm went off two more times.
Switching to the Owlet
One of the big hurdles we faced with Petra’s Snuza Hero was night time sleeping.
I wasn’t confident in my ability to hear her alarm if it went off in her crib, especially wrapped under a swaddle.
To make things worse, she struggled to stay asleep on her back. She slept best on her side or belly, which goes against the AAP’s Safe Sleep Recommendations. Sleeping in either of these positions also renders the Snuza Hero ineffective.
The only way that I could get any sleep was to put her on top of me with her face next to my ear.
Did my logic make sense at the time? Probably not. Was it the safest sleep solution? Um, the AAP would say ‘no’.
It was the only short term solution that made sense to me. But clearly, it was not going to be sustainable.
So for Christmas I asked that my only gift be the Owlet.
What is the Owlet?
The Owlet is a baby monitor that is placed on the baby’s foot. It monitors both oxygen and heart rate.
When your baby’s oxygen level drops too low, or their heart rate rises or falls outside of the normal range, a very loud alarm will go off on both the docking station (placed anywhere inside of your home), and on your phone.
This means you and any other caregiver can monitor your baby’s heart rate and oxygen level from anywhere in the world, and be alerted the moment your baby is in danger.
My Experience with the Owlet
The first week that we were using the Owlet, the alarm went off. This affirmed my suspicion that the Snuza Hero was probably going off appropriately.
The Owlet has two types of alarms. One alarm will sound if the monitor has shifted out of place or goes out of range of your Wifi. It’s a loud, somewhat annoying melody. It’s annoying enough to get your attention, but not as bad as a phone alarm.
The other alarm sounds like an amber alert on steroids. It’s goes off on both the docking station and your phone, simultaneously. It also causes your phone to light up and flash rapidly.
If you’ve never crapped your pants before, this will do it for you.
Why I prefer the Owlet over the Snuza Hero
The Snuza Hero was a huge asset for us. It saved my daughter’s life, and for that I am beyond grateful.
That being said, it has some significant flaws that the Owlet makes up for.
The first flaw is that the Snuza can easily be placed incorrectly, resulting in false alarms.
It must be placed quite snugly against your baby’s belly. If your baby tips to their side or on their stomach, it could shift, resulting in false alarms.
The Owlet does not have false alarms. If it is struggling to get an accurate reading, the melody will play. It’s not possible to mistake it for the alarm indicating low oxygen levels or change in heart rate.
The second flaw is that it can be easy to miss the Snuza’s alarm.
The Snuza clips onto your baby’s diaper, and can be covered with clothing, swaddles, or blankets. Each layer muffles the sound of the alarm a little bit more.
If your baby rolls onto their stomach and stops breathing while wearing the Snuza, you will not be able to hear the alarm. But with the Owlet, you will. This is extremely beneficial when your baby starts rolling over but is still at risk of SIDS.
The third flaw of the Snuza Hero is that it is difficult if not impossible to hear the alarm if you are in a different room.
Our apartment is small, so it wasn’t a concern for me. But if you live in a big house or want to take a step outside, the Snuza would be pointless.
A huge perk of the Owlet is that you can hear the alarm from anywhere. Not only is it loud on the docking station, but because it can link to your phone, you can be notified from virtually anywhere in the world.
My only criticism about the Owlet is that occasionally the Owlet Smart Sock would fall off, triggering the melody to play. It was more annoying for my husband than it was for me.
To fix this problem I just slip a sock over my daughter’s foot. It helps keep the Smart Sock securely in place.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE OWLET
I have always been paranoid about my baby’s breathing to some degree, but having the Owlet puts my mind at ease.
As long as my daughter is wearing the Owlet, I know that she is safe.
The Owlet is hands-down my most recommended product for parents of small babies.
Between assurance that your baby is safe, and the extra sleep you will get from not worrying, it is well worth the investment.
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