When a new baby comes home from the hospital after being under watchful eyes every second since he or she was born, it can be difficult to put them in a separate room to sleep and walk away. It’s hard to imagine how generations managed without baby monitors to hear or see what was going on in the room.
A variety of monitoring products are available in a range of prices and with a number of features. Some transmit sounds, others pick up video and audio, and some allow streaming to computers or mobile devices.
One advanced monitoring device is a sensor worn on a baby's foot that uses pulse oximetry. “The technology has been used in hospitals for decades, but never as wearable technology until it was introduced through Owlet Baby Care’s Smart Sock in 2015,” said Kurt Workman, CEO of Owlet.
Paired to a mobile app, the Smart Sock technology allows parents to check on baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels from anywhere. It also provides historical levels of both.
“Parents can even discover how well their baby is sleeping as it provides sleep quantity and quality,” said Workman. In addition to allowing parents to check levels, the device will notify parents if their baby’s heart rate or oxygen levels leave preset zones. The device is designed for healthy infants from newborn up to 18 months.
“Using pulse oximetry, the Owlet Smart Sock tracks your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels and sends real-time insights to your phone. The Smart Sock is designed to grow with your baby, which is why it comes with three different fabric sock sizes that comfortably wrap around your baby’s foot. It also includes a Base Station, which glows green to reassure you baby is OK but will notify you if heart rate and oxygen levels leave preset zones,” said Workman. “The Base Station was designed with different notifications, including notifications for heart rate and oxygen falling outside of range (red), Bluetooth disconnect between the Smart Sock and Base Station (blue) and inability to get a proper reading (yellow)."
A camera system that can be purchased separately adds the ability to view baby through the app. The sock system has a retail price of $299 and a sock/camera bundle can be purchased for $399. For more info, visit owletcare.com.