When my daughter was tiny, I barely slept and not because she was a fussy baby. My daughter was a great baby, happy and quiet. But I was terrified I’d lose her; the doctors had warned us that because she was born a month early we needed to be careful, so I’d lie awake and stare at her as she lay in her attached co-sleeper. I’d watch her chest rise and fall, desperate for proof that she was fine.
My journey to parenthood was long and traumatic and filled with grief and loss, so it’s not a surprise that I’d be paranoid but I’m hardly alone. Most mothers I speak with watch their children sleep for just the same reasons. It’s hardwired.
I might have gotten a bit more sleep if the Owlet monitor had been around in 2006. This ingenious little gadget is worn on a baby’s ankle and foot and using pulse oximetry to track your baby’s heart beat and oxygen levels just like the little thing that clips on your finger at the hospital. It’s safe and likely won’t disturb your baby too much, particularly when they are little.
And all the data about your baby’s heartbeat and breathing gets sent right to your phone. If your baby rolls over, you’ll get an alert on your phone as well. While Owlet makes it very clear that the bootie is not a medical device, there is no doubt that it would offer new parents peace of mind. Not sure it will help parents like me that still routinely make sure their seven-year-olds are breathing, though.
Currently the Owlet is shipping this summer for $250, but with $1.85 million in funding just landed it might become more readily available.