Editor’s note: As of November 2021, Owlet has paused sales on the Sock Monitor in response to the FDA’s notice of reclassification of the Owlet. According to Owlet, there are no concerns about the safety of the Owlet Sock Monitor, but the product has been reclassified as a medical device, which affects how it can be legally marketed and sold. If you already own the Owlet, you can continue using it. We will provide an update on when sales resume. The Owlet monitor is still being sold.
Disclaimer: This product was provided for free for the purposes of this review. All opinions expressed are solely those of the writer’s.
Just when juggling a newborn, homeschooling older kids, and working from home started to feel like way too much, I experienced the smallest glimmer of hope. My 12-week-old baby finally started to sleep somewhere besides in my arms. With a soundly sleeping baby behind closed doors, the Owlet Duo and the detailed wellness insights it provides allowed me to take a few deep breaths and focus on my ever-growing to-do list.
Like so many parents right now, I’m juggling a lot as a working mom and I needed my baby to sleep. When Owlet reached out to me about reviewing the Owlet Duo, I knew the timing was perfect. For me, this little camera and sock-duo gave me the confidence to have a little more time away from my baby while he slept.
What is the Owlet Duo?
The Owlet Duo is a smart baby monitor that measures your baby’s breathing, heart rate, and sleep. The Duo is actually a two-part package that includes the Owlet Smart Sock 3 and the Owlet Cam. The sock is a wearable monitor, which keeps track of your baby’s oxygen and heart rate and then sends the data to your phone. And the cam sends HD video to your smartphone, where you can watch securely from the Owlet app.
Here are some of the key features of the Owlet Duo:
- Monitors baby’s vitals while they sleep
- Secure, encrypted video
- Two-way audio
- 4X zoom
- Sock works for babies 5 to 30 pounds
- Video displays directly to your phone through the secure Owlet app, so you don’t need a separate display monitor
- HD night vision
- Connects to your Wi-Fi so you can hear and see your baby from your smartphone
- Cordless charging of the base station is simple since the sock charges right from the dock between wears
How Does the Owlet Duo Work?
Four socks are included in the Owlet Duo. There is a left and right size one, which works for babies weighing five to 12 pounds, and a left and right size two, which fits babies weighing 12 to 30 pounds. The sock can be adjust using velcro as well, making it possible to get the perfect fit so it doesn’t slip off. If the Smart Sock gets dirty, it can be hand washed in lukewarm water and detergent.
The Owlet Cam is a 1080p camera, which is the same as HD. The owlet cam streams to the Owlet app on your phone (there’s no separate handheld monitor, just your phone) using your Wifi network so you can hear and see your baby. The camera can monitor temperature, but it doesn’t notify you if the reading is too low or too high. It uses an encrypted connection which means you don’t have to worry about other people connecting to the monitor.
The information from both the sock and video are displayed on one dashboard in the app, which allows you to watch the video and monitor your baby’s vitals in real-time. You can adjust your settings on the dashboard, including whether or not you’ll hear audio or if you get notifications for movement or noise when you leave the app.
While the Owlet Duo is meant to be used together for a full picture of your baby’s sleep and health, you can also use them separately if you’d like. And it’s important to keep in mind that while the alerts and insights are helpful, they should not be taken as medical advice or assurance and you should always talk to your baby’s doctor if you have any concerns about their health.
“The information from both the sock and video are displayed on one dashboard in the app, which allows you to watch the video and monitor your baby’s vitals in real-time.”
Owlet Duo Review: Peace of Mind for Mom
For me, the usefulness of the Owlet Duo was the peace of mind I experienced knowing my baby was being monitored while I turned my attention to other things. With my smartphone next to me, I could homeschool my older kids or work without the distraction of wondering if my baby was safely asleep. I liked that the monitor transmits to my phone instead of a handheld device, so it was one less thing that I’d have to carry around.
The duo has so much to offer, more than my family needs if I’m being honest. While I did test out the sock, I don’t know that I will use it for the long term. We live in a small house and our baby’s crib is just feet from my bed so I wake easily when he starts to stir. Still, it is nice to have it as extra assurance during the early days of postpartum when he seems so fragile and my anxiety is higher than normal. It was easy to adjust to the sock to fit my son just right and I didn’t have any trouble with it falling off. I think we will use the Owlet Cam for a very long time. It is just so great being able to see my baby right there on my phone while he .
One downside, for me, is that setup felt fairly involved and my baby was already here when I got my Owlet Duo. While the directions were clear, it does require safely attaching the cord and the camera to the wall to avoid any risk that the baby could get tangled in the cord. Then, there is an installation process for connecting the camera and the sock to your wireless network and the app. We experienced trouble getting both the camera and the sock to connect to our Wifi during the initial install and troubleshooting it took about half an hour.
This isn’t a deal-breaker, of course, but a heads up. I’d suggest trying to get your Owlet cam set up before your baby arrives. The last thing you want to do as a brand-new parent is spending precious downtime messing with a monitor!
We also experienced dropped connection between the camera and my phone occasionally. After doing some research, I determined this had a lot to do with where our router was in the house, so you might need to experiment with moving your router around to find the best fit for your cam. Your phone does need to be connected to Wifi to receive data from the sock and video. I tried to leave the house with my phone and lost connection as soon as I reached the end of our front yard, which is when I lost connection with our Wifi router. The camera quality was great, just so long as the camera remained connected to the wireless network. The night vision was surprisingly clear and I love being able to zoom in close to get a really good look at my baby while he sleeps.
Overall, I think this is a really great product for parents who want the peace of mind that is offered by close monitoring of their sleeping baby. However, parents should keep in mind that this monitor isn’t a substitute for safe sleeping practices. Your baby should always be placed on their back to sleep and the crib should be kept clear of blankets, pillows, or any extra items.
“I liked that the monitor transmits to my phone instead of a handheld device, so it was one less thing that I’d have to carry around.”
Final Verdict on the Owlet Duo
I think the Owlet Duo is a reliable way to keep close tabs on your sleeping baby. Because of the high price point for the set, I’m not certain that every parent will find it to be essential parenting gear, or if a different kind of baby monitor might fit their needs better.
However, if you have reason to be concerned about your baby while they sleep or if your anxiety is keeping you from getting the rest you need, the comfort this monitor could provide just might be priceless. And honestly, the convenience of the baby monitor right to your phone can’t just be beat.
Pros & Cons
Streams to phone
Smart sock may not be right for every family
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between the Owlet 2 and 3?
This newer model of the smart sock has a wider weight range, fitting babies between 5 and 30 pounds. They also made some changes to the design, improving the fit and allowing for cordless charging on the base station dock.
Which is better, the Nanit or the Owlet?
The Owlet has more functionality because it includes the Smart Sock. The Nanit is a great baby video cam monitor that can measure your baby’s breathing using the video but doesn’t have the smart sock technology for tracking heart rate and oxygen levels.
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