Should You Buy Used Owlet Sock: A Comprehensive Guide




If you’re considering purchasing a used Owlet sock to monitor your baby, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully. This article provides an in-depth exploration of the advantages and disadvantages of acquiring a secondhand Owlet, offering insights based on personal experience with the product. We delve into the discontinuation of the O2 monitoring sock by the FDA and discuss the emergence of the new Owlet Dream socks, providing valuable recommendations and alternatives to consider.

It’s important to note that this guide is not intended as medical advice, but rather as a comprehensive resource for parents who have already made their decision about the concerns associated with the device. Throughout this article, we aim to provide a balanced perspective on the considerations surrounding purchasing a used Owlet, offering valuable insights to help inform your decision-making process.

What is an Owlet Smart Sock?

An Owlet Smart Sock is a monitoring device for newborns that originally was marketed as an O2 monitor. The device comes in the form of a sock that is worn on the baby’s foot and is designed to track the baby’s oxygen levels and heart rate in real-time. The data is then sent to your phone and base unit, which will send alarms if the numbers drop out of the normal range. The Owlet Smart Sock appealed to parents who were worried about SIDS risk and/or wanted an extra layer of monitoring.

However, the original Owlet Smart Sock was removed from the market after the FDA deemed it a medical device that had not gone through the proper medical device vetting process. Owlet pivoted and now sells a sock they call the Dream Sock. They market it as a “sleep quality monitor” and removed the real-time oxygen-monitoring.

Even before the FDA action, whether or not to buy an Owlet has been a hotly debated topic for new parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against their use for SIDS risk, and the evidence around the devices efficacy is lacking. Some worry that the Owlet provides a false sense of security that leads to parents becoming more lax on safe sleep recommendations. People also think Owlet takes advantage of nervous parents at a high price tag.

On the other hand, many parents appreciate the added monitoring and accept that the device isn’t a guarantee against SIDS. They feel that as long as other safe sleep precautions are still being followed, the monitoring device doesn’t cause any harm, even if it is not perfect.

Here are some pros and cons of the Owlet Smart Sock:

Pros Cons
Provides extra monitoring High cost
Sends alarms if numbers drop out of normal range False sense of security
Easy to use Not a guarantee against SIDS
Real-time monitoring (original model) Not recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics
FDA deemed original model a medical device without proper vetting process

Like so many other baby-related topics, whether to use an Owlet Smart Sock will be a personal decision that varies across families.

Should You Buy an Owlet Used?

If you’ve decided to get a wearable baby monitor, you might be considering purchasing a used Owlet. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide whether it’s worth it.

Pros of Getting a Used Owlet

  • It’s Your Only Option: Since Owlet Socks are no longer available new, buying used is your only option if you want an Owlet with oxygen-monitoring capabilities.

  • Money Savings: Secondhand Owlets should be cheaper than the original device, reducing the cost-risk of trying out the device if it turns out you don’t like it or it breaks.

  • Resale Value: Since the stock of oxygen-monitoring Owlets is limited, you’ll likely be able to resell an Owlet after you’re done with it. It made our list of 10 used baby items with high resale value.

Cons of Buying a Secondhand Owlet

  • Unknown Device History: Unless you know the previous owner, you can’t guarantee the condition of the device. For example, our Owlet was beloved and we took great care of it but it still managed to velcro to some clothes and make an accidental trip through the washing machine. There would be no way to know if it had this significant water exposure if you were buying it from us.

  • No Support: Since the device is no longer sold new, there is not the same technical support or replacement parts available. As a secondhand user, you also don’t have the same claims to support as the original purchaser.

  • Battery Life: Batteries don’t last forever, and if your secondhand Owlet has seen a lot of use, the battery may not last the night. Our Owlet started running down battery faster, and we had to wait to put it on until right before we went to bed if we wanted it to last until morning (instead of when the baby went to bed a couple of hours before). As we get farther from Owlet Smart Socks being sold new, this problem will become more prevalent as the remaining devices age.

  • Wear and Tear: Our used Owlet has shown signs of general wear and tear after over a year of use. We’ve twice had the fabric part of the sock develop a small hole where the device rubs on it.

Overall, buying a used Owlet can be a good option if you’re looking for a more affordable way to monitor your baby’s oxygen levels. However, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks and downsides, such as unknown device history, no support, battery life, and wear and tear. Ultimately, the decision to buy a used Owlet will depend on your priorities and budget.

What is the Owlet Dream Sock?

The Owlet Dream Sock is a sleep quality monitor that provides insights on your baby’s sleep. It was released to replace the banned Smart Sock and is marketed as a safer alternative. The device is designed to monitor your baby’s heart rate, average oxygen level, and movement, and then provide a sleep quality rating based on these factors.

Should You Buy a Used Owlet Dream Sock?

If you are considering buying a used Owlet Dream Sock, there are some pros and cons to consider. On the one hand, buying a used device will save you money. On the other hand, it comes with an unknown history, a partially used battery, and less technical support. Moreover, there may be fewer used Owlet Dream Socks available on the secondhand market because they are not as popular as the original models.

However, it is important to note that the Owlet Dream Sock is expensive, and it may not offer enough value to justify the price, whether you buy it new or used. As of November 2022, the device provides an average O2 reading in 10-minute intervals, which is different from the real-time O2 readings provided by the Smart Sock. While the device will send a “sleep assist” alert if there is a deviation from your baby’s baseline “sleep quality,” it is unclear whether it provides a real-time alert if there is an O2 dip.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a sleep quality monitor for your baby, the Owlet Dream Sock may not be the best option for you. While buying a used device may save you some money, it comes with some risks. Ultimately, you should carefully consider your options and decide whether the Owlet Dream Sock is worth the investment for your family.

Owlet Alternatives

If you’re looking for a baby breathing monitor that is not Owlet, there are several options to choose from. Below are some of the alternatives that you can consider:

  • SNUZA HERO MONITOR: The Snuza Hero is a clip-on monitor that attaches to your baby’s diaper and monitors the rise and fall of their belly as they breathe. It vibrates after 15 seconds of no movement and alarms after 20 seconds. It is cordless and doesn’t require an app. However, it can fall off and cause false alarms.

  • LEVANA OMA SENSE: The Levana Oma Sense is similar to the Snuza Hero in that it is worn on the baby’s abdomen to sense breathing movement. It has similar pros and cons as the Snuza Hero, and neither the Levana nor Snuza Hero work once a baby starts rolling over to sleep.

  • NANIT PRO SMART BABY MONITOR: The Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor is a video baby monitor that also monitors breathing motion. It works by putting a geometric-patterned belt on your baby that allows the camera to detect the rise and fall of their chest. What’s nice about the Nanit is that you can keep using it as a regular video monitor once your baby has outgrown the breathe monitoring.

  • ANGELCARE MONITOR: The Angelcare Monitor uses a pad that you put under your baby when they sleep to monitor breath movement. This is a nice option for those who don’t want to put anything directly on their baby. One obvious downside is that babies can move off the pad while sleeping and throw a false alarm.

  • BABYSENSE 7: The Babysense 7 works like the Angelcare Monitor with motion sensing pads placed under the baby while they sleep. Unlike the Angelcare, Babysense has two pads so you can cover more area and reduce the chance your baby wiggles away from the monitors in the night. It also does not use wifi, which is a feature some parents appreciate.

Each of these monitors has its own pros and cons, and it’s essential to choose the one that suits your needs. For instance, if you want a clip-on monitor, the Snuza Hero or Levana Oma Sense would be a good choice. If you prefer a video monitor, the Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor would be a great option. If you don’t want to put anything directly on your baby, you can consider the Angelcare Monitor or Babysense 7.

It’s worth noting that none of these alternatives have been personally tested, but they are popular choices among parents who have researched them. If you have any technical support issues with any of these monitors, you can reach out to the manufacturer’s customer service or consult the user manual or registry for more information.

Conclusion: Is a Used Owlet Worth Buying?

When it comes to buying a used Owlet, there are several factors to consider. While a secondhand Owlet may be cheaper, it may also come with possible issues such as bad battery life or outdated technology. As time passes, the likelihood of problems with an older Owlet increases. However, if you are given an older Owlet for free and it works well, there is no harm in using it.

The new Owlet Dream Sock may not offer enough added value to justify the cost of buying it, whether new or used. Instead, you may consider purchasing a new breathing-movement monitoring device like the Levana Oma Sense or an under-the-baby mat like the Angelcare.

It is important to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend any home monitoring device to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). While Owlet claims to reduce stress and anxiety for parents, it is important to remember that no device can completely prevent SIDS.

In terms of safety, it is crucial to ensure that any medical device you purchase has FDA approval. The original Owlet Smart Sock was pulled from the market due to lack of FDA approval, but the new Owlet Dream Sock has received clearance from the FDA.

In conclusion, whether or not to buy a used Owlet ultimately depends on your personal preference and budget. While a secondhand Owlet may be a cheaper option, it may also come with potential issues. It is important to consider all options and do your research before making a decision.

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