Can’t afford an Owlet Baby Monitor? Here are some alternative baby sleep monitors that might fit your budget!
Baby Movement Monitor
Whether you are a first time parent or having your fourth- one thing never changes- and that is the desire to ensure that your baby is safe.
You may have heard about the Owlet Baby Care Monitor– a smart sock that keeps track of your baby’s heart rate, oxygen level, and sleep. Over time, other companies have come out with their own products that also help give parents that peace of mind they need when their baby is sleeping.
We’ve shared our story about how Owlet helped us with our youngest, Oliver, and we still love it and are very grateful we had it when we did. They’ve improved the design, the app, and the reporting it can give you since Oliver was born three years ago, but it still does one thing – it helps give parents a better night of sleep.
With that said, while the Owlet baby monitor is a great product, we wanted to share the other options available at all different price points to help you make the most informed decision as possible. The price of it is nearly $299, which is just not within reach financially for many parents (though they do occasionally have refurbished units for around $199, so be sure to click here to see if those are still in stock).
We hope that this guide will help you decide if the Owlet Baby Care monitor is the right one for your family. While critics of these types of products will say they aren’t necessary, any new (or experienced) parent will tell you that sleep is a precious commodity during the first year of your child’s life. And if a baby vital monitor can help you sleep better – it’s 100% worth the investment.
Before we get started with sharing some Owlet competitors, we thought we’d share some of the key features of the Owlet Baby Care Monitor:
- Monitors baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels – it will send an alert to your phone letting you know if your child’s levels are gone outside of their preset range
- Connected Care – this is their service (which is now free) that keeps track of historical data, shows you sleep trends, and allows you to share the information instantly with your doctor
- Bluetooth enabled
- The mobile app shows you real-time information on your baby’s breathing
The main issues we had with it were:
- The sock sometimes came loose
- The bluetooth range wasn’t super far (but the new Smart Sock 2.0 has a better range)
- It was dependent on WiFi. We took it with us when we traveled sometimes, and it was hard to connect to WiFi that required a password. I would often end up using my hot spot.
- The price – at $299, it is very cost prohibitive for most people. They do have refurbished units that are about $100 less.
None of these alternatives offer quite the same service, but they are definitely good for what they offer.
Baby Sleep Monitor
Owlet versus Snuza
I think the most commonly compared item to the Owlet is the Snuza, because it’s been around for quite some time, and it’s readily available in most stores.
The Owlet Baby Care Monitor and the Snuza Hero are really quite different. There is also the Snuza Pico, which is more on a similar playing ground. But the main difference between the Owlet and the Snuza is that the Snuza primarily is there to let you know if movement is no longer detected, and the Owlet actually monitors baby’s vitals.
Here are a few more things about the Snuza Hero.
I thought we’d start with the Snuza, because we have personally used this one. It certainly doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Owlet, but it is helpful. We often used it on road trips when Oliver was a baby and had to be on oxygen whenever he slept. Since the Owlet didn’t work without WiFi, this helped us to make sure his breathing was being monitored.
This is a wearable device that can clip onto a diaper. That means no cords, wires or sensor pads – which is probably appealing to many parents because we don’t want to bring added discomfort to our newborns.
This device is also portable so you can take it to grandma’s, daycare or just to another room in your home. It is run off of battery so there is no connecting to wi-fi or blue tooth- it’s pretty straight forward. And it includes a 1 year warranty (excluding the battery)
After 15 seconds of no abdominal movement a vibration stimulus kicks on. After 20 seconds an alarm goes off.
With any product there are a few cons to this product to be aware of- which might be in commonly found in all products like this.
You should be aware that false alarms are always possible. Some reviews complained that this model is slightly too large for a newborn diaper, and that the battery was dead upon arrival. You can find replaced batteries on Amazon so that shouldn’t deter you too much.
The price point for the Snuza is roughly $110 on Amazon, which is significantly lower than it’s competitors. You can usually find it on sale, though, or buy it used from a local sales page.
As I mentioned, the Snuza Pico is another product from Snuza, and it is certainly more in line with what Owlet offers. It can be used through the first year of your child’s life, and while it’s still primarily a movement monitor, it also keeps track of sleep patterns, skin temperature, and body position. Although it doesn’t track heart rate and oxygen levels like the Owlet, it does provide additional insights that might help you sleep better. As your child grows, it can help you understand their sleep patterns a little bit more. It does have an app that you can use on Android or iOS.
The Snuza Pico is actually less expensive than the Hero, which seems interesting because it is definitely more robust. Here is more information on their website, though the best price I’ve found is at Target.
Baby Vida vs Owlet
The Baby Vida is the most similar I’ve found to Owlet – it’s also a sock design, and it tracks baby’s oxygen and heart rate as well. It is $99, so considerably less expensive. With that said, I don’t really see this for sale anywhere anymore.
This monitors your baby’s breathing and sends information to your smartphone every five seconds. It is setup to alert you if there are any unusual changes in baby’s sleep patterns or breathing, and you can monitor their sleep at any time from your smartphone.
There are no sounds or lights while it’s monitoring your baby, so it will keep them as peaceful as possible. If there is no movement after 20 seconds, there will be an audible alert. It requires batteries and is not rechargeable.
It’s just a little device that you can snap securely on your child’s clothes, and it is $99 on Amazon.
This is an under the mattress baby movement monitor. It is a highly sensitive device (lower risk of false alarms) that monitors and detects baby’s slightest movements through the matress.
The Babysense sounds an alarm alerting to check the baby if no movement is detected for more than 20 seconds or if the movement rate slows to less than 10 micro-movements per minute.
The two sensitive sensor pads provide coverage for the entire crib or bed area. This runs off of batteries and the monitor must be attached to the outside of the crib at mattress level.
Negative reviews for this product include not purchasing if you use a fan in your baby’s room as it can cause a false alarm. Also there were complaints about the sensitivity levels being off, poor customer service response, the monitor does not have an easy to read ON indicator, it does not reset if a false alarms occurs and it is not portable.
The price on Amazon is about $120.