A Mistake No Parent Wants to Make

Babies make you tired.

And when you’re tired, well, sometimes you don’t always make the best decisions – or even remember making them. Especially when you are sick

When Jack was a baby, sometimes he would end up in bed with me. I almost never remembered it happening – I would just wake up in the morning, and he was there. I knew that bed sharing wasn’t a recommended practice, and I tried to avoid doing it, but I honestly was so exhausted most nights, I didn’t even think about it. Jack was a hard baby who cried, a lot, especially at night.

With Oliver, I wanted to be more careful. Most mornings with Jack, I would wake up and feel nervous that something had happened to him. Fortunately, nothing ever did. However, Oliver is much smaller and has had some different health problems, so I’ve felt that it was important for him to have his own sleeping space.

We bought a co-sleeper bed. I felt like it would be nice to have him close by (as it is recommended that you have your baby sleep in your room), but in a place where neither Forrest nor I could risk rolling over on him. It has worked well, and it’s been easier for me to put him back in his bed after those middle of the night feedings.

Well, a few weeks ago, I wasn’t feeling well. I was even more exhausted than usual. Oliver had been sick as well, and it had just been a long few days. We were going to Utah the next day, so it had been a busy day packing.

Oliver had been asleep in my arms for a little while, and I went to put him in his bed. I always put his Owlet Baby Care monitor on at night, but this particular night, I thought, “He’s sound asleep. Finally. He doesn’t need it.” But then a nagging thought in the back of my head told me I should. So I did. And he stayed asleep, so I fell asleep too.

A few hours later, he woke up, and I fed him. Because of severe reflux, we keep him sitting up for about 15 minutes after feedings, and I was burping him. Well, I fell asleep while doing so.

The next thing I knew, I heard a loud siren. I was so confused at what was going on, and I realized it was my Owlet monitor. I reached over to Oliver’s bed to see what was going on, and I realized he wasn’t there. Horrified, I remembered that the last place he was was on my chest…and I realized he rolled off of my chest. He was wedged under me with his face in the mattress. Combined with the congestion, and the fact that my monitor was going off and my phone notified us that his oxygen was outside the preset limits, I realized he was having a very hard time breathing.

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A short while after I found him and picked him up, his oxygen level started to go up. I couldn’t sleep after that. I just hugged him and started to beat myself up about it. I could not believe that I had fallen asleep with him on my chest, especially when I was so tired and sick. I was in a deep sleep, and I doubt I would have woken up anytime soon.

I don’t share this to try and make you buy one of these monitors. I share it because I am so grateful that I had when I needed it, even when sometimes I thought maybe I was just being overly paranoid about it. But, I’m so glad that I did.  I was actually very hesitant to share it, because I didn’t want anyone to think I was a responsible, unfit parent. All parents make mistakes. I know plenty of parents who have slept with their babies on their chest. I’m not immune from that, and I’m just grateful this mistake didn’t end differently.

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And, if you do want to get one, you can find all the best prices on Owlet monitors here. But I promise, I’m not sharing this just to make a sale. Trust me, I wish I had a more boring tale to tell about my experience with Owlet.  I want others to know something like this is out there and available. Many babies die of suffocation each year, and I’m grateful that this story didn’t end that way.

I believe these monitors have the ability to help parents save their child’s life. He may have been fine, but he may not have been, and I’m glad I didn’t have to find out otherwise. And, I want to clarify – the monitor is not an excuse to sleep unsafely – do everything you can to make sure your baby is safe! I’m grateful that I stumbled upon an article about the Owlet Baby Care monitor a few years ago, and that I’ve followed the company since. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Update: I thought I would add a little bit more about our Owlet story – when Oliver was about four months old, the monitor started going off multiples throughout the night. I wasn’t sure what the deal was, but long story short, he has been diagnosed with central sleep apnea (with oxygen desats as low as 65%) and ataxic breathing. It also went off when he was in the early stages of RSV and the flu, and we were able to get him help faster.

When I talk about this product, I can’t help but get emotional. For most people, it brings peace of mind knowing their baby is okay. Which is awesome. For us? It has changed everything. I’m always hesitant to share our experience, because I don’t want it to seem like I’m trying to make a sale. Because I’m not. But if me sharing our story helps just one other child, then I’ll be grateful I did (even if it is because it helped everyone sleep better!)

Find out more about Owlet Baby Care in my other post. 


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21 Comments

  • Ok, I Will push this product. My oldest son died from SIDes. The one night he actually slept in his own bed instead of with me, he never woke up. That was 28 years ago. After that, I would never have slept if I had not had an apnea monitor on the rest of my children.The owl is so unobtrusive, unlike the hospital monitor where you have to have all this bulky equipment to carry around.Losing a precious baby like that is a trauma you never get over. Four more children have filled my heart with joy, but the empty space he left behind, has never filled.Spare yourself this grief. Your little one trusts you to protect him/her. So use every tool at your disposal.
    • Mindy: Thank you for sharing your story. I am so, so sorry about your son. As a parent, I can't imagine anything worse than losing a child, especially to SIDS. I agree though, we should use every tool at our disposal. I never understand why people seem to get upset about products and technology like this. If one person's child can be saved, then it's worth it. It obviously has meant the world to us. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I hope that this will be available to all someday soon!
    • Thanks for sharing Amy! It is a great product. I don't think I mentioned it in this post, but it actually helped us realize my son was getting RSV as well. Unfortunately, he didn't avoid a hospital stay, but he was admitted before it got even worse (by the time we got to the hospital, he was at 75% oxygen!)
  • Please check into gluten problems. Stop eating anything with wheat, barley in it. I did and my life has changed dramatically, I am not exhausted all the time, my joints don't ache any more, I'm not depressed, I don't wet the bed any more. My belly and lower abdomen it's in pain. Replace pasta with rice or potatoes, etc.... Hope this helps. If you are allergic to gluten your life will change forever. You can ask your doctor to and they will order a blood test. Gluten is also genetic and maybe why your children are sick. That care. Tammy
    • Thank you for the tip! I have been tested for celiac and other gluten sensitivities, as has Jack, but they always have come back negative. :(
  • Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I know it is hard to make, what you think, is a parental failure public. I was wondering if this product is reliable, comsidering we are wanting more children. I will defiantly be buying one, after reading your experience.
    • Thank you for your kind words. I do think it's 100% worth buying. I hope others (including you!) don't have to have similar experiences to us, but I'm grateful this product exists to help.
  • Katie, I read this and immediately felt the need to send you some love. This is truly the stuff of my worst nightmares. You are a wonderful mom! Please don't beat yourself up. Even the way you wrote this makes me so, so sad because you spent a decent amount of time explaining to us why you were so exhausted. You had an infant. That is reason enough. I'm SO glad you had the monitor and I'm pretty sure I might get one for my next. Love and hugs to you and your littles. Peace and blessings to your soul and conscience.
  • I stumbled across this post while browsing Pinterest and I am so glad I did. Thank you for sharing, I can only imagine how hard it is to put yourself out there like this! Moms can be so judgemental and hard on each other, when we need to band together and help each other! I have a 2 year old and fell asleep with him laying on my chest ALL THE TIME when he was an infant. He was a very difficult baby who never slept more than 4 hours for the first 9 months of his life. I am lucky that he was never hurt in all the times we slept in an armchair. Next kiddo is definitely going to have one of these monitors! I'm so glad you shared your story, who knows how many babies will be saved from harm because you were brave enough to post this. Thanks again.
  • I hope you don't continue to beat yourself up over falling asleep with your baby. Parenting babies is so hard, so soul and bone tiring. This can happen to anyone and no one is bad because of it. Sleep deprivation is still used as a torture technique! I´m so glad you're monitor saved your baby, but I wish there were a better solution. I usually don't ask my husband to get up with our baby because I'd have to get up to pump anyway... but maybe I should. You're a perfectly human mom doing her best.
  • Thank you for sharing your story. I think more mothers need to hear stories like this and support each other instead of berate them. Lord knows I have been just as tired and made bad decisions with my young ones. I had no idea that such a device even existed. If we end up having another one, I will be sure to get one of those.
  • Yilkes! Being a new mom is so hard, and especially when you are tired and sick! I'm so glad you had the monitor and that he is okay!! Thank goodness for your Owlet monitor! And definitely don't beat yourself up about it :) Like you said, all parents make mistakes!

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