Top positive review
85 people found this helpful
Overall great product, but supported uses are pretty limited.
on October 12, 2013
I am re-writing my review 2 weeks after buying the Oma. Instead of having my original review with a bunch of updates I figured I'd just redo it and summarize my experience up to this point.
I have a 3 month old who was born 2 months early. He doesn't have breathing problems or anything but he has trouble sleeping on his back. During the day I noticed that he sleeps really well on his belly, so my wife and I wanted to find a way to let him sleep on his belly during the night. We got this product solely for the purpose of sleeping him on his belly and giving us peace of mind because of the SIDS risk. Normally you are supposed to use this for a baby sleeping on his/her back, however in the FAQ section of Levana's website there is a question about sleeping a baby on his/her tummy and they give some advice for it, so they imply that is an acceptable use for the monitor.
Overall I am very happy with the function of the movement monitor. The interface is simple (only 2 buttons) and you'll get the hang of the functions really quickly. The monitor works as described, and the alarm is very audible so I don't have to worry about sleeping through it (in another room with the door cracked). If you are worried about hearing it you can use it in combination with an audio monitor.
There are a few minor things that I am disappointed with:
1. They don't include a manual with the product, only a quick start guide with basic instructions. There is a manual but you have to access it form their website. Initially I didn't even realize there was a manual because the only mention of it is in fine print at the very bottom of the quick start guide. Because of this my initial impression involved a lot of frustration because I didn't have all of the instructions. I really think the manual should be included. If you wake up in the middle of the night and need to know how to change a setting on the monitor, you have to go out to your computer, go online, download the manual, and finally get the information you want. It would be so much easier to have a hard copy by your bed for quick reference.
2. On a related note there isn't one single place where I could find all of the information about the monitor. The Amazon description has some info, the manual has other info, and other random pages on the website have even more info. I think it should all be in one place (probably the manual). For example, I wanted to know how long the battery was supposed to last, but the manual just says "The life of the replaceable battery depends entirely on usage." After talking with customer service I was informed that the Amazon page lists the battery life as 4383 hours. Why isn't this information in the user manual?
3. The suggested method of attaching the monitor to the baby limit the usefulness, especially for my situation where I want to sleep my baby on his tummy. You are supposed to clip the monitor to the front of the diaper waistline, with the soft part of the monitor resting on his belly. That's fine unless your baby sleeps in more that just a diaper. If you baby wears a sleeper, you are supposed to put the monitor on the diaper under the sleeper. That will work except if you need to access it (to turn it off or stop the beeping) then you'd have to undress your baby. We feed our baby several times during the night and the monitor under the sleeper would get in the way as we hold him for feeding/burping, and I don't want to undress him for every feeding. If the baby is in thin clothing like a onesie they say you can clip the Oma to the diaper over the layer of clothing, but this is nearly impossible. This would require you to have a large fold of cloth stuck into the diaper for the clip to go over, and unless the outfit is 2 sizes to big you won't have that much loose material. Plus, I don't want his clothes inside the diaper, I feel like they could get soiled easily. I think there should be an elastic/velcro belt that you could put over the clothing and clip the monitor to. I am going to try cutting off the waistband from a large diaper and try using that over the clothing. Until now I have been pinching a small fold of fabric on the outside of the sleeper and letting the sensor rest on his back. The connection isn't great and it has fallen off several times and alarmed but I just go in and put it back on, not a big deal to me. To be clear, this is not a recommended way of using the monitor, but for me personally it works, and I figure the worst result is more false alarms. I don't see how this would in any way prevent it from alarming if he actually did stop breathing.
4. The Oma I bought gave a low battery alert less than 2 weeks after I bought it. However, customer service was very helpful and got me a replacement right away. I don't think it's very fair for people to judge a company harshly when there's an unexpected problem. I believe that how the company responds to a problem to make it right is what is most important, and on that front Levana was great. But I mention the battery issue in case other people have the same problem then it would be useful to see if it's a common problem. I also mention it because I noticed that they ship the monitors with the battery already installed and no tab or sheet that you have to pull to make the battery connect. It seems like with every piece of electronics I've bought before the battery either is shipped separately or has a plastic tab that must be pulled out before it will make a connection. I think this is because even with a device powered off the battery can still be drained over a long time of sitting on a shelf. So since Levana has the battery already installed that might have contributed to my premature low battery.
All those issues aside I still think the product is great and I use it every night. One last note: One of the product photos shows a finger bending the soft part of the sensor. Of course the first thing I do when I get the sensor is push on the soft part to see what its like. Pretty neat, except that later when i look in the manual they specifically say not to do this. So it's sill to show someone doing it in the product photo.