BabySat: Avoiding Red Marks & Skin Irritation

Incorrect use of the Sock could result in discomfort, potentially leading to red marks, pressure sores or blisters on your child’s foot.

Avoiding Skin Irritation

  • Select the correct size Sock for your child.
  • Avoid using lotions or powders under the Sock. Keep skin clean and dry.
  • Keep hook and loop fastener off of the skin.
  • Ensure Sock is positioned and adjusted correctly.
  • Check for skin irritation every 4 hours during the first week of use and after changing the Sock size.
  • Alternate feet at least every 8 hours.
  • Hand wash Sock and Sensor every 2 weeks or when dirty. Dry completely before use.
  • Check your child’s feet for irritation each time you apply the sock. Do NOT apply to a foot with skin irritation.

If you notice irritation that has persisted from the previous use on that foot please follow the instructions below.

What to do if the Skin is Irritated

  • Discontinue use on the affected foot and apply the Sock only to the unaffected foot until irritation resolves completely.
  • If irritation doesn’t resolve within 8 hours contact your Healthcare Provider to determine if a backup pulse oximeter is required.
  • Contact Owlet customer support for one-on-one help with avoiding red marks.
  • Inspect the skin under the Sock on the unaffected foot every 4 hours to ensure irritation does not recur.
  • If irritation appears on both feet, discontinue use, and contact your Healthcare Provider.  Reapplying the BabySat to irritated skin may cause increased damage to the skin.

Common Red Mark Causes

Common causes of red marks include pressure, moisture, friction, incorrect placement, an unwashed sensor, harsh soaps, and hyperpigmentation.

Pressure: Pressure marks are injuries to skin and underlying tissue resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin. These can be caused by:

  • Overtightening 
  • Not alternating between feet
  • Pressure on a bony prominence of the foot
  • Incorrect sizing 

Moisture: Extra moisture underneath the Sock can cause the device to stick to the skin, which results in increased friction when the baby kicks. This happens most commonly underneath the plastic windows, but can occur under the entire Sock. To minimize moisture under the skin:

  • Avoid putting lotion underneath the Sock
  • Ensure the feet are completely dry prior to placing the Sockt on the foot
  • If your little one tends to have sweaty feet, reduce the layers of clothing over the foot to increase ventilation, and keep the child’s room at a comfortable cool temperature.

Friction: A friction mark is a form of abrasion caused by skin rubbing against a surface. This may also be referred to as a “friction burn”. Similar to when you hike in a new pair of shoes, friction can result in breakdown on the outer layer of the skin, or in more severe cases, may result in a blister. You can prevent friction marks from occurring by:

  • Ensuring no hook and loop fastener is touching the skin when placing the Sock on the foot
  • Minimizing moisture underneath the Sock
  • Ensuring correct sizing and placement

Incorrect placement: Incorrect placement of the device can cause pressure in areas that it is not designed to be. 

  • The Sock has separate socks for right and left feet. Using incorrect socks can put your child at risk for pressure marks–similar to wearing a right shoe on your left foot. 
  • The Sensor should always rest on the outer edge of the foot near the pinky toes. Never place the Sock on the “arch” or inside of the foot near the big toe.
  • The two wings of the sensor are like two slices of bread with your little one's foot  sandwiched between them.
  • If the hook and loop fastener is touching your child’s skin, you will need to reposition the straps. This also may be a sign to size-up.


Bony prominences on the feet: As babies grow, they begin to lose that cushion of fat surrounding their feet and bony prominences begin to appear on the outer edge of the foot. Because the flat metal plate of the sensor rests on the outer edge of the foot, it can cause the majority of the pressure of the Sock to be absorbed by this bony prominence. This localized pressure on a single spot increases your child’s risk for a pressure mark. If you notice redness on the outer edge of the foot, try: 

  • Repositioning the Sensor to sit slightly more on top of the foot, which can prevent placement from being directly on top of their bone. This can redistribute the pressure of the Sock more evenly across the skin. 
  • Each child’s foot anatomy is different, so you may need to continue to play around with slight adjustments of the placement angle over that bone until you find what works for your child. 
  • Note: While this adjustment may seem to contradict the typical instructions for placement, this is an exception to accommodate a bony prominence your child may have.


Unwashed Sensor: An unwashed fabric Sock and Sensor can harbor dirt, oils, and bacteria causing skin irritation.

  • Spot clean the Sock & Sensor every 2 weeks.
  • Ensure all the detergent residue is rinsed from the fabric.

Harsh Soaps: Dish soap, hand soap, or antibacterial soap have proven to be too harsh for prolonged exposure against baby skin. We recommend using water with a small drop of laundry detergent to clean your Sock. 

  • To prevent a skin reaction, use the detergent your little one’s skin is already used to. 
  • Dilute the detergent in water to prevent excessive detergent buildup in the fabric
  • Keep in mind that the soap you use may leave a slight residue on the fabric, which will be resting on your little one’s skin. Rinse the fabric well. 
  • Avoid using baby wipes, as those leave behind a residue that may irritate the skin. 

Hyperpigmentation: Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin caused by an increased production of melanin pigment. This can result from the way the skin heals after an irritation or as a response to the blue LED light in the sensor. 

  • A hyperpigmentation mark appears as a flat brown mark under the LED light, and may look like a “tan”.
  • Hyperpigmentation marks are not painful or uncomfortable.
  • Hyperpigmentation is not dangerous, it is a cosmetic side effect. 
  • Hyperpigmentation is more common in babies with darker complexions, or skin tones that tan easily.
  • There is no treatment necessary, and it is safe to continue use. Hyperpigmentation marks will resolve on their own, though it can take several weeks or even months to fade.