How to Set Up a Nanny Cam

Purchase a Nanny Cam


Nanny cams are available from many different retailers at a wide range of prices, depending on the capabilities you desire. The average price for a cheaper nanny cam ranges between $25 and $50, while better-quality cameras retail for around $150 to $250. Nanny cams can be found at most baby- and child-related retail outlets, including Babies R Us, and are also available online. To choose a nanny cam that best fits your needs and your budget, consider purchasing a nanny cam from an offline retailer, where you can speak to a clerk and learn more about the different options available for the nanny cams they have for sale.

Find a Spot to Hide the Nanny Cam


The best place to hide the nanny cam would be in a common area of the house, where your child and his or her nanny spends most of their time. For most families, this would be the family or living room, the child’s playroom, or the nursery. You may want to consider investing in more than one nanny cam so you can cover more square footage across your home.


Set the nanny cam up somewhere high, above eye level. On top of a shelf, bookcase, or entertainment center would be a good choice. Some nanny cams can also be hung on the wall, depending on the item used to hide the device. For these nanny cams, you will want to hang the item just above your height, so the nanny cam has a good view of the entire room. Do not place other items too close to the nanny cam, and make sure nothing is in front of the camera to prevent the nanny cam’s view from being obscured.

Set Up the Nanny Cam


Once you have found a location, you will need to set the nanny cam up for use. Most nanny cams are battery operated, so be sure to check for the type of batteries you will need to power the cam before you bring it home. After installing the batteries, you will need to connect the transmitter to the device that will be recording the media that the nanny cam captures. Most nanny cams work with your VCR, DVD recorder (not a typical DVD player), and of course, your home computer. Many nanny cams also work with your TiVo or DVR device, as well. Whatever you choose, it will need to be fairly close, as you will need to attach the transmitter (typically, a USB cable) between the two devices. You can purchase USB cables in longer lengths at your local computer hardware store, with some USB cables stretching as long as 500 feet. Keep in mind that the farther away from the recording device your nanny cam is, the harder it will be for you to hide the USB cord from site.


Note: If using your computer as the recording device, you will likely need to install software that can capture and play back the recording on your computer. Your nanny cam will probably include any software you need, but be sure to ask the salesperson at the store where you purchase the nanny cam if you need to buy additional software.


If you are using your VCR or DVD recorder as the recording device, remember you will need to put in a new tape or blank DVD every time you want to record something on the nanny cam.

Test Your Nanny Cam


Once connected, turn the nanny cam on. You will also need to turn on your recording device to capture any footage for later viewing. Move around your home while the nanny cam is recording so that you can see how well it records. You may need to make adjustments to the nanny cam’s location if the view is obstructed, or if the nanny cam is having difficulty recording a picture.


Remember that you will need to set your device to record before you leave the home for the nanny cam to capture any pictures or video, or else your nanny cam will be pretty useless for monitoring purposes.

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