If you’re like me, then you’ve heard all the stories. You know, the ones of the bad babysitters caught on the nanny cam? It’s enough to make any mama’s blood boil – and become incredibly selective when they’re bringing a new babysitter into the house. To be honest, I’ve actually only used babysitters that I know super well – either a teenage neighbor who has a great track record (and parents that I see on a regular basis) or someone recommended by my son’s school. But knowing that this isn’t an option for everyone – and we all do have to get out of the house without the kiddos from time to time – we have to have some options. And that’s where the babysitter cam comes into play. So what is this hot must-have item and how do you decide if you really need one? We’ll explore all of this below.
How it works
In it’s most basic form, a babysitter cam is a simple way for you to keep a set of eyes on your house (and your kids) when you’re not there. It’s actually kind of sneaky – you’ll feel a little like an undercover spy putting these things around your house. When it comes down to it, you can hide these teeny cameras in plain sight, like next to a picture frame. You can buy them inserted into a stuffed toy, like a teddy bear in your child’s room.
Or you can go the fully obvious route and just let your babysitter know that you’ve got cameras everywhere and you can see her every move from your cell phone. Except, you might want to say it a little nicer – because saying it just like that will come off a little creepy. Essentially, there are a ton of different models that allow you to put cameras all over your house, which you can then use via a cell phone or tablet when you’re gone. Pretty slick, right?
Choosing the right model
As you start to explore all of the cameras available, you might feel a little overwhelmed, because there are a ton of different options on the market to choose from. Start by thinking about your budget and how many cameras you need – that will immediately narrow down your list of options. For example, our house has an open floor plan where I can capture almost everything from the kitchen to the play area with one camera. I would also recommend adding one to your child’s room.
Next, think about how visible you want the cameras to be – whether they should be hidden out of sight or if you want them to be out in the open. Personally, I don’t want bulky cameras standing out all over my house, so a smaller camera that can be hidden is a better fit. Thinking through how the cameras will look in your house and assessing your budget can help you find the perfect fit for your family.
To tell, or not to tell
Deciding whether or not to tell your sitter or nanny that you have a babysitter cam is a personal decision. If you do decide to give them a head’s up, you probably don’t want to disclose the locations of the cameras. Although it’s more than likely that nothing will happen while you’re gone, you also don’t want to be caught in a position where the sitter moves the camera or covers it up to sneak a boyfriend into the house – or hide what’s going on with your kids.
When it comes down to it, a babysitter cam is really just another safety precaution that you should be using to protect your kids when you’re out of the house. Installing one doesn’t mean you don’t trust your babysitter, but that you’re looking out for the best interests of your kids – should something go awry. A bad babysitter isn’t something that any of us plan for – but having the ability to keep an eye on your sitter can be an extra way to prevent something bad from happening by keeping an extra set of eyes on your house. And it will give you a little more mama security when you’re able to see your baby happily playing when you’re not around.