A child’s well-being and safety are every parent’s top priority. You may not always be able to look over their shoulder and keep track of every move they make, but by getting yourself a state of the art nanny cam you can get very close, still fulfill all of your work obligations and have a bit of me-time without being irresponsible.
Since recording standards are getting better each year and the lenses installed in these cameras are getting increasingly smaller, the nanny cam market is chock-full of the most diverse models, ranging from cheaply-made, visible yet serviceable cams to hidden cameras you’d never believe were there until someone pointed them out to you.
As with everything else, you probably have a budget in mind for a camera. Nanny cam costs range from a little over $30 to a whopping $400 or more! How much you’re willing to spend on one will largely depend on the number of features and their complexity.
Here’s a rough breakdown to give you an idea of what you’re getting:
How Much Does a Nanny Cam Cost? You can have it for free, actually (Kind of)
If you have an old smartphone collecting dust somewhere and want to put it to good use, the chances are that you won’t even need to pay for a nanny cam, provided you don’t mind the basic functionality, the visibility of the phone and questionable video quality.
With this approach, you need to install Skype on both phones, set the old phone up so that it automatically answers a video call from you (and ONLY you), and you’ve got yourself a DIY nanny cam that might suit you just fine. If that’s too rickety or too complicated for you, there are specialized nanny cams out there for any budget.
Cheaper Nanny Cams (roughly $35 to $75)
While the cheapest of the cheap nanny cams typically isn’t as functional as a $75 model, these have been lumped together because they all lack certain features more expensive ones have access to. Even among the most affordable models you can find ones that are exceptionally well hidden as phone chargers or picture frames. If the camera’s primary use is to check up on how the nanny is performing her duties, you won’t go wrong with saving a few bucks.
There are severe limitations to many of these models though. If they record audio, it is often garbled or choppy. Their lenses are fixed and require you to place them in a more conspicuous spot to get a better view, which doesn’t always coincide with the availability of an outlet.
Some of them can’t connect to Wi-Fi, leaving you in the dark on what’s been going on until you get home and check the recording. An SD card is needed to even activate such a camera and you don’t often get one free of charge, forcing you to spend more money.
In short, if you need the camera to record a steady feed that you don’t mind looking at later and aren’t hung up on bells and whistles that might make a big difference for your surveillance needs, then a camera from this price range is perfectly viable.
More Expensive Nanny Cams
As mentioned before, the cost of these can climb well into the hundreds. On the other hand, you get a slew of features related to both security and the level of your involvement.
These can almost always be connected to a smartphone and even offer cloud storage, eliminating the need for memory cards and the like. The recorded video looks better, sounds clearer and can even be shot with night vision which drastically improves the camera’s usefulness in the dark.
Other quality-of-life features present in such cameras include the ability to remotely take control and adjust its viewing angle or zoom in on a specific site. If they come with rechargeable batteries, these usually have a long standby time and can record tens of hours of video before they need recharging.
Cams in this price range also offer two-way voice communication, playback of various pre-recorded messages or lullabies as well as the creation of your own, and advanced motion or sound sensors with adjustable sensitivity. It isn’t uncommon that an expensive hidden camera is placed inside a beautiful plush toy that blends in with the child’s other belongings.