How Does a Nanny Cam Work?

It’s possible that you’ve seen nanny cams in movies or heard people talking about them. It’s also just as likely that you’ve yet to see one of these cameras in person. If you’re wondering how nanny cams work, then keep reading.

What is a Nanny Cam?

You’ll hear other phrases to describe nanny cams, such as:

  • Spy camera or cam
  • Hidden camera or cam

Simply put, this is a type of camera that you use inside your apartment or home as a way to see what happens when you’re away. It’s usually very small so you can disguise it as a speaker or clock, for example. You might also decide not to disguise it in order to let people know they’re under surveillance.

Typically, a nanny cam is used to keep a close eye on what your nanny or babysitter does. You might also use it to make sure your baby is OK in his or her crib.

Other uses include:

  • Make sure you’re teenagers don’t get out of control while you’re away for the weekend
  • Keep watch on pets while you’re away
  • Ensure that your small children make it home from school while you’re still at work
  • Keep a watchful eye while on vacation and make sure no one breaks into your home

How Does a Nanny Cam Work?

It’s a video camera at its core. You can use a security cam that allows you to monitor in real time via a wifi connection or a camera that records to a memory card.

A wireless option, for example, allows you to set up the camera in your baby’s room and then use monitors in your bedroom or kitchen to see what’s happening in real time.

You definitely want to use the wireless type when you want to watch “live”, without waiting to watch what happened at a later time. If you would like to hear what’s happening, then you can choose to use a wifi nanny cam with audio.

Technically speaking, your wireless camera works by connecting into your home’s computer network. Once hooked up, the camera is displayed on any compatible device. You have a choice to display video images on the following types of devices:

  • Television
  • Laptop
  • Tablet
  • Desktop
  • Smartphone

There is normally a relatively simple setup process to work through to get everything working correctly. Once it’s all set up, you can watch through the eyes of your nanny cam from the next room, at work or when visiting family.

Two Important Features

You can’t possibly monitor your nanny cam 24/7. That’s why you want to look for two notification features:

  • Motion detection
  • Auto notifications

Motion detection is activated once any type of movement occurs in the room where you’ve placed the camera. The motion starts the recording process. Once the movement is over, the camera will stop recording.

You can also set it to stop recording after a certain amount of time has passed. The footage is saved to a memory card or to your computer.

The auto notification feature lets you know when there is motion in the room. When the camera picks up anything moving, you’ll receive a notification so you know to start watching. This might be a text message, email or app notification.

This is a great way to maintain peace of mind because you’re never worrying about whether you need to check out the nanny cam. Instead, your camera tells you exactly when it’s time to watch.

A few nanny cameras come with advanced abilities. For example, some of them allow you to switch between multiple cameras on your cell phone.

Memory Card Nanny Cams

It’s probable that you like the idea of the wireless wifi nanny cam option. However, it’s important to know about the non-wifi options.

These models record everything to a memory card and are typically easier to set up and put into place when compared to the wifi models. All you do is plug a memory card cam in, place it where you want it and let it start doing its job.

This type of security camera is an excellent choice when you don’t need to watch what’s going on in real time. You gain the ability to watch anything that happened by taking the memory card out and placing it into your desktop or laptop for playback.

Selecting the Best Nanny Cam for Your Situation

Finding the best nanny cams all comes down to your own specific needs. There really isn’t a “one size fits all” way to look at it. A nanny cam that works great for one person might not be the best option for you and your situation.

That’s why we provide a wealth of information and review many camera options at You’ll discover several types so you can choose the best one that fits your needs.

You might like a camera that’s disguised as a coffee maker and place it in the kitchen. Or, a camera inside a teddy bear is the one you’ll choose to place in your baby’s room.

Where to Avoid Placing Your Nanny Cam

One final note to consider is where you need to avoid placing a security camera. It’s perfectly legal to use a nanny cam in your home.

However, be careful that you don’t invade a person’s privacy in certain areas. Avoid placing a camera in bathrooms, changing rooms or bedrooms. A nanny, for example, understands the need to be on camera in the baby’s room or in the living room. A person doesn’t expect to be on camera in the bathroom, though.

Sticking to the common areas of your home will ensure a safe and legal way to use your new nanny cam.