4 Things to Know Before Getting a Nanny Cam

Need some extra help with the kids and their caretakers? We outline four things you should consider before getting a nanny cam and how to talk to your childcare experts before you do it.

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Katie McEntire
Staff Writer, Safety & Security
August 17, 2021

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Between work, family, and other responsibilities, hiring a nanny can lighten your load around the house.

Adding a nanny cam to the mix will give you extra peace of mind when you check in on the kids and their caretaker throughout the day.

But before you buy a nanny cam, there are four things to consider.

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Unfortunately, not all nanny cams are created equal. Some can pan and zoom while others stay stationary.

If you want to place your nanny cam on a bookshelf or the wall, make sure it has a wide view so it can capture everything in the room or hallway.

For bigger rooms like a nursery or play area, you can go for the fancier features like panning (side to side), tilting (up and down) or zooming (in and out).

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Smart home devices for parents

Nanny cams don’t have to do all the work in your home either. There are other smart home devices that can make the day go by more smoothly for you, your kids, and their caretakers.

Other things to look for in a nanny cam

  • Video quality (1080p or higher)
  • Night vision
  • Video recording or cloud storage
  • Two-way audio
  • Encrypted live feed

State laws

In all 50 states, you can video in the open as long as you’re not also recording audio. Be sure to check your own state surveillance laws before setting up a nanny camera.

Even if you’re looking for suspicious activity, the footage might not hold up in court if you film illegally.

Are nanny cams legal?

Nanny cam laws vary between states, but there are 11 that require two-party consent before recording footage in your home. If you live in any of these places, check in with your nanny before getting an indoor camera.

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington
  • Hawaii


We recommend starting the relationship right. If you’re hiring a new nanny or babysitter and already have a camera in the home, go ahead and tell them about any indoor cameras or security equipment you have inside.

Or if the camera is the new addition to your family, explain to your nanny that it’s just a precaution. This can help avoid a breach of trust between you and your kids’ caretaker.

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Finding a good nanny

Unfortunately, Mary Poppins isn’t looking for work these days. But we can help you find a nanny that fits your family and childcare needs.

Overall, it’s better to tell your nanny about the camera before they find them on their own.

Say there’s a break-in or some kind of accident that happens while your nanny’s home with your kids. Not only will your nanny help keep your kids safe, they’ll be able to know what time and where it happened so you can check the footage later.

And finally, it’s simple psychology. People act differently when they know they’re being watched. So tell your nanny about the camera and everyone will be on their best behavior.


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In the past few years, there have been an amount of disturbing hacking cases across the country.

So if you install a nanny cam in your home, do you know how to keep the line safe from prying eyes?

You can start by changing your Wi-Fi and camera account password regularly. (Think every one to three months.)

Use long, complex, original passwords whenever you do change them. And be sure to log out of your camera app every time you're done using it. If you want more information on that, check out our Security Camera Safety video.

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Protect your entire smart home

Cameras aren’t the only devices that need protection from outside threats like hackers. Learn how to protect your smart home from hacking with practical tips you can put in place today.

Final word

Indoor cameras, hidden cameras, and nanny cameras can add an extra layer of security to your childcare routine, or they can breed paranoia and suspicion.

It all depends on how you use them.

Different families need different things. That’s why we recommend you do some research before you hire a nanny or get an indoor camera.

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