Should You Use a Nanny Cam?


8 minute read

Is your nanny acting suspiciously? Did you come to the realization that certain valuables have gone missing ever since you hired a nanny? If yes, you’ve probably been wondering how best to confront them about it and whether you should do anything at all. 

Squaring up to your caretaker without ample reason behind doing so can end up being a less than pleasant affair. You can end up looking silly, or even worse, get yourself “blacklisted” among the caretaker community. So, before you do anything rash, ask yourself whether there are any alternatives. One such solution is the use of a nanny cam, as it will provide you with more than enough evidence before you decide to act upon your suspicions. 

In this article, we’ll discuss all the pros and cons of utilizing such surveillance and provide you with everything you need to know about nanny cams. 

What Are Nanny Cameras?

First and foremost, for those of you dealing with spy equipment for the first time, we’ll provide an overview of what nanny cameras actually are.

Typically, they’re hidden cameras strategically positioned throughout the house. They may or may not be hidden within some inconspicuous object that blends with the surroundings. As a general rule, they tend to be very small for those same reasons. Any camera that fits this description can be dubbed a “nanny camera”, but the more specialized products offer you a more reliable recording experience.

Nanny cameras can vary in terms of recording quality, memory capacity, features such as internet connectivity, wired or wireless operation, and other facets such as shape and size. 

The stereotype that a nanny camera has to be a teddy bear or some other toy with a camera instead of an eye is an invalid one, as there are many options to choose from on the market. At the end of the article, we’ll provide you with recommendations and you’ll see what we mean by that.

The Pros of Using a Nanny Camera

There are many upsides to using a nanny camera which we will discuss further on, but for the busy bees among you, here’s a summary of all the pros:

  • Keep an eye on your child, even if the nanny decides to snooze;
  • Resolve suspicions about malicious behavior from a caretaker;
  • Catch theft and abuse on tape;
  • Add an extra layer of security to your home;
  • They’re a relatively small investment.

Even if your nanny doesn’t have bad intentions, they are a pretty busy bunch, and mistakes can happen to everyone. Be it in a moment of negligence, or they simply doze off - the little ones never rest. With an internet-connected nanny cam, you’ll be able to keep tabs on your child as well.

Then again, if you suspect that your nanny is up to no good in any way, such as bringing strangers to your home, misusing some of the amenities, or simply neglecting your child, the nanny cam will provide you with plenty of evidence to confront them about that kind of behavior.

The nanny camera can also help with catching some more serious malicious actions on tape. In the case of theft, or god forbid, abuse, you’ll have the appropriate video material to pursue legal action. Do inform yourself about the relevant legal matters before taking action, though. We’ll provide you with a more general outline of legal issues regarding nanny cams further on.

When positioned correctly, nanny cameras, especially motion-activated ones, can serve as an extra layer of security in your home. Even if your initial intention was monitoring the nanny or the relevant caretaker, the camera doesn’t discriminate and it will catch all sorts of malicious activity, such as burglary or trespassing

Lastly, if you consider all of the previously mentioned upsides, we can safely come to the conclusion that you do gain a lot by having a simple nanny camera. Considering that hidden cameras of this size are relatively cheap, you stand to save yourself a whole world of trouble for a very minuscule investment.

The Cons of Using a Nanny Camera

Even though there are certain very obvious upsides, there are also some inherent downsides to using a nanny camera. Here’s a summary:

  • Privacy issues;
  • Legal ramifications upon misuse;
  • A tendency to micromanage the nanny;
  • Exhibiting a lack of trust.

If the first thing that popped in your mind regarding the cons of using a nanny cam were the privacy issues, it may very well be warranted to spare an extra thought. Breach of privacy is a very real problem and we strongly advise that you notify the nanny before placing a spy camera in your dwelling. There might be some caretakers who don’t approve of such monitoring, making it a relevant issue. Although, there are legal guidelines that you can follow. 

But, if you don’t follow the set of legal rules regarding the reasonable expectation of privacy, there might be legal ramifications and get you in trouble with the law. The rule of thumb is the following: don’t place nanny cameras in areas or rooms of your house where a reasonable expectation of privacy is presumed.

Another less obvious issue, especially with internet-connected nanny cameras, is that you’ll find yourself checking the camera way too often. Nanny cameras are supposed to give you a sense of security, not nerve-racking unease. You also might end up micromanaging the nanny and dictating their every step, which won’t be a pleasant experience for both parties. 

It’s very important to build mutual trust with people who take care of your loved ones. Stating that you’ll be monitoring them might exhibit a sense of mistrust and can prove to be a turn-off to some caretakers. To avoid this, make sure you state your reasoning behind the monitoring in detail and be upfront about it. If you can’t get past this issue, you might want to consider a different nanny or abandon the idea of using a nanny camera altogether.

Is It Legal to Use a Nanny Camera?

When using a nanny camera, there are some legal guidelines to keep in mind. Please note that these vary from state to state, but are generally based upon the same principle of a reasonable expectation of privacy, that we mentioned before.

Reasonable expectation of privacy, or REP, applies to certain areas or rooms within the house where your nanny shouldn’t be monitored. Such areas include, but are not limited to: bathrooms, toilets, changing rooms, bedrooms, etc.

If you’d like to read more about the legal issues regarding the use of nanny cameras and the general use of spy equipment, please visit our legal guide.

General Tips for Using a Nanny Camera

First and foremost, it’s important to ascertain what you’re using the nanny camera for. Do you suspect that your nanny might be doing certain malicious activities? If so, you need to place the nanny cam in an inconspicuous place where they wouldn’t care to look closely. Although, we strongly suggest to notify your nanny that you’re monitoring them under any other circumstances.

If you’d like to maximize the inadvertent surveillance that the nanny camera will surely provide, make sure you place it in a corner of the room since that way you’ll have the biggest field of view at an appropriate angle.

Recommendations for Nanny Cameras

If you’d like to find out more about the best nanny cameras, visit our nanny camera buying guide with specific recommendations and detailed reviews. Otherwise, here’s a brief summary of our top sellers.

Weather Thermostat Hidden Camera

  • Records at a resolution of 1280x720 px (720p)
  • Motion-activated
  • 9 days of battery life

Wall Socket Hidden Camera

  • Records at a resolution of 1280x720 px (720p)
  • Motion-activated
  • 5 days of battery life

Smoke Detector Hidden Camera

  • Records at a resolution of 1280x720 px (720p)
  • 90 days of standby battery
  • Motion-activated
  • Night vision

TV Remote Control Hidden Camera

  • Records at a resolution of 1920x1080 px (1080p)
  • Motion-activated or continuous
  • 8 days of battery life
  • Audio recording

Please note that although these hidden cameras may not seem like conventional nanny cams, none of them really do. The teddy bear is long outdated and you would do well to equip yourself with the best reliable tech at an affordable price.

Before You Go

We hope that we answered all your questions and that you’ve decided whether you should use a nanny cam. They’re very useful spy gadgets and the investment will surely pay off in the long term. 

If you’d like to add something or have further qualms regarding the use of our products, don’t hesitate to contact us directly. We answer all emails by the next business day. 

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