Has Anyone Ever Used a Nanny-cam in Their Home?

Updated on June 14, 2010
T.B. asks from Monticello, MN
8 answers

I'm wondering if anyone has ever used a nanny-cam in their home to capture how the caregiver is treating their children. I am going back to work and will have a nanny in our home for our 3 and 4 1/2 year old daughters at least 2 days a week for 10 hours a day. I am considering getting a nanny-cam to be sure I made the right decision. Does anyone have any advice or thoughts on this? I have no idea what to buy, of course there are tons of web sites out there! Thanks...

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answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with one of the responses that you should tell the Nanny about installing a camera. If she's a good Nanny, she'll think it's a great idea as it will protect her as well as your kids. I completely understand why you'd want to install one to make sure she's a safe caregiver. Again, a "safe caregiver" should see little problem with that. What if your daughter hurts herself out of no fault from the Nanny (runs into a corner, trips herself and falls, etc.), then you'll both feel good about the fact that no one was to blame.

However, I'd be very cautious about letting anyone other than you watch the tape, including your husband. Imagine if your nanny spills juice on her shirt - taking it off to rinse under the sink may not feel odd in front of two little girls, but it'd be a terrible feeling to know your husband or someone else had seen that. So you should really discuss that with her first. Perhaps even write a contract - safeguarding you both.



answers from Minneapolis on

I am a nanny (and a mom)and I always act as if there is a nanny cam in the home. You never know, there just might be. While deception is generally a bad thing, possibly just dropping a hint that there may be a cam or your thinking about one could be enough to keep her on the straight and narrow. Your gut feeling is always best. Moms have great intuition when it comes to their babies! Good luck to you.



answers from Omaha on

Hi T.,

I would be upfront with your nanny and tell her that you have installed a camera so that you can enjoy your children's day. I would explain that at any given time you can sign onto a secure site and watch what your children are doing. Tell her it is difficult to be away from them and you want to be able to see them during the day.

By handling it this way, she won't feel like her privacy is being compromised and you will feel better knowing you can see your children during the day. You will also be able to see her loving your children, caring for their needs and know that your children are being taken care of in the manner that you want. If your nanny has a problem with that, look elsewhere.




answers from Miami on

I'll be going back to work and leaving my 2.5 month old baby with a nanny. I fully expect to get a nanny cam - I was a nanny while in college and I would have felt silly if I knew they had one (i don't want anyone watching while I sing, etc!) but I wouldn't have been bothered at all.
Ultimately, no matter how many background checks and reference checks I do, I don't know this person very well. It's my responsibility to care for my child as well as I can, so I think nanny cam is harmless.

I just wish I could get more info on reliable ones!



answers from Minneapolis on

I'm torn on this subject.

As a mother I say Yes go for it..

As someone who has been a nanny/babysitter before I say heck NO.

I feel it's invading their privacy but at the same time you can't be safe enough with your babies.

Maybe don't do it until you have a reason to wonder or let the nanny know upfront you have nanny cams.

Then you have cases like that were on CNN where that nanny was horribly mean to this couple's twins and carried them around like rag dolls. The parents only knew cause of the cams.

Ultimately you should have a nanny that you trust and would never need a cam but this is 2008 and you can't trust anyone.

It does help that you have a child who's 4.5. My daughter is my little snitch. She's 6 years old and I am constantly asking her questions and having her tell me what happens when she's at school etc. and I'm not around. Atleast that child could relate back to you if the nanny is doing anything really wrong. Keep your communication lines really open with your daughter and ask her specific questions like can you show me how the nanny puts your sister down for a nap or disciplines your little sister. Act like your playing a game.



answers from Minneapolis on

The first thing you must do is check into the legality of what you want to do, especially if the nanny is not aware of the camera. The last thing you want is a nanny suing you for damages.
In my opinion, you shouldn't need cameras. Your children are old enough to tell you what is happening while you're away, if by only their attitudes. If they look forward to the nanny coming all is probably good. If they complain about her and don't want you to leave, there are issues to address. If you have a bad feeling about someone follow your gut, don't wait for evidence to change the situation.



answers from Milwaukee on

Hi T.,
I would buy one too if I were in your shoes. Unless you know the person like the back of your hand, you can't be too careful. No sense taking any chances. I am sorry I can't help you with a suggestion, but I look forward to suggestions from others in case I ever have to hire a nanny myself. Good luck!



answers from Appleton on

I babysat-nannied, etc. and still think this is a really good idea. Hopefully the worst you'd capture would be seeing things like the nanny picking her nose or itching her butt. While I don't have specific suggestions on brands, etc., I will say that your work performance would be greater if you knew your babies were safe, right? And what if you waited until there was a reason to get a cam, but it was too late... Sorry if that sounds morbid, but as Beth H said, its 2008 and you can't trust anyone. Be sure to do a background check on your hire (obviously) and if possible, speak to the contacts in person rather than on the phone - you'll be better able to assess their body language. Best of luck.

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