You might have heard parents saying that a baby monitor entirely changed their lives. Baby monitor is a tremendous value that technology provides for modern parenting. It is a great tool to support you in raising your child with independence while managing your incessant attention. Despite its potential to help, however, baby monitoring should not be an obsession, nor too much complication. This guide tries to offer a practical view on how to make use of the tool.
How it works
A baby monitor is an audio and/or video transmitting system, placed near the child, that allows attendants to hear or view the child while out of distance. It works as a monitoring tool while you are trying to give your child private space to incubate independence and autonomy on him/her.
The system may have alerts when the child wakes or cries, so that the caregivers can have some break from non-stop monitoring.
When to use a baby monitor
It is often used to monitor when a baby sleeps or a toddler plays in a separate room. Though a baby monitor is a valued parenting tool, it does not mean that every parent needs one.
When you DON’T need a baby monitor:
- The baby sleeps in the same room with you and stays within your observing distance.
- You have a small apartment, and the baby is always nearby.
- You have someone else taking care of the baby while you are not around.
When you DO need a baby monitor:
- You are sleep training the baby.
- The baby is switched to a separate room.
- You are cultivating independent play for the child.
- You find yourself running back and forth to check in on the baby too often.
- Sometimes you leave your child on the car for a while to run an errand.
Caution - When you OVERUSE a baby monitor:
- You constantly check the baby monitor and seem to be more paranoid without it. Like all technology tools, baby monitor should be used in moderation.
- If you need real mental breaks, in which you can stop worrying about the child. Then, get someone to help you take care of the child so that you can have some time off.
- The baby seems to sleep or play independently well with limited monitoring. It is healthy for both you and her that you believe in her overall ability to stay safe and autonomous.
A simple solution to baby monitoring
There are many options for professional baby monitors in the market. But if you have a spare iPhone or iPad, then you have already had a tool to use for baby monitoring. You only need to install a security camera or baby monitoring application. It should allow you to stream video and audio. Other helpful features are baby cry alert, lullaby music playing and two-way audio.
Install AiCam for baby monitoring
To set up, you will need:
- An iPhone or iPad.
- Mount / tripod. You can mount your phone or table on the wall or put it on a tripod placed near your child. There are more accessories for your phone to work better for surveillance, such as rotating cell phone stand and wide-angle lens.
- Charger (optional). If you plan to monitor the baby continuously for over a few hours, you’ll need to connect your phone to power to ensure uninterrupted monitoring. If you only use it for less than an hour, your phone battery probably works just fine.
- Install and set up app. You’ll need at least one device to use as camera device and one as view device. After downloading AiCam app, adding the devices with the same iCloud account. Turn on streaming in the camera device, then you are ready to go. You can view and adjust camera from other devices.
Notes on privacy
If you are concerned about footage of your child being uploaded to a server on the Internet and vulnerable to hackers, you can find options that allow streaming via local network (your Wi-Fi).
With AiCam, you can disable Internet connection and use Wi-Fi for video streaming with following steps:
- Disable internet connection of iPhone using Wi-Fi router setting.
- Enable Local Network Mode in AiCam app of streaming device.
- Enable Local Network Mode in AiCam app of viewing device.
- View livestream using local Wi-Fi network.
Monitoring your baby need not be complicated. A repurposed phone should work wonders for keeping your child safe and independent.