To nanny cam or not to nanny cam? That is the question. And what a controversial question it is! There are very strong, mixed opinions amongst the online parenting community about whether a nanny cam is appropriate or not. Basically, a nanny cam allows parents to install a discrete security camera to keep an eye on the baby 24/7.
The original idea was for it to be so could spy on your nanny to see if they’re doing a good job or not. However, this is where the controversy came from. Many people have raised the valid point that filming someone without their permission (even if it’s in your house) seems like a violation of their privacy.
We bet most nannies wouldn’t be okay knowing they’re being filmed at all moments. With that being said, there are some parents who use nanny cams other than for this sneaky purpose, like to simply keep an eye on their kid when they’re in another room or for home security.
These 20 mamas shared their experiences with nanny cams so you can hear the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to these techs. While there are some obvious benefits to them, there are also ways things can go wrong! What story were you the most surprised by?
Regina* was able to discover that her nanny was bringing over unwanted guests all thanks to the help of their handy, dandy nanny cam.
“I’m so thankful for our nanny cam! We explicitly told our new nanny we didn’t want anyone over at the house (we were only leaving her a couple nights a week at that point).
Well, I soon discovered she was bringing her boyfriend over and having snuggle sessions in the master bedroom.”
We bet this mom was thankful to learn what was really going on at home when she was out. Icky!
Mallory* was horrified to discover that her mother-in-law used a nanny cam to spy on her parenting abilities. Could you even imagine?!
“I will never, ever purchase a nanny cam because now I know what it’s like to be spied on!
My mother-in-law has always distrusted me, and she made a big fuss of how I was unfit when we had our son. It took me a few weeks to realize, but the teddy bear she gave him at the hospital actually had a hidden camera in it.
When I confronted her, she said she was just making sure I could take care of a newborn properly. And my husband actually defended her!”
Marisol* hilariously admits that she uses a nanny cam to spy on her teenagers when she gets home from school.
“Nanny cams aren’t just for kids- we actually use them on our teen! After my sister’s kids grew out of her nanny cam, she had the great idea to pass them onto me to use with my teens.
We have a strict no boys policy at the house after school (before we come home from work) for our girls, but they’ve been known to break it. We set up the nanny cam in the living room and have caught them a few times having people over that they shouldn’t have!”
Amy* reveals that she and her husband don’t see eye to eye on having a nanny cam and it’s beginning to cause problems for them.
“The only reason I regret getting one is because my husband is judging me for it.
We had a huge argument before the baby was even born if we were going to get it. He thinks its creepy and will only make me obsessed. But I went ahead and bought one without telling him, and only told him when I set it up.
I know it’s causing a huge split in our relationship, but it gives me so much peace of mind that I don’t know what I’d do without it.”
Bianca* says that having a nanny cam only made her feel obsessed with viewing the footage, rather than giving her peace of mind.
“I think having the cam just made me too paranoid. Anytime we went out and left the baby with someone, I’d obsessively come home to review the video.
I didn’t really think anything bad would happen. A part of me just wanted to see what the baby was doing when I wasn’t at home.
But in the end, I felt paranoid and mistrusting- not what you want to feel when you’re going out with your baby.”
Morena* says that her nanny cam was able to prove when her child was lying and the sitter was telling the truth.
“Having a camera was actually really helpful to figure out when my son was lying.
He was making up all sorts of allegations- like the babysitter wasn’t letting him sleep with his favorite toy or go up to use the bathroom at night. They were all very concerning, but I didn’t want to fire or confront her without proof.
After looking at the tapes, we discovered it was our little guy just trying to stir up trouble. The babysitter had done nothing wrong at all!”
Samira* admits that she did have a nanny cam at one point- that is, until her nanny actually found it and shared how uncomfortable she was by it.
“We actually had a cam until it made our nanny uncomfortable. We didn’t tell her about it, but I guess she found it while she was cleaning up the baby’s nursery.
She told us she didn’t feel comfortable working for us if we continued to spy on her without her knowledge, which looking back is totally fair and valid. We got rid of it because we wanted to keep her on.”
It sounds like Courtney* regrets getting a nanny cam because of what it did to her relationship with her kids’ sitter.
“I think having a nanny cam made me unable to trust the nanny as well.
With my first kid, we didn’t have a camera and I had a really strong bond with the babysitter. When we had our second and had to get a new nanny, I got a camera so I could make sure 100% that she was good at her job.
But I think it made her distrustful of us and feel like she was doing something wrong, whereas it made me obsessed with knowing what she was doing with the kids at all times.”
Georgiana* was surprised by how strongly some of her mom friends reacted when she told them she invested in a nanny cam.
“I thought having a nanny cam was going to make me the hit mom of my friend circle.
But I was surprised that some of my friends were so strongly against it. I told them over our weekly lunch, and we got into a pretty heated debate. One of my friends even refused to have Playdates with my kid for a while because she was so sour about it."
Lesson: be careful who you tell about your nanny cam.”
Jaylin* says that she invested in a nanny cam to figure out what her kids were up to when it was past their bedtime.
“We didn’t get a nanny cam to spy on our babysitter… we got one to spy on our kids!
Our sons shared a room, and for the longest time were having trouble going to sleep. When we’d check on them, they’d both say the other was keeping them up at night. We placed a camera in their room and were soon able to see it was our eldest giving his younger brother a hard time.
It wasn’t long until we moved into a bigger house!”
Daria* admits that she has no regrets about investing in a nanny cam. Not only did it help to soothe her anxiety, but it allows her to stay connected to her baby during the day while she’s at work.
“At first I thought having a camera would feel like we were violating someone’s privacy…
But it actually helped ease a lot of my anxiety, especially around going back to work when the baby was only a few months old. Now I can check in on her anytime and make sure that the nanny is doing everything the correct way.”
Rachel* hilariously recalls how her dog devoured the nanny cam before they could even get footage.
“We spent a good penny on a fancy baby monitoring kit so we’d feel extra safe while leaving her with babysitters. Well, it wasn’t the sitter we had to worry about!
The first night we went out and left the camera on, we came home to the dog chewing up the stuffy (since the camera was hidden in a teddy bear). The dog totally thought it was one of her chew toys.
We can’t justify spending any more money when this could happen again.”
Shay* says she disagrees with the use of nanny cams because she’s painfully aware of the consequences this technology can actually have.
“I’m actually really against nanny cams! Because I think they can be used for harmful purposes.
My ex actually threatened to use one on me while we were separating to get evidence that I wasn’t a good mom. I knew he wouldn’t be able to get anything on tape (because I wasn’t doing anything wrong), but knowing it’s possible still freaks me out.
I think we should be able to trust people not film them.”
Lola* says that having a nanny cam helped make it easier to be separated from her kids when she eventually went back to work.
“I was a stay-at-home mom for 6 years until we had our third, and then I decided I wanted to go back to work when he was two years old. When the time came, I didn’t expect how much separation anxiety I’d have from the kids.
My counselor actually suggested putting a nanny cam in the living room so I could look in on the kids when they were home (they did pre-school and normal school in the day, then my mom would pick them up).
The nanny cam was a total lifesaver for me!”
Jean* and her husband had the clever idea to repurpose their nanny cam for home security after their son outgrew it.
“We used a nanny cam for a bit so we could watch our son while he falls asleep, but now we actually use it for home security.
My husband set up the camera in the front room so we can see if anyone comes into the house. We turn it on every night ever since there were some break-ins in the neighbor.
Don’t know how effective it is, but it gives me peace of mind.”
Katie* admits she’s worried about the legal ramifications of filming someone without their permission, which is why she’s yet to install the nanny cam she already purchased.
“I bought a nanny cam when I had my first child and was all ready to use it on our babysitter until a friend of mine told me you could get in serious trouble for doing it. In certain states, filming people like that is actually illegal. Or the police can’t really do anything with the footage.
I don’t want any legal trouble, so I’ve still yet to set up the thing.”
Jenna* set up a nanny cam in order to discover who was eating all the food in the house.
“Our babysitter was only over 2-3 times a week. But the next morning after she came a ton of food would be missing from the fridge. We were pretty sure she was the reason, but we got a camera to get proof.
Sure enough, the day after installing it we got footage of her loading a reusable grocery bag with our groceries. When we confronted her, all she had to say was she didn’t think we’d notice they were gone!”
Mona* says that having a nanny cam helped her find out that her nanny was not a good match for their family… particularly since she was bringing over other kids she babysat without anyone knowing!
“Having a nanny cam helped us discovered a huge secret about our nanny!
She was actually bringing over other kids she babysat to our house. So she was watching 6 kids at a time, and never looked like she had enough attention for any of them.
We discovered it pretty quickly, but it made me feel uneasy knowing that she could have so easily gotten away with it if we weren’t taping it.”
Ella* says she attempted to use a nanny cam when she bought one online. But, after multiple attempts at setting it up, she conceded that it just wasn’t meant to be (or it was at least not worth the effort!).
“I tried using a nanny cam once, but could never properly install it. I bought two different models off of Amazon and returned both because they wouldn’t set up. I had friends try to do it for me, but no one could figure it out.
Something that costs that much shouldn’t be so hard to put together. I eventually gave up.”
Shauna* admits that the nanny cam made her transition back to the workforce all the harder, so we’re not sure if she’d recommend other moms do the same.
“Having the nanny cam actually made it harder to go back to work.
I was always excusing myself to check the camera and see how the babies were doing. I was never worried something bad was going to happen. I just liked seeing their little faces while I was bored at work. It definitely made me miss them a lot more than if I didn’t.”
*Names have been changed.