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Sometimes, when you have a child, it can seem like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You want to make sure they’re safe 24/7, but you also know you can’t always be physically present. So, what’s a parent to do?

For many, the answer lies in video cameras. When strategically placed around your home, nanny cams can allow you to watch what’s happening when you’re not there.

Want to know more? Look no further. We’ve got all the info you need, as well as a list of some of our standout favorites.

Some reasons you may want to use a nanny camera include:

  • Your child is having health issues and you want to check on them.
  • You’re trying out a new nanny you haven’t established a relationship with yet.
  • You need a baby monitor — many nanny cameras can also perform this function!

If you’re worried about what’s going on when you’re not physically present, a nanny camera might help bring you peace of mind.

Transparency is key

If you choose to use a nanny camera, you should always let your child’s caretaker know there’s a camera in the house. Parent-caretaker relationships are founded on trust — and you definitely don’t want to break that trust by making someone feel like you’ve been spying on them!

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When deciding on the right nanny camera for you, you’ll want to take into account things like:

  • picture clarity
  • how much space the lens will allow you to view
  • if it relies on Wi-Fi, and if so, whether it makes use of an app, offers phone notifications for motion, or has free cloud storage of data
  • the price of the camera and the cost of any add-ons
  • speak-through and other audio options
  • whether it requires wires or batteries
  • ease of installation
  • customer service and warranty options

When considering which nanny cameras should make the cut, we took into account the specs and features listed above. All the cameras we chose have full high-definition (HD) images with 1080 pixels (p) so the quality of the image is not an issue. We also read a ton of reviews to see what real parents and caregivers who’ve used these cameras had to say.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $60
  • $$ = $60–$100
  • $$$ = over $100

Best overall nanny camera

Google Nest Cam Indoor

  • Price: $$$
  • Cloud storage: has up to 3 hours of event history without a subscription; for more, you’ll need a Nest Aware subscription
  • Pros: is easy to install, offers 24/7 live streaming over Wi-Fi, and includes two-way audio
  • Cons: has wires and an expensive price tag

Key features: This camera comes with easy installation, cloud recording, 24/7 livestream over Wi-Fi, two-way audio, and an app for your phone or tablet. If you’re looking for a camera that checks a lot of boxes and offers 130 degrees of live picture, the Nest Cam may be for you.

The camera can be trained to use facial recognition. Parents and caregivers say that it can easily transition from a security camera to a baby monitor to a nanny cam.

Considerations: The Nest Cam Indoor is a plug-in model, so you’ll need to make sure you’re OK with wires before investing in it. It’s also more expensive than many of the cameras on this list.

Best budget-friendly nanny camera

Wyze Cam Pan

  • Price: $
  • Cloud storage: videos are saved for 14 days; for additional recording, you’ll need to buy a micro SD card
  • Pros: has a lower price tag, pans 360 degrees horizontally, and includes two-way audio
  • Cons: has wires, and you’ll need a micro SD card to keep recordings longer than 14 days

Key features: If you’re looking for a camera that does it all without the sticker shock, this is a great option. The Wyze Cam Pan is packed with features and includes a companion app.

This option allows you to tilt 93 degrees vertically, pan 360 degrees horizontally, and zoom. The app lets you set the camera to automatically monitor the room in preset modes; the camera offers HD livestream, two-way audio, and night vision.

This camera records 12-second video clips when motion is detected, and these clips are saved to the cloud for 14 days. Alternatively, you can record continuously to a micro SD card (sold separately).

Considerations: While it’s not the most difficult camera to install, it does have wires, which can be a hassle for some.

Blink Indoor

  • Price: $$
  • Cloud storage: can save unlimited videos for 60 days with the Blink subscription plan; can also save locally with the Blink Sync Module 2 via a USB flash drive, which is sold separately
  • Pros: is Alexa-compatible, has a battery life of up to 2 years with two AA batteries, and has no wires
  • Cons: video can lag a bit, and you’ll need to prompt it to let you continue watching the live footage

Key features: If you like easy setup and a wireless design, the Blink Indoor may fit the bill. This camera can prop up basically anywhere in your home and run for up to 2 years on two AA batteries.

From a security standpoint, this camera offers motion detection that communicates with the Blink app whenever movement occurs. Don’t worry: You can customize the notifications you get so you’re not overwhelmed. It’s also Alexa-compatible, so you can control your camera with your voice.

Considerations: Some reviewers complain about a bit of a lag with the video. They also warn that you can only view 20 seconds of live footage at a time before being prompted to click “continue.”

Another option is the Blink Mini, which has two-way communication but does require you to plug it in. However, it’s slightly less expensive, so if you’re hoping to also use your camera as a baby monitor, it might be worth considering!

Best nanny camera with audio

Ring Indoor Cam

  • Price: $
  • Cloud storage: Ring Protect Plan subscription allows for video storage for 180 days
  • Pros: connect multiple Ring cameras to the app to track several different areas; the camera can sit freestanding or installed to a wall, and it offers two-way audio
  • Cons: need an outlet to plug this in, and you’ll need to pay extra for the Ring Protection Plan to store your videos

Key features: Another camera that’s easy to set up, this option uses Wi-Fi and can sit freestanding or be installed on a wall (it needs to be plugged in, though). Using HD live view, you can check on your home. You can even see, speak to, and hear people in your home through your phone, tablet, or Echo device.

The camera pans 115 degrees horizontally and 60 degrees vertically. Plus, if you have several areas you’d like to keep an eye on at the same time, you can connect multiple Ring cameras to your Ring app.

Considerations: There’s a Ring Protect Plan, which allows you to save video and photos, but it’s sold separately.

Best multiuse nanny camera

Logitech Circle 2 Wireless

  • Price: $$$
  • Cloud storage: free 24-hour secure cloud storage and additional storage available with Circle Safe Home subscription
  • Pros: no wires, has a 180-degree angle view, and offers free 24-hour cloud storage
  • Cons: cost of subscription features can add up, and some users complain that batteries drain quickly

Key features: This camera is easy to install and wireless, connects to Wi-Fi, and works with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. It has a 180-degree wide angle, night vision, and two-way audio. Any videos are stored for 24 hours in a free personal cloud with bank-level encryption.

Considerations: The Circle 2 is phasing out, but is still available on Amazon while supplies last. The Circle View by Logitech is being viewed as a replacement. It works exclusively with Apple HomeKit and doesn’t have any local storage, but it does have a 10-day motion-based recording history that is stored in the iCloud. It also has two-way audio and night vision.

This camera claims to conserve battery life by operating in low-power mode until it detects motion, but some reviewers still complain that the batteries drain quickly. You can also pay for some additional features, like extra cloud storage, but they can add up.

Before purchasing a nanny camera, you’ll want to consider how your house is set up, your budget, and which features are most important to you. Here are some factors to consider:

  • If you’re hoping to mount a camera in a location where there aren’t outlets nearby, consider a wireless option.
  • Not all cameras are created equally when it comes to the angles they catch and the clarity they can show. Make sure you can get the view and clarity you need.
  • Think about whether you’ll want to keep the videos the camera captures. If so, do you want them stored in the cloud or on a local card? How long do you need to keep them?
  • Double-check that a camera (and any necessary apps) are compatible with your smartphone if you have one, so you can get the most use out of it.
  • If you want to be able to talk with other adults, children, or pets through the camera, opt for a device with two-way audio.
  • If you intend to use it as a baby monitor or security camera, pick up one with night vision capabilities.

Don’t forget about sales and coupons! This can help bring the price of a more expensive camera down to within your budget.

Which nanny cam is the most discreet?

Many nanny cameras are easy to hide and the most discreet one for you will depend on your space. In general, cameras without wires will be more discreet. Depending on the location the camera will be hidden, one that comes built into an object may be easiest to hide.

How can I use a hidden nanny cam legally?

To legally use a hidden nanny camera, you’ll need to research your specific state’s laws. Some states do not allow placement of cameras in private places like the bathroom or a live-in nanny’s bedroom. Additionally, your state may have rules about recording conversations without providing notice.

Are nanny cameras compatible with all smartphones?

If you want to connect your nanny camera to a smartphone, check the camera’s specific compatibility requirements, as these can vary. You’ll want to check that your smartphone has sufficient space for any camera-related apps, too. Certain internet connection speeds may also be required to watch live video streams.

Is a wireless camera or a plug-in camera better?

Wireless cameras and plug-in cameras each have pros and cons. While you won’t have to worry about finding a nearby outlet for a wireless camera, you’ll have to stay on top of the batteries. Additionally, wireless cameras can have more connection issues. On the other hand, plug-in cameras can be less discreet and harder to hide.

Where is the best place to hide my nanny cam?

The best place to hide your nanny cam will depend on how your house is set up. You’ll want to make sure to position it in a location where it will have a clear shot of the area you wish to see.

If you have a camera that uses wires, you’ll need to find a location near an electrical outlet. Bookcases, desks, and near other electronic equipment are popular places to hide a nanny cam.

As a parent or caregiver who’s concerned about their small child, you may want to keep an eye on them when you can’t be there. A nanny camera can provide the extra set of eyes you want!

It’s important to think through your desires budget before heading to the store.

One final note: Whatever nanny camera you choose, you’ll want to make sure that it’s used in compliance with any applicable state laws. Check if your state has any rules about locations of cameras or recording audio, and always let your child’s caretaker know there’s a camera in the house.