Friday, June 28, 2013

DIY Video Baby monitor

So one of the goals I wanted for this blog was to also help parents make their lives a little easier (and less expensive) when it came to combining technology and kids.  When of those little things I learned form trial and error was using a older iPod Touch 4th generation as a video baby monitor.  Now this only works if you also have wifi in your home and another type of Apple product that is mobile, whether than be a iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or even a Macbook so that you can use Facetime video calling.  The great thing about Facetime is you don't have to worry about distance restrictions with standard video baby monitors and if you have an iPhone, you can just carry one device with you around the house, front yard, or back yard.

First lets start with the camera/receiver that will be in your little ones room. If you look on eBay or Craigslist lately, you can find used many iPod Touch 4th generation for $95-$125.  At that price, it is less expensive than a video baby monitor system for a retailer by $50 to $80.  Once you have your iPod  Touch, you will need to make a Apple account that is different from yours.  The reason is Facetime only allows one account to call another Apple account, you can't call yourself.  Facetime is standard on all the devices I named above so their so no need for another app.  Once you have this set up, find a place around the baby's crib that gives a good vantage point so that no matter how much your little one rolls around or moves while sleeping, you can always see them.

With everything in place, all you need to do is place the call from the iPod to your other Apple device.  Once that call is placed, just hit the mute button on your device and you can get some work done around the house.  Whenever you would like to hear your little sleep, just click off mute.  But be careful because any noise that is coming from your end will get broadcasted to the speaker on your little one's iPod.  The only downside to this is night vision.  While you are using Facetime, you won't be able to see them if it is pitch black in their room.  If you can position a small night light near the crib, that will go a long way to helping you out.  There you go, DIY video monitoring for less than a retailer's version and VERY portable.  One other benefit of doing this is you are invested in a small toy for your little one when they get older (1 year old and up).  That is another post where I can help you set up that iPod to be nearly indestructible, have baby games to help their hand / eye coordination, and even put baby movies and TV shows on to help keep them busy on road trips to see friends, family, or go on family vacations.

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