• Using Skype as a Babysitter Camera

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    If you're a parent, you probably don't have eyes in the back of your head, despite the fact that you have likely wished for them more than once. For most parents, the ability to view their young child remotely remains an unrealized dream. With Skype, however, that wish is now within reach for average moms and dads.

    Now well into its first decade, Skype offers a communication service that allows people who use personal computing devices to share text, voice and real-time video over an internet connection. The company gives those who sign up for a Skype account, the ability to transmit phone calls using that internet connection. If you are a parent with a webcam, this bestows that long-wished-for ability to babysit a child in one room while remaining in another room in the same house. With the company's free streaming service, a parent can also monitor older children inside the home from a distant location. Wherever wireless cameras are aimed – the backyard, the nursery, the kitchen or a playroom – a surveillance camera can be used to monitor children at play through the company's streaming service.

    If you have a computer with a camera, using the popular streaming service as a nanny cam is very easy. First, you will need to sign up for Skype's service and set up two different accounts. You will save yourself confusion later if you pick account names that are clearly differentiated from one another. For example, name one "homebase10" and the other "distance10." As a parent of young children, you have probably experienced that mind-numbing state of exhaustion that can come from working all day and then caring for a baby or preschooler until bedtime. Do yourself a favor and make the two accounts simple to remember.

    When you have the two accounts set up, take the time to view the Skype training tools on the company's website. Once you are familiar with the basics of using Skype, you're ready to log into the "homebase10" account. After you log in, you will need to add your other Skype account, "distance10," as the only contact in your list.

    Skype offers many options for users. However, the one you will want to use is the command that allows your Skype account to always pick up calls from the remote account you set up. In order to use the streaming service as a babysitting camera, you must ensure that the "homebase10" account is open all the time. Otherwise, you will not be able to access it remotely, unless you have another person in your home who can long in to your account while you are away.

    The next step is to set up the nanny cam. If you have a newborn or very young child, you may want to set the camera over the crib. An important tip: If there are any power cords involved, make sure these are not within reach of the child's crib because they pose a risk of strangulation. Place any wires well out of reach, or encase them in a conduit that is safe to use in a child's room.

    Once you have the two accounts operating and the spy camera in place, you will be able to view your child while you are away from home. Your efforts will be well worth it because the streaming-video service also helps you ensure your babysitter continues to render proper care in your absence. Perhaps the best benefit of all is that it will encourage you to take the time to visually bond with and connect to your child. To make sure you have the right DVR camera for your webcam, read our reviews of the latest nanny cam technology.

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