Make your own Baby Monitor with Skype
Today’s hectic lifestyle is oftentimes prohibitive when it comes to proper child care. Maternity leave isn’t always a financially viable option, and even when you do take it your baby still needs close attention once it is over.
Baby monitors have been around for a while now, helping overworked parents keep an eye on their little bundles of joy and making sure everything was OK. Up until computers and smartphones started becoming normal occurrences even in homes that were otherwise tech-averse, you could use a baby monitor only in your own home, and had to hope that the signal was strong enough to penetrate the walls and interference from other sources.
Now you can use different types of devices to eliminate many of the problems associated with conventional monitors.
We’ve already talked about a few ways you can turn your smartphone into a multifunctional baby monitor, but if you have a spare laptop lying about that you don’t know what to do with, you can use Skype to activate its webcam and have a continuous video and audio feed of your baby. This is a cheap yet effective way to keep an eye on your child from anywhere in the world, or just to check up on it during a lunch break.
How to Set up Skype for use as a Baby Monitor
First, you’ll want to set the laptop or individual webcam up. Position the device in a way that clearly shows the crib and allows you to see its surroundings. Make sure that the device is turned on, plugged into an outlet and working properly. If you don’t know how to set up your webcam, consult a manual or look for help online.
Once that is taken care of, install Skype if you haven’t already done so before and create a new account just for this purpose. You’ll need to alter a few default settings in order to have a continuous connection to that computer.
You’ll want it to start up automatically with your operating system, so go to Tools, then Options. Under General settings, choose “Start Skype when I start Windows” (this may vary depending on your operating system). For added security, the stream should be shared only with accounts that this one has in its Contacts list, so go to Video Settings and select “Automatically receive video and screen sharing from… people in my Contact list only.”
There are a few additional steps to ensure the account’s privacy, so go to the Privacy setting, check that only people in the Contact list are allowed, and then make sure you select “people in my Contact list only” for each setting that appears when you press the Show Advanced Options button.
The final security step is to make sure no one else can call this account, so under Call settings, click on “Only allow people on my Contact list to call me”.
Since the baby obviously can’t answer incoming calls, you’ll have to set Skype up to do that automatically. While still in the Call settings tab, select Show Advanced Options and here tick “Answer incoming calls automatically” and “Start my video automatically when I am in a call”.
Make sure you’ve saved all of these settings and you’re almost good to go. All that’s left is to add your baby monitor account to your Contacts list, call the account and enjoy the benefits of modern technology on your piece of mind and the safety of your child.