Are you worried about your baby all the time and yet do not have the budget to invest in a proper baby monitoring setup? There is no need to spend a fortune to monitor your bundle of joy remotely when there is a more cost-effective manner of doing so while reducing your overall carbon footprint. While dedicated equipment baby monitoring equipment can easily cost a few hundred dollars or more, why not reuse that old smartphone to keep an eye on your little one? Find out how you can breathe new life into an old handset below.
We have already shown just how an old smartphone can be repurposed for several different uses rather than having it stashed away in a drawer. Now, it is time to transform your old smartphone into a baby monitor - the idea is very similar to that of security cameras, but the apps that are dedicated to baby watching normally include additional features.
If you've already set up Alfred or WardenCam based on my colleague Stefan's suggestion in the link above, it's worth checking to see if the app meets your needs, as they include features such as voice communication, motion detection, and more. If not, our recommendation for keeping an eye on your baby would be the Cloud Baby Monitor app.
Cloud Baby Monitor - Baby monitor for your baby
While many apps basically work like WardenCam or Alfred that feature basic home security features, dedicated baby-sitting apps often offer additional tools such as Cloud Baby Monitor.
In addition to video streaming, two-way audio, and motion detection options, Cloud Baby Monitor offers other features such as an audio player which can be used to play lullabies or white noise.
The app requires a one-time payment of $4.99 (Android and iOS) without a monthly subscription. One particular limitation of Cloud Baby Monitor is that the app's license that remains tied to the app store, preventing you from using the app on an iPhone and an Android simultaneously with a single purchase. Also, the app requires the creation of an account, but the registration process is quick and will only ask for a password and an email address (which does not need any confirmation or verification).
The creation of the account allows the use of multiple devices within the same ecosystem (Android or Apple), both for the camera and for the monitor, which can come in handy so that one can be responsible in keeping an eye on several children simultaneously.
The app also offers zoom control, as well as specific options for nighttime operation, which reduces the brightness of the screen so that it will not bother the baby while activating the flash if the caretaker would like to check on something from a distance.
Purchasing the app from the Apple App Store allows Cloud Baby Monitor to be used not only on the iPhone and iPad, but also on an Apple TV streaming device and Apple Watch.
Some of the app's shortcomings include the lack of a recording feature, with video quality that remains inferior to other options on the market, in addition to macroblocking that tends to appear during our review.
If having a video recording option is important to you, it is worth considering WardenCam as suggested in the tutorial that teaches you how to recycle an old smartphone as a security camera. Otherwise, you can always try out some other baby monitor app alternatives which normally require one-time payment or a monthly subscription for unlimited monitoring. Other recommendations include :
Both offer a free trial period, after which different subscription types are available, or a one-time payment option for unlimited use.
Tips when using a smartphone as a baby monitor
In addition to the equipment listed in the article about the security camera, another concern often cited by readers on social media is the concern about the smartphone's battery as it is located in the baby's room. If possible, remove the battery of the smartphone in order to reduce the chances of it catching fire, or activate a mode that will limit the maximum battery charging level to 80%, for example.
Another measure that can reduce the risk of accidents is to use a charger with a low wattage - such as Apple's 5W adapters as this will place less strain on the device while reducing the chances of overheating during use.
For other suggestions on how to reuse an unused smartphone, check out our other articles:
- How to use an old smartphone as a dashbcam
- How to use your Android phone or iPhone as a webcam on your PC
What about you? Do you recommend any other application that can transform your smartphone into an electronic baby-sitter? Share your suggestion with the NextPit community in the comments section below.