Keeping an eye on your children is second nature as a parent – you want to make sure they are safe and happy. With a range of gadgets and apps available today, there are easy ways to watch over them.
You’ve just got your baby to sleep in their cot after hours of rocking. You creep out of the room and close the door. The last thing you want to do is go back into the room to check on them and risk waking them up. This is where a baby monitor becomes a parent’s best friend.
What about your older kids, who are becoming more independent? If you’re at work and the kids walk home from school, how do you calm your worried mind and make sure they are safe and sound? This is where certain features of a smart home become your best friend.
Here, we take a look at some of the gadgets and devices that parents can use from the day their baby is born to the day their grown child leaves home. Remember, how far you take the whole “keeping an eye on the kids” thing is a personal parenting decision.
Baby steps: a baby monitor
One of the first things you may want to install is a baby monitor. From high-end video cameras to free apps that turn your old smartphone into a tool to keep an eye on bub, there are options galore when it comes to baby monitors.
Generally, parents use baby monitors to alert them to when their baby wakes up. They can be handy if you’ve got other kids in the house and want to head outside for a play while baby sleeps, or if you’re a heavy sleeper and are worried that your baby’s distant cry won’t wake you (although, let’s face it, most new parents become the lightest sleepers on the block!).
If you’re in a small house, then it’s likely you won’t need anything fancy. In a bigger house – or if you plan on using the baby monitor into the toddler years and beyond to keep an eye on their independent playtime – then you may want to invest in something a little more sophisticated.
Taking the leap to the smart home
As your children get older, there’s the opportunity to integrate smart devices into your home to give you a little more peace of mind that your children are safe when you’re not home.
Here are some of the ways that parents integrate smart devices into their homes and lives to keep an eye on their children, even when they are at work:
- Installing a camera at the front door to monitor when children arrive home. Modern systems can send an alert to your mobile phone and you can even have a chat to them about their day.
- Installing a smart lock on the front door for keyless entry and automatic locking once they are inside – with an alert sent to you so you know they are safely in the house.
- Wireless cameras around the house – or re-use of the baby monitor – so you can monitor your children’s activities in real-time.
- Apps to monitor their whereabouts. If your child has a mobile phone, you can track the location of the phone so you always know where they are (as they get older, you may want to talk to them about how you’d like to monitor their whereabouts for your own peace of mind – just to help maintain their trust).
The final word
It’s instinctive for parents to want to keep their children safe at all times. There are plenty of apps and gadgets out there to help you do this – from basic baby monitors to sophisticated smart home systems.