Tech Tips For Parents


Technology is everywhere these days.  There are many competing theories about what to use and how often to use them, but we’re going to keep it pretty simple here with just a few tech tips that may help save you some coin and use your existing devices to their full potential.

IP Cameras vs Baby Monitors!

It’s a great luxury we enjoy these days having separate rooms in which kids can nap or sleep, but keeping an eye on them can be an expensive endeavor.  Most dedicated baby monitors range from $100-200 dollars.  Consider IP cameras that can easily be monitored from any mobile device (even when you’re not home!).

Internet Protocol cameras (or IP cams for short) are basically surveillance cameras that transmit data via a computer network or the internet.  They are typically much cheaper than dedicated baby monitors and have a versatility that you’ll appreciate well after the kids cease to nap anymore.  

IP Cams FTW!!!

Here is the setup I use and it hasn’t failed me yet!  I also love that my wife and I can monitor from any location in the house and that we’re not tied to a dedicated monitor.

BUY – The Foscam FI8910W is around $60 and is pretty simple to set up.

SETUP – Check out this YouTube video with installation instructions and the Foscam support page for downloads and more help if needed.

APPS – The applications below will make it easy to view baby from any mobile device.  You’ll just need to plug in some of the same information from your desktop setup.

IP Cam Remote – Google Play Store, CamViewer for IP Webcams – iTunes App Store

Phones, Phones, Phones.

Mobile devices are so versatile these days.  Seriously, what can’t you do with these things?!  Here a couple of tips you may or may not have know just to be sure.

While there are dedicated apps to assist in keeping device location information at your fingertips, Apple has made this valuable utility a native part of their operating system.  Check out the linked support page for step by step instructions on how to setup Find My iPhone on your Apple device.

Google has made it insanely easy to find your Android device.  Once you setup your Android device manager preference, finding your phone is as easy as doing a Google search for, you guessed it, ‘find my phone’.  It’s pretty cool.  You can attach multiple devices to your account, making it easy to keep tabs on your whole family.

YouTube Offline

In a relatively recent update, the YouTube mobile app has made it possible to save videos onto your mobile device for offline viewing.  It’s a personal decision as to how much television one’s child can watch, but in a pinch, even the most strict parent in regards to screen time can benefit from this feature.

Here are some instructions from the YouTube help page to get things going for you.  For my child, preloading anything from a “Fire Trucks for Kids” search can mean the difference between a nice family chinese dinner and a nightmare of an outing.  This feature is also perfect for airplane rides.

Guided Access on iPad

If you have an iPad that your kid uses, you may not want them clicking anywhere and everywhere when they’re watching a movie or playing a game.  Head to Settings>General Setting>Accessibility and turn on Guided Access.  See here for a more detailed walk through.

Basically, you can block inputs to the touch screen by enabling this feature.  You’ll triple click the home button, fill in your password and set your touch preferences.  Easy peasy.

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