We recently installed Nest cameras in both of the girls’ rooms, and it’s pretty crazy for us to now think about not having a way to watch Isla once her bedroom door is closed (we haven’t since she was about 12 months old!). It’s free entertainment! I will read her stories, say our prayers, kiss her goodnight, then leave the room. And then the magic begins. Ha. Pajama changes, headbands on, new books, more stuffed animals in bed, etc. I feel like we’ve been missing out for ages. But the best part about the Nest cameras are the playback. Isla has had some sweet moments, which I’ve loved listening to over and over and over again (like her prayer I wrote about here), and also some of sheer terror. The other night, I told her that she had to share her Elsa character with Emi, and she started sobbing, told me she didn’t love me anymore, then grabbed her ‘star chart’ and tore it up… which caused even more tears, as she asked me to glue it back together and told me she was so sorry and wanted me to be her mommy again. I laughed and cried re-watching that!

Here are the camera setups in both girls’ room. I have the IQ secured with the heaviest duty 3M tape. However, now that she’s pulling herself up on the crib bars, I will likely move it soon!  

Before we received the Nest cameras, Emi had the Summer Infant Baby Zoom Wi-Fi Video Monitor in her room, which did the job of watching and hearing her while we were out of her nursery; however, the Nest camera is better, for the following reasons:

  • The aforementioned playback feature (a $10/month subscription to Nest Aware is required to see more than 3 hours back) – it’s so sweet to watch her fall asleep, or climb up on the crib and look confusedly at the camera – on repeat.
  • The Nest app is easy to use and has side-by-side images of both (or all, if you have more than 2) cameras, so I can open it up and see what both girls are doing at the same time.
  • The HD cameras have wide-lenses, so they see way more than the Summer Infant monitor did.
  • The night vision on the camera is better than any baby monitor I’ve seen before (also shown below in the iPhone screenshot photo).
  • The ability to talk into the camera in HD audio, which will get Isla running for her bed!
  • My favorite feature of the Nest cameras is the alert functionality. You can set the app so that you get push notifications if your camera sees any motion, sound or sees a person. I love this. I typically can tell when Emi is waking up from a nap just by the camera catching her motion as she starts to roll around silently. With a regular monitor, you wouldn’t hear anything and unless you were glued to the monitor, you wouldn’t know they were up until they made a noise. It’s also nice because I can go back quickly to the Notification Center on the iPhone and see whenever she cried or got up in the middle of the night.

I love that I could, if needed, monitor a babysitter’s activity. I would never want to spy on anyone watching the girls, but it’s nice to have the ability to do it if needed. The other day, Sasha’s dad’s wife was babysitting in the evening, and I had put Emi down to sleep before I left. I was chatting to the other moms at the end of the orientation when I got a sound, motion and person alert from Emi’s nursery and knew it was time to head home to help Olivera! Ha.

The only thing that the Nest cameras are not great for with regard to baby monitoring is that you can only hear if your baby is crying when the app is open. In order to do this, I changed the setting on my iPhone at night so that it never locked, and left the Nest app open. Well, this wasn’t very practical because I kept forgetting to change it back in the morning and I would be down to 30% battery by 10am. So instead, we downloaded the Nest app on an old iPad that is never used any more and keep it unlocked and plugged into the wall.

If you don’t have a spare tablet laying around, my recommendation is to have a Nest IQ or Nest Indoor Cam with a cheap audio monitor ($19). With Isla, we don’t need to hear her, so we just rely on the Nest camera.

So, the big question is Nest IQ vs. Indoor Camera. Aesthetically speaking, I like the IQ more because it’s white, which is better suited for our very white house. The IQ also has the ability to zoom in on someone walking across the room, while still showing you the full picture (called “Supersight”), whereas the Indoor Cam’s view remains the same. The IQ will send an alert if someone is talking or it hears a noise, whereas the Indoor Cam does not (which is fine if you have an audio monitor as well). IQ alerts include, “Your camera noticed some activity,” “Your camera spotted someone,” and “Your camera heard a sound.” The only alert you receive from the Nest Indoor Cam is, “Your camera noticed some activity.”

Below are screenshots taken of both girls at night – one when their lamps were still on and the second when it was pitch black in the room. In the app, when you click on either room, it gives you a bigger picture and lets you swivel and move the camera. The Nest IQ is currently $250 on Amazon Prime and the Nest Indoor Cam is $150 with Prime. I honestly think that the way we have it setup with the IQ in Emi’s room and the Indoor Cam is Isla’s is perfect – the smarter HD camera with sound alerts for the baby and a great camera with less alerts for the toddler who just needs occasional viewing. Having an audio monitor in the nursery as well rounds it out as the perfect child monitoring setup.

PS Sasha is ready to order Nest cameras for every room in the new house! They really are amazing.

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