Motherhood and Careers – Setting Up Kiddie Cams With Skype

Motherhood and careers – that is a balancing act that can be successful given the right support and planning. And there are quite a number of us trying this balancing act… Sixty percent of married women are balancing motherhood and their careers, according to recent data. Yet reading bedtime stories together, checking art projects, or just watching the baby sleep are not the purview of stay-at-home moms only. Mothers who are away from their homes are putting technology to work to stay close to kids.

Enterprising women are setting up webcams on home computers and checking in from offices or the road, allowing them to see and talk to sons and daughters at any time. Free services like Skype make it possible, and really savvy moms have figured out that no one needs to actually answer the receiving end of the call–moms control what they see at home and when (perfect for taking a peek at a napping newborn!)

We have provided you with details on setting up “Kiddie Cams” so you can try it for yourself. It’s simple and free and only requires an inexpensive webcam that’s readily available anywhere.

  1. Sign Up for Skype (Twice!)
    1. Go to www.Skype.com to sign-up for two free accounts (the “Kiddie Cam” system will require one account to run at home and one to run at the office). To get an account, download the program from the Web site on both your home computer and work computer, then choose a username and password for each account. The process takes approximately ten minutes. Note: Skype is available for Windows and Mac. Make sure to choose the version that is appropriate for your computer.
  2. Set-up One Webcam
    1. Set-up one webcam at home to be able to check-in on your children from any computer. Choose the webcam of your liking (click here to purchase a webcam directly from the Skype store) and follow the instructions to set-up the webcam.
    2. To set-up the “Kiddie Cam” to run automatically on your home computer while you are at the office, go to the top of your contact list for your home account. Click “File” on the upper left hand corner and “Privacy” and choose the following settings (these settings need to be made for your home computer only):
      1. Calls: Allow calls from: Only people from my Contacts
      2. Calls: Automatically answer incoming calls
      3. Calls/Video Settings: Select webcam: Default Video Device/Your Camera
      4. Calls/Video Settings: Enable Skype Video
      5. Calls/Video Settings: Start my video automatically when I am on a call
      6. Calls/Video Settings: Automatically receive video from: No one

To see your child while at the office, make sure to set-up the webcam in an area where the camera will easily capture your child (i.e. the child’s bedroom, crib, or play area).
3. Use the “Kiddie Cam”

To see your child from any computer, log on to your second Skype account (use the username that is not in use at home). Call your home Skype account to automatically be able to view your child, whether they are reading an afternoon book, working on an arts project, or taking a morning nap.

For more information, contact Kaplow.

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