Build a 'Watch Anywhere' Baby Monitor Using Slingbox or Skype

Those who know me or follow my blog here at will attest, I have a fair amount of older gadgets and gizmos I've collected over the years. Some sit on shelves behind a glass door museum-style, but most would be surprised by the sheer number of old devices I've found new uses for. So, when the need arose to put together a nursery for my up-and-coming newborn, I went to work putting a few of my older gadgets back into service.

One of our goals was to have the option to monitor the baby visually, and after pricing out some $200+ baby video monitors, I decided to slap something together from several devices I already own that are no longer in use.

I actually came up with two different solutions, but ended up settling on using an old Slingbox Classic I had tucked away in a closet. I've posted instructions on how to set this up here.

The other alternative I came up with was using a older notebook PC, a webcam, and Skype. At first, I was actually leaning toward this solution at first; the camera is much smaller and easier to attach to a crib. In the end, I opted for the Slingbox solution because I can receive the video on several PDAs and mobile phones I have, as well as the SlingCatcher which can display the video on my TV. 

For those not endowed with more Sling gear than you can shake a stick at, and my own craziness aside, setting up a Skype based solution is actually quite simple if you only need to view it from other PCs.

What You'll Need:

  • A notebook or small desktop PC with Wi-Fi
  • An external USB webcam
  • The free Skype software 

Setting it up

  1. Attach the webcam to the crib and secure the cable.
  2. Connect the Webcam to the computer and install any drivers if necessary.
  3. Download and install Skype
  4. Set up a separate Skype Account just for this terminal
  5. Set up Skype to automatically start with the computer and sign in automatically.
  6. Go to Tools --> Options
  7. Under Video Settings, check "enable Skype Video" and "Start my video automatically when I'm in a call." Set it to only do so for those in your contact list.
  8. Under Privacy, check to only allow people in your contact list. Click advanced and do the same for chats.
  9. Most likely, you'll leave the volume of this computer turned down to not wake the baby when you start the video, but you can also hit mute all sounds in the sounds menu.
  10. Under Calls Settings, check to allow calls from people in the contacts list. Most importantly, click advanced, and select "Automatically answer incoming calls."
  11. Apply these changes. Add your other Skype accounts (you and your spouses) to the contacts list, and vice versa.

That's it. When you want to watch the video from the webcam you set up on the crib, all you need to do is call the Skype account you just created. The computer will automatically answer your call and turn on the webcam. When you're done monitoring, you simply end the call.

Did you come up with a creative way to monitor your nursery? Tell us about it in the comments.



Can you repost here or email I can not find this in the Singboc community?

erniewil said: Can you repost here or email I can not find this in the Singboc community?

Hi erniewil, 

We're still porting some of the content from the old SlingCommunity site to TechLore. I went ahead and moved that one over for you since you asked.

Here's a link:

I don't want to be a party pooper on this, but speaking as someone who went from being totally normal to being very electrosensitive, 8 years ago, I would be very careful what electronic equipement I was putting into my babies bedroom. Babies and children are particularly sensitive to electromagnetic fields. Modern baby monitors give our pulsed radiation which is very dangerous see, if you are putting your laptop in your babies bedroom and transmitting via wifi, this is not something I would advise either. Just my view....

Such a good idea, thanks for sharing that info it would a great help for the people who are new on this strategy.


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