When Lea was about 6 months old a couple of friends tried to talk us into getting a video monitor. At the time, all we had was a cheap little Fisher Price monitor that wasn't even wireless. We live in a fairly small house so it worked fine.
About that time, though, was also when we began trying to do a little "sleep training" with Lea. I've never been comfortable with letting her "cry it out"... but I was ok with letting her fuss and cry gently for a little bit before showing my face to her. At least... I thought I was ok. My limit was 20 minutes... if she was still upset after 20 minutes, I had to go in there! Those 20 minutes seemed like an eternity. So, after a couple nights, we decided to look into video monitors.
Holy cow! Those things are not cheap! There was no way we were going to fork over a couple hundred dollars for a video monitor in our small house... seemed like a luxury we could do without.
Until.... one day when we were checking out the deals at the local children's consignment store... there was a video monitor for $40!!! We tested it out in the store and took it home a few minutes later.
How did we ever live without a video monitor before? It was like reality tv at it's best. Kevin and I sat in front of that thing for hours (ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration) just watching little Lea sleep. It really did help us with the "sleep training" transition.
Needless to say, I am so glad we got it. I love being able to check out Lea any time I hear a little noise. Recently she's had some trouble sleeping again. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. My mother (who helps watch Lea while I am at work) suggested leaving her bedroom door cracked when she's sleeping. So, recently, we've tried that and it worked! Tonight, after a book and a little rocking, I put Lea in her crib, wide awake, gave her a kiss and said good night as I walked out... leaving the door cracked about two inches. I came downstairs to check her out on the video monitor. She didn't make a peep... just sat up to see if the door was cracked and then laid down for the night. :)
So, if you're considering a video monitor, I highly recommend it... if, of course, you can find a good deal!