In many ways, video baby monitors are a godsend. Parents can see if their child is standing or lying down before they intervene and track sleep patterns. Monitors also provide a sense of security and peace of mind that actually help parents sleep better. These technological marvels are a far cry from the intercom system that allowed my sister and I to destroy our childhood bedroom uninterrupted. However, it's not a silver bullet, mostly because you're probably going to see some weird stuff on that screen. I've witnessed quite a few strange things while staring at my baby monitor.
Initially, I didn't want a video monitor. After all, they're pretty expensive and I thought we could do just fine with audio only. However, my husband insisted that we "go big or go home." I relented, and then I never looked back. I don't think I could have sleep trained our baby girl without it. The cry it out method is not for the faint of heart, but it was easier for me when I could see that she was OK. If something was really wrong, like when she got her chubby little leg stuck in the slats, I could rush in and save the day.
I love my video monitor, and I take it anywhere we go if we're planning to stay overnight. That also means that I've spent some serious quality time with that digital beauty, and believe me, I have seen things.