When we had Mack, we went with a video monitor to give it a try. I was opposed to these before because I was afraid of who could see my children, but after having Avery wake up in her own vomit I was convinced they both needed them.
We spend a lot if time watching them and learning what they do before they fall asleep. I have learned that a lot happens when you leave the room!
We do place our children down at night awake and then let them fall asleep. This is great for them because they learn to put themselves to sleep! I am a big believer and because of this my kids are amazing sleepers. They go to bed at night and sleep in until the next morning. Mack still takes a short nap in the morning and then they both go down after lunch at 1:00. On a good day Avery will sleep until 4:00 or 4:30 and Mack will sleep until 3:30 (hopefully that will change when we drop the morning nap-that way he will sleep in and take a longer afternoon nap).
Getting my kids to sleep has been a HUGE learning experience, but through help from my friends (and mostly my sister-in-law Sarah) it just works for our family. If you haven't read it yet-Baby Wise is an amazing book. Don't read it until your child is at least 2 months old and also don't read it if you don't plan to use your natural motherly instincts. Every thing you read has to be taken into consideration for your family.
What works best for us is: Eat, Play, Sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mack was challenging, but now that kiddo begs for his bed! He was one that wanted to eat every 2 hours and I did it and when he was ready I challenged himself to sleep on his own.
That was a very long intro to my video and explanation to having video cams, but it is our Avery/Mack TV (that is taken from a great friend of mine and her child).
This is Avery on Avery TV...there are no words to describe how cute this is...