One of the primary concerns about looking after a baby is whether or not they're going to spontaneously stop breathing. While soap operas and real life magazines will instill you with the belief that it happens all the time, I can't say I've personally known of any babies that have suddenly stopped breathing, but still, it is a possibility, and it certainly is nice to have a way to make sure you can attend to the situation within seconds rather than minutes.
So we have one of these nice little monitors. It consists of a pad that goes under baby's mattress that detects movement, and sets off a somewhat ear piercing alarm if there is none for 20 seconds. So if your baby stops breathing, you're going to know about it, although there is a slight possibility of false alarms if your child decides to be really still for a little while.
This little doohickey also doubles as a sound monitor. So if you leave the parents unit next to your sprog and take the child with you, you can hear each little cry, gurgle, moan and fart that comes out of them, which is pretty reassuring. The sound also goes both ways via a walkie talkie like button, though I never saw the appeal of soothing your child from several rooms away when you can just go and give them a cuddle. But that's just me.
So overall, this is a very nice piece of kit to ensure your baby can make it through the arduous task of sleeping. Sound and movement are picked up very precisely, and the only down point I've found is that taking my baby out of the cot in the middle of the night, I'm normally too bleary eyed and stupid to turn the thing off, meaning I have to wander back into the bedroom to switch off the alarm. Also, when I do so, my footsteps seem to be enough to persuade the machine that there is now a breathing baby in the area. Not a problem with the product, more with my tired mind, but if you live underneath train tracks of near stampeding elephants, there could be a fair amount of interference on the movement side. Still, it's an excellent piece of kit.
My rating: 5/5