There are, of course, limitations with this setup. First, it relies on having two PCs switched on all the time, although my Media Center PC would be on during the evenings anyway. Second, there's a reliance on messaging software, which could become unavailable for some reason.
One way to eliminate the messaging software and potential internet issues is to use alternative software to broadcast the webcam's signal across your private network instead. You'd then monitor the signal from a web browser on the PC in your lounge. There are plenty of webcam surveillance programs available that will do this, such as Digi¬Watcher from Webcam Software for Video Surveillance and Broadcast.
If you'd also like to eliminate the PC from the baby's room, you could swap it and the webcam for a standalone IP camera. These connect directly to an Ethernet network (some are wireless), and broadcast what they see and hear to an IP address, so you can monitor it using a web browser.
You can keep this IP address private for use on your network only, or let it to be accessed externally via the internet, which will allow you to monitor your home from anywhere in the world. This setup can be very appealing, because what you use as a baby monitor while you're at home could become a home security device while you're away.
Modern IP cameras not only broadcast using HTTPto a web browser for 'live' monitoring, but also often provide FTP or email facilities for sending periodic images to an off-site location, so even if a burglar nicks your camera, you'll still hopefully have an image of him doing it.
Typical models that have both wired and wireless connectivity include Panasonic's BL¬C131CE and the Y-Cam Knight IP camera. The Panasonic has a pan-and-tilt camera, while the Y-Cam Knight features 30 infra-red LEDs that operate in complete darkness.