I recently bought and have been playing with the new SX260 HS (the SX 240 HS is the same without GPS). The focus is pretty fast in general and if your brother and his wife are going to be using AUTO mode, there is a constant tracking focus feature (makes for faster focus before a shot, but you might need to fight the camera into tracking and focusing on what you want it to focus). There is a "burst" mode where it takes shots at an amazing rate - but it only saves the one shot that it thinks is best - would probably work well for baby pictures. But the features that might be exactly what they would like are the baby settings (optimized for babys as subjects with a smile recognition mode so it only snaps when the baby smiles) and a facial recognition mode that not only recognizes faces in general, but you can also store the baby's face in memory, the camera sees it and not only focuses on that face, but adjust the exposure to optimize that face no matter what or who else is in the picture.
I bought it to take BTS shots and for times when I can't or don't want to carry my DSLR gear. It has a 25-500mm (equivalent) and a pretty impressive IS system. There are full controls, even manual for when I get tired of the camera "thinking" too much. I can't make any comparison to any other P&Ss but from what I have seen in the couple of months since I got it, the SX 260 HS is not a bad little camera.