Picture this – a baby and his mother, peacefully slumbering beside each other. When the baby stirs, the mother gently wakes, and nurses the baby back to sleep. Both mom and baby feel secure, safe and rested. What could be more natural, or more comforting?
Well, the city of Milwaukee feels differently. News of their ridiculous new ad campaign, depicting a baby sleeping next to a knife, has been spreading through the blogosphere this week. The ads were even mentioned yesterday in one of Canada’s national newspapers, the Globe and Mail. The ads controversially state that sharing a bed with a baby is as dangerous as allowing your baby to sleep with a knife.
I hate to break it to you Milwaukee, but parents and their babies have been bed sharing since the beginning of time. If it is as dangerous and you make it out to be, explain to me how the human race has survived?
Thankfully, Annie who blogs at PhD in Parenting has provided an intelligent response. You can read it here. As Annie points out, co-sleeping is statistically as dangerous as travelling by cars. So does that mean that we should stop taking our kids with us when we drive? Should we walk everywhere? Or should we just try to make both driving and co-sleeping as safe as possible?
Dr. Sears also has an excellent response to these ads. You can read it here. As he so aptly says:
Every night millions of mothers and babies the world over sleep close to each other, and the babies wake up just fine. Instead of alarming conscientious parents, like the recent shocking and insensitive ad campaign in Milwaukee did, as reported in the Journal Sentinel, sleep advisors should be teaching parents how to co-sleep safely.
So what is safe co-sleeping? Annie at PhD in has great information in her post entitled “Co-Sleeping Safety“. I highly recommend reading it in its entirety if you are considering co-sleeping, or if you currently co-sleep and want to minimize the risks involved.
Milwaukee – my family will continue to co-sleep safely, because it is what works best for us. Everyone is happy and well-rested and your scare tactics won’t work in this house.