Wednesday

Co-Sleeping Safety

Would you let your baby sleep with a butcher knife? Of course not!

Would you let your baby sleep in your bed with you? Many parents would say yes to this one. But according to a campaign in the city of Milwaukee, the two actions are more similar than we think.

Check out the posters created to warn parents of the dangers of co-sleeping with infants. Milwaukee apparently has a very high infant mortality rate, and since co-sleeping has been named as a contributing factor in SIDS, it is now being advertised as deadly. Here is what I take from this ad:  If you want to snooze next to your little one, you might as well give them a handgun and teach them to stick forks into electrical outlets.

As a parent who practiced co-sleeping, I think the city's mission is admirable but their method is absurd. Many factors can contribute to SIDS, and singling out co-sleeping as the culprit is not the way to properly educate parents.

My daughter slept in a bassinet next to my bed for the first few months, but on many restless nights I would pull in her bed with me, between my body and a long pillow, push the covers down to my knees and doze off happily feeling my baby's little body rise and fall with each breathe. Even now, 11 months later, I let her snuggle on my chest in the big bed when she is sick or has a rough night.

Parents who make the decision to co-sleep should know themselves well enough to determine if it is a wise choice. If you sleep like a log and roll over like one too, don't co-sleep. The end.

But if you are like me and no matter how exhausted you are, the slightest little whimper from your baby will sound like an air horn and wake you, the likelihood of crushing your child is slim.

The dangers of smothering, suffocation, falling off the bed, etc; can be avoided. Here is an article with tons of info about the research done on co-sleeping, and here are just the quick tips on how to keep it safe.

What do you think readers? Are the baby/butcher knife photos extreme or understandable?

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