Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Co-Sleeping

This blog is long overdue. And I must confess that in the past, although I know that co-sleeping is not optimal, I have sometimes suggested it, mostly because it sure worked for me when I was a young parent and there were no guidelines for SIDS. There is plenty of data about SIDS now and co-sleeping is NOT recommended.

Kudos to the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin where an active campaign has been launched to educate ( in a graphic way ) just how dangerous co-sleeping is. Because SIDS is the second leading cause of infant mortality in that city, it has begun to circulate an advertisment using two separate posters of a baby ( one black and one white ) lying in bed next to a butcher knife. The point is that co-sleeping is lethal and as dangerous as putting your infant in bed with a dangerous object. The script READS " "YOUR BABY SLEEPING NEXT TO YOU CAN BE JUST AS DANGEROUS."

It seems, from commentary that it may be nonchalantly disregarded by proponents of the habit, that the practice will continue but I believe that education is a good thing. While many co-sleeper advocates claim that they have done it for years with no adverse results, many people have responded very positively and called the number offering a free Pack "N Play.

The mayor of Milwaukee says he is willing to take ( the ) heat because in some ZIP codes in his city infant mortality rates are higher than in Third World countries. His position is " If the ads make some people uncomfortable, ( he ) guarantee ( s ) it's a lot less uncomfortable than having......(a) baby die from co-sleeping." This is a cause of death that is absolutely preventable.

I will no longer suggest keeping a fussy baby in bed with parents. Fussy babies are much more preferable than babies who succumb to the dangers of co-sleeping. Life is fragile enough. Back to the five Esses proposed by Harvey Karp in Happiest Baby on the Block. And if your baby likes sleeping in the swing or infant carrier, the vibrating Papa San chair or in your rocking arms, so be it. No co-sleeping. Thanks for reminding us Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Just so happens to be my state of origin. Go Badgers.