The Co-Sleeping Controversy

Did you share a bed with your baby?

Research shows that co-sleeping can actually be safer than sleeping alone. But, as anyone with a baby knows, what’s safe and what’s not safe changes just about every year!

A shocking ad campaign, unveiled last Wednesday in Milwaukee, urges parents to stop sharing a bed with their babies. The ads show an infant sleeping in an adult bed next to a butcher knife with the headline, “Your baby sleeping with you can be just as dangerous.”

The City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Bevan Baker says this area has a worse infant mortality rate than 30 countries. According to the health department, the second-leading cause of infant mortality in Milwaukee is SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, which often results from  ”unsafe sleep.”

The ads were created to help the city reduce infant mortality rates 10% by 2017. The Health Department asks that parents put their babies to rest in a crib. For parents who cannot afford a crib, the department provides a crib with their Cribs for Kids Program.

“Is it shocking? Is it provocative?” asked Bevan Baker, the city’s commissioner of health, according to the Journal Sentinel. “Yes. But what is even more shocking and provocative is that 30 developed and underdeveloped countries have better [infant death] rates than Milwaukee.”

Still, many are saying “Shame on Milwaukee Co-Sleeping Ads!” Co-sleeping is a highly personal choice that—when done safely—is harmless, and even beneficial.

Mayor Tom Barrett told ABC News, “If the ads make some people uncomfortable, I guarantee it’s a lot less uncomfortable than having another baby die from co-sleeping,” a cause of death that is “so preventable,” he added.

Tell us: Where do you stand on co-sleeping? Did you (or do you) share a bed with your baby?

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