The city of Milwaukee has put out a set of shocking ads, showing babies in bed with knives, to warn against the perceived dangers of co-sleeping. These ads, designed to scare parents, have gone too far.
We co-slept with both are kids since infancy and they they are happy, well adjusted kids. Are we lucky? Maybe. Did we education ourselves about co-sleeping safely? ABSOLUTELY! Is co-sleeping (safely) dangerous? In my opinion no.
With that being said you can’t just throw a baby in a regular adult bed with six pillows and heavy down comforters, like the ones in the pictures, and expect your baby to be safe. Nor can you wedge your child in between you and sofa cushions and expect everything to be OK. There are guidelines for safe co-sleeping that can be followed to keep your children safe in your bed. Some are common sense like don’t drink and co-sleep and don’t share a bed with your baby if you are under the inluence of drugs or medications that will make you drowsy.
Lots of people all over the world in different cultures c0-sleep, therefore I do not think that co-sleeping is inherently dangerous. Doing it unsafely though is. I get frustrated with our society that there can be no grey. Things have to constantly be oversimplified and pushed to an extreme at the same time. Both the Milwaukee ads above and the Indiana co-sleeping shock video are great examples of oversimplifying the co-sleeping issue. There is an in between, the world is not black and white. There is a safe way to co-sleep. Additionally there are tons of families out there without the means or space for a crib. Citys like Milwaukee are doing parents a great disservice by scaring them instead of helping them to learn how to co-sleep safely. Education, not scare tactics, would go a long way to help people do what they are going to do anyway, safely.
Milwaukee and other municipalities who try to scare parents out of co-sleeping are doing it wrong. Education and information, on either side, will always win out over scare tactics.