Milwaukee mayor says babies should never sleep with parents. I say he’s thrown the baby out with the bath water.

Once again, the safe-sleep fanatics have gone a wink too far. This time the City of Milwaukee has come out with an ad campaign that intends to scare parents out of sleeping with their babies.

Milwaukee Runs Provocative Ads to Wake Parents Up to Dangers of Co-Sleeping (ABC News)

The two ads appeared in the Milwaukee Sentinel and show babies (one white, one black), asleep next to a kitchen knife. The words say, “Your Baby Sleeping With You Can Be Just As Dangerous.”

In an ABC online news story Tuesday, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is reported to have said, “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.

Doesn’t he realize that separate sleeping is a relatively modern phenomenom? Many of the world’s children wouldn’t survive without the family bed. With our third child, we didn’t even bother setting up the crib. It never got any use. Our kids graduated to a baby futon that we put next to our big bed. It made breastfeeding a whole lot easier.

As far as I am concerned, the real issues have more to due with irresponsible parenting than co-sleeping – parents who go to bed drunk or strung out on drugs. Or parents that are morbidly obese.

Read what the well-respected organization Attachment Parenting International has to say about the subject on their website. Then decide for yourself. http://www.attachment/

Here’s a sample:

Did you know that a recent poll of parents conducted by Parenting magazine indicated that 42% share sleep with their infant at least part of the time?

Advances in research have demonstrated that the proximity of the infant to the parents during sleep is a protective factor against both SIDS and unexplained infant death, as well as valuable for bonding and sleep-time parenting. We know from surveys, polls and anecdotal information that many parents have taken this and other research to heart. API and its sponsors want to accompany the practices parents have chosen for their families with as much information as possible to help keep their babies safe during sleep. For a preview of our guidelines and other information about nighttime parenting, please see our Principles and Parent Resources pages.

Get API’s Infant Sleep Safety brochure , now available for download.

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