The City of Milwaukee has very high rates of infant death, and one of the ways they have chosen to tackle this problem is through an education campaign and simple-to-understand posters aimed at scaring parents away from the evils of...co-sleeping.
According to Milwaukee's Health Department, sleeping with your baby is as dangerous putting a giant sharp blade next to your baby in the bed. They suggest that a crib is always a safer option and offer a toll-free number for free cribs.
Follow the jump to see the posters.
My babies co-slept with me, in a safe way. There weren't any soft pillows, comforters or knives involved.
The City of Milwaukee has a high infant mortality rate and is no doubt trying to do the right thing by creating these ads. Unfortunately, their high-minded idea completely fails as a safety measure.
Co-sleeping is not dangerous if proper precautions are taken. In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that co-sleeping is beneficial to babies as well as the mothers. It certainly makes breastfeeding easier.
The parents of Milwaukee would probably benefit from some education on what safe sleeping looked like, as well as the benefits of breastfeeding instead of offensive ads that will make many parents feel guilty. Because bed sharing happens, for some it is a conscious decision, for others it changes nightly.
Ads like this mean that mothers who co-sleep, either out of necessity or choice, may be afraid to talk to their doctors and support people about it, and may not learn how to co-sleep safely. They may not realize that the fluffy pillows, duvets (and, of course, knives) should not be near the baby while sleeping.
PhDinParenting points out that co-sleeping is in fact less dangerous that driving in a car. She writes:
The idea that crib sleeping is always a perfectly acceptable alternative to co-sleeping is laden with as much societal and cultural baggage as the assumption that walking is always a perfectly acceptable alternative to travel by car. Sometimes it might be, but often it simply isn’t. Health authorities need to stop scaring and shaming parents and instead teach them about the pros and cons of different sleep options and about the things that they can do to make their chosen sleep environment as safe as possible.
She cheekily created this poster to make her message clear.
image credit: PhDinParenting
What do you think? Do you think the posters are overkill?
Want more chaos? Last year, I wrote about the amazing work of the Kids Help Phone.